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Following the recommendation of healthcare professionals and keeping our students’ health and safety as the top priority, the Green Bay Area Catholic Education (GRACE) school system is taking the precautionary measure of transitioning to alternate learning platforms for at least two weeks beginning Monday, March 16, in response to the evolving situation regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). There will be no face-to-face classes during that time, as students will be learning from home.

This change in teaching method is being implemented out of an abundance of caution. Since many of our nearly 2,250 students in preschool through eighth grade are traveling with their families to other states and countries this week during spring break, we feel it is best to avoid in-person contact among all students and staff members at our nine schools for at least two weeks following spring break.

We do not make this decision lightly. We recognize the hardship this places on families. At the same time, we must protect the common good and take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19. Our Catholic faith also compels us to consider and protect those most vulnerable in our society.

GRACE’s decision aligns with similar measures being taken by our CatholicLink partners, Notre Dame Academy and St. Norbert College. Numerous other schools and organizations in the country also are making recommended changes to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

A few additional details:

  • GRACE preschool classes will be cancelled for at least two weeks beginning Monday, March 16. GRACE will be following up on preschool accounts.
  • Lessons for students in kindergarten through grade 3 will be shared by teachers to parents via email starting on Wednesday, March 18.
  • Lessons for students in grades 4-8 will be implemented using an online platform like Google Classroom, with some content also being distributed via email by Wednesday, March 18.
  • In order to allow our teachers time to prepare lessons, Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 will be used by teachers to prepare for alternate learning plans.
  • The GRACE leadership team is working on the method by which students may retrieve books and other learning materials; more details will be announced in the upcoming days by GRACE and/or school leaders. It is anticipated that pickup of items will occur during a specified timeframe on Tuesday, March 17.
  • All school activities are postponed until further notice for at least the first two weeks after spring break. This includes both practices and events, including field trips, sporting contests, concerts, etc. This is consistent with recommendations made today by government officials.
  • Direction and consultation have occurred with the Brown County Health Department and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
  • School principals will send an email inquiry to families on Monday, March 16, regarding accessibility of an electronic device as well as Internet capability. We are working to support all families as we transition to this alternate plan to ensure continuous learning.

The GRACE leadership team will continue to closely monitor local and national events regarding COVID-19 and will provide updates on a regular basis at www.gracesystem.org/coronavirus.

Based on local and national events and recommendations from healthcare professionals during the next two weeks, GRACE will announce by Thursday, March 26, our plan for Monday, March 30 and beyond. For more information about COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.

Thank you for your support as we navigate this challenge. We encourage our GRACE Community to support one another in every way possible. And please continue to pray for those stricken by COVID-19 as well as those who are treating patients and working to limit its spread.