WINONA LAKE — Lakeland Christian Academy has released its re-entry plan to families.
“LCA plans to start on Monday, Aug. 17, in a traditional, in-person setting,” said Joe Elrod, LCA superintendent. “Only at-risk or quarantined students will have an online option,” the school said in a news release.
LCA’s Board of Directors and Re-entry Task Force approved the plan acknowledging that students need to be in school for their academic development but also for their social and spiritual development.
“LCA will remain open all year in a traditional, in-person, academic setting unless otherwise dictated by the governor or county health officials,” said Elrod.
This year will be the first time the school will begin the academic year as a preschool through grade 12 school. Preschool Director Angie Lambert, Elementary Principal Joye Andrew, Chief Accountability Officer Julie Bauer, Secondary Principal Rebecca Monsma, Campus Pastor Rob Mansfield and Athletic Director Tim Yocum spent many hours developing a “balanced” re-entry plan.
“There is a lot of fear and uncertainty in our community so the message has to be clear,” said Elrod. “LCA wants to protect the most vulnerable, like teachers and at-risk families while bringing back routine and normalcy to families — students need their teachers; students need each other.”
To understand the practical aspects of the re-entry plan is important to understand the philosophy behind the plan.
- Christian education is relational. We need to meet face-to-face when able to be effective in the mission of “equipping our students with academic excellence and a discerning faith.”
- The plan should hold student learning and their long-term social and emotional needs at the highest level.
- Parent partnership is essential to support their child’s educational needs, which is best achieved in-person.
- The plan must consider the needs of all LCA stakeholders, including teachers and other employees.
- Effective education means having the physical environment to support the health of students, staff and families.
- LCA is to submit to those in government who have rule over us (Romans 13).
- By attending LCA, parents, families and other stakeholders voluntarily assume a certain level of risk-daily.
- LCA has the responsibility to train the next generation of critical thinkers governed by a biblical worldview, which is best achieved in-person.
COVID-19 is not the most important thing to protect LCA students from; fear is. COVID-19 is not the last scary thing students will face, so it is important that we teach them how to be productive and caring in the midst of fear. Parents have been great in partnering with us through these uncertainties. The most frequent questions are “Will students wear masks?” and “Will we be doing virtual learning in October?” LCA has no more insight into what the future holds than any other school; therefore, the school will be abiding by the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana High School Athletic Association and health department guidelines, the news release said.
Student temperatures will not be taken when students arrive each morning, so it is imperative that parents use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 checklist each morning and take their child’s temperature before leaving home. For the safety of all, parents need to keep students with symptoms or a fever of 100 degrees or higher at home.
Students, faculty and staff will be required to wear masks when social distancing of three to six feet is not possible. Pre-K and kindergarten students will be an exception to the mask rule. Cleaning and COVID-19 protocols will follow CDC and health department guidelines.
To learn more about LCA’s plan, e-mail Julie Bauer at [email protected].