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Welcome to the planning site for a healthy reopening of Back Creek Christian.

Once BCCA launched its distance learning program, the board and administration began active planning for a healthy school reopening in the fall. With the generous support and shared knowledge of our colleagues in the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools, BCCA has adapted the following plan to facilitate school reopening. 

In the spirit of transparency, we are sharing our evolving plans for the 2020-2021 school year. Please understand that in this fluid situation, information can change rapidly.

Designing for Safety (and Excellence)

BCCA continues to demonstrate a commitment to our vision of providing a quality Christian education that is personal and inclusive. These unprecedented times offer BCCA the opportunity to expand our capability to facilitate instruction using a variety of platforms. We will emerge on the other side of this pandemic a better, more thoughtful school.

Throughout the pandemic, Back Creek Christian has followed the guidance of the state and public health authorities in our decision making. Despite the current unknowns about the fall, it is necessary to begin scenario planning for 2020-2021. 

Future guidance from relevant authorities will be used to help make ongoing operational decisions, as they are released. Please know that it is our desire to get our students back on campus as quickly as it is safe to do so.

In planning for the next school year, the following assumptions offer helpful considerations as we move forward:

We are going through a monumentally stressful and disruptive time in history, and we should not expect to flip a switch back to “normal;”

There will be heightened attention to matters of wellness and public health which will impact our students, their families, and the format in which learning needs to occur.

Various formal and informal forms of social distancing will continue; and

Coronavirus waves are predicted to cause future short-term, place-specific stay-at-home orders for the foreseeable future.

Define and design and a plan that would allow students to safely return to campus for instruction.

Define, design, develop a distance learning program for Back Creek Christian’s academic schedules for maximum flexibility between normal, hybrid, virtual learning modes.

Adjust physical environment for distancing and heightened public-health protocols.

Review programs, policies, and procedures for safe operations.

Identify tools and resources to make work easier and effective in this environment

Design a timeline for clear and updated communication to staff, students, and parents.

We are beginning with what we can control in the spring and early summer. Working groups were created on May 8 to review:

Leadership

Health, Wellness and Safety

Facilities and Operations

Academics

Communication

Policy Ramifications

These groups rely on guidelines from governmental and health bodies as well as business and medical experts within our community. Groups consist of parents, board members and staff who are seeking out up-to-date information in all areas.

Health Planning

When BCCA does open in the fall, our focus to keep students safe will include the following three areas:

 

Prevention:

Educate staff, students, and parents about the virus and how to stay safe and healthy-physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Adjust programs where needed to maximize individual and community wellness.

Minimize the risk of exposure by adjusting the physical and social environments.

Detection:

Monitor regional and local outbreaks of the virus through local, state, and national sources.

Establish protocols for screening staff and students daily upon campus arrival.

Ensure that individuals coming to campus are of low risk of spreading the illness, limiting campus access to essential personnel.

Response:

Communicate with local health authorities and internal community.

Adjust operational modes; on-campus, hybrid, virtual to mitigate risks if recommended.

Implement cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

This group will review governmental and health guidelines to develop clear and reasonable operational guidelines and protocols for facilities use. Areas to explore could include:

*         Providing educational frameworks and approaches to keep the community informed regarding health and wellness best-practices.
*         Providing guidance on PPE, screening, contact tracing, or school closure recommendations.
*         Developing methods for communication with divisions about on-campus health trends.
*         Conferring with the Facilities and Operations team.

Our internal team is receiving support and guidance from doctors, colleagues in the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools, and public health professionals with connections to Back Creek Christian Academy.


 

 

This group will review governmental and health guidelines to develop clear and reasonable operational guidelines and protocols for facilities use. Areas to explore could include:

Campus Use

Occupancy guidelines/restrictions based on state recommendations

Expectations for parents, prospective students, and outside visitors

 

Cleaning/Health

Cleaning protocols designed on-site cleaning services

Cleaning protocols for classroom teachers/individuals

Sourcing and procurement of resources

Installation of additional hand washing or sanitizing stations

 

Social Distancing Physical Adaptations

Recommendations for spacing/barriers to desks and counters – classrooms, offices, and public spaces

Procedures to reduce touching of doors and/or cleaning of heavily used objects

Developing appropriate signage/wayfinding instructions

 

Social Distancing Human Adaptations

Altering “human traffic” patterns

Potential restrictions for lockers and other max-contact areas

Gathering guidelines and/or restrictions for larger groups

 

 

 

 

Academic Planning

This past term has been a lucrative period of experimentation, and we have learned a great deal.

Moving forward, we will:

  *   leverage those lessons to implement digital home-based/daily routines for each class that could support BCCA's existing distance learning platform,
  *   streamline communication and course expectations for all grade levels, and
  *   evaluate appropriate expectations in a hybrid environment.

In looking at digital course design and schedules, we will prioritize:
A distance learning program that:

  *   allows for coordinated and clear communication,
  *   builds opportunities for collaboration and community building, and
  *   accommodates base instructional delivery regardless of location.


A schedule that:

  *   reduces unnecessary contact between individuals as much as possible,
  *   easily pivots between different delivery modes, and
  *   provides the flexibility necessary to run robust co-curricular programming for advisory, clubs, activities, and community building.


And a distance learning curriculum and a schedule that:

  *   promote employee and student wellness, and
  *   are philosophically aligned with our mission and beliefs about learning.



 

 

 

We expect to shift between several operational modes next school year.

  • Phase Green – Full Campus Use/Traditional Operations
  • Phase Yellow – Moderate Physical Distancing / Limiting Large Gatherings
  • Phase Orange – High Physical Distancing / Limiting People on Campus
  • Phase Red – Virtual / Essential Personnel Only

Current planning assumes school will open on August 18 with some form of distancing expectations (Yellow or Orange). We are looking at the best ways to onboard new students) that could include prioritizing their first days on campus.

Living with a highly contagious virus means that our routines could be disrupted to minimize spread until a treatment or vaccine can be fully implemented.
Assuming these continued limitations on movement and gathering, BCCA is considering two hybrid models of distance.

Yellow
A mild form of distancing might see no large indoor gatherings on campus, such as lunch, presentations, and assemblies. It might also assume a limit on large community events, even if they are held outdoors because social distancing would be too difficult to enforce.

Orange
A more severe form of distancing might see the overall capacity on the campus restricted. The most common model being discussed in education right now is a 50/50 split, where half the student body is on campus while the other half is at home. This could be managed in a variety of ways. Three common scenarios include:

  *   Staggered Entry time
  *   Day on / Day off (A/B schedules)
  *   Half-day on / Half-day off


Back Creek Christian Academy is exploring all models to determine which would best fit within our philosophy and instructional delivery preferences. In all the hybrid modes, the desire is to maximize the time students can have on campus, while also providing a robust digital core to serve as a home base for learning. Because of parent work schedules and student safety, priority will be given to students in grades TK-6 when considering space needs and scheduling.

We are confident that we can deliver the highest quality hybrid learning experience for students even within these face-to-face restrictions.
However, we recognize that this level of restriction could have a significant impact on families. As faculty explore hybrid modes this spring and summer, we will keep students and parents informed as our planning evolves.

While we value our independence, when it comes to delivering the best academic program for our students during a global pandemic, we must remain connected to the wider community and not act unilaterally in decisions regarding our students and the larger public health. 

To that end, in addition to being guided by our task forces and community data, Back Creek Christian Academy will also continue to consult with local public and private schools, as well as regional and national associations, to gather data and make informed decisions.

Switching between operational modes will be decided using the following inputs:

-Governmental requirements/guidelines

-Science/health metrics: treatments, response capacity, virus spread

-Community (Triangle and CA) health and outbreaks data 

School Delay