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How NYC’s Catholic schools kept their doors open against all pandemic odds



How NYC’s Catholic schools kept their doors open against all pandemic odds

When moms and dads drop off their children at a school, they do so on the basis of an underlying promise from educators: Your children are safe with us. 

Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York reaffirmed that promise to parents back in September 2020, when we reopened our doors — full-time, five days a week — to thousands of children. Those kids’ families weren’t immune from the hardships caused by a year of growing isolation and shrinking opportunity. Few of us had anticipated a global pandemic, much less how severely it would throw our world off-balance. 

But Catholic schools have stood by families through troubles past. Generations of families have relied on the consistency of Catholic schools to help students thrive in the face of the challenges from the world around them. I’m proud of our educators and their heroic service to ensure the archdiocesan schools are still the safest, healthiest place for our students to succeed.

Earlier than many other private or public districts around the country, archdiocesan schools have been open five days a week for in-person learning while offering remote options when necessary. To this day, our buildings undergo extensive cleaning and sanitation efforts as we follow the advice of government officials and medical experts. We have unambiguous guidelines on testing, social distancing and masking.

Our pastors, principals, dedicated faculty and staff and generous supporters worked tirelessly to put all these health and safety protocols in place — and continue to make sure they are followed.

We made every effort imaginable, often despite external bureaucratic roadblocks, to keep our promise to parents. As a school system that thousands of working-class households and many communities of color rely on, we know how hard the pandemic hit the most vulnerable families.

We also saw first-hand the increase in the need for the services and resources that our Catholic schools provide. Despite those who think our schools and enrollment are in free-fall, since September, more than 2,000 families have reached out to Archdiocese of New York schools about applying for the academic year. More than 1,000 new families enrolled, and our staff continues to receive thousands of enrollment inquiries for the 2021-22 school year. We’re excited to meet this growing demand.

But the students that we have now, those who faced down the chaotic world around them, are also impressing us with their own commitment to excellence. Standardized test scores for our Catholic schools consistently outpace those of the state, New York City and most charter-school averages, and 99 percent of our high-school students remained on track to graduate, more than 15 points higher than the national average.

And now we can make another promise to families for the upcoming school year: Starting September 2021, our schools will be offering in-person learning only, leaving both hybrid and remote learning behind and fully recommitting to the formula for success that countless families have come to expect of our schools.

And that recommitment comes with new investment. In addition to the enriched academic programming that families have come to expect, our students will have access to enhanced social-emotional and mental-health support, especially coming out of what has been a traumatizing pandemic experience for so many New Yorkers. And as with our fundamental educational work, students and their families can be best served by accessing these resources in person.

When parents choose to send their students to our Catholic schools, they want their children to receive a world-class education centered on values and virtue. They want their kids to grow up to be well-rounded adults in constant pursuit of truth and service. The pandemic hasn’t changed that aspiration, nor our centuries-old promise to those parents and their families.

Timothy Dolan is the cardinal-archbishop of New York.

Twitter: CardinalDolan

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Wuhan lab was batty and other commentary



Wuhan lab was batty and other commentary

Pandemic journal: Wuhan Lab Was Batty

Despite the insistence of Peter Daszak — a “longtime partner of the Wuhan Institute of Virology and one of the most staunch and outspoken critics of the lab-leak theory” — the lab “did indeed have live bats within its walls,” reports National Review’s Jim Geraghty. Sky News Australia found May 2017 footage showing caged bats and one “hanging off the hat of” a researcher “wearing a mask and glasses but no other protective head covering.” The lab even “filed patents for bat cages.” Daszak, whose EcoHealth Alliance funneled government grants to the Wuhan lab, deleted tweets claiming it held no live bats but hasn’t “admitted he was wrong.” That lab “had more samples of bat viruses within its walls than any other building on earth,” yet Daszak and others claim the fact COVID originated in Wuhan “is simply coincidental.”

Libertarian: Biden’s Infrastructure Backfire

President Biden is focused on “all the money he plans to spend” on ­infrastructure, rather than on getting the biggest bang for the buck — which suggests he will be buying “a lot less infrastructure” than otherwise, argues Reason’s Christian Britschgi. The prez insists, for example, that jobs go to union workers, yet that could raise costs by as much as 22 percent. His team paused a Houston highway project on civil-rights grounds, possibly opening an “avenue for activists to slow” other projects. And the Bidenites are considering a rollback of Trump-era limits on environmental reviews. In the end, his team’s commitment to “outdated red tape” will “inevitably impede whatever it ends up trying to build.”

Border watch: Migrants’ COVID Threat

President Biden should have at least “waited until the deadly COVID-19 pandemic was over before reversing Trump’s border-security measures,” but he has instead enabled migrants to bring “the virus — including potentially dangerous variants — into the interior of the US,” laments Nolan Rappaport at The Hill. Team Biden excepted unaccompanied alien children from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s temporary order permitting “the rapid expulsion of aliens who would otherwise be held in crowded areas while being processed.” While the coronavirus is “still killing more than 200 people a day in the US,” Biden is admitting newcomers from low-vaccination countries without so much as a COVID test. The president vowed to “follow the science” in fighting the pandemic, and “politicians should keep their campaign promises.”

From the left: Manchin’s Favor to Dems

For all liberals’ rage at Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) “for opposing the For the People Act and for supporting the filibuster,” he may “be doing these liberal Democrats a favor,” contends John Judis at Talking Points Memo. The voting bill is a highly controversial and thus an unpopular “Christmas tree of progressive election measures” that includes “public funding of elections, . . . support for Congress being able to declare the District of Columbia a state and a panoply of regulations that would govern state elections — elections that are supposed to be the purview of states.” Meanwhile, “the presence of the filibuster forces Democrats in the Senate and the Biden administration to focus their efforts on popular economic measures,” since it makes it impossible to pass more culturally divisive ones that would harm the party’s candidates in 2022.

Conservative: Joe’s Smart Strategic Reshoring

Global supply chains have benefited consumers in the form of cheaper prices — but they have also “created new problems,” observes John Steele Gordon at Spectator USA. So kudos to Team Biden, which has “produced an important new report” seeking to address one main downside: America’s dependence on foreign powers for security-sensitive manufacturing needs. “The United States currently relies mostly on ­imports are of particular concern: semiconductors, high-capacity batteries, pharmaceuticals and their active ingredients and critical and strategic materials.” As the early pandemic’s mask shortage showed, “great powers . . . need to be able to produce strategically important products within their own borders.” By recognizing the problem, the Biden report is an important first step.

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister



Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister

Benjamin Netanyahu showed the opposite of grace as he exited from power on Sunday.

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Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021



Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021

The Issue: The discussion of law and order at last week’s Democratic debate for mayor.

If any one of these five candidates becomes mayor, it will be the continuation of the de Blasio era (“Crime focus of Dem debate,” June 11).

Many of them are in favor of defunding the Police Department, which is why there is so much crime, and shootings are rising every day.

The people of this city had better wake up when they go to vote. Haven’t we had enough of this? When will it stop? These candidates will not put an end to all this.

Rob Johann


Thinking that a Republican candidate could not win the mayoral race in New York, I switched my party to Democrat so I could vote.

After listening to all the Democratic candidates during the debate last week, I want to immediately switch my party back to Republican and vote for Curtis Sliwa.

He is our only hope to live in a city that values law and order. He won’t cave to these left-wing zealots who will further destroy our city and our quality of life.

We need a mayor who can bring back the tourists, help our economy and ensure a better life for all of us.

We cannot let the city go into further decline with any of these Democratic candidates. Please, wake up and vote for someone who will lift all of us up.

Susan Green


The fact that Andrew Yang is slipping in the polls is the only good news in the mayoral race.

Eric Adams is talking about crime, while Yang thinks the biggest issues for the city are AI and climate change.

If Yang wins, people will be dreaming of “the good old days” under Mayor de Blasio, formerly thought to be the bottom of the barrel.

Andrew Delaney

Miami, Fla.

I am not impressed by any of the Democratic candidates for mayor of New York City.

What each of them is proposing will cause further crime, divisiveness and decay, raise taxes, make life more miserable for residents and visitors and drive more families out of the city.

What does it take to get through to the New York voter? How bad does it have to get before they abandon a party that is becoming more idiotic with every election cycle?

Take a look at cities and states that have been doing well under Republican leadership and consider voting Republican.

D.M. Diana

Greeley, Pa.

Even Adams is falling for it. He said the “solution” to city violent crime is to reach out to youth and improve mental-health services.

These chic answers are a guarantee that innocent New Yorkers will continue to be murdered, raped, thrown onto subway tracks and maimed.

Get the violent off the streets first. Whether they are criminal or mentally ill, sort that out afterward. Get them away from the rest of us first.

Paul O’Keefe

Union City, NJ

I generally agree with The Post’s endorsements, but I am baffled by its support of Adams for mayor.

His stance on the NYPD changes at his convenience. One day he’s anti-cop and a fierce critic of the NYPD (even though he was employed by the NYPD), and then he switches and comes across as pro-police.

Can New Yorkers elect a mayor who lacks common sense and leadership skills? His suggestion last summer to New Yorkers to settle disputes about illegal fireworks on their own and not call the police was deadly. Shatavia Walls, 33, died as a result.

Adams lacks the moral compass and common sense required to be a winning mayor. The people of New York deserve better.

Susan Berger


Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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