Return-to-School Plan for Sacramento County Catholic Schools

Dear Sacramento County Catholic School Families:

We will begin the school year in Sacramento County on August 17 with a combination of on-campus events and online content that, over three weeks, will focus on our three goals of faith, community, and growth. The order of events will vary by school, but for all of us, this will be a time to reconnect as communities of faith. We will work with Sacramento County toward a return to in-person instruction in September.

Jesus teaches that where two or three are gathered in His name, there He shall be. He calls us to community; we desire community; our kids flourish in community. For us, education isn't just an academic experience - it is about our children learning how to lead joyful lives in Christ. You are passionate about your students’ education, and you have offered me sincere feedback on what you feel is best.

Upon reviewing the new California Department of Public Health guidelines, we are not confronted with an either-or decision of only online or only in-class. Although we cannot offer instruction in our classrooms until Sacramento County is off the state monitoring list for 14 days, there are many other things we can offer, including:

  • Outdoor Mass for our students;
  • A learning plan for each child to ensure they complete the year at grade level;
  • STAR testing;
  • Parent-teacher meetings so that you have a chance to offer your insight to your student’s new teacher;
  • Offering opportunities for students to get to know their new teacher, and vice-versa.

In the coming week, you will receive an updated copy of your school’s Back-to-School Plan, as well as a copy of our revised Distance Learning Plan. Your principal will invite you to an orientation to review these documents with you.

Based on what I know today from county health officials, a return to in-class instruction in early September is a realistic goal but not a promise. Things can change, and I will report on my conversations with county health on an ongoing basis. Once Sacramento County comes off the monitoring list for a period of 14 days, we will begin on-campus instruction.

Until we can return to class, many of you have expressed a need for a daycare option for your school-aged child, and we are actively exploring our options as a system. We have begun the licensing process for school-aged daycares on a number of campuses to serve the families who need it.

To summarize:

  • Our priority remains community health, and we follow public health directives. We cannot offer in-class instruction until Sacramento County is off the monitoring list for 14 days, or we receive a waiver.  
  • We will start the school year on August 17 with a combination of on-site events, such as outdoor Mass, STAR testing, parent-teacher meetings, and distance learning. We are working toward resuming in-class instruction in early September.  
  • We have begun the licensing process for school-aged daycares on a number of campuses to serve the families who need it.
  • If any family chooses learning from home for the 2020-2021 school year, we will accommodate and support them in that.

Since March, we have looked forward to the day we welcome you and your students back to campus. You have loved, protected, and formed them during these uncertain times, and it is our honor and privilege to serve as your partners in their education.

Thank you for being part of our Catholic school community.


Lincoln Snyder
Executive Director of Schools
The Diocese of Sacramento