Up-to-date 8/1/2021 for 2021-22 school year
As things change in our society and as routines change, often dramatically, it is comforting to know that our God never changes. God still loves us and cares for us, and that will never change no matter what happens in this world. Further, the mission of Covenant Christian School will not change either, and that is to provide the best Christ-centered education possible for our children.
This school year will encompass a lot of change, most of which is beyond our control; however, even with these changes in mind it is our goal to make sure school stays as close to normal as possible so that our children can rely on a constant at school even as the world changes around them. I know everyone has questions about school and COVID-19, and what school will look like this fall, and a lot of those questions have no good answer, because expert opinions are all over the map as it relates to the reopening of schools. As we work through this school year, as situations change, and as routines change at our school, I ask for everyone to keep an open mind and extend grace to each other in light of the circumstances. I further encourage everyone to not be overly critical, but to work with each other for the betterment of our children. I ask you also to keep in mind one of the greatest blessings regarding our school is its size, our classes are small, which not only helps with the education of our children, but also will help in light of all the challenges presented by COVID-19.
- Parents are the first level of protection for our school. I need each and every parent committed to checking his or her student before each school day. I need you to check their temperature and ask questions to determine if they are feeling sick everyday if at all possible. I need you to work with your student when it comes to wearing a mask and further encourage good hygiene when it comes to covering for coughs or sneezes and washing your hands.
- Students will have their temperature checked at the door everyday by a teacher before he or she enters the school building at drop off. Further, teachers’ temperatures will be checked daily as well as any guests that may enter the building.
- All students kindergarten and up will need a mask that he or she is comfortable with for school this year. Masks are encouraged to be worn by these students as they enter the building every morning and are encouraged to be worn every afternoon when leaving the building. I don’t say require here because I do realize and you should too, that we are dealing with children. Upon drop off in the morning and after temperature checks, all students will report to and stay inside their designated classroom, once a student arrives in their classroom they then may remove their mask. Teachers will be instructed to work with students regarding the wearing of masks. As much as some of us may not like this requirement, it is part of our society for the time being, and it is a good practice for our children as they live beyond the walls of our school. Teachers will be encouraged to require our children to wear masks when they go outside of their classroom into common areas of the school (trips to bathrooms, library, etc.) Also, teachers will be encouraged to have the children wear masks for larger class gatherings like chapel, music, or any offsite field trips. These mask suggestions may seem onerous, but considering that our students will be inside their classroom a majority of the time, they will not have to wear a mask for a majority of the school day. The one exception for wearing of masks outside the classroom would be during P.E. or outside recess. This is not an all-inclusive mask suggestion/requirement, but maybe altered by parents and teachers as needs arise. These mask suggestions/requirements are not only for our children’s’ safety, but are to be taught in a way to teach our children how to be good citizens and to love our neighbors.
- Joint music, art, P.E., and recess, where the students would possibly congregate altogether at one time will be kept to a minimum. Instead, afternoon recess at the end of the day and P.E. will be done on a rotating basis with no more than two grades on the playground at one time. This will reduce our students’ exposure to each other, and in the event that a student or teacher has COVID-19 this will reduce the number of individual’s exposed to that student. Art and music will be done with each class individually.
- Chapel will be the only time when a majority of our students will be all together at one time. All students first through sixth grade will be in the sanctuary at one time. Masks will be required during this time, and teachers will be encouraged to use the full sanctuary to socially distance each class from other classes.
- Water fountains will be unavailable for the students to use. Every parent is encouraged to send his or her child with a reusable water bottle to school daily. Also, bottled water will be provided to each teacher, so that students may refill their water bottles. The school has had several cases of water donated, but would also ask parents to drop a case of water off at the beginning of school if at all possible.
- Teachers will set up deliberate cleaning times for student desks and classrooms. Students will be encouraged to participate in these clean up times. Teachers will set up deliberate hand washing and sanitizing times for students. Student desks will be arranged in such a way as to distance students from each other as best as can be done with our limited space. The exchanging of pencils, school supplies, etc. will be discouraged as best as possible amongst the students. Air hugs, air high fives, etc. are encouraged amongst our student body and teachers, but are in no way as good as the real thing. I stress to everyone that this all cannot be done perfectly because we are dealing with children. This
can only be done as best as possible, and can only be encouraged as best practice.
- All teachers and students must be ready to move to online schooling like we did in the spring at a moments notice. This is where grace and flexibility will be most encouraged among our parents and teachers. Should a class get infected or teachers become infected with COVID-19, or if the government requires us to shut down in person instruction, classes may be moved to online in a format similar to last spring.
- Along with the individual who will be cleaning the school this year, I too will work hard to keep common areas cleaned and wiped down for our students’ safety as best as possible.
- We still would like parents to feel free to visit our school and volunteer no different than in the past, but we would like you to honor our requests for masks being worn, as well as temperature checks, and increased cleaning/hygiene suggestions. You will still need to check in with Mrs. Lisa, as usual.
- In no way can every change be anticipated or mentioned in this document. Please feel free to email me your questions or concerns, but also please note that considering all that is mentioned above in person school should run as close to normal as possible. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Finally, here are things that you can work on with your student prior to school:
A. Practice hand hygiene (length and appropriate way to wash hands);
B. Practice wearing a mask; make sure you have a mask that your child is comfortable with;
C. Purchase a thermometer, check your child’s temperature everyday. Children should always stay home if running a fever, and should not come back to school until fever free without the use of over the counter medicines to reduce the fever;
D. Purchase reusable water bottle for your student to use; and
E. Stay informed, know symptoms of COVID-19, so you know what to look for, and watch the CCS parents and teachers Facebook page to stay up to date with changes happening at the school. Also, please communicate with your teacher and me about changes in your child’s health or the need to quarantine if required. Finally stay abreast of requirements by the State of Alabama in light of the fluidity of the pandemic.
I am excited about this school year, and I am excited about our children’s return to the classroom. Once again, I ask for your grace and understanding as we start school this school year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am always open to your suggestions; please send them to me via email at email@example.com. Thank you for the distinct privilege of letting me be apart of our children’s school experience. In conclusion, I leave you with this verse from 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) as we continue to travel in these uncharted waters called life together, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Glorify God even in the smallest things and continue to pray for Covenant Christian School.