The Path Back to Campus (part two)
July 20, 2020
In mid-June, Maranatha released its first communication to our community laying the foundation from which we were building our new Edusystem* with our number-one priority of opening our doors to welcome students for on-campus learning on the first day of school fall 2020.
*Edusystem: Maranatha’s educational system consisting of a group of interconnected stakeholders, formed by the interaction of a community of students, families, friends, and staff within their environment.
Destination Maranatha... How We Return to School
As promised, the next step in our preparation is to convey to you, our valued partners, how returning to school will look in this COVID-19 era. The destination is Maranatha, our guide is the Holy Spirit (Psalm 119:105), and our goal is a safe, secure, and connected return focused on our mission to be an influential school of collaborators, innovators, and explorers grounded in Christian faith, empowering co-creators of tomorrow.
Yes! We will be back on campus for in-person classes five days a week. Knowing Maranatha’s strengths are its strong community, innovative and collaborative teaching methods, and our firm Christ-centered faith formation, we will remain clear in our objectives, while being aware of the safety and security of our students and staff. Our planning task force is and will be constantly monitoring the situation, taking into consideration the guidelines and recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), the Department of Human Services (DHS), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
What Does the School Day Look Like?
Maranatha will practice its normal published drop-off and pick-up times. Dismissal from classes will be staggered so as to create more space in the building for students to gather their belongings and leave the building in a succinct manner.
Before school care will be offered, including the popular E.A.R.L.Y. Program for our lower school students, extra safety precautions will be in place, including grade-level pod scheduling.
Afterschool care will be offered through our X-Tended Day Program. Extra safety precautions will be in place, including grade-level separation.
Athletic offerings will follow Minnesota State High School League mandates.
Reimagined—Life on Campus
Refocused in a World of “What Ifs”
While we are confident that the back-to-school plan will allow the school to safely fulfill its mission and service our students and families in a manner they expect from Maranatha, we also know we live in uncertain times. As we witnessed this past spring, it is imperative that the school is prepared for interruptions. If our local community or Maranatha experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases that impact our ability to effectively provide schooling in our current plan, it may be necessary to pivot and provide a blended or remote learning experience for a limited period of time.
Please be aware, we are working to minimize the impact on families should the need to shift arise. For instance, lower school grades are not intermixing (organized in grade-level pods). Therefore, should there be an incident in a particular grade, it will not impact families with students in other grades. Also, if a student is not able to (or chooses not to) come to school, we are working with Maranatha IT to implement seamless solutions for both the teacher and student to allow for both on-campus and remote teaching and learning to take place (a hybrid model). Finally, the success of our remote/eLearning model last spring will allow our staff and students to transition easily (with minor modifications) should the need arise due to government mandate or an outbreak in our community.
Reunited With Love and Care
The health and safety of our students, families, and staff have always been and will remain a top priority for Maranatha. Because of this and the fact we love and care about each member of our community, we are developing “Criteria of Care” for us all to work together as one family. When we all do our part, we will be able to keep each other safe.
- Communication regarding COVID-19, school policies and procedures, etc., is a vital part of our plan to be safe on-campus. We are committed to keeping families informed through this new webpage and through our weekly emails.
- Regular dialogue with students will promote behavioral expectations and develop a culture of care and thoughtfulness toward one another. Additionally, students will be reminded of the following:
- Be mindful of personal space/physical distancing.
- Properly cover sneezes and coughs in elbow of arm.
- Respect others’ decision of whether or not to wear face coverings.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Reminders to not touch one’s face.
- Regularly wash and sanitize hands throughout the day.
- Signs will be placed around the campus to remind students and staff of proper protocols and expectations including:
- Physical distancing.
- Personal hygiene practices.
- Washing hands and using hand sanitizer.
- COVID-19 Symptoms.
- “How to cough/sneeze” reminders.