This week Betsy and I meet with other Christian school administrators from the Rochester area. The consensus is that because of our smaller class sizes and space available in our buildings we will be able to bring students back to campus in the fall for five days per week, full time instruction. The New York State Education Department has said they will provide guidelines specifically for nonpublic, private and parochial schools, but have not done so yet. However, since early summer Betsy and I along with school board members have been working with the guidelines provided by the CDC and Department of Health to draft proposed reopening plans. Once we receive the guidelines from State Ed. our task force of administrators, board members, teachers and parents will finalize, submit and publish the complete plan.
At this time the proposed plan is to divide students into three cohorts: Pre-k, K-4 and 5-8. These groups will primarily use different parts of the building, with some sharing of large spaces such as the gym and playground. Masks will be worn into and out of the building, when moving around outside their own classroom, but not at all times inside their own homeroom. There will be daily temperature checks for all staff and students, hand sanitizing stations at the entrances, lots of hand washing and social distancing as much as is feasible. Our published reopening plan will be much more detailed, available to you and on the school website. Please feel free to call Betsy or myself with any questions or concerns.
I want to leave you with some thoughts from a back to school devotional written by Thelma Hayes, a first grade teacher from Maryland.
“ This idea of going back to school has stoked anxiety like never before. The task of providing a reasonable approach to educating children this fall seems more ominous each day.
No, we don’t have concrete answers or promises for the future. But we guess what, we never had! We never had control over the future. So why is it seemingly different today as we stare down COVID19? [As believers] we have to rely not on ourselves, but in a higher hope. That higher hope is Jesus Christ.”
I would add that there is a source of peace and calm available to us. That source is in God’s Word.
“ You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
I encourage you to fill your mind and home with things that build you up spiritually and emotionally- Scripture, praise and worship music, a good book or movie.
“ The Lord bless you and keep you ;make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.”