/ Statement on Return to School Plan

Updated August 31, 2021 at 1:00 pm

 

We have received various questions concerning what the return to school will look like, so we have taken the initiative to compile relevant questions, and are posting responses for information related to our return to school plan on our website.

Holland Christian understands this transition can be confusing and we are here to encourage you that we will continue to focus on our mission of equipping minds and nurturing hearts to transform the world for Jesus Christ, regardless of the situation we may find ourselves in. We care deeply for each one of our students, their minds, hearts and personal well-being.

Keeping that in mind, we will continue to require those with COVID to stay home, promote physical distancing and encourage those, outside of PreK-6 grades, that want to wear masks. Thank you for your continued cooperation. Our prayer is that as a community, we will walk together through the challenges that arise this academic year with resilience, sensitivity, and optimism.

Rooted Together (Jeremiah 17:7-8),

Dr. Eric A. Forseth
Head of Schools

Return to School FAQ’s

  • Will breakfast & lunch be free for the 2021-2022 school year?
    • Breakfast & lunch will be provided for the 2021-2022 school year. You can find this flyer that indicates meal choices, in the August back-to-school newsletter.
  • Will Holland Christian Schools be in-person?
    • Yes. It is our continued desire to keep students in school as long as positivity rates remain stable. We want to avoid, as much as possible, lost learning time.
  • What safety protocols will Holland Christian be following within the buildings?
    • Holland Christian will continue daily cleaning & sanitizing, expect sick staff & students to stay home, continue a focus on handwashing, and provide the buildings with PPE/hand sanitizer resources as needed
  • Is my child required to wear a mask?
    • Based on the Ottawa County Public Health Department’s newly mandated masking order and to legally remain open, serving children, Holland Christian Schools will require Junior-Kindergarten through sixth grade students to wear masks inside. Wearing a mask is optional for students in other grade levels. Wherever possible, we have done our best to provide parent choice when the health orders have “recommended” versus “required” elements. It has been communicated to us that this is a temporary order, but it is currently “required” and we have been focusing on ways to address the safety concerns of all students and the specific needs of some students while staying compliant, here are a few examples:
      • We have allowed a grace period until September 1, 2021, for parents to advocate for an injunction to the OCPHD’s order or to obtain a medical waiver for their child and requested parents to submit a letter of intent, such as this sample.
      • We have exempted students who have a medical reason confirmed in writing from a Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), please see the OCPHD Medical Waiver.
      • We have exempted all preschool students (age 4 and under) from the requirement of masking, providing parents the choice to mask their child.
      • We have exempted students in 7th and 8th grade from the requirement of masking (providing parent choice) by separating them from the students in 6th grade, as required by the OCPHD.
      • We have exempted students who have a developmental disability, documented by a IEP/PEP/504/Health Care Plan, that specifically address an issue related to wearing a mask
      • We have encouraged teachers to take frequent classroom mask breaks that provide safety for all students, such as when students are six feet apart.
      • We have encouraged teachers to move the classroom to an outside location during a portion of the day to provide an additional mask break.
      • Students are encouraged to unmask in order to take frequent water breaks from their water bottle (please send students with a water bottle)–we want students to be hydrated.  Frequent mask breaks also occur when students are eating breakfast, snacks, and lunch.
      • Teachers are encouraged to remind students when it is most appropriate to “mask up,” such that the mask covers the mouth and nose, at certain times when students are close together, such as students sitting on the circle rug for story time. We also encourage our teachers to focus more on academic excellence, whole child wellness, and faith integration.
  • Is my child required to wear a mask on the school bus?
    • Yes. The past State of Michigan Health order still requires face masks during school related transportation.
  • Are shields or mesh masks allowed this year?
    • No. The OCDPH has set criteria that do not allow for these.
  • Is my child required to have the COVID-19 vaccine?
    • No. We respect that the COVID-19 vaccine is a parent’s personal choice.
  • Does my child need to disclose whether or not s/he has been COVID-19 vaccinated?
    • No. As stated above, vaccination status for COVID prevention is a personal choice.
  • What will Holland Christian do about unvaccinated kids above 12?
    • At this time, Holland Christian is not tracking the COVID-19 vaccination status of staff or students.
  • What are the Health Department’s metrics for return-to-school without masks?
    • THIS ORDER is effective immediately and remains in effect until 60 days past the date COVID-19 vaccine is authorized or approved by the FDA and available to persons in junior-kindergarten through grade six, or community transmission for Ottawa County is categorized as “Low” by the CDC for at least seven consecutive days, or until further notice from the Administrative Health Officer.
  • Will there be contact tracing?
    • We will continue to contact trace based on CDC recommendations (at this time, this will provide information to those likely affected by close contacts). This will be for the purpose of notifying close-contacts of their exposure to positive COVID-19 cases at school, and parents can then consider a voluntary quarantine. Regardless, at this time, students who have been vaccinated or have a recent positive case of COVID are not required to quarantine.
  • Will Holland Christian quarantine students?
    • Based on past positivity data, students associated with a close contact in a school, will not be required to quarantine. Quarantines are requested for household contacts. With school outbreaks, a quarantine process may be initiated. Students who have been vaccinated are not required to quarantine.
  • Will Holland Christian student-athletes need COVID-19 testing?
    • At this time, COVID-19 testing for participation in school athletics will not be required. Note that with outdoor activities, close contact guidelines will not apply. Any future decisions on this are dependent upon our local and state health department and interscholastic agencies.
  • Was this a legally acquired health order?
    • Yes. The Administrative Health Officer of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health makes the following factual determinations and issues this Order pursuant to the Michigan Public Health Code, MCL 333.2451 and 333.2453, as well as R. 325.175(4), which is an administrative rule promulgated by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to MCL 333.2226(d).MCL 333.2451 – the local health officer has authority to issue an emergency order when imminent danger to health or lives is determined.MCL 333.2453 – the local health officer has authority to issue an emergency order when he/she determines that control of an epidemic is necessary to protect the public health.R. 325.175(4) – the local health officer may exclude from attendance any individuals lacking documentation of immunity or otherwise considered susceptible to the disease from attending school or a group program until such time as the health officer deems there to be no likely further risk of disease spread.