Administration implements response to COVID-19

Esteban Serrano, Staff Writer

It is just the time we live in right now. We can’t go a day without looking at media or our phones, and not avoid the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken our country into a lock down. With that lock down, schools are closed, including Central Catholic itself.

Principal Stephen Walswick has been some of the limited and required staff along with teachers, allowed to enter the school during this time of distance learning. While every teacher may have a role to play within the large community, just like the students. The uncertainty of this time causes everyone to have thoughts and questions. I asked Principal Walswick how he is staying calm during these trying times and he said, “Prayer, routines, and keeping busy have kept me calm during these times. I make sure to take time throughout the day to pray by myself and with my family. I set routines at work and at home so that I keep moving. This is especially important for me in the morning. These routines help motivate me and encourage me throughout the day. I make sure that I have enough work to do. Whether for Central Catholic or at home, I don’t like to be idle. I create new projects so that I can stay busy.”

Most would imagine that when schools shutdown just when spring break was about to come to a close, the transition was hard for teachers to implement distant learning. For the hard-working and intelligent faculty at Central Catholic, Principal Walswick describes it as “a fairly smooth transition.” He continued by saying, “I have done distance education both as a teacher and student so I was familiar with the environment, although, they were not amid a pandemic. Because of this, we have had to calibrate a bit. The goal is to maintain balance. What is manageable for a teacher or student may be too much for some and not enough for others. We are working to support those teachers and students who need additional support and supplement for those that are looking for more.”

For the janitors and cafeteria workers during this time, Principal Walswick said, “Mr. Fuentes and his team were instrumental in providing meals to our faculty and staff the week after spring break, but have not been serving meals since then. Our janitors are coming in a few times per week to work on little projects so that when we return, the school will look amazing.”

As many such as I miss the school so much, Governor Abbott last week announced that he would keep schools across Texas closed for the remainder of the semester. Some have theories lingering as if students would return to school during the summer months of June and July. I asked Principal Walswick if this would possibly happen for Central, and he said, “We are not looking to having in-person classes in June and July. We are confident that we will be able to complete all that needs to be done this school year through our distance education plan.”