Thank you for the patience you have exercised while we have prayed and considered how we would open God’s School – CHCS – for the Fall of 2021. We wanted our entire Board and Administration to be able to pray over and consider the words of our plan prior to its submission to the public.
In addition, we thank you, in advance, for the integrity with which you will carry out all that is below, so that our students will be offered all the advantages of the In-Person Learning and Discipleship so very necessary for their development and spiritual formation in these crucial years of their lives.
With this in mind, the overall umbrella for our plan is built around the endeavor to return the environment of our school to its normal operation to the highest degree possible for the purpose of the students’ experience. This will require that the adults in their lives, both their parents/guardians and those who serve them through their school, work closely together, as is conveyed through our historic triangle of Family-Church-Christian School. The text of Scripture we believe God is using to encourage us is Ephesians 4:3: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Due to the rising cases of COVID 19 in Summit County and in our school, our faculty and staff will begin to wear face coverings effective Tuesday, September 7, 2021. Many will return to their face shield for teaching when they are distanced, so the children can see their entire face. We would ask all students to wear their masks as well beginning on Tuesday, September 7th. Just as we did last year, we would ask you to help us by putting an extra mask in a plastic bag in your child’s backpack. We will supply lanyards to those who don’t have them, as that worked well last year. We still want you to visit our chapels and special assemblies, as we believe there is enough room to distance there. When you come into these gatherings or into the building for other reasons, we would ask you to wear a face mask.
There may be those of you who know that your child has a medical exemption with regard to masking. We certainly want to honor those; please supply your school office with a note from your doctor. Others of you may request exemption due to something specific you understand about your child that you would like to share with us in confidence. Please put it in writing to your principal, and we will be kind to work through that with you individually.
Things to know about this transition:
- Your children did an amazing job with this last year. Trust them to be amazing again!
- We will continue to listen to the Lord, to you and to the data, while we “make every effort” to obey the Lord and “keep the unity of the Holy Spirit.”
- We will review this monthly at Board of Education meetings in an attempt to get back to the protocol with which we began the school year. The moment we are able to shift back, I will share that news.
- Mask breaks will be scheduled throughout the day. Your teachers are amazing people, and they know when their class or a specific child needs a break.
- Outdoor recess, intramural sports, outdoor clubs, physical education and lunch are all times for breaks from masking.
- We will continue to use the flowchart found at coronavirus.ohio.gov to assess how and when quarantine is necessary. We are using this chart as a guide, not as a mandate or rulebook. It is our goal, again, to keep our children IN SCHOOL.
We will continue to practice distancing by maintaining at least 3.5 ft. in the classroom and 4 ft. during lunch. While it is wise to continue to seat students in cohorts, this lunch plan will allow students to be served through the line and have a couple more friends with whom they may interact during their lunchtime.
Students who ride a public-school bus will follow the protocols of that system, which in most cases will mean that they will need to wear a face covering while riding the bus and use hand sanitizer when loading and unloading. You will call your local bus garage for this information.
Visitors/Dropping Off and Picking Up
We will continue the practice of last year in which students were dropped off with our Welcome Team outside the building, and we help them to class. The number system will be used for pick up, so your student can be called directly to your vehicle as you arrive. Drop off will begin at 8:40 am and pick up will start at 3:20 pm. While the specific locations will not change from last year, we will send that information to you, as it will be campus-specific; and new parents are unfamiliar with that procedure. If you have are planning to use before and after daycare and have not scheduled that already, we would like you to schedule that with us again this year, so that we are able to space and staff appropriately.
Similar to how we began to open up in the fourth quarter of last year, we want to be sensitive to allow our parents and grandparents the blessing of participation in the life of the school. With this in mind, we will make chapel and special assemblies available both in person and through recording at both campuses, invite parents in for Parent Night and Open House and share volunteer opportunities in the classroom, for after-school clubs and programs and on field trips.
The intramural sports for fall will be soccer (4th-6th grade) and running club (3rd-6th), since we have already had a good experience with those sports. We are also hopeful to be able to have volleyball this winter and invite parents in as spectators and coaches. We are scheduling our normal music and fundraising activities and will look forward to your attendance as always.
Sanitization and Screening
We will rely on you, our parents, as we have done in the past, to monitor your child’s health closely at home. We will not be checking temperatures at drop off. As always, our expectation is that no child, parent, faculty or staff enter the building with symptoms of COVID 19 or any other illness that could be contagious and risk the health and safety of the CHCS students and team members.
Much was learned last year about prevention of all kinds of illnesses that can enter a school. As a result, we had significantly less illness of ANY kind at CHCS. We will, therefore, continue to practice hand and surface sanitization in a manner very similar to last year. Each room will continue to be equipped with two hand sanitizing stations and a sink. Each classroom will practice a schedule that includes entering the building, recess, lunch and leaving the building. Surfaces and playground equipment will be sanitized daily with an electrostatic sprayer.
Both of our campuses are equipped to filter clean air into the classroom and every room is equipped with an advanced oxidation air-purifier that runs throughout the school day. These have been tested to be highly effective with COVID 19.
Positive cases of COVID 19 will be handled just as we were dealing with them in the second half of last year by following CDC guidelines for seven to ten-day quarantines for exposures given the specifics of each exposure or case. We will continue to report cases to you and to the Summit County Public Health Department for tracing.
Prayer is such a powerful tool with regard to all that we are communicating above. One thing we have certainly learned in the last year and a half is that while we may plan, the circumstances that the virus generates around us can drastically change. Know that our greatest desire is to make choices that will keep you, your child and our staff and faculty safe. So if our plan needs to change, we commit to communicate that with you.
Prayer gives us information, but more, wisdom (James 1:5), from the One who is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He transcends our time and space and gives wisdom “liberally to those who ask without finding fault.”
Prayer unifies us around the love, mind and strength of Christ. Prayer gives us access to the very presence, power and promises of God! We invite you to pray with us for the 2021-2022 School Year.
As you pray, remember to give Him thanks for His incredible protection thus far. Last year we experienced NO student to student transmission of the coronavirus at either of our CHCS Campuses. And, as is stated above, we experienced less illness and absenteeism in our entire school family. Praise God!
We were astounded by the resilience and perseverance you and your children exhibited last year! Thank you! We are looking forward to an awesome school year with you. We are celebrating Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Mark 12:29-31: The Great Commandment to “Love the Lord: Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength.” What a blessing to have God’s very Word to unify us within His Body!