Six of the 26 Evansville Catholic Diocese schools returned to classes on Tuesday, Aug. 5, with the rest getting back into the classroom throughout the next week.
School officials have spent the summer planning for a safe reopening and a chance for the children to get the human interaction so integral for learning.
"It's very important to us that we live out the mission of Catholic Schools and we do that best in person,” said Evansville Catholic Diocese Superintendent Dr. Daryl Hagan. “But, we also want to do that safely.”
Students at Mater Dei High School took the new safety precautions, which include plexiglass, shutting down water fountains, and maintaining that social distance, in stride.
"I was able to greet students and every one of them had their mask on and was ready to go,” Dr. Hagan said.
Now, unlike some other school districts in the area, the Evansville Catholic Dioceses is not offering a virtual program for parents feeling uncomfortable sending their children back to the classroom just yet.
Mater Dei sophomore and soccer player Izzy Folz said she is glad she gets to be with her classmates again instead of studying online at home.
"I think that we're all glad to be back in school,” she said. “It's harder to be online because you don't truly get to interact with everyone, so it's a lot better to be in person."
While there is always a fear of the virus, for some students, it’s simmered.
"Because we are taking so many precautions in being careful, I am not super afraid,” Folz said. “Because I think that if someone does get it, we’ll do the right things in order to keep us all safe."
If a student does contract COVID-19, they will be instructed to quarantine at home while teachers work with them on their studies.