Bishop Callahan Announces Reopening of Catholic Schools in Fall
Dear Parents & Staff,
I want to take a quick moment to introduce myself and share with you how excited I am to be the new President of Pacelli Catholic Schools!
I have lived in Door County almost my entire life, except for attending Carroll University in Waukesha for four years. I ran our family business for more than 20 years, was Vice President of our YMCA for almost 10 years, and most recently was CEO of Sunshine House, an organization that meets the needs of seniors as well as intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals through personal care services. It also helps them to be successful by working on our manufacturing floor as well as through career development and so much more. I have served in leadership positions on more than a dozen boards and was part of the committee who worked to consolidate our Catholic schools in Door County.
I am passionate about Catholic education and the moral values and spiritual grounding we instill in our youth, all the while helping them reach academic excellence and individual success. In fact, our family has 4 generations of Catholic school attendance! We have so much to be proud about in the work we do and the impact we have! I am a huge believer in continuous improvement, and while Gregg Hansel has left big shoes to fill with his retirement and years of dedicated service to PCS, every new leader brings in new ideas, perspectives and expertise.
I want to personally thank Gregg for positioning our school well for continued success and growth and wish him a fulfilling retirement! Hopefully we can do a celebration of his service sometime this fall.
Starting a position like this in the middle of a pandemic is something I am sure no one would ever imagine having to do and I will share with you that it has been, and will be, all-consuming for the foreseeable future. Based on that, I apologize if I am not able to connect with each of you personally, face-to-face, as soon as I would like.
Attached you will find a letter from Bishop Callahan outlining his support of us opening this fall. We fully embrace his directive to open in as “normal” a fashion as possible, but unfortunately normal is not going to mean the same now as it did 6 months ago.
Over the next couple of months we will communicate as much as we can what our plan will be, with the understanding that there will be several variations and progressions based on current outbreaks and infection rate, increased knowledge, public perception and more.
I want to also thank each of you who took the time to fill out the family survey we sent last week – if you have not filled it out yet, you are still able to do so and we encourage you to share your perspective.
Based on the survey results to date as well as CDC, Public Health, and Diocesan Guidelines our number one priority is to provide face to face education in fall of 2020. Pending availability of equipment, we hope to offer remote access into our classrooms for those who cannot attend in person due to personal choice or whatever their individual situation may be day-to-day. We are working to put resources and training in place to help us not “skip a beat” whether in person or remote.
We are establishing cleaning protocols and putting plans in place to limit unnecessary interactions between multiple groups of students, all the while acknowledging the importance of socializing and mental health. Things like lunch and recess will look different.
We know we have families who fall on both ends of the spectrum in regards to items like wearing masks and whatever decisions we make will not satisfy everyone, but I want to personally assure each of you that we are spending hours and hours, doing the best we can to hear all perspectives and make what we feel are the best decisions at any given time.
This is going to take a team effort on all of our parts to be successful – from staying home if you are ill, trying to limit the exposure your children have to individuals who may be potentially positive, to everyone washing their hands more and covering their coughs.
We have a tremendous staff and administrative team in place who are doing their best to ensure the 2020-2021 school year will be as successful as possible.
Thank you for being a part of our Pacelli family and may God’s grace be with each and every one of you.
President, Pacelli Catholic Schools
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