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De La Salle President | Monthly Letter

April 3, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Please know that each and every one of you remains in my daily prayers. I know that COVID-19 has affected our daily lives, and we look forward to brighter days. Those days will come – we just need to be patient and put things in perspective. 

Late last night we received the following statement from the Superintendent of the Contra Costa County Office of Education.

This week, both the Governor and State Superintendent of Public Instruction have issued strong recommendations that, given the nature of the statewide stay-at-home order and continued need for physical distancing, K-12 schools should not expect to return to in-class instruction for the remainder of the school year. While not a directive or executive order, based on this guidance and the likely event that Contra Costa Health Services will extend the stay-at-home order, I encourage all of us to embrace the idea that distance learning will continue through the rest of the school year. I will be meeting with the Bay Area Health Officers and County Superintendents early next week to discuss extending the March 16th stay-at-home health order.

We know that this situation is taking its toll on everyone for many reasons, but our health experts continue to remind us that following the stay-at-home order and practicing strict physical distancing are the two best ways to slow the transmission of this virus. While we may not be able to welcome students back to campus this year, we know that learning WILL continue, and that every educator and education professional in Contra Costa County will continue to work hard on behalf of the students and families we serve.

As you know, the situation remains fluid. De La Salle will keep you informed when we know the decision from Contra Costa County Health Services who has the authority to make the final decision on this matter. I empathize with each and everyone, especially the students of the Class of 2020, who have their senior year coming to an end and things remain up in the air. At the present time, it does not look like graduation will take place on May 24th, being that the peak of COVID-19 cases seems to be the middle of May, and we do not think it is feasible to bring 2,000-plus people to campus for this important event. There is too much risk. We are in the process of planning a few different scenarios about how we can celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2020 as well as looking at combining the Mother/Son Liturgy and Brunch with Dads and Grads. More information about graduation activities will follow as we finalize plans after Easter break. We will do what we can to take care of our graduating Seniors!

Reregistration for the 2020-21 school year will start on April 3rd. The contract letter gives specific details of who to contact if you need assistance. As you know from an earlier communication – there is no tuition increase for next year. Being one with our community during this difficult time and setting priorities to ensure we can deliver on our Mission, there will be no salary increase for our employees next year. I want to thank our employees for the sacrifice they too are making during this difficult time to ensure your son has a place where he can receive a high-quality Catholic education. We are in this together, and we will work with you as we plan for next year.

I would like to thank our entire faculty, which includes all counselors and librarians, the Academic Affairs Council, and Campus Life for their commitment to the Lasallian mission and for their educational leadership in this unprecedented time. I'd also like to extend a big thank you to all members of our Technology Department, as the infrastructure they have built over the past years enabled the school to move quickly and effectively to our Flexible Learning Plan.

Finally, it has been quite a Lenten Journey for all of us. It is my hope that we can celebrate the true meaning of the Resurrection, particularly this year, knowing that death no longer has any power over us. In reality, that is the message of Easter, and this year I have come to realize this perspective in light of what is happening.

On behalf of De La Salle High School, we wish you and your family a Happy Easter.

May God Bless each and every one of us!

Mark DeMarco '78


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