Joliet Catholic Academy announced its commitment to resume on-campus classes for the 2020-2021 school year beginning this fall in August, while keeping the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff as its top priority. The co-educational Catholic college prep high school located at 1200 N. LarkinAve. in Joliet is working through several plans of action for reinstating campus operations with the final determination of how and when to open this summer based on federal, state and local health guidelines.
“We are all anticipating returning to campus in the fall and are eager to celebrate school-life together,” said JCA president/principal Dr. Jeffrey Budz. “We are taking every possible health precaution and preparing for all scenarios. So, while normal may look a little different in the fall, we are excited to reunite safely with our JCA Angel and Hilltopper family.” The JCA administrative team along with a newly created Re-Opening Task Force are looking at various areas of the campus and school building to determine the safest and most efficient means of operation in accordance with governmental guidelines. The Steering Committee of the Task Force will have sub- committees concerning Health and Wellness, Building, Schedule, Athletics/Activities, and Curriculum and Technology. JCA will be looking to address the needs of all students, faculty and staff.
On Thursday, June 4 the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health released guidelines for summer school and other activities allowed in Phase 3 of Restore Illinois Plan. JCA along with guidance from the Diocese of Joliet’s Catholic Schools Office is also awaiting these agencies and the Transition Plan Advisory Workgroup who will release further guidance in the coming weeks for the 2020-2021 school year and the activities allowed in Phase 4.
The JCA Re-Opening Task Force is currently considering how to modify classroom setups, common area access, athletic and after school extra-curricular plans and event protocols in an effort to incorporate social distancing. Other plans may include hybrid learning, with some instructional elements continuing online while others resume on campus and in smaller class sizes. JCA has already implemented enhanced cleaning protocols — including the use of disinfectants, specialized equipment and adjusting when and how commonly used surfaces are sterilized in response to the coronavirus pandemic. JCA currently employs seven full time employees in the maintenance and custodial departments along with a full-time nurse on campus each day.
Dr. Budz added, “we are very proud of the traditions that are incorporated within the walls of our school, and even though we still live the charisms of the Carmelites and Franciscans daily wherever we are, the act of being on campus clearly enhances our students’ experiences.” Incoming freshman and transfer students interested in enrolling at Joliet Catholic Academy can request
admissions information at www.jca-online.org/admissions or by calling 815.741.0500, ext. 214. JCA offers a unique Leveraged Financial Aid program, in addition to Empower Illinois Tax Credit Scholarships, making Catholic education affordable for all.
“The Catholic religious instruction, size, location, and tradition of Joliet Catholic Academy has made it the number one choice for families choosing Catholic education in Joliet, Plainfield, Shorewood, Minooka, and surrounding areas in Will County”, said JCA Director of Admissions Ryan Quigley. “The smaller class sizes and individualized attention for every student has been a calling card, uniquely positioning our students to have success during the COVID-19 pandemic in any classroom setting.”
Joliet Catholic Academy is scheduled to reopen for the fall semester on Thursday, August 13 with staff training. Students will return for freshman orientation August 17-18 with the first official day of school scheduled for Wednesday, August 19. JCA will continue to update students and their families as the new school year approaches.