It may look a bit different this year, but Eileen Rishcoff still cannot wait for Catholic Schools Week.
“It’s the best week of the year in school,” the Wyoming Area Catholic principal said.
While Catholic schools in the area remain open for in-person learning, COVID-19 mitigation efforts and social distancing guidelines have made planning Catholic Schools Week a bit different across the Diocese of Scranton. At Wyoming Area Catholic, events will happen within single classrooms or virtually for a majority of the week.
Holy Rosary Principal Melissa Skutack looked forward to being able to spend the week with students at the school.
“I am super excited we are able to be in-person during Catholic Schools Week,” she said. “Having all of these fun activities virtually would not be the same.”
Holy Rosary will start the week with a Mass, as usual, but will encourage students to attend Mass at their own home parishes on Sunday, Jan. 31. Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Duryea, next door to the school, will live stream its Mass on Facebook.
The school also will hold a virtual open house Jan. 31 at www.holyrosaryduryea.org.
Monday, Feb. 1, will be Team Shirt Day for students. The school will host STREAM activities and will start its SouperBowl Collection and Soup Can Derby Race — a soup drive for the Pittston Food Pantry.
Holy Rosary students also will participate in spelling bees in their individual classrooms on Feb. 1.
Students will spend Tuesday, Feb. 2, watching the annual talent show from their classrooms and collecting socks for the Pittston Clothes Closet. All grades also can participate in a virtual version of The Brain Show, a trivia game show.
The Brain Show will continue Wednesday, Feb. 3, and students will be able to purchase candy from the seventh and eighth grade classes to support the Bernadine Sisters.
Thursday, Feb. 4, will be Movie and Popcorn Day, and the top 10 students from Monday’s spelling bees will compete against one another.
Friday, Feb. 5, concludes Catholic Schools Week at Holy Rosary with Teacher Appreciation Day, student council inductions and an early dismissal at 11 a.m.
Wyoming Area Catholic will start the week on Sunday, Jan. 31, with a Mass and virtual open house as well. The Mass will be celebrated in the gymnasium with only those students participating in the Mass attending in person. The school will stream it live on Facebook.
On Monday, Feb. 1, all homerooms at Wyoming Area Catholic will work to support the charity of their choice. Pre-K through third grade will support the St. Cats and Dogs and Blue Chip pet collection and the upper grades will participate in a virtual Mathathon to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
On Tuesday, Feb. 2, homeroom teams will compete in a faculty and staff trivia game held virtually throughout the school. Students also can come to school in pajamas for Pajama Day and enjoy a movie and snacks in the afternoon.
Wednesday, Feb. 3, is Wyoming Area Catholic’s chance to play The Brain Show. Rishcoff said they would normally have an assembly for the trivia game, but this year it will be virtual. Students will also be allowed to wear a Catholic Schools Week T-shirt and their homemade Catholic Schools Week mask.
On Thursday, Feb. 4, students will celebrate vocations by making cards to send to seminarians. They also will view virtual presentations by local people who work in religious vocations.
Friday, Feb. 5, will be Teacher Appreciation Day at Wyoming Area Catholic and the school will end the week with an early dismissal at 11 a.m.
Rishcoff said while the last day of the week comes as a relief most years, she looks forward to the reason for the staff’s exhaustion.
“The kids, they live for this,” she said. “It’s wonderful to see their school spirit.”