“Life in Christ cannot be put on the back burner.”

Those were the words of Father Jeff Kegley, pastor in St. Mary Parish, Middletown, as he discussed the upcoming Catholic school year during COVID-19. The goal overarching academics is “to make it as normal as possible,” said Father Kegley, director of St. Mary School.

Indeed, the pandemic has drastically altered what the school day will hold for students and staff when they return to classrooms in the coming weeks. But Christian values have not been shaken. Catholic schools across the Diocese have been working fervently to ensure a safe environment, one filled with the  superb academic and faith-based education parents have come to expect from Catholic schools.

Read about these plans, technological advances, safety measures, virtual learning and what parents are saying. Hear from the new diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools, and meet the newest Catholic school principals. And learn how COVID funding has helped bridge the "digital divide" in schools.

For all this and more, flip through the The Monitor’s Back to School special section!