Detroit Catholic Central President Ed Turek has said from the beginning that the adversity brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic can be looked at as an opportunity.
While it hasn’t been easy, and there have been bumps in the road, the early results have been good so far. Students and faculty have bought into the new technology and live hybrid model of education, and safety protocols put in place are being taken seriously.
“(It has been) an opportunity to make our school even better, challenging our faculty and students in ways we never thought,” said Turek, a 1985 graduate of the school.
For Ruddie Harris, a senior on the Catholic Central soccer team, in-person school has been a blessing. He said it has “revived our school spirit” and given them a sense of normalcy.
“Although things are much different this year, many guys are eager to learn and ready to face new challenges,” he said.
That normalcy comes from a detailed plan put in place by the Catholic Central COVID Committee to keep everyone safe. All students and staff are required to complete a three-question, self-health survey each
morning and be checked in at the Temp Watch Access monitors. A full-time nurse is in the building and
masks are required part of the dress code for everyone inside.
In the early stages of the school year, students have alternated between live classes in-person and live classes online or solely online. The online option matches the regular daily schedule for all other students as they live stream into classes from home.
Jake Marmul, Director of Admissions and Public Relations, said the goal is to keep some level of in-person instruction throughout the year and praised the students for their commitment to the rules put in place.
“The students have been absolutely great,” he said. “They need small reminders here and there, as would be expected with teenagers, but they understand it is something we are all working through together. The payoff
of in-person instruction is far greater than the small inconvenience of wearing a mask.”
Harris said wearing the mask all day has been “surprisingly productive.”
“The mask is now part of our school dress code, we must wear it every day,” he said. “All students understand the challenge we face, and we are taking this challenge head on.”
Principal Fr. Patrick Fulton said at the start of the school year: “We’ve been truly blessed to have the students back on campus. A school without its students feels quite soulless, and now the lifeblood is pumping again!”
And while the students are to be commended for their actions since the school year started, Marmul said none of this would be working without buy-in from the teachers. He said they sacrificed their summers, revamped
their teaching styles and took extra training to prepare for a 2020-21 school year like no other.
“No one has ever doubted their dedication to the young men they teach, but it has truly been more apparent than ever during all of this,” Marmul said, while also crediting Turek and Fulton for their leadership. “When you have leaders moving with ‘faith over fear,’ it sets the tone that we are going to figure this out no matter what is put in front of us.”
For more information about Detroit Catholic Central, visit catholiccentral.net.