July 21, 2020
Dear CLS Parents,
We are looking forward to the beginning of the school year! We have been working hard to ensure that your child not only gets a great Christ-centered education but also finds a safe and healthy environment on our campus.
This past Friday, Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a letter stating that religious private schools can open their campuses for the 2020-2021 school year, even if local authorities offer guidance that schools should remain closed for onsite learning. A couple of hours after the Attorney General issued his letter, the Director of the Bexar County Health Authority, Dr. C. Junda Woo, issued a health directive that guides both public and private schools to remain closed for onsite learning until at least September 7, 2020.
Obviously, these two letters offer different guidance for the beginning of the school year. But this is not surprising. From the beginning of this pandemic, because there is still much that we do not know about COVID-19, different – and often competing – guidelines have been offered.
After many conversations, much thought, and prayerful consideration, CLS has decided to continue with our plan to open for onsite learning beginning August 19, 2020. Throughout the summer, we have kept our Childcare Center open and hosted Camp Concordia for parents who needed a place for their kids to come while they went to work. These programs have helped us develop systems and procedures to safeguard everyone on our campus.
I know there are still a lot of questions about what systems and procedures we will have in place as we open for this new academic year. Many of your questions were answered in a live webinar we hosted a week-and-a-half ago. If you haven’t had the chance to watch it yet, you can find it here. In addition, you can find a list of answers to the questions you asked during the webinar here. This list is only a starting point. We are preparing a more comprehensive guide that will detail our health and safety procedures. It will be available soon.
We understand that not all families will feel comfortable sending their children back to school for onsite learning at this time, which is why we have also been working hard to develop and offer a quality distance learning program. The health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff is a commitment we take seriously. We will continue to make adjustments to our plans to keep our campus as safe as possible.
We look forward to welcoming your children back to CLS – on campus or from a distance!
Principal, Concordia Lutheran School
Concordia Lutheran School – Webinar Questions Answered
As we all know, the current situation and information available is constantly changing. We will continue to modify and adapt our policies and procedures to maintain our high educational standards and the health and safety of everyone on our campus.
- Distance learning is available for the entire year.
- Distance learning will be available for students if they need to be quarantined.
- Student textbooks, devices, and other materials will be ready for pickup prior to the start of school. A schedule will be forthcoming.
- Daily schedules with specific teaching times will look different for various grade levels. Teachers are working on developmentally appropriate schedules that will be shared with students and parents.
- Students will need to be in a school uniform when attending a virtual class.
- Some interaction will take place between the distance learners and onsite learners.
- Google Classroom will be the platform used to assign and collect work in grades 2-8.
- Both synchronous and asynchronous learning will be available. All classroom lessons will be recorded.
- Students will bring their supplies on the first day of school. If students pre-ordered supplies they will be in the classrooms.
- Student supplies such as crayons, pencils, glue sticks, etc. will not be shared.
- Classrooms are being reconfigured to allow for social distancing between students. In order to do this, excess furniture will be removed from classrooms to create more space.
- Student desks will be arranged for social distancing.
- We do not plan to have plexiglass shields on student desks that are six feet apart.
- Families are responsible for supplying face coverings for their children. Each classroom will have additional face coverings available.
- All students fourth grade and up will be required to wear a parent-supplied face covering while on campus when social distancing is not possible.
- Teachers will guide students as to when they will be allowed to remove their face coverings.
- Face coverings that are solid colored or have a simple pattern are approved to wear at school. Face coverings should not have any specific messaging on them.
- All students will have their temperature taken upon arriving on campus each day.
- Any student that has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be permitted into school buildings.
- Faculty and staff will be required to have a daily temperature check.
- Frequent hand washing will be encouraged throughout the school day.
- Teachers, along with the school nurse, will guide students on proper hand washing techniques.
- Additional hand washing stations will be installed around campus and hand sanitizer will be available in the classrooms.
Visitors to Campus
- Campus visitors, including CLS parents, will not be allowed in school buildings during the school day.
- Students in grades 5-8 will be provided an iPad that will be assigned to them for the school year.
- Students in grades 2-4 will be provided a device if they are a distance learner.
- Distance Learning will incorporate Swivl technology, Google Classroom, and Zoom.
Before and After School Care
- Before and after school care presents unique challenges to our health and safety procedures. Because of these challenges, we do not know if we will be able to offer this care at the beginning of the school year.. We are currently working on possible strategies to offer before and after school care and will keep you updated on our progress.
School Trips and Large Gatherings
- School field trips are not being scheduled for the first semester of the school year.
- Pep Rallys, Chapel Family Fun Day, and other large gatherings will be postponed until guidelines change.
Recess and PE Classes
- Physical activity is important for our students. Students will continue to participate in both PE and recess.
- For at least the first four weeks, PE coaches will travel to the classrooms.
- Recess will be staggered and the number of students on the playground at one time will be limited.
- Hand sanitizer and access to hand washing will be provided before and after physical activities.
- Chapel is an important part of our CLS experience and will continue weekly throughout the year.
- Weekly chapel services will be streamed live into classrooms.
Cafeteria and Food Service
- Food service will continue at CLS.
- Students will eat lunch in the classroom or outdoors
- Procedures, seating, and schedules will follow social distancing guidelines.
- Guidelines from athletic leagues are still being published. The CLS Athletic Department will provide information concerning our guidelines when details and procedures are finalized.
- Electives will look different for the first 9 weeks. Details will be provided in the coming days.
- Elementary school will have daily specials (music, art, PE, library, Spanish). Specials teachers will travel to the classrooms.
Drop Off/Pick Up
- Drop-off and pick-up places and times will be staggered.
- Specific details will be provided to families in August.
- Parents and visitors will not be allowed in the school buildings during drop-off or pick-up.
Nurse’s Clinic and Isolation Room
- There will be a separate area specially designated on campus for students or staff members who exhibit symptom(s) of COVID-19.
- CLS will continue to use the COVID-19 guidelines outlined in the TEA Public Health Planning Guidance publication and adapt them for our use at Concordia. More information on these guidelines is available here: tea.texas.gov/coronavirus