We are Surviving and Thriving during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Updated: 2 days ago
Resuming In-Person Learning:
Last summer, our administrators worked around the clock to develop a plan for resuming in-person learning and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses. Read about the changes that have made it possible for Lindsay Lane Christian Academy students to receive the spiritual, academic, and social support they need to thrive.
When COVID-19 led to school closures roughly one year ago, parents around the nation and world were worried about how their children’s academic progress and mental health would be impacted by not being physically at school. School administrators and educators, invested in seeing students succeed, had the same concerns as well. During the summer of 2020, Lindsay Lane Christian Academy’s administrators worked with a team of local officials, healthcare professionals and parents preparing a plan that would resume in-person learning as soon as possible for students and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on all three campuses.
We’ll always look back on this date and remember how God was faithful to help us achieve what had once seemed impossible. Getting to this point wasn’t easy. It required flexibility and patience on everyone’s part, and it still does, but being able to create a safe educational environment for our community, while continuing to make disciples of Jesus Christ, makes it all worthwhile. Investing in Health and Safety
Close to $50,000.00 in health and safety investments were made at LLCA, where 535 students are enrolled, and additional investments continue to be made. Listed below are some additions that have played an instrumental role in keeping students/staff healthy and maintaining an uninterrupted classroom environment:
· Additional sanitization of high touchpoint areas more frequently
· 24 High-definition cameras in new laptop computers in classrooms to serve students whose parents feel more comfortable with them learning from home for a season and students who are quarantined or are not feeling well. These cameras allow them to tune in to classes in real-time and not miss a beat academically.
· 7 Electrostatic spraying machines that use hospital-grade disinfectant.
· Multiple hand sanitizer stations in hallways, entrances, and cafeterias
· Face Shields/ masks were provided for teachers working closely in classrooms, reception offices, and other areas on campus.
· Multiple infrared thermometers to take every student and staff member’s temperature daily.
· Global Plasma Solutions ionization for HVAC systems at the West Campus. Implementing New Protocols
To further protect the student body and staff, new protocols were introduced and are still being observed on campus:
Face covering requirement — face mask or face shield — for students in 2nd through 12th grade and staff in hallways or common areas. Optional for:
o Early Childhood students, which includes Preschool-1st grade once in their classroom
o Students participating in team sports after school
o Students actively eating lunch
o Students facing the same direction during class
Daily temperature checks for all students and staff to confirm they have a temperature below 100 degrees Fahrenheit Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols Self-isolation areas where students who develop any symptoms during the school day can wait for their parents to arrive Socially distanced seating (when applicable) in cafeterias, assemblies, and weekly chapels
Addressing Positive Cases
In an effort to maintain ongoing transparency with families, an email is sent to all staff and every parent designated to receive the communication. Without using specific names of students, classes and teachers are identified as well as the last day they were present on any campus, as well as symptoms experienced when possible. With each positive case, the protocol described in the Plan to Return to School Safely is followed and actions are taken to sanitize areas affected. In the event a student or staff member tests positive, school relies on parents to use the provided information to decide whether or not to quarantine at home for 10 days after their last contact with the individual unless symptoms occur. Thankfully, there has been a minimal amount of in-school transmission at LLCA. The fact is that 2020-2021 has recorded less students being sick than in past years. The individual who tests positive is required to quarantine for 10 days and must show improvement in symptoms before returning back to school. Students and staff members who are quarantined and feel well enough to work are able to log into classes from home via Google Meet. We are seeing a majority of student cases develop outside of school. Approximately 7% of our student body has tested positive since the 2020-21 school year began.
This data aligns with research shared by CDC experts in a recent opinion piece published in the Journal of the American Medical Association — a peer-reviewed medical journal published by the American Medical Association. The article states that “there has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission”.
Researchers from Duke University arrived at the same conclusion as well. According to Sallie Permar, MD, PhD, a professor of pediatrics and immunology at Duke, super spreader situations are unlikely to happen in schools. “The fear that you’d have one infected kid come to school, and then you’d have many other kids and teachers and relatives [at home] get infected — that hasn’t happened (Boyle, 2020).” Creating Experiences and Memories
“Children absolutely need to return to in-school learning for their healthy development and well-being, and so safety in schools and in the community must be a priority.” –American Academy of Pediatrics President, Lee Savio Beers, M.D., FAAP
While physical health is a priority during this season, meeting students’ mental, emotional, and spiritual needs are equally important. Despite school and certain activities looking different this year, God has blessed LLCA with the opportunity to provide meaningful and healthy experiences for its students who have endured so much this past year due to COVID. At school, kids can be kids. As a staff member and parent, there’s nothing like hearing laughter and chatter in the halls between classes, the bustle of lively discussions taking place in the classroom, and shrieks of joy from our youngest Lions running around on the playground. These are the sounds of childhood and innocence. Planning for the remainder of this year and 2021-2022
Governor Kay Ivey has announced that the mask mandate will end on April 9th. LLCA will make masks optional for all grades and staff members at the same time. The other protocols will continue through the end of the school year with the exception of taking temperatures upon arrival. This measure has not proven to be useful. Temperatures will be taken if students do not feel well.
As vaccines continue to be administered in North Alabama, and the region gets closer to achieving herd immunity, LLCA’s ultimate goal is to ease protocols that are currently in place. At this point, we are planning for the 2021-22 school year, which begins in six months, in regular fashion. However, the school’s administrators will continue to ask the Lord for wisdom, analyze data, and seek input from families and staff, as they work to determine the best path forward. If this school year has taught us anything, it’s that God can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, so whatever 2021-22 brings, we can be confident that God will direct our steps, be with us, and move in the lives of our students.
If you are a prospective parent interested in seeing the safeguards that were mentioned in this article for yourself, or if you have any questions about Lindsay Lane Christian Academy’s in-person education, take a virtual tour at lindsaylanechristianacademy.org or call for an in-person campus tour.