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Catholic Schools Back to School 2020

Catholic Schools Back to School 2020

Compiled by Nancy Price

Southside Catholic schools have returned for the 2020-2021 academic year. This year, schools have faced new challenges during COVID-19. Extra safety precautions and social distancing are in place, and many students are learning remotely. The staff of Roncalli High School and Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi Catholic School has worked hard to help ensure the safety of students and welcomes all back to school.

Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Catholic Southside schools are committed to quality education

“I can do all this through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Never before have we experienced so much uncertainty and anxiety surrounding our return to school … whether that be remote, face to face, or some combination of both. This is completely understandable as these are unprecedented times. One thing is certain, however; school leaders, teachers and support staff are dedicated and prepared to serving young people and families in ways that integrate the Catholic faith with open doors and open hearts. God is always with us, providing guidance and strength, even in the most difficult of times.

As our students, faculty, staff and parents begin the 2020-2021 school year, we realize this year will look like no other when providing religious and academic instruction, social and emotional supports, a safe environment, nutritional needs and physical activity. What we can say is that Catholic schools on the Southside of Indianapolis will continue to make Jesus Christ the focus of all we do while guiding students in developing a deeper relationship with Him.

We are blessed with school leaders who have worked tirelessly to ensure a safe return of students. The health and safety of students and adults in our buildings is priority. Best practices have been established with healthy hygiene, social distancing, face coverings and cleaning and disinfecting. We are excited and enthusiastic to begin a new and different school year.

May all young people, families and school staff make the most of the 2020-2021 school year, and may God bless each of you as we face these extraordinary times together. We are most grateful for your support and partnership as we begin another year.

Let us remember in prayer those who have been affected by the coronavirus and may a cure and vaccine come quickly.

If you are interested in learning more about how Catholic schools educate and form young people, please visit us at archindy.org.

Mary McCoy


Members of the Roncalli High School class of 2020 stand during the ceremony. (Submitted photos)

Roncalli High School

While all schools have a mission to form young people academically, and some strive to go beyond that by also attempting to form citizenship, Roncalli’s mission for over 50 years has been to form the whole person: body, mind and spirit! This can best be explained by our graduate profile, which we use as a compass to direct all of the work done with our young people. The profile sets a very high standard for our graduates. Roncalli is passionately committed to partnering with our parents, parishes and community in making this profile a reality for all of our students!  We share our graduate profile with you in this article as it gives clear direction as to what we hope to accomplish during this 2020-21 school year at Roncalli High School.

Roncalli Graduate Profile

As Christ has called upon each of us to “go make disciples of all nations'” and to the extent that our namesake, St. John XXIII (Angelo Cardinal Roncalli) was committed to that task, it is Roncalli High School’s intention to create disciples of Jesus Christ in the image of St. John. It is to this purpose that we aspire for all of our graduates to honor and glorify God by:


Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and evangelizing the message of the Gospel through their actions.


Reaching their fullest potential through a commitment to lifelong learning.


Serving the needs of others with loving and compassionate hearts.


 Being devout members of the Church, cultivators of the Roncalli spirit and responsible citizens.


Recognizing that every person is created in the image and likeness of God, having the utmost respect for life and embracing a diverse world.

Priests enter the stadium during Senior Mass.

All of us at Roncalli High School are very excited to welcome students, teachers, staff and families back to campus and back to school! We have been working diligently since March to ensure the safety of all in our school community as we return to in-person instruction!

We learned a great deal about what works well and what does not work well with e-learning from the nine weeks of e-learning that concluded the 2019-20 school year. With great leadership from our IT department and great cooperation and dedication from our faculty and administration, we are very excited to unveil the synchronous learning model that will allow for excellence in education to go uninterrupted for our students who are not able to be in school on a daily basis.

In these challenging and uncertain times, please join all of us at Roncalli in praying for a safe, successful school year for all schools!

Chuck Weisenbach


Students and staff wore masks and practiced social distancing when returning to school.

Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi Catholic School

Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi Catholic School opened its doors on our first day of school, Aug. 6. Teachers, parents and children looked forward to the start of a school year after a successful eLearning finish to the 2019-2020 school year.

We have much to be thankful for with the hard work of our staff, students and parents who collaborated and communicated during the spring to help our students continue on their learning journey. We were together virtually and greeted one another in person on that first day of school.

The safety of our students and staff remain our top priority at this time. We have been working throughout the summer to put in place protocols and procedures to assist in bringing children back to our campus and to the classroom. A planning task force and results from a parent survey have been our guide for the opening of school. We monitored our plans for a safe and healthy return with recommendations from Governor Holcomb, Indiana Department of Education, Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indiana Department of Health and Johnson County Health Department.

In addition to the academic excellence our school offers, our faith and ability to live out the Gospel during our school year is at the core of our existence. The common values and belief systems that our families share unite us as a close community of faith-filled learners.

Our school foundation rests on our mission, vision, values and goals. These four pillars will be the driving force to continue to lead us beyond excellence in the coming year.

Over the summer all staff participated in professional development for the new math series (Ready Math) and an online, individualized learning platform for reading and math (IREADY).  The school leadership team attended a workshop focused on using student data to ensure student growth. Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi Catholic School also hosted a workshop for teachers in the Archdiocese in grades K – 3 on effective grading practices and standards-based reporting.  Ten teachers and staff members from our school attended the workshop.

Students returned to classes Aug. 6

We are excited to offer 1:1 Chromebooks for students in grades 2 – 8 this next school year. Class sizes at the current time are no larger than 20 students per classroom, which is an advantage for maintaining social distancing as we returned to school.

Most programs offered in the local area schools are also available to students who attend Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi: Title I tutoring, Special Education, Enrichment, Response to Intervention, after-hours childcare and more. We also offer tuition assistance for those families needing financial aid.

For further information about our school and to schedule a tour, please contact our school office at (317) 859-4673.


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