In a piece published by the National Review, TCA’s Ashley McGuire reflects on this year’s Catholic Schools Week. She wrote:

“As Catholic Schools Week comes to a close, I find myself looking back on not just a week, but a pandemic. Like so many, I hope that this latest surge is the beginning of the end. Time will, of course, tell. But we don’t need time to know that Catholic schools have done a singular job navigating this once-in-a-century pandemic-and-lockdown crisis.

Last year, my home state of Colorado declared a state of emergency for pediatric mental health, with suicide as the leading cause of death among children older than 10. Not long after, the surgeon general of the United States made a similar declaration and issued a 40-page report detailing the ways that the lockdowns have crushed the spirits of America’s children. Are we surprised? For some 55 million children, school was basically closed for 18 months.

Now those kids remain on a Covid roller coaster without a kill switch. The remotest of contact with even an asymptotic case, and they are out of school for weeks more. Silent lunches. K-N95 masks at recess. Weekly nasal swabs. Snow days on Zoom. This is Covid-lockdown life for countless of America’s school-age kids.

Catholic schools have been a haven from this insanity. Not only did they walk bravely into the storm and open in the fall of 2020, well before a vaccine was even on the horizon, but they have stayed open and nimbly adjusted each time the guidance from government and health experts changed. Last year, I profiled Little Flower School in Bethesda, Md., the parochial school where three of my own children attend, bragging that six months into reopening, the school hadn’t once closed because of an outbreak.

A full year later, only one of my three school-age children has missed a total of two school days for quarantining. My story embodies the reality that the Catholic-school approach to Covid was a courageous and extraordinary success.

But what Catholic schools have done for the millions of children who are lucky enough to attend them isn’t just about keeping kids at their desks. These schools have been ports in a storm, offering children a place to be children even amid the lockdown protocols that have robbed kids of their childhood. The Catholic-school mission as stated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop is to educate “the whole person.” Catholic schools have stayed true to this ideal and have proved to be a place where children can flourish in a holistic way despite the death and disease and fear swirling around them.

It is only fitting that just as America’s Catholic schools led the way into the dark by bravely and safely reopening, now they’re leading the way out.”

Read more of Ashley’s article at