Catholic schools to hold ‘in-person’ classes; overall enrollment may be restricted

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Superintendent of Catholic Schools Juan Flores said the system's 14 schools have been working with the Governor's Physicians Advisory Group on different options to accommodate students while also keeping their health and safety in mind.

Classes will be held primarily in person for the island’s Catholic schools this upcoming academic year and for some schools, that may mean restricting overall enrollment to the number of students who can fit in the classrooms.

Superintendent of Catholic Schools Juan Flores said the system’s 14 schools have been working with the Governor’s Physicians Advisory Group on different options to accommodate students while also keeping their health and safety in mind.

These options include face to face instruction every day, in-person classes every other day, and distance learning.

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He told Phill Leon Guerrero on K57 that the island’s Catholic school population is small enough to make these accommodations and that parents would have to tell their respective schools about which option they prefer.

“For some schools, the classrooms are so big that they can actually accommodate the regular number of kids who are normally enrolled in those classes – especially if the enrollments are low. If they’re not over 20, we could accommodate them. For other schools, that’s not possible because the classrooms are not as big and so we’d have to have some kind of distance learning on campus. The choice to come to school or not come to school is definitely up to the families,” Flores said.

Students participating in distance learning would have to either take classes remotely in another part of campus or learn from home.

As for when school will start, Flores says that all depends on Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero but he hopes to start classes by mid-August.

He also says that every Catholic school has been dealing with parents expressing concerns about their ability to pay tuition.

He says the main reason for parents withdrawing enrollment is due to financial strain.

“Even if we made arrangements, we have to assure tuition payments because none of our schools are run on endowments. All of our schools are tuition-driven. If the families don’t pay tuition, the faculty and staff don’t get paid. That’s the bottom line. It’s great to make these compromises but we have to make sure they’re reasonable so that the family can pay and also make sure we’re not being too much of a burden on them,” Flores said.

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