FCS will be hosting an online, live Question & Answer meeting Monday, August 10, at 6PM. Meeting details will be provided on the Band App and school Facebook Page:

UPDATE (8/11/2020): Here is a link to our Zoom question and answer session from Monday evening (click here).

 

FCS is currently planning for return to in-person teaching for the fall and 2020-2021 school year. In light of the current season we all find ourselves in, we have received quite a few questions regarding COVID-19 and the ministry. Here are just a few of those questions and answers:


How is public school opening different than FCS, in light of COVID-19?

First, we pray for the public schools and all those around us all of the time. They are in a tough place and are held to tremendous pressures to provide schooling for thousands of students while keeping them all safe. Many have a much larger body of students and less space and are also required to provide equitable services to include transportation and food service. We also provide equitable services but take care of a much smaller population of students and already have a much smaller number of students in our classroom spaces. We have a lot of family support (our ministry family is amazing). We are also given WFIS guidance that is geared more towards smaller schools, with fewer students. With fewer students, we also are able to provide necessary tools for our students to succeed both remotely and in-person, although we feel the majority of people do better with in-person lessons as we like to engage students with hands on learning and experience. In addition, we have the time to speak with all of our students and families. We aren’t overwhelmed with large classroom sizes.

What happens if someone in the school gets COVID-19?

While this has not been the case during the 2019-2020 school year or with in-person 2020 Summer Camp, we are prepared to follow necessary protocols (both cleaning, notification and monitoring) and have outlined specific procedures for all students, staff and families. This includes providing remote learning for any students required to quarantine/isolate.

In 2019-2020, we stayed connected with all of our families and students throughout remote/online learning and continued a regular school day (teaching from 8:30-3:30pm, with scheduled breaks). Rather than change the schedule to be unavailable to all of the families and students, we opened up our availability and worked with any families in need of less screen time or any other modifications. We felt it was very important to stay connected and continue to lead and teach all of our students.

How have we prepared for 2020-2021?

Before remote learning became a requirement in 2019-2020, we put in a place a plan that kept all of our students and families connected and learning on their regular school schedule (unless other arrangements were necessary for working families). We have continued to reflect on the model, policies and procedures we put in place and have also created a specific plan for the 2020-2021 school year (adjusting as any new information is presented to us). Our remote learning consisted of two platforms (Vedamo and Google Classroom), to supply staff with necessary tools for teaching and students the face to face learning and engagement.

Other strategies include:

 

  • Face shields for students, faculty, and staff. So far this has not been used for students under 7, at Summer Camp and has been limited to specific times for older students, because we have implemented more distancing and outdoor learning, instead. Children are active and we are keeping this in mind as we make all of our decisions and watch protocols we have implemented.
  • Cancelling field trips that require large congregations of people and request parent help with chaperoning and splitting kids into smaller groups for outdoor field trips.
  • Rearranging student desks to maximize the space between students. Turn desks to face in the same direction, rather than facing each other, to reduce transmission caused by virus-containing droplets (e.g., from talking, coughing, sneezing).
  • Reducing the number of students in the halls at one time (recess & passing period).
  • Staggering release of classes.
  • Limiting activities in which multiple classrooms interact in small spaces.
  • Dismissing students through intercom and walkie talkie system with staggered pick-up and pick up tags (hanging from front mirror of car). Students will wait in their classrooms for pick up rather than mass congregation. We will have 2 pick up lanes and parents will pick up through those two lanes (no picking up from the classroom).
  • Limiting nonessential visitors. Limit the presence of volunteers for classroom activities, visiting readers, lunch support, and other activities until guided to do otherwise.
  • Keeping students outside more, as weather and space permits.
  • Putting lessons/teachings online for students that miss school due to COVID-19.
  • Keeping student supplies separated.
  • Continuous disinfecting and cleaning (especially of high touch surfaces).
  • Continued good hygiene practicing (avoiding face touching and washing hands frequently).
  • Health screenings and temperature checks (temperature checks take less than half of a second, since we purchased door check thermometers and they are already in use for Summer Camp).
In addition we sent out a family-wide survey to gain additional insights, concerns and considerations.
We know that in order for kids to thrive, they need to feel loved and comfortable and their teachers need to feel the same. We have taken this into full consideration as we’ve put our procedures and protocols into place for the 2020-2021 school year.

2020-2021 CURRENT UPDATE, PLANS & PROCEDURES

(July 19, 2020)

Our plan is still to return in the fall to in-person teaching for the 2020-2021 school year. We are headed into our fifth week of Summer Camp and have had a great summer program with no disruptions. With that being said, we would very much like all families to complete the survey we sent out in our last email so we can discuss any other concerns that arise in the survey. It’s very important to us that we receive input from all of you. This allows us to plan for and provide remote services for any families requesting it. It also gives us a better idea of what FCS families are most concerned about in the upcoming year.
As questions arise, we are adding them to our FAQ page.

 

(July 2, 2020)

We hope that you are enjoying these first few days of summer. On June 11, Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) released its District Planning Guide for Reopening Washington Schools. In the document, Superintendent Chris Reykdal issued specific guidance for K-12 public and private schools that would be in effect “regardless of what Phase of the Governor’s Safe Start Plan a school’s county is in.” In the plan, the superintendent announced that it is his “expectation that schools will open this fall for in-person instruction.” This pronouncement is encouraging and has informed our planning for the 2020-2021 school year.
In addition to our review of the planning guide for reopening as well as guidance from WFIS and our most recent in person experience with running Summer Camp during the pandemic, we have been able to continue to plan for the 2020-2021 school year and to continue formalizing our specific plan in several areas (student spacing, scheduling/overlap, cleaning & hygiene practices, what to do should someone show symptoms or have COVID). Many of these practices were already put in place at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, but have been detailed to include as many situations as possible.
So far, all has been smooth with our Summer Camp transition. We currently have door temperature screenings (that take less than half of a second) and have continued to engagingly teach the students in person while keeping everyone’s safety in mind (to include continued frequent hand washing, regular cleaning and strategic spacing when possible).
We would very much appreciate your completion of the Guidance and 2020-2021 survey, to help us continue to make any final adjustments/modifications for the 2020-2021 school year.
General Guidance
Students, staff, parents/guardians, or guests will not be permitted on campus if they:
  • are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
Drop-Off and Pick-Up
During drop-off and pick-up, families must try to maintain distancing guidance. This may include staggering drop-off and pick-up times for grade or division groups, greeting students at their vehicle, and/or opening multiple school entrances (each entrance designated to specific grade levels). The front door will still be the only door open after 8:45AM (school starts at 8:30AM) and other open doors will be monitored until they are locked and shut.
Health Screening When Returning to Campus 
There will be daily checks for signs of illness for all staff and students. Staff and students with any signs of illness must stay home. Signs of illness include:
  • A cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • A fever of 100°F or higher or a sense of having a fever
  • A sore throat
  • Chills
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
  • Congestion/running nose – not related to seasonal allergies
  • Unusual fatigue
As part of the health screening (and basic screening parents already did before sending their kids to school), students and staff will be asked to remain at home if:
  • Anyone in the household has any of the above symptoms.
  • They have been in close contact with anyone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
  • They have used any medication to reduce a fever before coming to school.
Physical Distancing
The school will practice physical distancing within each group of students as much as possible, creating space between students, and reducing the amount of time they are in close proximity with each other. We will have to plan creatively about opportunities to increase physical space between students and limit interactions in large group settings or have those activities take place outside.
Fellowship Christian School will consider strategies such as:
  • Face shields for students, faculty, and staff. So far this has not been used for students under 7, at Summer Camp and has been limited to specific times for older students, because we have implemented more distancing and outdoor learning, instead. Children are active and we are keeping this in mind as we make all of our decisions and watch protocols we have implemented.
  • Cancel field trips that require large congregations of people and request parent help with chaperoning and splitting kids into smaller groups for outdoor field trips.
  • Rearrange student desks to maximize the space between students. Turn desks to face in the same direction, rather than facing each other, to reduce transmission caused by virus-containing droplets (e.g., from talking, coughing, sneezing).
  • Reduce the number of students in the halls at one time (recess & passing period).
  • Stagger release of classes.
  • Limit activities in which multiple classrooms interact in small spaces.
  • Dismiss students through intercom and walkie talkie system with staggered pick-up and pick up tags (hanging from front mirror of car). Students will wait in their classrooms for pick up rather than mass congregation. We will have 2 pick up lanes and parents will pick up through those two lanes (no picking up from the classroom).
  • Limit nonessential visitors. Limit the presence of volunteers for classroom activities, visiting readers, lunch support, and other activities until guided to do otherwise.
  • Keep students outside more, as weather and space permits.
  • Put lessons/teachings online for students that miss school due to COVID-19.
  • Keep student supplies separated.
Signs of COVID-19
If a student or staff member develops signs of COVID-19, Fellowship Christian School will separate the person away from others, and will wait at the front office, until the sick person can leave.
While waiting to leave school, the individual with symptoms will wear a cloth face covering or mask. Our staff will clean, and disinfect the areas where the person was after they leave. If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the local health jurisdiction will advise, but it is possible that the student’s classmates will be considered close contacts and need to be quarantined for 14 days so it is vital that sick kids stay home. We did not have any issue with this and did not have to have any students quarantine for the past school year, while we were at the building.
A staff member or student who had signs of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 can return to the program when:
  • At least three days (48 hours) have passed since recovery – defined as no fever without the use of medications and improvement in respiratory signs like cough and shortness of breath; AND
  • At least 10 days have passed since signs first showed up OR it has been at least three days (48 hours) since recovery AND a health care provider has certified that the student does not have suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
In our next update, we will have information on a proposed schedule for the fall, information about fall athletics (if available), and an account of your responses from our survey. As of right now, the WIAA and other middle school leagues have not made final decisions for fall sports. They are contemplating moving fall sports to spring or shortening the season or cancelling all fall sports. They are not allowed to have games until Washington State is in Phase 4 and are allowed to do very little in regard to practices until that point, as well.
This year, we are working with a new middle school league and hoping to open up more athletic opportunities to our younger students, but this will also be contingent on State regulations and guidance. We are currently offering (based on student interest, State phasing and school guidance):
  • Fall: 5th-8th grade boy’s soccer, 8th-12th girls volleyball
  • Winter: 5th-8th grade boys basketball, girls basketball, HS basketball, Tumbling
  • Spring: Golf, Track & Field
As the number of positive coronavirus cases in Washington continues to increase, we urge parents/guardians and families to continue doing the things we need to do to remain as healthy as possible.
Continue to remind your family to follow proper health protocols.
  • Fresh air is good, but kids also need to be reminded to wash their hands frequently and for a long enough time to properly clean them (this will also be helpful with keeping all sickness to the minimum when we return).
  • Healthy eating is also great. Keep filling your bodies with all of the necessary nutrients that combat viruses and keep you as healthy as possible.
  • Shut off devices or the media if they are causing you stress or causing you to say or think things that are not bringing the Lord glory. Remember, ALL media seeks a “like” or “love” or “share” and most will attempt to do this any way they can; it’s how they ALL make money (don’t allow this to consume you).
  • Love on one another (joy, laughter and love are great for your health).
  • Pray. Your words and your prayers are powerful; more so than we know. Use them for His good.

We want to be back in full swing in the fall as much as all of you do and still believe that will be the case. We ask for your continued prayers and continued reminders to all of your kids, families and friends to do as much as they can to help us return and to most of all LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Our purpose in this world is not to return to anything; our purpose is to bring people to Jesus. Every one of our actions should do just that. Allow the Lord to continue to be your focus.