August 13 Update
We hope this email finds you well. We can’t wait to welcome students to our campus or HC•Sync in a few weeks and wanted to provide you with another update from our Return to School Committee with additional information since we last emailed you.
Instruction and Student Programming Update
Our Director of Learning and the building principals have been working on finalizing the details around both our in-person learning and HC•Sync. We are so excited about each opportunity as both options provide students with access to a robust and high quality Christ-centered educational experience to meet their individual learning needs.
Teachers have been participating in professional development throughout the past several weeks around the best practices for delivering online instruction. During the week of August 17, staff will come together each day to share what they have learned. They will also continue to put the final touches on ensuring a safe return to in-person learning as well as a robust and relationally connected remote instructional delivery through HC•Sync.
For those students enrolled in HC•Sync, we will provide details very soon around what your student’s school day will look like. We are looking to have the week of August 24 as an orientation week where you will receive information on the institutional delivery, classroom connection opportunities, and meet your HC•Sync teacher who will serve as your remote learning coordinator.
Our Safety/PPE group continues to meet to finalize our cleaning protocols for each building. We will be implementing the following daily cleaning protocols, utilizing the same school safe products that we’ve cleaned our buildings with in the past.
•Frequently touched surfaces including light switches, door handles, benches, and bathrooms will undergo cleaning at least every four hours.
•Student desks will be cleaned each class period including at the end of the school day at the middle and high school and every four hours in the elementary schools.
•During the evening, each desk and table will be disinfected with an electrostatic sprayer or mister.
•Playground equipment will undergo cleaning every four hours.
In addition, the middle and high school buildings are now using MERV≥13 (or ISO equivalent) filters that are more effective at capturing certain airborne viruses. With the HVAC systems in these buildings, these changes will also improve the air exchange. Our elementary buildings are able to open windows to increase air exchange.
Daily At-Home Student Screenings Required
Parents are required to screen their child at home each morning before going to school. If your child has any new or increasing symptoms below, they should not go to school and you should contact your child’s doctor for additional instruction.
•Temperature of 100.3 or higher or signs of fever (chills/sweating)
•Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
•Loss of taste or smell
With combinations of the above, testing for COVID-19 is encouraged. Testing may also shorten the time that students are excluded from school or work. If a student or staff person tests positive for COVID-19, or are a household member or other close contact to someone who tested positive, the health department will provide them with suggestions for quarantine, isolation guidance, or release from isolation. These can be used for leave from school/work and return to school/work.
Ottawa County Department of Public Health Update
The health department has released their plans for schools should a positive case be identified. If we become aware of a case of COVID-19 in a student or staff member, we will notify the health department. We will work with them to figure out close contacts to the case and determine which areas of the school need special attention for disinfection and cleaning. Each investigation is different, so the health department will work with the school to determine any possible close contacts for quarantine.
For COVID-19, a close contact is most often someone that has been within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes (does not have to be consecutive minutes), with or without a face covering. Other than those few individuals, the person’s identity is kept confidential in respect of their privacy as well as following regulations of FERPA (for schools) and HIPAA (for the health department). You can view the Overview Guide for Schools from the health department here.
We continue to focus on God’s faithfulness as we make our plans to return to school on August 24. God is good and cares deeply for each and every child and family at Holland Christian. He is a faithful, unchanging God, even in a world where things are rapidly changing. We hold to the promise in Romans 8:28 that, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Thank you for your faithful partnership, words of support, and most importantly, your prayers. We are praying for all of our families and look forward to seeing you very soon!
Dr. Eric A. Forseth
Head of Schools