Vicksburg private schools prepare for return to classroom

Published 8:00 am Saturday, August 7, 2021

Public schools in Warren County began classes on Friday, but local private school students start school this week.

The first day for Vicksburg Catholic School will be Aug. 9 followed by Porters Chapel Academy on Aug. 11. 

Representatives from both the VWSD and VCS said they will be following the guidance given from the  Mississippi State Department of Health Public Health Guidance for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 transmission in Mississippi K-12 school setting guidelines. 

In addition to following the state’s guidance, St. Francis principal Mary Arledge said the VCS will also adhere to MAIS and Mississippi Diocese policies. 

“We are very concerned with the rising cases and hospitalizations in Mississippi due to COVID-19,” a statement from VCS read. “We are implementing every possible mitigation strategy by having a full supply of disinfectant materials, setting up sanitation stations at every entrance and strongly recommending that both students and faculty wear masks.”

The administration will also continue the use of Plexiglas sneeze guards in all elementary school classrooms.

VCS shared via social media that several updates have been made during summer break. The school leased two new buses with funding received through a special non-public school grant, and its gym restrooms received a refresh through donations from #iGiveCatholic. The Saint Francis Xavier Elementary playground was resurfaced thanks to contributions made through iGive Catholic and the Catholic Foundation Mission Grant. as well as support from Jack Wheeldon, David Cameron, David Clement and student volunteers. Fence repairs were also made along Clay Street and Howard Street after storm damage that took place in the spring.

While PCA will be returning to in-person learning, as far as school policies which relate to COVID, head of school Chris Williams said as of last week, he could not give an answer as to what PCA will do.

“I am waiting on our administration to make a decision and we want to talk to some others who are in the MAIS,” Williams said at the time.

He did not respond to a request for comment as of publication time.

PCA will host an orientation for elementary students on Monday, and for new secondary school students on Tuesday. Returning secondary students will have a virtual orientation, which will be posted on the school’s Facebook page.