Cold Weather and COVID Present Challenges for Catholic Schools
COVID-19 and the recent cold weather are both taking plenty of attention in the St. Cloud Catholic Community School system. That according to President Scott Warzecha. Warzecha and Cathedral Activities Director Emmett Keenan joined me on WJON today. Warzecha says COVID is still central in a lot of their planning with the goal of keeping students and staff safe and in school. He says they've been able to keep their infection rate to about 1% and he hopes to avoid an outbreak within their schools.
Warzecha says they've had 2 schools go to universal masking in their system because the infection rate in those schools surpassed the 5% infection rate they set for making that move. He says the parents have been accepting of this adjustment. Warzecha says the plan to go to universal masking for a couple weeks with the hopes of returning to normal if the infection rate declines. He says they've been monitoring the Omicron variant and using guidelines from the MDA and CDC to help form their decisions.
St. Catherine Drexel had a boiler pump break down last week which led to a temporary closure of that building. Warzecha says they could have brought students back earlier but the environment just wasn't up to their standards to do so.
Another issue facing many schools throughout the country is a shortage of teachers. Warzecha says many of the teachers choose Catholic community schools for smaller class sizes, parent and student engagement with a mission in mind. He says the mission that drives their teachers is what often times allows them to retain them.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Scott and Emmett it is available below.