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Good Thoughts From Mr. Goetz– It’s Good to Have a Plan

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick… this nursery rhyme has been going through our minds all summer at Trinity as we prepare and revise our plans for the coming school year. As guidelines are made available, Trinity adds to our plan, always understanding that flexibility is key. 

 

Knowledge is power. Science is our guide. And safety is our top priority, for our students as well as our staff. 

 

While we are still collecting data and input from authorities, we do have specific measures in place I am able to share with certainty. It is my hope that the knowledge of these specific measures will help all of our Trinity families fill in your mental  picture of what the next school year will look like.

 

  • Trinity Lutheran Church and School will be disinfected daily, thanks to the purchase of a Clorox Electrostatic Sprayer. This commercial machine is capable of eliminating germs and viral particles in large areas in a matter of minutes. We also have portable sprayers which will allow us to disinfect school buses immediately after use. We will also use more conventional methods of maximizing air flow by opening windows and taking classes outside when possible.

 

  • Masks will be required for all staff, faculty, students, and visitors. Students will be allowed to take “mask breaks” when appropriate throughout the day, under the guidance and supervision of their teachers.

 

  • Recently the CDC reduced the recommended distance for desk space from 6 feet to 3 feet. To the maximum extent possible, our classrooms will allow for a distance of 6 feet between desks. In some cases, such as the science lab, this may not be possible. 

 

  • Bus transportation will continue, with the added safety measures of twice-a-day disinfecting of vehicles. Masks are required for all passengers, and distancing among passengers will be implemented as much as possible.

 

  • We established an entryway protocol during our summer camp season that will continue for the school year. All students and staff  will undergo a temperature check and will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms either in their cars (for students) or at the door (for faculty and staff). Parents will also be asked to screen their students at home before departing for school.

 

  • Students will learn in a more insulated environment this year, with limited movement throughout the building. Learning communities (or “pods”, if you’ve heard that term lately)  of students and teachers will remain in their respective classrooms all day, including lunchtime. Recess will always be a big part of the school day at Trinity! But instead of the entire lower school going outside together, each class will go out separately in order to give our students plenty of space at recess. 

 

  • In the event of a possible exposure to COVID-19 or a probable case of COVID-19 in our school community, we will work quickly and collectively to notify all families and staff with information and next-step guidelines. 

 

We are all in this together. We are here for each other to learn, but also to hold each other up in times of stress and uncertainty. Please know that your priority and mine are the same: the well-being of our children and school community. Trinity’s plan to start a safe school year together will be adapted as needed, but we will always put our families first.

Kevin Goetz is Trinity’s Head of School.

Good Thoughts From Mr. Goetz: Emilio’s Legacy

 

This is the time of year when schools across the country usually start their “home stretch”. The weather warms up. Recess gets a little more joyful. And the oldest students start to look out the window a little more often, daydreaming of what comes next. Trinity’s eighth grade class has had a lot to process in the past few years, and this year’s ending is not what they thought it would be. I’ve been thinking about how strange and anticlimactic this school year ending must be for our eighth graders. I’ve been reminded, too, of one student we lost who would have graduated this year, and how that loss impacts our current students even now. I’m  very thankful, though, that we were able to celebrate the life of this very special student just before our transition away from the building and into online instruction.

 

 We held our second annual  Emilio’s Fun Run on Friday, March 6th in the gym. All of our students from preschool through eighth grade participated. While our younger students were filled with excitement and school spirit to be a part of this weeklong event, I know that for our soon-to-be grads, our faculty, and for me, this run was about celebrating a boy’s life, and reminding ourselves that we can all make a difference for the better.

 

Emilio was just a 6th grade student when he was diagnosed with cancer in February 2018.  He passed away, surrounded by his family, later that year. He was a gentle soul who was a  friend to everyone he met, and who excelled in his academics. He was also a gifted runner, leading Trinity’s cross country team as both a 5th and 6th grader.  He loved the outdoors, and was participating in Coach Butler’s Outdoor Education program at the time of his diagnosis.  

 

As a community, we wanted to honor Emilio for all of his special traits, so we started a  scholarship fund in his name. Our first Emilio’s Fun Run was held in March 2019, and raised enough money to award a full academic scholarship for one deserving student.  As luck would have it, that student came from Emilio’s own class– Trinity’s Class of 2020.

 

Through the overwhelming support of Trinity families and friends, this year’s Fun Run was another success for Emilio’s scholarship fund. Our students and their families raised almost $10,000. As we move forward, we will again offer either a full scholarship for the 2020-21 school year or several partial scholarships.

 

 You hear a lot about 2020, or 20/20…about 20/20 vision, and hindsight, being perfect, for example. This year’s students of 2020 have nothing certain ahead of them, though, at least for the short term. So I am taking a moment to look back, where things look clear. I see a young man who didn’t know that his legacy was to provide scholarship aid to future students at his school. I see families who decided to honor and celebrate his life every year, even though they did not know him personally. I see a community that has held each other together for six decades. When I look back at all this, I can then turn my gaze forward. And I see hope, in all of you. 

 

Thank you, Emilio.

Trinity’s Head of School shares his insights and perspectives in “Good Thoughts From Mr. Goetz.”

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