Our Effort to Re-Open Schools

St. Ambrose in the News

The effort to re-open schools that begin with St. Ambrose’s swift response on August 22, 2020 drew national media attention. Below are a selection of articles originally shared and updated as they were published in order to keep our community aware of the efforts.


As Wisconsin’s Supreme Court Mulls Dane County Emergency Order, Some Schools Return To Campus

WORT FM, September 17, 2020

Yesterday, WORT Producer Jonah Chester spoke with Angela Hineline, the Director of Enrollment and Learning Services at St. Ambrose, on why the school challenged the county’s public health orders. Listen Here


Catholic schools stay open in WI; court date set over COVID closure order
Catholic World Report, September 17, 2020

Students returned to the classrooms of St. Ambrose Academy this week under a Wisconsin Supreme Court temporary injunction that prevents the Dane County health agency from enforcing a COVID-19 school-closure order, just as the court scheduled oral arguments in the case for December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Read More…


Madison Catholic School Re-opens After State Supreme Court ruling
Spectrum News 1, September 15, 2020

Some Dane County private schools have opened for in-person classes after the state Supreme Court ruling. St. Ambrose Academy on Madison’s west side was one of the plaintiffs of the lawsuit. Several Catholic schools, parents, and other groups filed the suit, asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to throw out the Public Health Madison Dane County order barring in-person instruction for third through twelfth graders. St. Ambrose raised more than $75,000 to file the suit. Read More…


Private schools set to re-open after Supreme Court halts public health order
Madison Commons, September 13, 2020

Private schools across Dane County are planning to reopen their classrooms as early as Monday after the Wisconsin Supreme Court temporarily blocked an order issued by Public Health Madison & Dane County that had barred in-person instruction for grades 3-12. Read More…


Video: Catholic schools announce plans to return to in-person learning for grades 3-12
Fox47, September 11, 2020

Starting Monday, eight Catholic schools will be allowed to return to in person learning for grades 3-12. This comes after the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a temporary injunctive relief against Public Health Madison & Dane County’s emergency order which requires third through 12 grade students to learn virtually. Watch & Read More…


Video: Private schools reopen after Supreme Court temporarily blocks Dane County order
WKOW, September 11, 2020

Some private schools wasted no time reopening after the Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction against Dane County’s order to have school virtually for grades 3 – 12. Watch & Read More…


Some private schools opening for in-person instruction Monday after court order
The Cap Times, September 11, 2020

More Dane County children will be in school buildings beginning Monday, as private and parochial schools in the area plan to open following Thursday’s state Supreme Court order allowing them to do so. Read More…


Breaking News: Wisconsin Supreme Court Temporarily Reopens Dane County Schools
MacIver Institute, September 11, 2020

The Wisconsin Supreme Court yesterday temporarily suspended the Dane County public health department’s Emergency Order #9, which closed down all in-person education from grades 3-12. Read More…


Video: WILL attorney breaks down court proceedings after Supreme Court temporary injunction
NBC15, September 11, 2020

On Friday, NBC15 News spoke with an attorney involved in the lawsuit against Dane County’s emergency Order #9 to find out what happens next. The order mandated virtual learning for 3rd-12th graders. That order is on hold following Thursday’s injunction from the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. Watch & Read More…


Wisconsin Supreme Court says Catholic schools can open
Catholic World Report, September 11, 2020

Stating local health officials likely do not have legal authority to order closure of schools, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction late Thursday suspending the Dane County health agency’s August and September orders that forced all schools to close classrooms to in-person instruction in grades 3-12 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Read More…


With Supreme Court OK, Dane County Schools Plan To Move Forward With In-Person Instruction
Wisconsin Public Radio, September 11, 2020

After winning their challenge to a county order that required Dane County students in grades three through 12 to learn virtually, several Madison-area private schools are making plans to open up in-person learning for all their students. Read More…


State Supreme Court temporarily blocks Dane County school order
WKOW, September 10, 2020

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has issued a temporary injunction against parts of Dane County’s Emergency Order #9 that prohibit in-person classes for students in grades three through 12. Read More…


Parents Press For Dane County Schools To Teach In-Person During Pandemic
Wisconsin Public Radio, September 3, 2020

Dane County parents upset over online instruction at schools that were intending to hold classes in-person are speaking out following a recent emergency order by the local health department, which restricted all public and private schools to virtual instruction for grades 3-12 because of COVID-19. Read More…


Dane County officials respond to state Supreme Court on private schools’ petition
NBC15, September 2, 2020

Dane County officials responded to the state Supreme Court Wednesday, explaining why its order limiting in-person learning is lawful. The response was spurred by a petition from more than twenty private schools and parents. Read More…


Podcast: Angela Hineline of St. Ambrose Academy on the Vicki McKenna Show
Vicki McKenna Show, September 2, 2020

St. Ambrose Academy parent and learning specialist Angela Hineline is interviewed with an update about Public Health Madison & Dane County’s Emergency Order #9, the recent amendment to the order, and the lawsuit brought by the Academy and school- and parent-plaintiffs. Interview begins at 1:20:15. Listen Here…


Podcast: Private Schools Fight Back Against Dane County Shutdown Order
MacIver Institute, August 31, 2020

St. Ambrose Academy, a Catholic junior and senior high school in Madison, is leading the legal fight against Dane County. Its Enrollment and Learning Services Director, Angela Hineline, tells the MacIver Institute about its fight on this episode of the MacIver’s News Makers Podcast. Listen Here…


COVID-19 closing order causes “irreparable harm” to Catholic schools, lawsuit argues
Catholic World Report, August 28, 2020

The last-minute COVID-19 school-closing order by the Dane County health authority tramples on constitutionally protected freedom of religion and has caused “irreparable harm” to local Catholic schools that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars using the county’s own guidelines… Read More…


Health Department faces slew of lawsuits
Empower Wisconsin, August 28, 2020

Another Dane County private school is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to stop Public Heath Madison & Dane County’s sweeping order prohibiting all in-person education in Dane County’s public and private schools. Read More…


St. Ambrose Academy to petition state Supreme Court to rescind school closure order
NBC15, August 28, 2020

St. Ambrose Academy is among several diocesan schools that are petitioning to the state Supreme Court against Dane County’s “unconstitutional and unlawful” school closure order. Read More…


‘The rug was pulled from under us’: Catholics fight Wisconsin county ban on in-person school
Catholic News Agency, August 27, 2020

Twice a week for three months, the administration of St. Ambrose Academy in Wisconsin met with Dane County public health officials to ensure that they would be ready to reopen at the start of the school year – which was supposed to happen this week. Read More…


Lawsuits challenge Public Health’s authority to close private schools
The Cap Times, August 27, 2020

Two separate lawsuits are seeking to block a new public health emergency order that allows only a fraction of elementary school students to attend classes in person in Dane County…. Read More…


Attorney says Wisconsin COVID-19 closing order is unconstitutional
Catholic World Report, August 26, 2020

A coalition of Catholic schools will seek an emergency injunction from the Wisconsin Supreme Court to allow all Dane County schools to open in-classroom instruction on September 7… Read More…


Private schools push back against Dane County schools order; legal challenges expected
Wisconsin State Journal, August 25, 2020

Private schools in Dane County are pushing back — including weighing a potential lawsuit — against an order from the local health department that suspends most in-person instruction for the start of the new school year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More…


Dane County order calls for virtual classes
Madison Catholic Herald, August 25, 2020

On Friday, Aug. 21, while some Catholic schools in Dane County were just a few days away from opening their doors to in-person classes for all students, Public Health of Dane County and Madison issued Emergency Order #9. Read More…


Parents call for reversal of Dane County order on virtual schools
WKOW, August 24, 2020

As a group of parents comes together for a prayer rally in Madison urging health officials to allow their kids to go to school in person, one school is getting ready to take Dane County to court. Read More…


‘They didn’t give anyone a chance’: Private school parents react to latest executive order
Fox47, August 24, 2020

Families from private schools throughout Dane County say they’re upset with the County’s decision to mandate online learning for all students 3-12 grade to begin the school year. Read More…


Private schools pushing back on health officer’s ‘Friday night massacre’ health order
Empower Wisconsin, August 24, 2020

Three Angels Christian School in Monona had already begun the school year with in-person classes when Public Health Madison & Dane County ripped the rug out from under teachers, parents and students. Read More…


Wisconsin Catholic academy hires legal counsel to fight COVID closing order
Catholic World Report, August 24, 2020

A crowd-funding effort by Madison-based St. Ambrose Academy had raised nearly $91,000 in less than 48 hours to challenge the last-minute closing order aimed at preventing spread of COVID-19. Read More…


Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order
WKOW, August 23, 2020

A Madison private school has raised over $70,000 to bring a lawsuit challenging a Dane County health order that educational institutions begin the school year teaching most of their students virtually. Read More …


Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order
Catholic World Report, August 22, 2020

Last-minute county order leaves parents less than 60 hours to make home-based arrangements; appeal planned to Wisconsin Supreme Court. Read More …