Updates from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Catholic Schools Office

From the Office of the Superintendent of Catholic Schools

On August 5, Superintendent Debra Haney released a video message on the re-opening of Catholic schools for the 2020–2021 school year.

On July 28, Texas Attorney General Ken issued Legal Guidance on School Reopening.

On July 17, Superintendent Debra Haney released a Letter to Catholic School Communities on Re-Opening

"Today, the Attorney General of Texas issued guidance that recommends allowing religious schools to make their own determination whether to open with on-campus instruction. We are very grateful for this guidance.

School leaders have the ability to make site-based decisions about their first day of school, and that date for most of our schools will be on or around the week of August 13th. It is our hope that all schools will be supporting face to face instruction by September 8th. For schools that are able, a remote learning option is being made available to parents that are more comfortable with their students learning from home."


On June 26, Superintendent Debra Haney released a letter regarding the Reopening of Schools for Academic Year 20-21.

"We have also been working tirelessly over the last several months to develop a plan for how we will reopen our schools and bring our students back onto campus. We miss them so much! I would like to share with you that we are planning to be back in our school buildings in August, and we are planning to follow all guidance from the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, the governor’s orders, and local health officials’ guidance. Because the pandemic is constantly presenting new and ever-changing information, we are preparing our schools to open the week of August 13th, with the possibility of several scenarios."


On April 17, Superintendent Debra Haney released a new update regarding the extended closure of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese through the end of the academic year.

On April 1, the Catholic Schools Office released an update extending the closure of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese to May 4.

As the safety, health, emotional, and spiritual well-being of our students, educators, and brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the greater Galveston- Houston community remains our priority, the Archdiocese of Galveston – Houston is extending the closure of all school facilities, as well as the cancelation of all extra-curricular activities and events until May 4, 2020, as directed by the governor of Texas. We remain deeply committed to the on-going effort to cease the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and stand with our schools, parishes, and families as we journey through this uncharted territory. We ask that you join us in contributing to the common good by observing the measures suggested by health officials to stop the spread of the virus in our communities.

We are continuing to support distance-learning in our schools and are grateful for the dedication and vigilant efforts of our teachers, support staff, administrators, pastors, and parents as they endeavor to provide students with a consistent learning environment and as normal a routine as possible. Though this is a time of difficult decisions and uncertainty in the world of public health and the educational landscape, our parish and school communities continue to show that it is also a time where we find solace in our faith tradition and in the resiliency of spirit and prayer.

We thank you for your understanding during this time as The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston continues to monitor developments. Be assured that we will communicate updates as they become available. Know that our prayers are with you, our great state, our nation, and all who are affected by this pandemic.

I ask you to join me in prayer for all those who are sick, those who care for them, and those who are in distress at this time. Let us remember that God continues to be with us and will never leave us, especially during difficult times. May God bless all of you during this time.

In Him we trust,

Debra Haney
Secretariat Director and Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Catholic Schools Office

Late March 16, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Catholic Schools Office released a statement regarding extending the closure of Catholic Schools to April 10 on their Facebook page. This update is posted below.

March 16, 2020

Dear Catholic School Families,

Out of an abundance of caution and in order to prevent the community spread of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 in our area, The Archdiocese of Galveston – Houston is extending the closure of all schools, as well as the cancelation of all extra-curricular activities through April 10, 2020. We will continue to monitor and update you with information in coordination with local health officials and the Texas Education Agency as the picture becomes clearer as to the full extension of this closure. No matter what, please know that we remain committed to serving our students to the best of our ability!

We are eager to get back to normal, but this crisis might disrupt our lives and routines for months. The greater Houston area continues to see an increasing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and health officials report that this number is expected to continue to increase as more testing is made available. Our aim is to help support the nation’s need to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has outlined the need for all communities to implement a social distancing protocol. The President has also publicly shared that that the community should not gather in groups larger than 10 people. We will remain in constant communication with local health officials, state education agencies, and the Downtown Chancery as we work to ensure the best support for our schools. It is important to note that if we want to get our children back to school, each of us must demonstrate thoughtful, intentional decision-making to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The Archdiocese will remain flexible as school Pastors, Principals, and Presidents plan for long-term delivery of instruction and continue to navigate the many details of this unprecedented situation.

As with any major crisis, all of our students (and many adults) are feeling the increased stress and higher levels of anxiety that come with disruption and incertitude. We are putting together resources for parents to help them guide their children during this time that is so hard, and we will share those later this week. It is important that we empower our students to talk about the pandemic, why social distancing is important, and how they have the ability and can be empowered to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

As always, we thank you for your dedication and continued efforts to support your children, your school communities, and your families. Please join us in prayer as we all learn to manage the impact of this pandemic in our daily lives.

St. Jude, pray for us. Mary, blessed Mother, pray for us. Jesus, our strength and our peace, have mercy on us.

Debra Haney, M.Ed.
Secretariat Director and Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Catholic Schools Office

First published on the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Catholic Schools Office Website 

March 12, 2020

Dear Catholic School Families,

All Archdiocesan Catholic schools will be CLOSED next week,  March 16, 2020 through March 20, 2020, to support our communities and health care professionals in the ongoing effort of containing the coronavirus. Effective immediately, all extracurricular activities are also canceled  through March 20, 2020. Notice for dates  after March 20, 2020, will be sent out next week.
This decision was made thoughtfully with input from local health authorities and community leaders in response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 coronavirus situation. By making this decision now, we will help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and assist in preserving the capacity of our hospitals and medical care facilities.
During this time period, the Archdiocese will remain in constant communication with local health officials to help ensure the safety and well-being of our students, staff and community.
We realize there will be many questions regarding the temporary closure of all schools and facilities, along with the cancellation of all extracurricular activities. Archdiocesan leadership will continue to provide updates, as necessary via email. Thank you for your patience and support as we all work together to keep everyone safe.
The CSO remains open and willing to serve our schools. Please join us in prayer for all impacted by COVID-19 and our decision as we know that this will cause difficulty for some families. 
Debra Haney, M.Ed.
Secretariat Director and Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Catholic Schools Office


For the latest Archdiocesan updates on COVID-19, visit the online Health Updates web hub