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.