As humans we long for certainty, even control, and being a parent during this crisis challenges our desires. Before I share with you measures we are taking to prepare for our school launch, I want to encourage you in regards to how our loss of control can/will lead to either fear or faith. This past year, with the death of my dear brother, the birth of our 4th child, COVID, and the challenge of running a tuition-funded school in an economic crisis has made me more grateful than ever that I have a personal relationship with the King of the universe.
Romans 8 says He has “given me a spirit of sonship by which I can call Him ABBA (daddy).” I am able to depend completely on the One who holds everything together (from atoms to galaxies)! The book of Romans explains that for everyone who has repented of their self-dependency and selfishness and has trusted in Jesus as their Savior and Lord, God gives His Spirit and removes a spirit of fear. As a personal testimony, I am soooo grateful that God has protected me and my family from fear and has grown us in our love and trust in Him in the last 6 months. I deeply hope every CBA family experiences this eternal gift from our loving God.
Now, faith does not mean live recklessly! It means we have to depend on God through His Scriptures and the leading of His Holy Spirit who dwells in us. In the gospels, you will see there are times Jesus avoids a place (like Judea) because they were trying to kill him. And then, there is a time when people tried to throw him off a cliff, yet He miraculously walked through the crowd and departed. And then, there was the crucifixion (gloriously followed by the resurrection). Jesus did not live out of fear. He lived out of obedience to the Father. As each family makes decisions for your children during this school year, my desire is that you make decisions based on faith and not fear. And I realize that faith could lead some to virtual schooling and others to come to campus.
Here at CBA, we especially sense an urgency to continue our instruction because researchers call the 2-7 year phase “the critical period.” “Preschool” is a misnomer if it connotes “not as important as school”. The better name should be “Learning Foundations” which would include indispensable linguistic, social, and spiritual formation. Think about it–your child can become fluent in 4-7 years in a second language and form indelible structures in their brain during this period. Compare that to the college student who is majoring in a foreign language and paying over $100,000 to get it, while their “language window” expired a decade earlier.
At CBA, our desire is to provide excellent options for every family!
We are opening CBA Preschool and K-4th grade this fall. The most ideal learning environment is for complete immersion in the school setting. As an example, last year when we closed in-person and taught online, we had to cut down our elementary instruction by two-thirds in order to keep the at-home workload manageable. We accomplish much more in academics, socialization, cultural integration, and biblical permeation when we are together. We are working extremely hard to provide a safe environment so our children can take maximum advantage of what CBA offers. Most of this email contains information on the new sanitation procedures we are implementing.
For families who are at greater risk and prefer virtual instruction, we are also providing virtual tutoring for students through our new Kids on Mission program. Students will enjoy an interactive lesson with a live teacher in a small group setting via our new website where they further develop their oral fluency. We did a soft launch this summer and it was a great success! You will receive more information next week on KOM. Additionally, K-4th will provide lessons on Google classroom and provide links to videos of in-class instruction to provide virtual learning opportunities for elementary students who are absent from class.
We are asking every family to fill out this short survey. In it you will also have a place to ask questions and request a call. We will also explore the idea of a hybrid preschool model (part KOM and part extra small class size at CBA).
From a mission and business standpoint, my desire is to continue to advance our mission with our families as well as maintain our budget to secure the job of each CBA employee. For any family who is not attending CBA, we encourage you to:
Enroll in KOM AND
Recruit 2 non-CBA families to enroll (3 KOM tuition payments = 1 CBA tuition payment) OR
Enroll in KOM and consider an additional tax deductible donation OR
Consider the KOM/CBA hybrid option (refer to survey) where 1 hybrid tuition = 1 CBA tuition.
Registration and Supply fee payments are not refundable or transferable. However, CBA tuition payments can be transferred as KOM credit. For example, if you pay CBA tuition in July but decide to attend KOM in August, we can transfer your payment to KOM tuition. We ask that you keep us updated to your plans, since changes will have staffing implications.
Finally, as we increase several measures, we are requesting more parent volunteers to help regularly. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing to volunteer on a weekly basis. Please include the hours and capacity in which you are available to serve.
We will send an additional email recruiting parents to several upcoming Saturday work days to implement several campus upgrades to increase sanitation and increase time in fresh air for all the classes.
Here are steps we are taking to make CBA as safe as possible to have school on campus in the fall.
Renovating the blue house next to the basketball courts for our new Kindergarten cottage. This transition will add 2 classrooms and 4 bathrooms and will allow for less students to be in the main building. Each class will have their own entrance.
Building 2 outdoor classrooms, along with partitioning additional outdoor spaces
Installing more handwashing stations and sanitizing stations
Cleaning and Social Distancing Protocols:
Classes will stay with their group throughout the day (e.g. chapels will be held in individual classrooms, only 1 group will be on the playground at a time and the area will be disinfected between classes). We will have a sanitation officer who is constantly disinfecting common areas, high touch areas, and disinfecting classrooms when they are outside.
To increase distancing, we will remove some tables in the preschool classrooms to open the space more. Weather permitting, classes will eat and have circle time outside in addition to their daily outdoor recess and will also have PE outdoors as much as possible.
Students will leave shoes outside the classroom. We ask parents to purchase shoes that are easy to put on/take off (example: Velcro straps) and dress children in socks.
Teachers will wear face shields.
CDC, DHEC, American Pediatrics Society recommend that children who do not know how to properly wear masks should NOT wear masks (e.g. touching their face more, increases risk). Preschoolers are not required to wear masks. K-4th students will be asked to bring a neck gaiter to wear in the hallways and when they are not able to practice social distancing during the day. They won’t need to wear them in the classroom when at their desks.
Teachers/Staff will also disinfect the classroom throughout the day.
Classrooms will be deeply cleaned with disinfectant each afternoon.
We plan to install UV-C sanitation lights in our HVAC system.
We are creating several safe outdoor student drop-off/pick up points to minimize indoor traffic and crowded areas. Preschool parents will be able to leave their child with their teacher. We will provide a campus map in our next update on July 31.
Upon arrival, parents will be asked some questions to ensure no one is symptomatic or has experienced a high-risk exposure. CBA staff will take students’ temperature with infrared thermometers before students join their class.
Students and staff will be excluded from school if they have:
Any 1 of the following: Fever >100, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, vomiting, and cough
Any 2 of the following: Sore throat, muscle aches, chills, nausea/diarrhea
Families will agree to stay home when family members demonstrate symptoms (above mentioned)
We will limit visitor and parent access inside the building. We are asking that you call us or email us as much as possible rather than coming in person to make inquiries. Remember also that you can pay through the website and Venmo. You can also mail checks to 5032 Lackawanna Blvd., North Charleston, SC 29405.
Our teachers are being given more days of Paid Time Off to ensure they stay home if they suspect that they could have been exposed to the virus.
We encourage every family to get the flu vaccine in the fall.
K-4th will provide lessons on Google classroom and provide links to videos of in-class instruction to provide virtual learning opportunities for students who are absent.
Areas about which we continue to make decisions:
We are aware of several districts delaying their start dates. We will notify parents early next week if we decide to delay the start. If we delay the start, we will make up the same amount of days at the end of the school year.
We are waiting for further DHEC/CDC updates on handling a situation where a class is exposed to COVID (isolation, cleaning, quarantining protocols, notifying our families…).
We are waiting for survey data to make decisions about the possibility of an optional hybrid preschool model (KOM/CBA).
Additionally, we would only offer lunch bunch if we can do it for each class in their own eating area. So, we will refer to survey data if families are willing to pay a small amount more so that every student stays for lunch bunch (additional cost will be limited to only cover the school’s expense to offer the service).
It is a joy to navigate life with our families as we inspire our children to live strong lives of faith in Jesus and change this broken world. Please remember that we are asking every family to fill out this short survey.
Inspiring World Changers,