School Opening Update 7/31/2020

Tabernacle Family,

As we get closer to the start of school, we continue to take some common sense and practical measures toward reopening the school in the current climate.  As we said in the last message, we have put preventative and responsive measures in place that will allow us to reopen our doors to the physical classroom.  These same measures have been in place this summer with our Kindergarten and Elementary Summer Daycamps, and we have been able to remain open and functioning.
The focus of school will be the same as with our Summer Daycamps, but simply with a larger application.   As students arrive on campus, they will arrive to a clean environment.  Our entire staff has always done a terrific job with keeping our campus clean, and behind the guidance of our maintenance staff, we have increased all sanitation and cleaning efforts even more.  Surfaces will be cleaned between use, students will be given times and trained to wash hands, and we have scheduled our days to prevent cross-contamination.
Students will also be checked for symptoms each morning, including the taking of temperatures.   Temperatures will also be taken at a later point in the day as well.  If an issue arises during the day, we will follow the CDC’s latest guidance for handling it quickly and safely.
During the day, classes will not mix in public areas.  If two classes share the same larger area (e.g., gym or playground), they will remain in separate areas, distanced from the other classes.  We will also stagger entering and exiting these areas to prevent classes from passing close together, and masks will be worn in transit.
We have altered lunch times to ensure we can still distance classes while they are sharing the space.   This includes having a rotation in our Elementary departments of classes that will eat in their classroom on certain days.  Masks will be worn until a student sits to eat, and they will only sit with their class.
Extracurricular activities like electives, music, art, and library have all been modified to keep classes from mixing while still providing these resources to our students.
Once in the classroom, we have done everything practical and feasible to protect this environment that is the strength of what we do here at Tabernacle.  There is simply no substitute for a student being in a physical classroom learning from our teachers.  Students will not have to wear masks in the classrooms, although a student may do so if he/she prefers.
Because there is no substitute for a student being physically present in our classrooms, we will not have a distance learning option for this year.  It would not be practically possible for our teachers to teach both in-class students and to prepare for distance learning.  Also, from our experience in Q4, it would be difficult for a distance learning student to move at the same pace as a student in the physical classroom.  With a teacher juggling both, the end result would be that neither would be effective.
Public schools have been able to offer distance learning because of federal/state funding provided to those systems.  We have always operated without federal/state funding so that we can avoid the government involvement that comes along with it.  We are unwilling to accept any funding that would invite government control over what we teach in our classrooms.  We will, therefore, focus on what has set Tabernacle apart from the schools around us and continue with students physically in the classroom.
There is one other possible option that we are still considering, but it would depend greatly on the number of people wanting this option.  We would need to ensure there is enough to warrant the changes involved, but not so many that it is a detriment to those remaining in the classroom.
This option would be a Tabernacle Home School Program.  While we are still in the forming stages of this, the main points would be as follows:
  1. A Home School student would remain a student of Tabernacle Christian School.  This means that for this upcoming year, they would not lose their seat in their class, including being able to re-enroll next year before Open Enrollment.
  2. The course of instruction will be the sole responsibility of the home.  Because our teachers are teaching a full curriculum in the classroom, they will not be available to teach Home School students as well.
  3. We will provide the books to the parents that were paid for as part of Registration.
  4. However, because the student will be enrolled in that class, the parents will still have access through FACTS to the teacher’s Lesson Plans, which will give them the pace to keep track with students in the classrooms.
  5. Testing will still be done at Tabernacle on designated testing days during the week.   This will allow us the connection and oversight we would be comfortable with in calling our Home School students part of Tabernacle Christian School.
  6. The cost would be less than our normal tuition, but we do not have that exact number yet.   We need more information on the level of interest in this program before we can finalize that.
To finish our analysis of a potential Tabernacle Home School Program, we need to quickly hear from our parents on the issue.  Before answering, please consider whether your family could commit to everything a Home School program includes.  You can access the survey via SurveyMonkey by clicking the link below.

Tabernacle Home School Program Survey​​​


Thank you,

C. Vance McBrayer, Jr.