Dear Parents and Families,

Given the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis that is spreading through our country, I want to assure you that we are monitoring the situation closely. Based on information, we have at this time, we will continue to operate Gethsemane Christian Academy with face-to-face learning kindergarten to 8th grade at 10 students or less in each class. This will give some clarity as the protocol for the school year. If the situation should change, we will notify you immediately. As we continue in Phase 2 of the Louisiana order, all students in kindergarten to 5th grade will attend school each day with students spaced 6 to 8 feet apart.

Students will remain in their static groups for the duration of the day and students will eat lunch in their classroom. All students in 6th-8th grade will attend school on a hybrid schedule.

As we prepare for the future, if the Louisiana order moves our state to PHASE ONE, ALL students will attend classes virtual using the “Zoom Conference Program”. Attendance and parent/teacher conferences will be monitored through “Zoom Conference Program”. ALL parents/students will receive a zoom schedule from their teacher with the day and time of each class.

We do ask each parent to log on to your “Gradelink Communication Board” for undated school news, teacher communication portal for grades and attendance information. Please visit our school website “www.gethsemanechristianacademy.com” weekly for news and information. Students will be required to complete their assigned textbooks and resource websites such as education.com (Prek-2nd), edulastic.com (3rd-8th), readworks.org (2nd-8th), khanacademy.org(3rd-8th). All parents will receive a link to our quick school communication portal (remind.com) for weekly up-to-date information from our school, community and from our state news. For more information about decreasing the spread of COVID-19, please visit www.louisianabelieves.com or the www.cdc.gov.

Effective September 8th and for the foreseeable future, we will be taking extra precautions to ward off Coronavirus. We are taking these extra steps to support the health and safety of your children, your family and our staff.

Please take note of the following changes to our policies and procedures:

Check-In and Pick-Up

  • All parents will drop off students at the school entrance (drop off/pick up line) where a staff member will greet the students. Parents and other family members will not be allowed inside the building. Prior to parents leaving the school, a trained staff member will take the temperature of their child(ren) and ask parents the following questions:
    • Do you live with anyone or have you had close contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
    • Do you or anyone in your household have a fever (taken fever medicine), consistent cough and/or shortness of breath within the last 24 hours?
    • Do you or your child(ren) have any other signs of communicable illness such as a cold or flu?
  • Students and staff will be required to wash their hands immediately upon entering the building and hourly throughout the day. When children are received for drop-off, they will be escorted into the nearest bathroom where their hands will be washed prior to being brought to their classroom. Students may also use the hand sanitation station located at the entrance of the building and at the entrance of their classroom.
  • Upon your arrival to pick up your child, a staff member will bring your child out to you. Before leaving at the end of the school day, students may receive a temperature reading. This is to ensure that students have been fever free upon leaving the school. We ask that you stay in your vehicle during dismissal (using the school identification car tags) as we escort your child to your vehicle. Doing so will limit direct contact and help us to maintain social distancing.

Healthy Environment

  • We will separate children into smaller groups that fall within state or local guidelines.
  • We will not share equipment and will clean equipment between uses.
  • All classrooms will remain separated to reduce the number of children in one area and to reduce the possibility of viral transmission.
  • Staff will disinfect high-touch surfaces, such as door handles, light switches, faucets, toys and games that children play with at least once daily.
  • We will perform an enhanced deep cleaning every night in all areas, on all touched surfaces.
  • Staff will have access to anti-bacterial hand sanitizers and disposable gloves and use them as needed.
  • Staff will wash/scrub their hands and children’s hands a minimum of hourly (noted by the CDC as the most effective preventive measure).
  • No program tours will be given until further notice to reduce the number of visitors in the building.

Meal Preparation & Service

  • All surfaces will be disinfected before meal preparation and feedings using CDC- or EPA-approved products.
  • All staff will wash hands before and after meal preparation and feeding.
  • Each child’s meal will be plated and served by staff, instead of served family-style.

Child Health

  • Staff will receive education on COVID-19 symptoms as well as preventive measures.
  • Children who start to experience symptoms of respiratory illness, including a fever of >100.4 while at school, will be isolated from other children until they can be picked up.
  • Until further notice, all program field trips will be suspended.

Staff Health & Wellness

  • Staff will receive additional training on infection control and workplace disinfection.
  • Staff will not share their phone, devices or meal or utensils with one another or children.
  • Staff will check their temperature at the beginning of each shift and notify their supervisor if >100.4 as well as self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and notify their supervisor if any develop (fever or respiratory symptoms).
  • Staff will wash their hands immediately upon entering the program and immediately prior to leaving.
  • Staff will not be allowed to work if they are feeling ill (signs and symptoms of COVID-19) or experiencing respiratory symptoms.

Tuition

  • No unpaid vacation weeks will be allowed to be used by families during this time period.
  • As long as we are open and your child is in attendance (face to face, hybrid or virtual learning), tuition will be due in full. This includes if we are only open for a portion of a week and need to close for the remainder of the week.
  • At this time, if the state forces a closure for an extended period of time, ALL tuition will still be due to retain a spot for your child.

Communication

  • If the current situation changes and it becomes necessary to update our procedures or close our school temporarily, we will notify all families using our communication board with GRADELINK and REMIND APP.
  • You may follow our school communication page “Gradelink.com” “remind app” or our school website www.gethsemanechristianacademy.com or www.katc.com for late-breaking program updates.

Recap:

Your safety and well-being is very important. As the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to expand, Louisiana has also increased its testing capacity and officials will detect more cases across the country. The information now available suggests that most COVID-19 cases are mild. Nonetheless, it is important that we practice cough and sneeze etiquette: cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. Use the inside of your elbow if a tissue is not readily available. Wash or clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Be sure to clean and disinfect high-touch objects and surfaces like doorknobs, tables and faucets at least daily. Maintaining these practices will help minimize the potential for spreading the virus.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we implement these new procedures. Our goal is to minimize disruption while at the same time keeping you, your family and our staff healthy and well.

Sincerely,

Mae C. Winbush, Director/Owner