Coronavirus Updates

Father Ryan is tracking news about the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, in Middle Tennessee. This webpage centralizes information and resources for the Father Ryan community. 

Check this page regularly for updates, links, and FAQs.
Event Changes & Cancellations:
  • School Closed through April 24 - All on and off-campus activities through that date are canceled. 
  • Digital Learning Begins March 23
  • College Counseling - Nashville Case Studies Program on March 28, 2020 - Canceled
  • Alternative Spring Break - Tornado Relief - Canceled
  • Friday, March 13 - Sunday, March 22 - Campus Closed
  • Thursday, March 12 - Students Dismissed at 11:15am. All after-school activities, on and off-campus, canceled
  • Alternative Spring Break to Mepkin Abbey - Canceled 
    • School Spring Break Trips - Canceled

    List of 15 items.

    • Letter and Decree from Bishop Spalding - March 31

      Bishop Spalding has issued this letter and decree on March 31, pertaining to how the Diocese of Nashville will be handling services, including Easter, over the next few weeks. 


    • Letter from Superintendent Hammel - March 27

      Father Ryan announced today that the campus will remain closed and digital learning will continue through April 24, 2020.  Rebecca Hammel, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Nashville, released this news in a letter.
    • Message from the President - March 27

      Campus to Remain Closed through April 24

      Father Ryan announced today that the campus will remain closed and digital learning will continue through April 24, 2020.  Rebecca Hammel, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Nashville, released this news in a letter today, which we have added to our coronavirus webpage.  Please visit this site for ongoing updates.
      Our talented and dedicated faculty and staff will continue delivering the Father Ryan experience through digital learning.  As we continue to expand in this environment, we encourage you to visit our Digital Learning webpage regularly. 

      In experiencing these unusual times, we are reminded that for 95 years Father Ryan has been a powerful presence, providing comfort to our community through our tradition of Faith, Knowledge, and Service, anchored always by the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  We know that WE are Father Ryan and that God never leaves us to face our perils alone.  
      On this Friday in Lent, we are called to draw closer to Christ and to seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother, asking her to heal those affected by this illness.  We join Superintendent Hammel and the entire Catholic community in prayer for all whom we serve.
      Jim McIntyre
    • MAC Doctors Spread Awareness - March 27

      Amid the outbreak of COVID-19 and Nashville's efforts to prevent the virus from spreading rampantly as it has in other cities, Dr. Shindana Feagins and Dr. Robert Labadie, both members of Father Ryan's Medical Advisory Comittee, are playing crucial roles in helping and informing the community. 

      Dr. Feagins warns that a carefree attitude, especially among young and otherwise healthy individuals, could further exacerbate the virus' spread in the community.  

      Dr. Labadie says he's more concerned than he's been in his career about the virus' spread and impact, and he's stressing the importance of staying home, as well as the need for personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. He's working with engineering students at Vanderbilt to get more masked produced

      These are unprecedented times, but we're proud to have members of the Father Ryan community playing a role in making our city, and country, safer.
    • Father Ryan Prepares to Launch Digital Learning - March 19

      At various times when our school is not in session and we have visitors to our campus, I caution them that during a tour they may see beautiful buildings and athletic facilities, and mistakenly think they have seen Father Ryan. However, Father Ryan is more to all of us than beautiful buildings and athletic facilities, it is the peopleWe are Father Ryan. Despite the current circumstances, this remains true - yesterday, today and tomorrow. In a very unsettled world with lots of anxiety and concern, we do what we always do. We turn to God. Pope Francis has called all of us “to rediscover the concreteness of small things, the small acts of kindness shown to those who are close to us, family, friends. Real relationships made of attentiveness and patience.” 
      While we all begin this journey and transition to digital learning together, I ask that we all lean into and respond to the calls of the Holy Father and our BishopPrecaution, prayer, prudence, patience, concern, compassion, empathy and kindness. This is a time when all of us can answer the challenge of our mission to be a living example of the Gospel while challenging students to reach their spiritual, academic, and personal potential.   
      This is a new experience for you, your students, our faculty and the entire Father Ryan community.  To help everyone in your household prepare for the transition to digital learning, we have created a Digital Learning webpage, with specific links, one for parents and one for students.  The Digital Learning webpage includes information to help students be successful and resources from various departments. We will add to this page as information develops.   
      Here’s what we ask you to do in preparation for our launch on Wednesday, March 25.

      • Review the Digital Learning webpage and familiarize yourself with our expectations for students and families.
      • Work with your student to set up their learning area in your home. Information and suggestions on this are on the webpage.
      • Please make certain that your students are logged into myFatherRyan on Monday and Tuesday, March 23 and 24. Students are expected to participate and engage with their teachers on those days to ensure they are receiving messages and instructional information from their teachers.
      • If your student needs technology assistance, there is a form on the webpage for them to complete and submit.
      • Understanding that this is a new experience for all of us - students, parents and faculty -we will need grace, compassion and patience as we make this transition together.

      I cannot imagine that our mission as a school has ever been more important and vital to students, parents, faculty, alumni, and the Nashville community. Today, March 19, our Church celebrates the Feast of St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus. On his feast day we seek his intercession and use his example of humility, kindness, compassion and caring for how we might “rediscover” each other and the world around us.  
      Peace to you and your family. 
      Jim McIntyre 
    • Bishop Spalding's Decree and Letter - March 17

      Bishop Mark Spalding issued a decree on March 17 regarding Mass and a letter the same day regarding school closings.  We encourage you to click below to read these communications from our Bishop.   Thank you.


    • Update from the President on Schedule - March 17

      Father Ryan Campus Closed Through April 3rd

      Digital Learning Begins Monday, March 23rd

      Bishop Mark Spalding decreed today the dispensation of Mass obligation through and including April 3, 2020.  In conjunction with the decree, Bishop Spalding announced the closing of diocesan schools through the same date. Please click to read his dispensation decree and his March 17 letter.  
      Throughout our 95-year history, Father Ryan has been called to respond to the challenges that our nation has faced.  In every instance, the strength of our response has been rooted in our community and in prayer.  We call on Ryan Nation to respond again, as a community, to meet this health challenge, and to begin that response in the same way we begin everything at Father Ryan – with prayer.  We invite you to join us in asking for the intercession of our Blessed Mother with a prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe from the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez. 
      With the Bishop’s announcement today, Father Ryan will launch digital learning for all students this Monday.  That schedule includes:  
      • March 23 and March 24 – These are professional workdays for faculty to launch digital learning. We expect your student to be connected during both Monday and Tuesday.  The faculty will be sending communication during each day, and we ask your students to respond timely to ensure the digital learning is working as planned. 
      • March 25 - Digital learning schedule begins with a B day on Wednesday, March 25.   
      Look for additional communication from us on Thursday, March 19, with more details on the digital learning implementation. 
      While we have used online teaching for summer school classes for several years, we know that this will be a new educational experience for most of our faculty and students, as well as for our parents.  While it will not be the same as being in the classroom, we are confident that you will have an educational experience that is both rigorous and uniquely Father Ryan.  
      To help us all understand this new environment, we will launch a digital learning webpage this Thursday.  The link will be sent in the communication referenced above.  We will update that webpage regularly throughout this digital learning environment. 
      We appreciate your patience, your support and your prayers as we respond once again during this new phase of the Father Ryan school year.   
      Jim McIntyre  
    • Message from the President - March 13


      Father Ryan was informed late this afternoon – Friday – that a part-time member of our faculty/staff, who is also a member of the parent community, has tested positive for COVID-19.  This individual was last on the Father Ryan campus on Tuesday, was not symptomatic while on campus, and now is quarantined at home and under observation by health department officials. Privacy rules prevent us from disclosing the member of our community.
      We are working with the Metro Public Health Department, and they have confirmed that “the risk to the student population is low and no students require isolation or public health monitoring at this time.  The case is mild and the patient is appropriately isolated.  No one else in the family, including the student, has symptoms. Due to the incubation period of the virus, there is no evidence that the student was infectious at school.  The family continues to work closely and collaboratively with the Department of Health.” 
      We appreciate the responsiveness and communication of the Metro Health Department.  We join with that department to continue encouraging all in our community to follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for dealing with this virus.  Those guidelines and additional resources are available at our coronavirus webpage.
      In light of this news, we also wanted to share with you the letter about the coronavirus from Bishop Spalding, distributed to all the faithful throughout the Diocese of Nashville.  Please join the Bishop in his call for prayer, for the intercession of our Blessed Mother, and for this family and all who are dealing with the effects of this virus.
    • Message from Superintendent Hammel - March 12

      We ask you to read the letter below from Superintendent Rebecca Hammel regarding the suspension of school-sponsored activities next week.
      Thank you.
    • Message/Update from President - Afternoon of March 12


      We have received word this afternoon that the spouse of the faculty/staff member who went through various tests has tested NEGATIVE for COVID-19. We are pleased for this family.
      We have also been informed by the diocese that a decision on when Father Ryan and all diocesan schools will reopen will be made no later than Thursday, March 19, as communicated by Superintendent Rebecca Hammel in her letter from yesterday.  See the link below (March 11) to read that letter.
      We continue to pray for all in the community during these unusual circumstances.
    • Message from President on March 12, 2020

      Father Ryan was informed this morning that the spouse of one of our faculty/staff members was not feeling well and underwent several medical tests, including the test for COVID-19.  This person has self-quarantined at home and is awaiting the results of the testing, which we anticipate being available in the next 48 hours. 
      As a result of this news, after conversations with Metro’s public health officials, the Diocese of Nashville, the Catholic Schools Office and our Medical Advisory Committee, we believe the overall risk of exposure to our students and faculty remains low.  However, out of an abundance of care, we are taking the following steps:
      • We are dismissing students today at 11:15am.  All students must be picked up by noon.
      • Faculty and staff will remain on campus until 3:30pm.  Tomorrow’s professional workday has been cancelled and is being replaced with a half-day workday today. 
      • ALL after-school activities for today – on and off campus - are cancelled.
      We are following plans for addressing the coronavirus that we had communicated earlier this week.
      • We began our deep cleaning of the entire school yesterday, and will continue this cleaning through next week, as planned.
      • School will remain closed Friday, as planned.
      We are in regular contact with the Diocese of Nashville, the Catholic Schools Office, our Medical Advisory Committee and state and local health officials.  We will continue to provide updates for you as soon as we learn more.  We ask you to continue praying for all in our community and throughout the world who are dealing with this illness.
    • Message from Superintendent of Schools Rebecca Hammel on March 11, 2020

      Dear Families, 
      Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Nashville Rebecca Hammel has sent an important letter regarding the coronavirus outbreak and new directions for all diocesan Catholic schools. 
      Click below to read this important letter. 
      Please join Bishop Spalding and all in our community in prayer for those affected by the coronavirus here and throughout the world. 
    • Update to Families on March 10, 2020

      Dear Families,
      As we approach spring break, and in light of the announcement today by local universities and county school systems to close, we hope this prompts all of us to be ever more vigilant about travel that may be planned. Current circumstances provide ample reason to review any travel internationally. As of Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) had identified 100,000 cases of COVID-19 in 100 countries. Additionally, the presence of COVID-19 domestically means we should all exercise careful judgment, even when traveling within the United States. Airlines and travel agencies are proving more than amenable to changes, given all we can gather.
      In addition, we are announcing today that Father Ryan will cancel classes this Friday, March 13.  We will hold a professional workday to support our faculty as they continue making plans in the event that we need to shift our academic program online for a time. We ask that students gather all necessary books, technology, materials, and school supplies before leaving school on Thursday in the event we shift to remote learning following spring break. 
      Visit Father Ryan Coronavirus Updates for up-to-date school news and public health resources on COVID-19. This webpage centralizes information and resources for the Father Ryan community. Visit the page regularly for updates, links, and FAQs. While Father Ryan does not have current knowledge of exposure to coronavirus on campus, we are working proactively. This includes a thorough, deep cleaning of all campus buildings during Spring Break. In addition, we remain in regular contact with our Medical Advisory Board, the Diocese of Nashville and the Metro Health Department.  All have been available as steady sources of guidance.
      We understand that there is very little that is easy about navigating our individual and collective way through these uncertain days, waiting for the next worrisome announcement or headline, but we are resolved to support our students and your family. Thank you for your willingness and trust in walking this unchartered road with us.
      If there is anything that I can do to help you or your student, any extenuating circumstance or information that you feel necessary to share, please feel free to reach out to me.
      We continue to pray for all those affected here in Nashville, our country, and throughout the world.
      Jim McIntyre
    • Update to Families on March 5, 2020

      Dear Parents:

      With the announcement by Governor Bill Lee today that the state of Tennessee has its first confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to communicate with all of you regarding Father Ryan's schedule and upcoming school activities.

      First, Father Ryan will be open tomorrow, Friday, March 6.

      Second, there are several upcoming school trips planned. Dr. Lisa Piercy, Commissioner of Health for the State of Tennessee, commented during Governor Lee’s press conference the “overall risk of transmission remains low at this time.” As such, our plans for travel with our students domestically are unchanged. We continue to monitor the situation closely, with a focus on our continued partnerships with the Father Ryan Medical Advisory Board, as well as our partners at the Diocese of Nashville.

      Additionally, we continue to encourage families, faculty, and students to follow the resources for symptoms and prevention at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

      As always, we encourage and support our parents as the primary educators to make individual decisions that they believe are in the best interest of their student.

      Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions or concerns at 615-383-4200.
    • Update to Families on March 2, 2020

      Dear Father Ryan Families,
      Father Ryan's leadership team, along with the leadership of the Catholic Schools Office, has been watching with increased focus the coronavirus COVID-19 story in order to be best prepared for what is clearly an uncertain, unpredictable and emerging set of circumstances.  In consultation with the Father Ryan Medical Advisory Board and the diocese, we continue to follow and consult with a wide range of medical resource sites to assess day-to-day reports.  Here are some recommendations on resources for your family.
      We are encouraging all families to review the information at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website regarding symptoms and diagnosis, transmission, and prevention and treatment of the COVID-19.  We remind you that the best first preventative step is regular hand washing.  Please remember if a student has a fever, he/she may return to school only after being fever-free without the assistance of medication for at least 24 hours. We appreciate your reporting “flu-like” symptoms to the office when your student must be home due to sickness. 
      If your family has international travel plans for Spring Break, the U.S. State Department website offers an excellent real-time resource.  All planned Father Ryan overseas trips have been postponed. 
      Father Ryan has contingency plans prepared for school closures so that learning may continue.  In the event of a closure, we will communicate with all of you and our students via myFatherRyan.
      In the interim, we will continue to monitor the situation with our Medical Advisory Committee, the diocese, and the State of Tennessee, with our primary focus on the health and well-being of our students, faculty and community.  Please join us in prayer for all those affected, and thank you for your partnership in making Father Ryan such a great community. As always, we are available to answer any questions or concerns. 
      Jim McIntyre

    A Prayer from Bishop Spalding

    Coronavirus FAQs

    List of 7 items.

    • What is the novel coronavirus or COVID-19?

      Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is a new respiratory illness first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. COVID-19 is caused by a novel or new coronavirus that has not been previously identified.  
    • What are the symptoms?

      Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptons to severe illness. Current symptoms reported have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, and have occurred 2-14 days following exposure.
    • What can I do to help prevent the virus?

      There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
      • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      • Stay home when you are sick.
      • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
      • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
      These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.
    • Has Father Ryan had any cases of the virus in the community?

      See details in the Message from the President - March 13 at left.
    • What is Father Ryan doing to protect students and faculty?

      We are deepening our efforts to clean and sanitize things. Classrooms are being stocked with hand sanitizer, and students are being reminded to practice preventative hygiene, such as proper handwashing, per CDC guidelines
    • What should I do if I am concerned about my child's or my health?

      If anyone does not feel well, staying home is the expected course of action. Those who believe they may have been exposed to or infected with coronavirus should seek medical care right away. Call a clinic, your physician’s office, or an emergency room to let them know about recent travel and symptoms.

      Please remember if a student has a fever, he/she may return to school only after being fever-free without the assistance of medication for at least 24 hours. We appreciate your reporting “flu-like” symptoms to the office when your student must be home due to sickness. 
    • Is there a chance Father Ryan closes its doors for a period of time?

      The benefit of a preemptive school closure, absent evident substantial illness here, is not yet clear. School administrators are listening carefully to Father Ryan's Medical Advisory Board, diocesan officials, and will follow Metro Nashville Public Health recommendations and mandates.
    Useful Links

    CDC Handwashing Guide