Details of Our School Days

Preschool Details

Welcome to Holland Christian Schools!  We are grateful and excited that you have chosen Christian education at Rose Park Christian School, and we look forward to getting to know your child and you better! We extend a special welcome to families who are new to our school. We trust you will find yourself at home here very soon.

We are eager to ensure your child enjoys his or her preschool experience!  To make the transition from home to school as smooth as possible for our preschool students, we want to share introductory information with you that we hope you and your child will find helpful.

This year’s theme is “Woven Together.” What a beautiful image and challenge to put before ourselves and our children as we approach this new school year. We are eager to unpack this theme and truth with your preschool child this year. Please know that every teacher and staff member has been in specific prayer over each family. We know living with the COVID unknowns is not comfortable. Our prayer is that you will see the heart of what is loved about learning and living at Rose Park has remained steadfast. Your child will be known, celebrated, laughed with, challenged, prayed over and fully loved this year. Due to necessary safety measures, we will institute some changes (but not as stringent as other grade levels) we can begin outlining here.

Parent Night

Teachers will create an official welcome video providing families with helpful information pertinent to the school year from their classroom perspective. You will receive this video on or about Tuesday, August 18.

Classroom Visit Day!

Roll out the red carpet! We’d like to offer parents and students the opportunity to meet the teacher in person and see their child’s classroom! Please mark your calendar for the evening of August 20. You will receive an email to sign up for a time slot to visit the classroom and meet your teacher! Parents can choose to sign up for a 15 minute time slot from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on the evening of August 20. We are excited to the moon and back to meet you and your child and welcome you into our classrooms! More details will be communicated with you in early August.

Drop Off on Week 1

August 24 is a date we’re looking forward to with much excitement and anticipation. We have missed your children. The first day of school brings with it a flurry of emotions for parents and students. We want this very first transition from home to school to be celebratory and relational. We want plenty of moments for those special photo ops. In order to comply with the limitation of people gathered in small areas, we must ask that parents not come into school to drop off your child at his/her classroom. This is new for us and we recognize this change might be met with some hesitation. Wait ‘til you hear our plan for helping ease this transition. All of our teachers will be on the front lawn ready to welcome you to the new school year. Each class will have a designated area to gather for this first week of school. Each of our early elementary teachers and aides will be dressed up in a theme. We’ll have astronauts, zoo animals, cowboy/cowgirls, African safaris, etc. Your teacher will tell you which theme to be on the lookout for to locate your child’s class. Our later elementary classroom teachers will welcome each student and sit together in the grass sharing summertime stories until each child has arrived. When the classroom community is complete and all present, our 2nd-5th grade students will walk to their brand new classroom. They will unpack their supplies at their lockers and fill their desks with items they brought to prepare for the day. Kindergarten and 1st grade students will line up like a parade showcasing their classroom theme in fun, creative ways. Shaking maracas and waving ribbons, they’ll walk into the building much like they’re the stars of a parade! They too will walk to their lockers to unpack their supplies. Next is exploring their brand new classroom prepared JUST for them by their very happy teacher! They will then embark on their day of learning and laughing together. Our preschool friends will also find their teacher by theme in the front yard. They too will gather together in a circle while each of their new friends arrive. When the classroom community is complete and present, our preschool friends will hold onto a handle on a special walking rope. They will walk like stars in a parade as well as they enter the building and make their way to their classroom. We will cheer them on as they go just like the stars they are!

We will follow this routine for the first week of school for the later elementary students. Once they are comfortable finding their classroom and locker independently or with the general help of staff at the front door and in the hallways, we won’t gather in the front yard to start the day. Your child’s teacher will communicate this with you. Early elementary students will practice walking together into the building to find their locker and classroom. We will continue to gather as a class in the front yard until all students are comfortable and confident to find their way to the locker and classroom. We’ll scaffold them gently through this experience. Teachers will communicate these steps with you very clearly.

Our School Day in Preschool

When you arrive at school, please have your child put on their mask to enter the building. Help your child see that wearing a mask is a part of the introductory aspect of the school day. Teachers and aides will be masked as well. We want your child to feel welcomed, known and loved. We also must adhere to initial entry and exit safety protocols which includes children wearing facial coverings in common areas such as building entryways.

Your child’s teacher or aide will meet you at the preschool entrance, door D. We ask that your family complete the health screening, which we will provide later, at home. You may say goodbye to your child at the door and he/she will be brought to the classroom by an aide or teacher.  Once a student enters the classroom they may remove their mask. Or they may continue to wear it if they desire. Each child will have their own cubbie in the classroom. Snacks from home will come out of backpacks/school bags and be stored in their cubbies. Backpacks, coats and lunchboxes will remain in lockers. Children will then wash their hands upon entering the classroom.

We will explicitly teach children good hand washing techniques at school. We’ll have plenty of soap and water in the classrooms for the children. Good learning is a messy business. We will engage our children in good learning both indoors and outdoors this year. We will also teach them to wash their hands well. Students will wash regularly after each recess, before eating and at other points in the school day.

Activities will be set up on tables to engage your child in intentional play as he/she starts the day. Many tables will be utilized at one time with reduced seating at each table. Prior to these activities being put away, teaching materials and tables will be sanitized.

Children will come to our group time meeting area. Children will be spaced optimizing the floor area in our gathering area to allow for adequate space between each child while maintaining the critical sense of community within each class. During this group meeting time, the teacher may switch from a cloth mask to a transparent mask so children have the opportunity to see their teacher smile, react to the student contributions, and demonstrate language skills.

Teachers will demonstrate the classroom activities for the morning. If demonstrating art, the teacher will show children the spot in their cubbie where they can locate their own, personal paint shirt/smock. The teacher will then wash her hands before starting the activity, again demonstrating appropriate practices.

Children may meet in the group time area for devotions, learning time, story time, or a music and movement time. As the teacher is leading the group, the aide will wash her own hands/use hand sanitizer and set up for the next activity or stay with the group to support the learners.

Children will enjoy outdoor play every day, weather permitting. At times, teachers may serve snacks outside, provide a child/teacher academic activity, or encourage play on and around our early childhood play space. One class at a time is planned for coordinated outdoor activities. Other classes may be outside at the same time, but will enjoy another area of the property. Each class will have their own wagon or basket of outdoor materials.

Children may be scheduled to use our school gym. One class at a time will enjoy games during gym times. To accommodate multiple preschool classes, time will be scheduled to allow each class to use the gym one time per day, on their own.

When coming back to the classroom, each child will wash his/her hands. We will try to make all of this sudsy washing a fun chore! 🙂 This is also a great time to encourage children to use the bathroom. Several times a day sinks, faucets and handles, door knobs, and the toilet flush handles will be sanitized.

For indoor snack time many tables will be utilized at one time, with optimal seating at each table. Some classes may even have some ‘picnic kids’ at trays on the group time floor mat. Tables are always washed before and after snack and mealtimes. Throughout the day, chairs will be wiped in spots that are frequently touched. Children should bring their own water bottle to school each day. Presently, drinking fountains will not be utilized.

During playtime, toys will be set at tables with limited seating. Other areas of the room will be utilized as well. We will have a dramatic play area that will include items for creative and imaginative play. Classroom libraries will be readily accessible as well.

Playtime is a great opportunity for teachers to work with children one-on-one or in a small group. Children will have their own to-go bag of supplies that will include scissors, glue, markers, etc.

When we clean up the room as a class, any materials that have been used throughout the morning will be left on top of each shelving unit. While the class is out of the classroom in transition to lunch for example, a staff member will sanitize the used toys. Once cleaned, they will go back on the shelf.

At the end of the morning, each teacher will have a closing group time activity. During this time, the aide will wash/sanitize her hands, and begin to pack up backpacks. Children will be dismissed from group time to put on coats (if weather calls for), and retrieve their backpacks. If children are attending afternoon enrichment, they will stay in the room, or transition into our hallway to meet the afternoon teacher.

For pick up at the close of the morning, each classroom aide will bring the dismissing children to their designated pick-up sit spot. Children will wear their mask one more time transitioning in the hallway common area. We ask that parents wait at door D. Classes will walk with the walking rope to the doors reuniting each child with his/her parent.

Afternoon enrichment students will walk with their teacher to the enrichment classroom for lunch. Similar to snack time, multiple tables will be used with an optimal number of chairs at each table. Children will wash their hands prior to eating lunch.

After lunch, teachers will plan a transition activity prior to rest-time. At this time, the classroom aide can clean tables, and prep for rest time.

Prior to rest time, children are encouraged to use the bathroom and wash their hands. Each child will have their own bag of rest time supplies. These bags are small and have a drawstring closure. Children can bring a small stuffed animal and small blanket. Each child has their own locker. This rest time bag remains in that locker when not in use. Each child has their own sterilized mat. As mats are set up, they are spaced throughout the room. During rest time, children can put their mask in their locker. Weekly bags will be sent home. These must be laundered weekly. Children will bring the bags to school after the weekend cleaning.

At the close of rest time, they will pack up their rest time bag.

Our afternoon looks similar to the morning. We have some playtime and another activity to interact with the teacher one-on-one or in a small group.

For children that are being dismissed at 3:00 p.m., a teacher and aide will walk the class outside to meet you. We will come to you at door A. Each classroom will have a designated pick-up spot where we will meet. We will need you to park in parking lot rather than the circle drive, get out of your car, and assist your child getting into their car seat. Children will wear masks as we dismiss.

More cleaning will happen at the end of the day when the classrooms are emptied.

How can you help?

  • Commit the school in prayer. As will we.
  • Please be prompt in arrival between 8:15-8:30 a.m. and dismissal at 11:15 a.m. or 3:00 p.m. for afternoon enrichment.
  • Please have only your child’s lunch, water bottle, and extra mask in their backpack. We really do need to minimize what comes into the classrooms. Please tell your child that extra toys, books, etc. will need to stay at home during this unique time. We will have special ‘show and tell’ times when they can share something with the class.
  • Please wash rest time items over each weekend.
  • If you have concerns, questions or ideas about something, please speak with your child’s teacher or principal. We want you to feel secure and safe in your choice/need to have your child at school. We also plan for this to be a dynamic and positive educational experience for your children.  At any time, please come to us with any communication needs.

We are so blessed to partner with you in growing your precious child. Our goal is for teachers and aides to conduct a class community that looks quite ‘normal’ to the way we have operated our classroom in the past. We are confident that your child will grow and make strides in all areas of development this school year.

Elementary Details

It’s that exciting time of year again! Teachers are returning to classrooms. New ideas that have been researched and dreamt of over the summer months are implemented in learning spaces. Teachers are sharing stories of their summer learning and adventures. Friendships are celebrated. Work is celebrated. God’s faithfulness is celebrated. Every year it is a joyous, exciting stage in the rhythm of the school year. We hope you’re starting to feel it too.

When sending your child to school, particularly if you are new to Rose Park, it is most comfortable when you can envision what the day will hold for your child in general terms. Most years that’s pretty easy to do. We love innovation and implementation new learning adventures, but the structure of our day is typically pretty consistent.

The purpose of this letter is to communicate our norms so that, again, you can envision what the school day will hold for your child and you can be comfortable. If you are comfortable and confident with your child’s school day, we’re well on our way to each child returning to school with confidence as well. We want school to be your child’s home-away-from-home where they are known, loved, celebrated, challenged and grown.

That will remain steadfast all year long.

Currently, we are in Phase 4 of our MI Safe Start Road Map. Our teaching faculty have been and continue to engage in ongoing training so we are well prepared if our state is mandated to move back to Phase 3. We will share those details as the training concludes. Some parents have asked if Holland Christian is exempt from an executive order calling for a move to Phase 3. It’s a good question. We are required to comply with the executive order as detailed by our governor just as all citizens and organizations in our state are required to do. We are not exempt even though we are a non-public school. Let’s commit together over the health of our nation and world. Our God is sovereign and calls upon us to be faithful. We cast our cares upon Him and put our trust in God.

Parent Night

Teachers are working to create an official welcome video providing families with helpful information pertinent to the school year from their classroom perspective. You will receive this video on or about Tuesday, August 18.

Classroom Visit Day!

Roll out the red carpet! We’d like to offer parents and students the opportunity to meet the teacher in person and see their child’s classroom! Please mark your calendar for the evening of August 20. You will receive an email to sign up for a time slot to visit the classroom and meet your teacher! Parents can choose to sign up for a 15 minute time slot from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on the evening of August 20. We are excited to the moon and back to meet you and your child and welcome you into our classrooms!

Drop Off on Week 1

August 24 is a date we’re looking forward to with much excitement and anticipation. We have missed your children. The first day of school brings with it a flurry of emotions for parents and students. We want this very first transition from home to school to be celebratory and relational. We want plenty of moments for those special photo ops. In order to comply with the limitation of people gathered in small areas, we must ask that parents not come into school to drop off your child at his/her classroom. This is new for us and we recognize this change might be met with some hesitation. Wait ‘til you hear our plan for helping ease this transition. All of our teachers will be on the front lawn ready to welcome you to the new school year. Each class will have a designated area to gather for this first week of school. Each of our early elementary teachers and aides will be dressed up in a theme. We’ll have astronauts, zoo animals, cowboy/cowgirls, African safaris, etc. Your teacher will tell you which theme to be on the lookout for to locate your child’s class. Our later elementary classroom teachers will welcome each student and sit together in the grass sharing summertime stories until each child has arrived. When the classroom community is complete and all present, our 2nd-5th grade students will walk to their brand new classroom. They will unpack their supplies at their lockers and fill their desks with items they brought to prepare for the day. Kindergarten and 1st grade students will line up like a parade showcasing their classroom theme in fun, creative ways. Shaking maracas and waving ribbons, they’ll walk into the building much like they’re the stars of a parade! They too will walk to their lockers to unpack their supplies. Next is exploring their brand new classroom prepared JUST for them by their very happy teacher! They will then embark on their day of learning and laughing together. Our preschool friends will also find their teacher by theme in the front yard. They too will gather together in a circle while each of their new friends arrive. When the classroom community is complete and present, our preschool friends will hold onto a handle on a special walking rope. They will walk like stars in a parade as well as they enter the building and make their way to their classroom. We will cheer them on as they go just like the stars they are!

We will follow this routine for the first week of school for the later elementary students. Once they are comfortable finding their classroom and locker independently or with the general help of staff at the front door and in the hallways, we won’t gather in the front yard to start the day. Your child’s teacher will communicate this with you. Early elementary students will practice walking together into the building to find their locker and classroom. We will continue to gather as a class in the front yard until all students are comfortable and confident to find their way to the locker and classroom. We’ll scaffold them gently through this experience. Teachers will communicate these steps with you very clearly.

Masks

We must follow the MI Safe Start Road Map when it comes to masks. Having processed this for a while, we believe we have some comfortable solutions to the initial problems they posed. Our children in preschool through fifth grade must only wear masks when they are in “common spaces”. These spaces are defined for us this year at Rose Park as hallways, entrances and exits. Our children will need to wear a mask of their choosing as they enter the building, walk in the hallway to their locker and until they reach the classroom door. Each teacher has a designated area in the classroom for masks to park and wait. If you choose, however, you may tell your child’s teacher that you would like your child to remain in a mask for the duration of the day. We will do the best we are able to see that this happens for your child. However, the requirement for masks is only in the hallways. Once in the classroom, it is permissible for them to shed their mask. We do ask that masks are laundered each night or disposable masks are replaced regularly.

Teachers and staff will be wearing masks (anyone have a glasses defogger for my glasses 😉 ). Outside of eating lunch, adults are required to wear masks to help mitigate the spread. Join me for the office hours listed below if you’d like to speak into this, voice your concern or talk about this in general. Parents have asked how will their child bond with their teacher behind a mask? How will children learn phonemic awareness and proper grammatical skills if teacher is in a mask? I empathize with these questions and frustrations. All of our teachers do as well. However, we are confident that the love a teacher has for each child will not be stopped up by a mask. Children recognize love instinctively. Love transcends masks. We are confident that through our laughter, hand holding, questions about a child’s interest, trust, respect and care as hallmarks of the teacher/student relationship, each child will know they are loved. It is one of our life’s greatest privileges to serve God by loving your child whom you’ve entrusted to our care. We treasure this responsibility. No mask can put a ding on our love for each child. For instruction that requires intricacies and sound study, we are exploring the world of clear masks! Face shields, we’ve been told are not permissible due to the spread of droplets that escape. However, clear face masks are safe AND allow for intricate sound transfer and our learners to visualize the shape of mouths while teaching proper sounds and phonemes. Ask your child about the mask Teacher wore each day. We’ll be trying a variety until we find a good-fit mask for teacher and transferring lessons to our students.

Hand Washing

We will explicitly teach children good hand washing techniques at school. We’ll have plenty of soap and water in the classrooms for the children. Good learning is a messy business. We will engage our children in good learning both indoors and outdoors this year. We will also teach them to wash their hands well. Students will wash regularly after each recess, before eating and at other points in the school day.

Classroom Furnishings

When you visit your child’s classroom, you will notice that the room arrangement is a bit different. Students’ desks will face in one direction rather than in small group settings. Children will still have the opportunity to work together in partnerships and small groups. Learning from and with peers is foundational in these early years! Student desks and tables, however, will allow for a bit more spacing between the children.

Classroom Life

Once a child is inside the classroom the real learning adventures begin. Children will keep their supplies in their desks and a school-provided to-go bag. These bag will keep their supplies that would otherwise be shared in art class, music, FLES, etc. Children will move about the classroom very similarly to the way classroom life has always been. Children will engage in balanced literacy mini-lessons on the carpet as always. We’ll just maximize the space in our workshop areas. Children will receive personalized instruction with their teachers as well as small group instruction, again, with an eye for maximizing spacing between them. Children will participate in partnership projects, again, being mindful of spacing. We’ll all help each other respect spacing while loving learning life together.

Cleaning Practices

Common touch points (desks, bathrooms, light switches, door knobs) will be cleaned throughout the day. Every 4 hours the touch points will be cleaned by the custodial staff. Teachers will clean their classrooms between each class.

Recess

More details are yet to be designed before we are able to communicate exactly who and when outdoor play will take place. What we do know is children need to move and be active in order to learn. We will commit to a morning and afternoon recess as well as a lunch recess break. More details will be communicated in this regard soon.

Lunch

This year we will  eat in our classrooms. Weather permitting classes will enjoy picnics outdoors! Hot lunch will be delivered to each classroom. Home lunch is always an option for families as well.

Outdoor Learning

We’re viewing outdoor learning with renewed optimism this year. The fresh air and sunshine is invigorating for all humans, especially students engaged in growth and exploration. When connected to content or supportive of our learning experiences, you will hear your child come home sharing many more experiences learned outdoors in God’s healthy creation this year at Rose Park.

Office Hours

Let’s do this together. Sometimes it’s hard to know who to connect with in order to ask questions, share a concern or express a new idea. If we say we’re in partnership, let’s open the lines of communication especially this year as there is so much information to process. Consider yourself invited to office hours with me! The second Friday of the month I will hold open office hours at Rose Park from 8:30-9:30. The third Friday of the moth I will hold open office hours at Forest School from 8:30-9:30. Come and grab a cup of coffee, wear a mask and pull up a chair. Let’s talk through your thoughts, wonderings and ideas. I look forward to serving you this year.

Our Back-to-School Supply List is linked here.