COVID-19 Updates & Information

Back to School COVID-19 Health and Safety Update

August 15, 2020

The Connection School’s mission is partner with parents to "love God with all of their hearts, souls, and minds, and to love others as themselves.” We value the opportunity to learn and grow in community as we implement a Christian Classical education based on scripture and the seven liberal arts. We are planning on joining together this 2020-2021 school year on campus with live instruction and in community.

With this, we are following the Texas Attorney General's guidance that affirms the right for Religious Schools to determine the best health practices for their school. Below you will find a summary of the TCS Covid-19 Safety and Response plan we will use as a guide for a safe and effective school year.

The Connection School Health and Safety Committee recently developed a plan for the purpose of reducing the risk of exposure and spread of the COVID-19 virus among those present on campus at The Connection School for the 2020-2021 school year. While it is not possible to eliminate the entire risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, this plan serves to put measures in place to minimize the risk while still maintaining a successful educational program. All faculty members, parents, students, volunteers, and visitors are required to abide by The Connection School’s COVID-19 plan and any additional measures implemented by the TCS Health & Safety Committee as a condition of their participation with The Connection School.

Summary of Preventative and Response Measures
The Connection School will enact at least the following preventative and response measures in the effort to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread on campus:

• All faculty, students, volunteers, and visitors (parents and otherwise) are encouraged to stay home if they are feeling sick.
• All faculty, students, volunteers, and visitors (parents and otherwise) present on campus will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms or recent contact with COVID-19 confirmed persons.
• Symptom screening will be verified with a temperature check.
• All areas will be cleaned and disinfected at least once per day.
• High contact areas will be cleaned and disinfected at least twice per day or between student group changes.
• Sharing of common items will be reduced or items will be cleaned and disinfected between uses
• Cleaning and disinfection products known to be effective against the COVID-19 virus in a matter of minutes and safe to be used around children will be used.
• More frequent hand washing and sanitizing will be implemented.
• Students and faculty members will participate in education regarding good hygiene practices, germ awareness, and common illness symptom and spread.
• All faculty, students, volunteers, and visitors (parents and otherwise), must have a mask for use during certain times of interactions or entering certain indoor spaces.
• Masks covering the nose and mouth will be required to be worn in certain contexts, but faculty and students may choose to wear their mask more frequently at their own discretion.
• All faculty, students, volunteers, and visitors (parents and otherwise) must maintain social distancing to the best of their ability and as directed by school authorities.
• Student groupings among classes or grade level groups will be maintained as much as possible.
• Personal plastic shields or barriers are to be used by students when seated at their desks or tables and cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis.
• Personal seat cushions may be used by students and cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis.
• Personal belongings must be kept a safe distance away from others and their belongings.
• Outdoor areas will be utilized more frequently and more time outdoors will be encouraged.
• Ventilation of indoor spaces of outdoor air circulation will be increased.
• Air purifiers and air cleaners will be used indoors.
• Those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will be immediately isolated from others while on campus until they are able to go home.
• Those presumed to have or tested positive to have COVID-19 are not allowed on campus until the contagion period has passed.
• Contact tracing based on student and faculty schedules will be implemented for the purpose of exposure notification.
• Possible or confirmed exposure to the COVID-19 virus will be communicated to families as applicable.
• Virtual Learning or Distance Education will be implemented for extended student absences related to COVID-19 and in the case of school closure where in-person instruction will not be capable.
• Large group gatherings and assemblies will not take place where certain precautions such as screening, cleaning and disinfecting, distancing, and contact tracing cannot be reasonably accomplished.
• Visitors (TCS families/volunteers) will be limited and must schedule visits in advance with the school office and are required to abide by recommended TCS health and safety procedures.
• Other visitors should contact the school office upon arrival and will be greeted outside as much as possible.
• Signage will be posted to remind those on campus of COVID-19 safety measures.

Levels of Instruction
The Connection School established three levels of instruction for the 2020-2021 school year based on the ability to operate school in person as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our faculty and administration are prepared to provide quality lessons in all three levels. These levels are not choices, but rather various mediums as part of an escalated plan for the occurrence of COVID-19 related conditions which would impact in-person instruction.

Level 1: This is the primary plan for 2020-2021 enrollment. It includes live, in-person instruction on campus with all students in attendance using health and safety protocols. We will incorporate elements of distance learning as homework assignments periodically to practice and use more effectively in the event it is needed in the future or in short notice.

Level 2: This includes live in-person instruction on campus for the majority of students with some students utilizing distance learning if needed for extended student absences related to COVID-19 circumstances. We will offer daily lessons for core classes through distance learning tools using Google Classroom and Google Meet and additional instructions regarding assignments to be completed at home in order to remain on track with the course curriculum.

Level 3: This includes no live, in-person instruction with all students participating in distance learning due to school closure in the case of area or school-wide emergency conditions related to COVID-19. We do not plan to go to this level unless we do not have a choice. This level of distance learning will offer daily lessons for core classes using Google Classroom and Google Meet. This will include but is not limited to, scheduled live and recorded daily lessons, lesson plans for assignments, scheduled conference times, and instructions for returning assignments for feedback and grading.