The foundational principal of Catholic education is the recognition that parents are the primary caregivers, catechists and educators of the children entrusted to them by God. Indeed, “the right and duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable” and it is “almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.” (CCC 2221). In recognition of this principle, South Hills Catholic Academy was founded to aid and cooperate with parents as they fulfill their natural duty toward their children. Further, a classical Catholic education is a wholistic education which necessarily entails not only the engagement of the students with the curriculum, but also with their teachers, each other, and their environment. Classical education involves an exploration of and inculcation into the “real” and does not translate well, if at all, into the “virtual.”
South Hills Catholic Academy’s mission and role, and its plan to fulfill them, are not changed by the ongoing situation concerning Covid-19. Rather, South Hills Catholic Academy is firmly committed to providing a “normal,” full-time, in-person educational experience unless expressly precluded by law. Moreover, South Hills Catholic Academy fully respects the unique right of parents to make their own informed decision regarding health-related measures such as the use of face masks and vaccination. To that end, the board of directors of South Hills Catholic Academy issues the following guidance relating to masks, vaccination, and other Covid-19 related measures:
- South Hills Catholic Academy will not require students to wear masks on school grounds.
- Students that feel more comfortable attending school while wearing a mask are encouraged to do so.
- South Hills Catholic Academy will not inquire into the Covid-19 vaccination status of students, their families or our faculty and staff.
- All students and families are welcome at the South Hills Catholic Academy, regardless of personal medical decisions.
- South Hills Catholic Academy will engage in all appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of all students, staff and families; such as daily cleaning, encouraging the regular washing and sanitizing of hands and social distancing when/if appropriate and possible.
- Students, faculty and staff are required to stay home from school if they feel sick or are experiencing symptoms typically associated with Covid-19, Influenza or other transmissible viruses. Any student that arrives at school displaying any symptoms will be required to report to the school nurse for evaluation.
- South Hills Catholic Academy leadership will regularly monitor legal guidance and governmental mandates, as well as the latest data and medical information on community health to ensure compliance with the law while promoting a holistic education and health and safety our school community.
- South Hills Catholic Academy recognizes the importance of stability and consistency for students and their families. We are committed to a mask free and welcoming environment for all students and no form of discrimination is acceptable. Any updates or material changes to South Hills Catholic Academy’s mask, vaccination and other Covid-19 measures will be communicated to parents and staff in advance of implementation. To the extent we are required by law to change our policies, South Hills Catholic Academy will return to the within policies as soon as legally permitted to do so.