Back to School - August 24, 2020
We have been planning the 2020-2021 re-opening before this past school year ended; in fact we created multiple teams to accomplish all the work needed to be done to ensure that we can safely get back to school for in-person education. These ACS teams are made up of a mix of educators and business and health professionals. The teams have been working diligently and I’d like to specifically thank the board for going “all-in” on this process. Also, I’ve been working as a member of the Board of Directors at the Michigan Association of Non-public Schools, as part of a county-wide task force, and with the Eastern Ottawa Christian Schools to hear about best practices and other schools’ planning.
Safety, Education, and a Community of Grace
Thank you to the families that responded to our feedback survey. Your voice is important and appreciated, and we agree with what we heard… a return to normal is desired. ACS intends to continue to provide an education that is academically-excellent and saturated with a Biblical worldview. We have very high expectations - that will remain normal. In terms of safety and wellness, we will focus on best practices to keep our students and staff healthy, while not creating hurdles or barriers to teaching and learning.
The Health, Wellness, and Procedures Committee continues to evaluate current health and safety recommendations and make necessary adjustments for areas where we can improve current procedures. I also want to briefly explain our current thoughts on a few topics that were requested in the parent feedback survey:
Education will be critical. We have received very positive feedback for how quickly teachers were able to adjust and provide a good experience for our families during remote learning. However, we believe that in-person education is the best option, and that is why we intend to have our students back in building. We will have strong plans in place for any other temporary situation that may arise. One area where we will become stronger is through how we work with homebound students. While most students will be in the building for full days of school, we understand that some students may need to be home temporarily because of an immunocompromised situation or possibly when they are sick. We will have a Homebound Advocate in place to support those students that are home for a time. We also have a team of teachers that is currently working on procedures and resources to make sure that our homebound students are taken care of.
Education regarding COVID-19 will also be critical. It will be important that we educate our families in regards to the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 so that they can evaluate their children’s health when they are ready to send them off to school. For the safety of all students and staff, it will be critical that each family does their part in making sure students come to school healthy. We will educate our students on simple measures to keep them healthy and well, including proper and frequent hygiene measures at school. This is not just a ‘COVID thing’, but instead good practices for every day health.
Community of Grace
Grace is a cornerstone of ACS and during the remote learning period we used that word a lot with teachers, families and students. God gives us grace, and we are called to give grace to others. I encourage all of you to provide grace to each other, and to our Board and staff, as we prepare for a school year in a different manner than years past.