CornerStone Christian Academy – Summary of Covid-19 Response Plan
Background: As many schools are preparing to return to classes soon, several “plans” have been made available that detail their guidelines based on certain criteria in regards to Covid-19. These plans have various levels, color codes, terminology, etc., that outlay various conditions that impact and affect their status of operation(s). As such, we wanted to revisit our “plan” in review as we close down one year and get ready for another.
Review: For our specifics and scope, we probably have more experience with operating a school and a daycare during the Covid-19 pandemic than other similar operations within our region. We were one of the first daycares to remain/reopen (because we have such a large scale of families who are military, first-responders, health-care workers, etc.) and we were able to adapt to the new cleaning protocols with little or no pause. In sum, we went above and beyond.
While our school-side was under closure, learning packets were provided to students that consisted of schoolwork, worksheets, quizzes, tests, projects, and further instructions necessary for online distanced learning. Teachers assembled packets for the forthcoming week, while correcting and grading the work being dropped off from the previous week. Students were provided online learning through our accredited curriculum provider (Abeka), to work in daily sessions that recorded the time and details of the student’s engagement within the lessons. This provided valuable feedback to teachers and families and helped keep our students on schedule.
Noted on local and national news, it appears we were the first school to reopen on-site learning (within the State of Idaho and our region) while meeting and exceeding established cleaning and disinfecting protocols. When the State of Idaho allowed very limited gatherings (10 or less), we devised a plan with a blended learning structure of ½ day in-class onsite learning, specific to the core subjects of Bible, math, language, and grammar, and ½ day distance online learning of secondary subjects (science, history, arts & crafts, etc.). This allowed daily, on-site, teacher-student interaction with the core subjects, supplemented with online-distance learning of the minor subjects (all within our same curriculum). Teachers also conducted closed-group private online sessions twice-daily, that allowed further teaching, instruction, question and answer sessions for off-site students.
Subsequently, this then became a model for other schools in the State. Desks were spread-out, children were “distanced” accordingly, intense cleaning and disinfecting protocols, limited school entry, and similar actions, were all established so we could continue without disrupting the educational year of our students. Coupled with our year-round schedule…we not only have navigated the Covid-19 with outstanding results, but we feel we are fairly versed in the experiences and responses necessary in cases of potential and/or actual exposures. In this regard, experience is extremely valuable...
This leads us to put forth a summary of our “plan” regarding Covid-19
Summary: As detailed above, we have navigated Covid-19 in both our daycare and school operations with positive outcomes resulting in a good and strong unified school family.
However, throughout all our prayers, discussions, and experiences during this trying time, we feel best served by a “fluid plan” for something like this that continues to have ever-changing variables. Sometimes a color-coded, three or four tier “plan” boxes-in and confines an operation without allowance for practical and prudent variances. In other words, once it’s in writing (especially regarding Covid-19), it’s held to today’s socially binding exposures (social media slandering, etc.).
For our part, each Covid-19 situation that we experienced, whether it was a potential exposure, actual exposure, or “…someone who was with someone, who was with a person who has now tested positive for covid-19”-type scenario, they were all unique and therefore needed responses that couldn’t be “pre-filled” or categorized into a color-coded, three or four-tiered system per say. We needed to be flexible, decisive, and adapt accordingly.
Again, we decided to keep our “plan” fluid because we have been in the thick of maintaining daycare and private school operations during shutdowns, partial shut-downs, short-term closures, potential exposures, verified exposures, and most things Covid-19 related. We have an approved re-open plan (as mandated), that was required from us in order to return to on-site learning several months past. This forms the basis of our responses and actions regarding Covid-19. Again, it forms the basis.
Basically, our status can be generally categorized as follows:
- Full operation – School and daycare as normal
- Short Term Closure (1-3 days) – School/Daycare are closed, Covid-19 cleaning protocols
- Extended Closure via National/State/Local mandate – (based on mandate); distance learning only
- Stay at home (essential only) – daycare for essential workers, School closed, distance learning
- Stay at home (limited groups of 10-or less, social distancing) – daycare for essential workers and limited cases, blended ½ days onsite and distance learning
As stated, we will continue to use effective communication tools (personal phone calls, push-text, website, email, Facebook, and news outlets) to make sure our families know our status and any changes to our plan of operation.
Our experience has shown that in most all Covid-19 situations, the following are absolute essentials in order for our administration to be able to deal with any potential and/or actual exposure event:
- Immediate notification to the school administration!
- Immediate attention and communication of those involved
- Detailed specifics of timings and events
- Verifiable & credible details
- Prudence, awareness & patience
- Extreme discernment
- Proactive reasonability and judgement
- Wise choices
The key to our system – COMMUNICATION! But, that communication can only be possible when we have all the necessary components to make good assessments and evaluations. In turn, this helps us arrive at the determinations that we then post on our web-site, push-text, and Facebook, etc. We do not publish names and will not publish unverified or partial information. In sum, we believe our past responses to all things Covid-19 related has not only given us valuable experience and wisdom, but a good model of moving forward without the now common “school opening plan”.
If you have any questions and/or concerns, please let us know as we move forward. We are in that blended area of watching one year close and another one come to life! And although there is much hardship and suffering surrounding us, we are resolute in standing strong for Christ and keeping positive for our children and student’s to example.
CCA Admin Team