To protect the health and safety of BHSC families, the BHSC staff team has adopted an innovative plan that allows us to maintain the quality of student learning—and to see one another’s smiles—as long as the coronavirus remains a public concern.
In-Person, Outdoor Learning + Safety Protocols
For the 2021–22 academic year, BHSC will continue using our innovative outdoor learning spaces as we also continue following CDC/Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) protocols for child care and youth development programs. When outdoors and physically distanced, no masks are required. When indoors, we will continue to follow protocols for physical distancing and for masks (for participants 10 years old and older) until the CDC/Texas DSHS recommendations change. Once the CDC/Texas DSHS eliminate mask wearing or physical distancing from their recommended protocols, we will reevaluate and hope to follow suit!
Instruction During Any Stay-at-Home Orders
In the event that new waves of infection call for temporary stay-at-home orders during the academic year, we plan to offer live web-conferencing instruction and/or specially-produced pre-recorded video lessons. All online classes will include some regular live interaction and will be specially prepared by BHSC instructors for their students.
BHSC instructors plan to continue delivering class content at a high level of instruction with or without any stay-at-home orders so that you, as parents, can remain confident that your students are being well-served whether meeting in person or online.
We recognize that not all classes work well with remote instruction. So, in the event of a stay-at-home order, all BHSC classes will be offered online except the following three hands-on classes: Kaleidoscope (Form I), Handicrafts (Forms II through IV), and Art Explorations (Form II). For these three classes, we will plan to offer up to four weeks of make-up classes over holiday breaks and/or in May. If stay-at-home time lasts longer than four weeks, or if we are unable to offer make-ups, families enrolled in those three classes will not be billed tuition for those classes during months in which those classes are cancelled without corresponding make-ups. Refunds will be offered to any families who have pre-paid tuition for those classes for those months.
Instruction On Campus
In the absence of a stay-at-home order, our default plan is to meet in person as much as possible and to follow CDC recommendations/Texas DSHS recommendations and best research guidelines for maintaining community safety.
Charlotte Mason’s recommendation to spend as much time as possible outdoors corresponds well with the latest findings that outdoor settings are the safest place for social interaction given the current pandemic. (See for example, this article and also, especially, this one.) We’re also seeing evidence that mask-wearing makes a big difference, too.
So, if CDC/Texas DSHS recommendations remain the same in August as they are now, we will continue the following policies and procedures for protecting students, families, and staff during in-person interactions:
1. We will hold BHSC classes, assembly, lunch, and other activities outside as much as possible, especially for younger students. Meeting outside with physical distancing will make mask-wearing optional. This will allow younger students more freedom and will help facilitate learning in classes such as Spanish where students need to observe the teacher’s mouth for proper pronunciation. Students will stay with their Form/class cohorts for physically-distanced assembly and lunch outside. BHSC will provide some shade and fans for sun protection and comfort. We are thankful for the large, multi-acre church campus that will allow us to spread out and enjoy grassy areas and trees while studying.
2. For at least some high school classes, and for all classes when the weather warrants, we will hold class sessions indoors with all participants wearing masks. For example, study hall, high school math, and piano lessons will meet indoors with masks. On stormy days, dangerously cold days (wind chill at 30 degrees or below), and dangerously hot days (heat index at 100 degrees or above), we will move all classes indoors with masks required for 10-yrs old and older and requested for under 10. On days with a heat index between 90 and 100 degrees, we will exercise caution and play it by ear regarding staying outdoors or going inside.
3. We will maintain a healthy environment by keeping student supplies separate, by avoiding supply sharing outside of families, by implementing a routine for cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and by helping facilitate frequent and effective hand-washing. Study Hall students will be assigned tables by family so that only siblings share study space.
4. Any students, parents, or staff who are ill or experiencing symptoms of illness, or who have been in recent close contact with a person who is sick, will not be allowed on campus. In the case that a member of the BHSC community becomes aware of having contracted COVID-19, we will suspend all in-person classes for a two-week quarantine period and will follow our plan for instruction during stay-at-home orders as described above.
5. Choir students will sing outside whenever possible and will wear face shields when singing to allow for freer breathing while still maintaining a layer of protection. When meeting indoors due to weather, choir will be held in the parish hall to allow for maximal space and ventilation.
6. Air purifiers and/or fans will be used in indoor learning spaces to maintain ventilation, to facilitate cleaner air, and to minimize risk for virus spread.
7. Additionally, we will offer more flexibility with parent volunteer shifts and also limit who can be on campus. Parents with younger children (preschool and younger) who cannot secure childcare for their younger ones may request to be excused from parent volunteer duties on campus. Except for drop-off and pick-up, younger/un-enrolled siblings will not be allowed on campus on class days, and parents will not be allowed to remain on campus unless serving in an assigned volunteer shift or with special permission.
To better serve families in these unstable times, we are offering a trial period with withdrawal option:
- Two-week Trial Period: Families may drop classes for full tuition refund for any reason within the first two weeks of the semester.
We realize that folks have different views on the COVID-19 situation and how best to respond. At the same time, we hope that looking at the current research, using innovation, and erring on the side of caution will allow us to best serve and maintain the BHSC community.
We want you to be confident that BHSC will serve your family well regardless of how the year unfolds. If you have concerns, suggestions, or other feedback please drop us a line. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Your Bluebonnet Team