Persevering through the Pandemic
ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE SPRING 2021 MESSENGER MAGAZINE
This COVID-19 year brought about many unique challenges into every sphere of our lives. But our Heritage community has continued to rely on the Lord’s provision and sovereignty every step of the way. We are profoundly proud of our teachers, staff, students, and families for the incredible work they’ve put into adapting to an ever-changing school year.
After a tough ending to the 2019-20 school year, Heritage CEO Jeff Freeman, Academics Director Brenda Klingerman, COO Nathan Beadle, and the administrative team put together several task forces to work toward reopening safely this fall. These task forces spent the summer pouring over contingency plans and safety protocols, changing nearly every school operation. The months of work landed them a hard-earned waiver from the Marion County Health Department to reopen school in August.
Through it all, Beadle, Klingerman, and the administration are grateful to have the school running in-person.
“My greatest joy this year has been seeing that what we have done has worked, spread at school has been minimized, and we have been able to fulfill our mission during this challenging year,” said Beadle.
We want to thank each and every team that was instrumental in making this year work for our special community.
Task Force Teams
The facilities team installed a new air purification system that will also serve the Heritage campus post-pandemic. They reconfigured classrooms and offices, added sneeze guards to desks, and installed PPE/cleaning kits in every classroom.
Transportation reconfigured bus routes, added new car pick-up lanes, and designated door entrances by student grade level.
The foodservice team developed a pre-order delivery service so students could eat in classrooms. Each grade level eats lunch in designated classrooms; for younger students, this means they eat in their cohort with their homeroom class. Middle and high schoolers were assigned a lunch classroom for the year.
Academic teams hired additional teachers, scheduled students in smaller class settings, helped specials teachers adapt to traveling by cart from classroom-to-classroom, and set up safe recess options for younger students.
The health service team, which usually has the summer off, established contact tracing and screening protocols. Nurse manager Diana Malmoff was instrumental in navigating and implementing the ever-changing health guidelines.
The technology team outfitted each classroom with webcams, speakers, and mics, and updated the bandwidth so teachers could live stream from every room on campus. They were fortunate to have updated the school’s education support systems with Veracross and Canvas in 2019, so the transition to virtual school was less painful.
Teachers and Staff
Our teachers and staff have continued to put students and their education first. They have figured out virtual teaching on the fly, adapted their traditional teaching methods and routines, and worked within tough restrictions to keep classrooms thriving. Each faculty and staff member has continued to sacrifice many hours to love, educate, and pray for our student body.
Our students have endured through long, lonely days at home and unusual classroom dynamics. They have persevered through a hard year with many canceled events, games, concerts, and club meetings. In spite of disappointment and loss, our students have continued to show up to school with smiles underneath their masks.
Our families have continued to support our school in so many ways. In spite of the confusing and ever-changing times, our families have showered the faculty, staff, and students with kind messages, prayer, and patience.
Through it all, the Lord has continued to reveal His mercy and provision over each of us. In spite of much hardship, the Lord’s promises still ring true.