To protect the health and safety of BHSC families, the BHSC staff team has developed a provisional plan that will allow us to maintain the quality of student learning as long as the coronavirus remains a public concern.
NEWS—July 16, 2020: BHSC is now planning a delayed start in light of the current “High Community Risk” coronavirus situation in Fort Bend and Harris counties. Barring a stay-at-home order, we plan to start classes in-person on September 1. If there is a stay-at-home order in place at that time, we will still begin on September 1 but online. See more details below. Enrollment applications are still welcome!
Instruction During Any Stay-at-Home Orders
In the event that new waves of infection call for temporary stay-at-home orders during the coming 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 2020-21 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 winter break and/or in May and June. 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 and best research guidelines for maintaining community safety.
Charlotte Mason’s recommendation to spend as much time as possible outdoors seems to be corresponding rather 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 recommendations remain the same in August as they are now, we’re provisionally planning to adopt the following policies and procedures for protecting students, families, and staff during in-person interactions:
1. We are hoping to 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. We hope to provide 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 plan to 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 strongly requested. 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. 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.
4. 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 more flexible withdrawal options:
- Two-week Trial Period: Families may drop classes for full tuition refund for any reason within the first two weeks of the semester.
- Economic Hardship: Families whose income becomes negatively effected by COVID-generated layoffs or pay-cuts after enrolling in BHSC classes may withdraw from classes without being obligated to continue tuition payments through the end of the year as initially agreed.
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 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
P.S. We plan to follow-up with more details for those of you who have expressed interest in Choir. Since choir singing has turned out to present greater risks and challenges than many other social interactions, we are working on plans specifically for BHSC choirs in order to keep participants safe. We will keep you updated as we have more information to share.