Return to Campus Update
June 12, 2020
We want to share with you an important update on our plans for starting the new school year with our students physically on campus and in classrooms. Following review of health guidelines and recent re-opening considerations from the Department of Education, we believe we are well positioned to be able to return to in-person, in-class education.
In charting our path toward a full physical return to campus in August amid the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, Heritage is committed to providing students, families, faculty and staff with a safety-conscious environment where premier education and life-changing discipleship will vibrantly continue.
The Heritage Board of Directors, leadership and our Task Force quickly determined that it was in the best interest to return to school on campus and on schedule. We fully recognize the challenge of accommodating health safety, ever-changing information and future unknowns with our desire to return to traditional Heritage education. We, however, strongly believe the benefits of re-opening outweigh the risks. The benefits include ensuring a high calibre of education delivery, addressing the emotional and mental health considerations of our students, valuing the home and work lives of our families and providing a stronger financial and enrollment foundation for the school.
While much of our school life will return to normal, it will not be business as usual. However, barring any unexpected governmental mandates, our plans are fully in motion for a full re-entry to campus and classroom-based education.
We are quickly moving through various phases of research and planning towards a target completion date of mid-summer for a comprehensive plan. Our overarching strategies are to provide and promote appropriate safety protocols, healthy hygiene practices, increased cleaning and disinfecting, physical distancing as feasible, and enhanced monitoring procedures.
Other initial plan components include:
- Increasing spacing, smaller groups, and limited mixing of groups (cohorts), as feasible. Preschool through sixth grade classes will stay together as single groups, separated from other students, while Middle School and High School students will adopt appropriate other safety protocols.
- Physical distancing within classrooms will be instituted where possible. This includes smaller class sizes and modified class layouts.
- Increased hygiene and health precautions will be instituted with numerous hand sanitizing stations, additional cleaning throughout the day and health and hygiene training for all faculty, staff and students.
- Large group gatherings will be reorganized to allow for appropriate physical distancing. Examples include: lunch, recess, chapels and fine arts activities.
- Registered Nurses will be maintained on campus all day, every day.
- Appropriate before and after school care for families will be provided.
- Athletics, fine arts, club and other extracurricular activities will occur, as practicable and feasible.
There are many more topics and issues to be addressed and determined and we are working through these as quickly as possible. We will be delivering weekly updates in our Friday eBulletin and Veracross Parent Portal to keep our families fully informed.
We are encouraged to provide this first update on the progress being made towards our return to campus in August. Your prayers are much appreciated as our dedicated task force members and multiple sub-committees complete their important work in the weeks ahead.
Thank you for partnering with us during this unique time.
Heritage Christian School