Friday, January 8, 2021
Dear MGCS Families,
Thank you for your continued support and understanding during our scheduled time of distance learning. We are very grateful for our MGCS community. Our students have been working on a memory passage, and a portion of this scripture points directly to Christ’s ultimate rule and sovereignty over and above all the drama that is occurring in our times:
“…God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Philippians 2:9-11)
Our faculty and staff are ready and excited to welcome our students back for on-campus learning beginning Monday, January 11th. Hang on parents, help is on the way!
Below are reminders and updated information to help you and your family make a smooth transition back to campus. If you have any questions please let us know.
- On-campus, in person classes resume next Monday, Jan. 11th. Please review the current morning drop-off and afternoon pickup locations and procedures on our MGCS Onboarding page
- COVID information and expectations for our return to campus can be found on our “Returning to Campus” pages.”
- Parents, please continue home health screenings to ensure that your child is well before returning to school. If you feel your student has been exposed to Covid within 24 hours of coming to school, please keep them home and notify our school nurse, Jennifer Bunch firstname.lastname@example.org for further instructions .
- Our Girls and Boys Basketball and Cheer seasons will proceed as scheduled. Parents of athletes will be notified about changes to these schedules as soon as possible via email.
- Construction of the Outdoor Learning Village has begun! Our sincere thanks to all who are making this building possible. The Outdoor Learning Environment and all the acreage across King’s Highway from our main campus will be closed until further notice. We will be putting a number safety and security measures in place in the coming weeks. The OLV will be located in the woods across King’s Highway from our main campus. Please be aware of construction vehicles entering or exiting that area. More details and updates to follow.
- Electives for our middle school students are scheduled to begin on Tuesday January 19.
- Middle school grade levels will be allowed to intermingle depending on elective choices. Schedules will be out by the end of next week. Spanish and Physical Education classes will follow homeroom class groupings for the second semester.
- Enrichment classes (Art, Music…etc.) for our elementary grades are scheduled to meet in their own rooms beginning on Tuesday January 19.
- For your planning purposes, our draft MGCS Academic Calendar for 2021-2022 will be shared with our MGCS Community next Friday, January 15th.
- Our Admission Open House will be held on January 21 and 28. Please invite any potential friends/families to sign up online at MGCS.ORG. Available slots for tours are filling up very quickly.
- Priority re-enrollment for current families ends on Friday January 22. Completing the re-enrollment process reserves your child’s space for the 2021-2022 school year. Newly admitted families will be allowed to enroll beginning February 1.
- Casual Day – Friday Jan 15. This is also a ½ day.
- We commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday January 18. No school for students and faculty.
- Don’t forget to order lunch. You can place your child’s lunch order for next week at MyHotLunchBox.
Thank you for choosing Myrtle Grove Christian School. Happy New Year!
Head of School
MGCS has developed four alert levels of operation for the 2020-2021 school year. This plan will be continuously evaluated and updated as new information is provided by health professionals.
Green Level 1 – In-Person Instruction with Minimal Modifications
Yellow Level 2 – In-Person Instruction with Restricted Operations
Orange Level 3 – Hybrid Instruction: Optional In-Person Instruction with Additional Restricted Operations or Enhanced Virtual Learning Program
Red Level 4 – Remote Learning – All In-Person Instruction Suspended
Updated – 12/15/2020
MGCS will be remote learning from November 30 – December 18.
Christmas break December 19 – January 4
Planned remote learning continues January 5 – 8
On-campus classes resume January 11
MGCS will remain under the YELLOW alert level when on-campus classes resume on January 11. More details of this updated YELLOW plan are outlined below.
The MGCS learning environment looks different in many ways as we manage the challenges of a global pandemic; however, our love for our Lord and the MGCS Community, commitment to the highest quality education, and qualities that make MGCS who we are have not changed. In order to create a learning environment that provides an extra level of safety for our students and staff, the following guidelines will be implemented:
- Attendance requirements will be relaxed for the 2020-2021 school year as parents determine wellness needs.
- All students K-8 grade will be issued a school Chromebook. Teachers will continue to incorporate digital learning tools such as Google Suites and demonstrate how these tools are used for learning both in the classroom and remotely.
- K-5 grade students and teachers will be able to mix at grade level only. For example, both 2nd grade homeroom classes will be allowed to mix, however, 2nd grades classes will not be allowed to mix with 3rd grade classes.
- 6-8 grade students and teachers will be mixing within the grade levels.
- Furniture, such as desks or tables, in classrooms are arranged so that students are separated from one another by at least 3 to 6 feet when possible. If it is not possible to arrange seating 3 to 6 feet apart, MGCS will use protective barriers such as clear acrylic to create a divide between students. All Middle School tables will have clear acrylic dividers.
- In some cases where group work or collaboration is needed (such as the STEM Lab), MGCS will continue the use of face coverings, but will no longer require additional face shields. Interactive collaboration times will remain limited and student groups will be designated.
- Enrichment classes will begin to meet in designated areas with classes rotating to enrichment spaces. Proper disinfection of contact surfaces will be done in between classes. Weather permitting, P.E. classes will be encouraged to be outdoors.
- Middle School electives will begin on January 19th. These classes may include a mix of 6-8 grade students.
- Chapel will remain virtual with some limited in-person attendance.
- Tribes will meet both virtually and in small groups with proper social distancing.
Early Education programs present some of the most unique challenges during this season. Social distancing and face masks will be a part of the daily learning environment, but some exceptions will be necessary in order to maintain an effective preschool program.
- Preschool students will remain in homeroom classes and will stay together as much as possible throughout their day.
- Preschoolers will still participate in some group activities such as morning meetings, read-alouds, etc. During these times face masks will be used.
- In the event of a COVID-19 exposure or positive case, any affected preschool class will be asked to follow the CDC recommended 10-day quarantine. There will be no tuition reimbursement for any student or individual homeroom needing to quarantine.
- All preschool families will have access to the remote learning program materials and instruction during the school wide RED level 4 learning protocol.
- In the event that MGCS officially moves to the school-wide RED level 4 remote learning protocol, preschool families will be given a 25% credit of the next month’s tuition payment. Continued tuition payments are needed to ensure that teachers and staff can provide the remote learning programs.
Per guidelines set by NC Health Department and other agencies, MGCS has incorporated additional cleaning and sanitization procedures. During the school year you can expect the following:
- Increased sanitation of restroom facilities.
- Increased frequency of cleaning classrooms and high touch surfaces throughout the school day.
- Increased frequency of cleaning the gym, physical education/athletic equipment.
- Hand sanitizer dispensers/bottles in every classroom, at all large restroom locations, and at every entrance and exit.
- Installation of more efficient filtration systems on all HVAC equipment.
- Enhanced deep cleaning of the building weekly specifically targeting high touch surfaces such as walls, lockers and classroom furniture.
Faculty, staff and students all have a responsibility in helping us keep a clean and healthy school environment. faculty will continue to teach students to practice healthy habits that will help prevent the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. During the school year you can expect the following:
- Students will be instructed on proper hand washing and additional ways to protect themselves and others (e.g. keeping hands away from face, how to remove face coverings, covering coughs and sneezes, etc.).
- Teachers will provide time for frequent student hand washing throughout the day.
- Water fountains will be closed off and not accessible. MGCS has installed touchless filtered water bottle filling stations in each building. Students must bring their own water bottles to school and use bottle filling stations.
- Students must store their own supplies in pencil boxes or pencil pouches. We will not be sharing these types of supplies.
- Signage throughout the building will be posted to assist with social distancing and as a reminder of safe hygiene practices.
- Middle school teachers and students will sanitize seating areas regularly..
- Elementary teachers will sanitize tables, desks, and toys, etc. throughout the day.
MGCS will require the use of face coverings for all students Pre-K through 8th grade.
- Face coverings must be a minimum of 3-ply material and may not contain a one-way valve. Students may choose their own style, but they should fit comfortably and cover both the mouth and nose. Coverings may have patterns/prints as long as the pattern or print does not contain offensive or divisive words, messages or pictures. The administration will determine the appropriateness of any questionable masks.
- Neck gaiter/scarf-style masks are often made of synthetic stretchy materials and will not be allowed. This material is often thin for improved breathability, which means it has a decreased ability to filter respiratory droplets and therefore not considered by MGCS to be an approved style mask.
- Requests for face covering exemptions may be made for medical reasons and must be submitted in writing to the school nurse and accompanied by a note from your child’s pediatrician or primary care physician.
- MGCS teachers will be permitted to wear face shields while actively instructing in order to allow students to see facial expressions and to hear pronunciation. Face coverings will be required at all other times.
The success of our plan to remain open for in-person instruction relies heavily on our community’s commitment to proper self-screening and strictly adhering to the “stay home if symptomatic” policies.
- Every family must complete the daily self-screening checklist for every child attending MGCS. Verbal confirmation will be validated every morning. The self-screening questions and checklist is available here.
- Daily temperature checks will be required for every student, staff and visitor. Students will be checked every morning with a non-contact thermal scanner when they enter their homerooms class.
- Any child with a temperature of 99 degrees or higher will be sent to the nurse’s office to be checked with an oral thermometer. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be sent home.
- If your child is showing signs of illness such as: fever (100.4), chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new cough, loss of taste or smell, vomiting, diarrhea or excessive fatigue, please do not send him/her to school until you see no symptoms for a minimum of 48 hours. He/she must also be fever-free without any fever-reducing medicines for a minimum of 48 hours. (ex. If they leave at 11:30 A.M. on Tuesday, they will not be able to return until 11:30 A.M. on Thursday).
- If a student is sick or becomes sick at school, that student will be brought to the Nurse’s Office. The school nurse will contact the parents or guardians to discuss symptoms. Special attention will be made to thoroughly clean and sanitize areas the sick student had contact with.
While our goal is to mitigate and reduce the possibility of a COVID-19 case at MGCS, how we manage a positive case will be vital in preventing any possible community spread. We recognize that each circumstance is different and the administration will review the specific circumstances of each case. As each situation presents itself, MGCS will collaborate with medical professionals to make an appropriate plan of action.
- If a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19, they should stay home and should not come to the school property for a minimum 10 days from the first day that symptoms appeared. The student must also be fever-free for 48 hours prior to returning. The school requests to be notified immediately of any COVID-19 case within our MGCS community and immediate family members.
- If we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 within our student body or faculty/staff during in-person instruction, the MGCS community will be notified and the building / classroom(s) will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, according to CDC guidelines.
- In the event of a positive COVID-19 case in one classroom, the entire class will move to virtual learning for a minimum of 5 days. During this time, appropriate contact tracing will be done to determine the level of exposure. The quarantine period may extend up to 10 days. Siblings of any students who test positive will be required to quarantine for a 10-day.
- If they have remained symptom-free during the 10-day quarantine period, they may return to school.
- If any student, staff or faculty has been directly exposed to COVID-19, he/she should notify the school and self-quarantine for a 10-day period. Exposure is defined by the CDC as: Anyone who has had close contact (within 6 feet) for 15 minutes or longer within a 24 hour period.
- Weather permitting, outdoor activities will be encouraged, including outdoor learning opportunities. Recess and lunch play, as well as physical education classes, will take place outdoors weather permitting.
- Students will eat lunches either in their classrooms, at socially distanced cafeteria tables or in designated outdoors locations. The cafeteria will continue to provide lunches from My Hot Lunch Box each day. Lunches will be delivered to classrooms for students grades K-5 in order to reduce lunch line congestion. Middle school students will be brought by the teacher to get lunches in grade level groups.
- The cafeteria will not be selling items during the YELLOW alert level. All orders must be done online through My Hot Lunch Box.
- Snacks will not be sold by the cafeteria during YELLOW alert level.
- At this time there will be no “heat up” lunches. Students must bring a lunch that does not require a microwave.
- All school field trips will be evaluated on an individual basis.
- Early Morning and Afterschool care will continue under the YELLOW alert level with some modifications.
- Boys and Girls basketball will continue as scheduled.
- Spectators are limited to immediate family members only. Screening questions and temperature checks will be required for in-person attendance.
- Games will be live streamed.
- MGCS will continue to be guided by current CDC and NCISAA COVID-19 recommendations.
In order to establish and maintain a healthy learning environment, visitation will be restricted under the YELLOW alert level.
- The school will remain closed to visitors.
- In the event an in-person meeting is necessary, an appointment will be required. Please contact your child’s teacher if you would like to schedule an in-person visit or virtual meeting.
- Visitors must check-in at the main office and adhere to appropriate screening and temperature checks upon arrival.
Morning Drop Off and Dismissal
In order to reduce congestion, morning drop-off and dismissal will be modified.
- No one except students may exit vehicles. Our friendly staff will assist all students in getting them into their classrooms in a safe and comforting manner.
- MGCS will have three designated drop-off locations. Self-screening confirmations and temperature scans will take place in homerooms classes.
- Dismissal will remain staggered by grade level beginning with Kindergarten. Designated dismissal locations will be assigned to reduce congestion.
In compliance with recent CDC recommendations, MGCS asks families to follow these carpooling guidelines .
- When traveling in a vehicle with anyone other than your immediate family, all individuals should wear MGCS recommended style face coverings.
Is there an online program option available while in-person instruction is provided?
- At this time, MGCS encourages all students to attend in-person instruction. However, we understand that not every student may feel comfortable or able to attend due to a high risk medical condition. For this reason, MGCS will be using a flexible attendance policy. While in-person classes are taking place, all assignments will be posted daily (by 4:00 PM) for those students that are remote learning. This will be an assignment-based option that will require parental guidance. While some instructional videos may be posted, they are only intended to supplement classroom instruction.
Will I still be able to celebrate my child’s birthday while the school operates under the YELLOW alert level?
- In order to protect the health and safety of our community, visitors will not be allowed. Any treats brought to share with the class must be prepacked and approved by the classroom teacher.
When should I keep my child home from school?
- If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms within the past 48 hours, they should stay home and you should consult your healthcare provider: Fever (100.4),Chills, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new cough, loss of taste or smell, vomiting, diarrhea or excessive fatigue. In addition, if your child has had direct exposure to someone with COVID-19, they should quarantine for 10 days and monitor symptoms.
If I need to drop off lunches/items or check out my student what should I do?
- When you arrive at the school visitors are required to come to the front office entrance and communicate with the front office from outside the building utilizing our bell intercom system. If you are checking out a student please remain under the front office overhang until your student meets you outside.