This fall, the Office of Catholic Schools will be launching a centralized online curriculum for parents who may not feel comfortable sending their children to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Called St. Isidore Catholic Curriculum, the curriculum will serve as a full-time distance learning option for students in kindergarten through 8th grade. The program will be facilitated by the Office of Catholic Schools and is intended to be a support for local schools and enable those families who choose it to remain enrolled at their current school during the pandemic, but to receive all curriculum and instruction digitally.
“This virus impacts all families differently because each of us have unique circumstances in which we have to discern the best choice for our children’s education, so we recognize that in-person learning may not be the best choice for all families,” said Abriana Chilelli, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Denver’s Catholic Schools. “St. Isidore Catholic Curriculum allows a parent to continue having support in the intellectual and spiritual formation of their children with the same values-based, rightly-oriented learning that forms children to come to know and love truth, beauty, and goodness.”
Recently, COVID-19 cases in Colorado have started to trend upward again. Catholic schools will still be offering in-school learning in the fall while adhering closely to state health guidelines and implementing additional measures with guidance from Centura Health. However, based on parent surveys conducted over the past few months, the Catholic Schools office said that as much as 10 percent of families enrolled in Catholic schools expressed interest in a distance learning option for their children.
The Office of Catholic Schools has hired a leader to oversee the curriculum and is forming a talented team of experienced teachers with expertise in digital teaching, along with a team of tutors with experience in providing one-on-one support and formation for students. Teachers will provide lessons in content, and tutors will be available every afternoon for students to receive one-on-one help and support in their learning. Tutors will only be assigned five students, so as to give adequate time to each student who needs help.
Curriculum content offered will include English, mathematics, history, science, art and theology. Daily schedules for students will combine independent learning with on-screen learning via Zoom or pre-recorded videos. Each day opens and closes with prayer.
Tuition for students who register for the St. Isidore curriculum will remain consistent with the tuition rate at their current school. It is intended to be an extension whichever of Denver’s Catholic schools the student is enrolled in – a way to remain connected to their school community and be formed in a Catholic worldview. At the end of each quarter during the school year, parents can also choose to have their child return to in-school learning.
“St. Isidore Catholic Curriculum option would allow for a child to most seamlessly enter back into the in-person classroom because SICC will follow the same standards as our archdiocesan schools.,” Chilelli said. “In a time of so much disruption in all of our lives, this comfort of having the fewest disruptions to our children’s learning is a grace.”
St. Isidore Online Curriculum
For more information on the St. Isidore curriculum, parents are asked to contact the principal at their child’s school to discern if it is the right option for them. If a parent does not have a child enrolled in a Catholic school but is interested in the curriculum as a distance-learning option, they are welcome to contact the Office of Catholic Schools at 303-715-3200.