Are you ready? We are! In just a little over four weeks, we will be back in school. We are so excited to see you all and to kick off a school year that may be a little different than usual, but hopefully less eventful than the last! You’ll find our theme for this year in the header above. While it seems rather basic, it is a good reminder that as Christians, we are to promote unity and give up our liberties for the sake of our neighbor. God is on His throne and we trust Him in all things!
We are excited to announce the return of a half-day Pre-K program this year! Many in our community have asked for this and we have made it happen. The full-day option is still available for those that choose it. Sessions will be from 8:30 to 11:30 and 12:30 to 3:25. Call the school office or speak to Mrs. Hane for more details. Help us spread the word!
Our incredible staff has been hard at work over the summer to prepare for this year and to make a safe environment while providing the Christ-centered program of excellence to which we are committed. To accomplish this during our present-day circumstances, there undoubtedly will be some changes. While the following is not a formal policy and is subject to change based on federal, state and local directives, this is what you can expect:
- Our school year will begin on Thursday, August 13th. You will receive information soon on our Back to School Night and our plans to stagger your arrival times to allow for smaller gathering numbers.
- We will be providing your child with a neck buff (gaitor) to be worn around the neck at all times during the school day and to be pulled up over the nose and mouth whenever deemed appropriate by their teacher or supervising adult. In accordance with the city’s mask policy, it should be up when entering and exiting the school but can be pulled down inside the classroom. This seems to have been a successful method of protection at various camps and similar environments throughout the summer and appears to be the most comfortable and easily manageable for your children. If you are more comfortable with your child wearing a mask of a different type, you are free to do so.
- Inside the school building, we will be distancing the children as much as possible, while realizing that in some situations it simply is not feasible. The teacher has the discretion in these situations to request that buffs be pulled up or to simply monitor for acceptable risk. Our staff members, like all of you, are aware of the seriousness of the Covid virus and the recommendations for protecting against transmission. You can trust that they will always act in the best interest of your child’s safety and health.
- We will be looking for ways to enhance social distancing by moving activities outside when appropriate. One example of this is the installation of a gravel walking path in the back play area where we will spend our Walk and Talk time as weather allows.
- Again following the example of summer camps and other activities that we have observed, your child will be spending more time with their own class and not intermingling with the other students to the extent that they have in the past. For example, we will be serving lunch in the lunchroom but each class will have their own table with distancing in place as much as possible. This will aid in limiting their exposure.
- In order to provide the best learning environment possible, we are not asking our teachers to be masked. They will have neck buffs just like the students and will pull them up at their discretion. Some teachers may choose plastic face shields as well.
- All special courses such as music, art, etc. will be included in the schedule for this year with accommodations made for distancing and safety to the best of our ability.
- As in the past, we ask that you send your child with a water bottle to school. We will be providing filling stations that will be sanitized and safe.
- You are likely aware that we already have high standards for cleanliness within our building. We will, however, put in place even more opportunities for cleaning during the school day.
- Hand-washing techniques and other strategies to promote healthiness have always been a part of our instruction at SCS. We will continue this practice and monitor it closely.
- Keeping our school open requires cooperation and support from our school families. We will require that you partner with us by checking your child’s temperature each day before school and by following our handbook guidelines requiring students to come to school fever free and to be fever free for 24 hours following an illness. If you do not have the ability to take your child’s temperature at home, let our staff know and we will find the best way to help you.
- As more information regarding building filtration becomes available, we will be looking at opportunities to improve the sanitization of our building in this way.
- In the case of an at-home learning mandate such as we experienced in March, we will be working with the appropriate government entities to exhaust every possible avenue to keep our school open.
- If a student or a staff member develops symptoms while at school, they will immediately be isolated and sent home for testing and self-quarantine. Areas used by the student or staff member will be disinfected immediately.
- In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 for a student or staff member who has been at school, we will notify the Payne County Health Department and follow their guidance regarding the necessity of subsequent actions. Areas where the infected person has been will be disinfected and all parents, faculty, and staff will be notified of the confirmed case.
- Students or staff members who exhibit signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and who are not tested will be presumed positive for COVID-19.
- After recovering from COVID-19, the criteria for returning to school are as follows: (1) Fever free for 72 hours without the use of temperature reducing medications; (2) Improvement of symptoms; (3) At least 10 days must have passed from the development of symptoms.
- If any student or staff member has possible symptoms of COVID-19 and wishes to return to school before completing the stay at home period, the individual must either present a note from a physician clearing the individual to return to school based on an alternative diagnosis or receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hour apart that they are free of COVID-19 and provide documentation to the school office.
It is difficult to cover every topic and question in a single document, but please know that it is our desire to ensure the safety of your child and family while maintaining the learning environment that we know you desire and have invested in. While facility and funding limitations do not allow a “perfect” environment, we are blessed with a wonderful building and staff that will serve us well through this next year. We are committed to serving your child to the best of our ability as we prayerfully ask for direction and protection from our great God.
We pray that you enjoy the last few days of your summer with your child and that you pray with them for our world not out of a spirit of fear, but out of a love for God and others. That is truly the only answer to it all! See you soon!