August 19, 2021
Please review the following action steps we have implemented and the protocols we are relying on. Much of this is a continuation of action steps from the last school year.
The re-emergence of COVID at the current rate is disappointing. We had hoped that COVID would continue to wane. However, the virus has become more pronounced. Just like all the county schools, and many of the churches, CCA has had an uptick in positive cases. Our cases have been restricted to a few classes, but even one is troubling and sows concern.
We have looked to the CDC, the Forsyth County Schools and to the State of Georgia for information. We do not plan to make any mandates that are not dictated by our State. However, we will use discretion where we can and implement rules and guidelines accordingly.
For the sake of our protocol, we try to balance our absolute desire for safety while providing the students with the opportunity to see faces, to see expressions, to interact and communicate in a “normal” way. Many of our parents have expressed their concerns, and studies bear out, that our children benefit from this directed interaction for well-being and development.
To those goals, we did not require masks to be worn by our students but encourage that they be worn. It was not and is not a mandate. This decision was and remains the decision of the parents. The same with our teachers. Earlier last school year, our teachers were asked to wear them while in close proximity to their students; that request remains the same. The CDC has advised that we all wash hands regularly, stay socially distant and wear a face mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. We do emphasize the continuous washing of the hands and again encourage the wearing of facemasks.
- In the short term, we will limit parents and others on the campus unless they are working on a specific task (like working in the lunchroom or providing extra tutoring, etc.).
- We will limit indoor larger public gatherings on the campus for the near term. We have already moved what would have been a wonderful “Back to School” gathering to a virtual setting tonight. (Our teachers are as disappointed as I am sure the rest of us are.)
- We will continue to communicate directly to the parents of an individual grade level if we are informed of a positive COVID test.
- Just like last year, it was God’s provision and the vigilance of parents that limited the spread of COVID in our school. You, the parents made the difference. Parents held their child(ren) home if there was a cold, a cough, or the sniffles. They got their child tested and did not reintroduce the child until they were sure we were safe. This year we are relying on the same efforts and protection.
As far as a student contracting COVID: the ill student(s) can return to school and end isolation once the following are met:
- 10 days out from the start of the symptoms, AND
- Fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication, AND
- Symptoms have improved.
As far as direct exposure but not yet ascertaining whether the student is infected: it’s the parent’s prerogative of whether to keep the child home or send him or her to school. However, we strongly request that if there are any signs of illness please have the student tested, and only then return after receiving a negative test. Direct exposure may be in the classroom, at home, at other extracurricular or social activities.
As far as having cold, fever, cough or other symptoms, again we will rely on the vigilance of our parents. Erring on the side of caution served us and will continue to serve us.
Other school action steps include:
- We have contracted with a new cleaning service who is thoroughly cleaning our classrooms. They are advised to do an expanded effort when there has been a positive test or a possible direct exposure by one of the students in the specific class.
- In addition, our facilities manager does a deep clean in any classroom possibly impacted.
- We remain contracted with Cintas, a national provider and expert, who provides our cleaning materials. We continue to have hand washing solution stations throughout the campus and our faculty emphasize the need for regular washing.
- We will continue to check the temperature of all students who have been absent regardless of the reasons.
- We continue to review the CDC, State of Georgia, and Forsyth County schools for information and data.
In addition, our dedicated teachers and administrators are working diligently in teams to augment the daily class room lessons for those students who must or choose to stay temporarily at home. We are finalizing that information; more details will follow this week.
Finally, we are praying for God’s protection and wisdom so that we may make decisions that may not always please everyone, but will serve our community to the best of our ability. We thank you for your love for CCA and all your efforts on our community’s behalf.