Cougar Community: Covid-19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCS team has monitored and prayerfully considered guidance provided by the Centers of Disease Control, state and local  authorities, and medical and public health experts. We will continue to evaluate such information to make good and reasonable decisions that uphold the CCS mission of disciple-making education while preserving the health and well-being of our community.

Our team is making plans for the 2021-22 school year!

Though we can’t know exactly what to expect in August, current pandemic trends coupled with learnings gained over the past year are allowing us to plan with anticipation of a “new normal.”


Key decision drivers for Fall, 2o21 planning include:

  • COVID-19 case counts and restrictions are moving in the right direction.

  • COVID-19 vaccinations are available. 

  • Seasons of remote instruction have affirmed that our mission is best delivered in person, on campus

  • A decision-making framework and protocols are in place, allowing the CCS team to quickly adapt when the environment demands adjustments.  

As a result of the Lord’s guidance in these areas, the CCS team is working diligently to define the “new normal” environment at CCS as we open the 2021-22 school year!

The protocols currently outlined on this page are from the 2020-21 school year. This information will be updated as our plans are finalized for 2021-22 in late July. 


Visiting Campus this Summer? 
Please observe the following Health & Safety Protocols:

     •  Face coverings are optional while inside our facility.

Students and families participating in CCS summer activities (ie: Camps, Athletic Workouts, Pathways Tutoring, etc) MUST self-report if you or someone in your household:

     • Has been Exposed to COVID-19
     • Is awaiting a COVID-19 test result 
     • Has tested positive for COVID-19.  

All members of your household should refrain from coming to the Carmel campus until you are contacted by the School with the date you may returnClick here to confidentially inform the COVID-19 Task Force of a possible exposure.   

 

A Flexible Campus, Curriculum & Community with a Firm Commitment to Mission & Safety

Carmel Christian School exists to provide an excellent education, built on biblical truth, which equips students to reflect Christ to the world.

The CCS mission holds firm during these extraordinary times. Last March, the CCS Family shifted quickly to Distance Learning, a responsive solution to an immediate crisis.  Since May, the CCS Re-Entry Task Force has intentionally, resourcefully and prayerfully developed plans for the 2020-21 school year. The driving goal… discovery of all possible solutions to enable a safe return to on campus instruction while preserving the health & safety of CCS students, families, faculty and staff. 

Our Planning Priorities
• Health & Safety

• Flexibility
• Discipleship
• Excellence

Our Planning Goals
• Define, design, and develop a model for remote learning that advances all educational goals and objectives.

• Adjust academic schedules for maximum flexibility between on-campus and remote learning models.
• Adjust the physical environment for heightened public health.
• Review programs, policies, and procedures for safe operations.
• Identify tools and resources to make work easier and more effective in this environment.

(Click on graphic to enlarge)

Returning to campus is going to feel different for all of us. Community communication is paramount to ensure everyone is committed to the goals set forth, along with our new safety protocols.

Email
All School Updates will be distributed through the Weekly eNews to communicate important information and updates. Our team is working diligently to streamline all CCS communication for your convenience and ready reference. Please ensure that you are receiving the weekly emails as it is imperative that all families receive and review this information. If you are not receiving email, please email the Communications Office.

Principal and Head of School Updates will be provided regularly.

Cougar Community Covid-19 Webpage will be updated regularly with the latest information and updates.

Parent University and Parent Teacher Fellowship will be active methods of support throughout the school year.

Calendars
2020-21 Key Dates Calendar, Parent Calendar and Athletics Calendar

Questions?
Please direct all questions related to COVID-19 support to cougarsupport@carmelchristian.org.
This will ensure we can quickly and effectively answer your questions.

Please direct all health-related questions to our School Nurses at nurse@carmelchristian.org.

boy_desk


RECENT UPDATES

Head of School News

May 19

March 24

Operational Modes

CCS has three operational modes that may be employed during the 2020-21 school year. Our goal is to remain on campus (Cougars on Campus) and we are committed to doing all we can to make this possible.. Mindful of the potential for government and health department mandates, we are also prepared to toggle between other operational modes, as needed. 

CCS has three operational modes that may be employed during the 2020-21 school year.
Our Key Decision Drivers are:
• Remain on campus when safe and permitted.

• Consider guidance for public schools when formulating plans and making decisions; however, we will embrace
   the blessing of our independent school status.

• Shifts between operational modes will be driven by:
        • Governmental mandates (ie: stay at home orders)
        • Community health metrics CCS community outbreaks

        • Effective and engaging delivery of the CCS mission.

(Click on graphic to enlarge)

Cougar on Campus is our target mode of operation this year.  All students will receive classroom instruction on campus on a regular school schedule.  Campus Health & Safety modifications will be employed for all CCS programs and activities. 

Live (synchronous), remote class participation is available in this mode for those learning at home due to short term health concerns or quarantine requirements.  Daily attendance will be taken to promote engagement and accountability. 

Regular School Schedule 
Kindergarten: 8:15 am – 1:15 pm
Grades 1 – 5: 8:15 am – 3:00 pm
Middle School/High School: 8:00 am – 3:15pm

Pathways sessions will continue in modified work spaces and virtually for students learning at home.

Chapel will continue on a weekly basis with reduced group sizes to promote distancing. Students learning at home will participate virtually.

Activities beyond the classroom will be modified to support health & safety protocols. Athletics guidance will be provided by the state association, NCISAA.  Arts specials/electives, plays and concerts will be delivered with modifications in place. 

Extended Day & Enrichment will be available with reduced class sizes. 

Off-Campus Field Trips will not take place until safe to engage in these experiences. 

Windy Gap Retreat (MS/HS)- Out of a firm commitment to the continued health of our CCS faculty, staff and students, this retreat is being rescheduled for the week of March 29, 2021. We are committed to developing the best alternative plans for this special time and will provide more details soon. We are excited that, in spite of our current challenges, the Lord is making provision to keep the Windy Gap tradition alive this year! The team is also working to develop some timely spiritual emphasis events at the beginning of the school year as well as a unique event for our Class of 2021 Seniors. 

J-Term (HS) – The traditional J-Term experience will be transformed this year due to limitations on local and international travel.  For this year only, J-Term will focus on missional-focused student development, centered on the Christian mandate to love others and engage our culture from a Biblical perspective. Mindful that many CCS students look forward to local and international mission trips during J-Term, we are also exploring opportunities for students to participate in such options (outside of J-Term week) if travel restrictions improve later in the year. 

Clubs & Activities will be available in modified formats. 

Community & Parent Events will be offered with modifications, many delivered virtually or held to a maximum of 50% on campus venue capacity. 

Cougar Flex will be used as a transitional phase, continuing to serve students on campus in the event that a significant number of our students are at home due to illness or quarantine. Students who are well will continue to attend class on campus with increased health & safety measures in place. Students who are ill or quarantined will learn at home as their health allows. Attendance will be taken to promote engagement and accountability.

This mode offers a modified schedule for all students, ensuring manageable levels of screen time and face covering time. Live (synchronous), remote class participation continues to be available for those learning at home in this mode.


Modified Schedules
are being created with the following target structure:

Kindergarten: 8:15 am – 1:15 pm
Grades 1 – 5: 8:15 am – 1:30 pm
Middle School/High School: 8:00 am – 1:45 pm

Pathways
will continue to provide student support on campus and virtually with additional support services available for students working at home.


Chapel
will be simulcast weekly for viewing in small groups or classes.


Activities Beyond the Classroom
will be modified to support tightened health & safety protocols. Athletics guidance will be provided by the state association, NCISAA. Arts auditions, rehearsals and performances will move to small groups (in-person) and a virtual environment.


Extended Day
will continue to be offered in a modified format; however, Enrichment classes will be discontinued in this mode.



Cougars at Home will be used in the event of a government mandate (ie: stay at home order), declining community health metrics or a CCS community outbreak. In this mode, all students will be learning at home. Attendance will be taken to promote engagement and accountability.

A shift to this mode does not change our mission of providing an excellent, disciple-making education for all CCS
students. The Cougars at Home mode will provide a live (synchronous), remote educational experience on a modified schedule. Instruction will also include assignments that students may complete during the day on their own schedule. CCS will continue to use Google Classroom as our primary tool for student engagement, augmented by other online tools and resources to enhance the remote learning experience.

Cougars at Home will provide a live (synchronous), remote educational experience on a modified schedule as follows:  
Kindergarten: 8:15 a.m. – 1:00 pm (detailed schedules provided by classroom teachers)
Grades 1-5: 8:15 – 1:30 p.m. (detailed schedules provided by classroom teachers)
Middle School: 8:00 am – 1:30 pm (MS Cougars at Home schedule here)
High School: 8:00 am – 1:30 pm (HS Cougars at Home schedule here)

Pathways support sessions will be delivered virtually and scheduled to accommodate student schedules, collaborating with classroom teachers.

Specials and Arts Electives will continue in a virtual format.

Chapel will be simulcast weekly for viewing in small groups or classes.

Activities Beyond the Classroom will be adjusted to uphold the health & safety protocols during remote learning. Athletics guidance will be provided by the state association, NCISAA. Arts auditions, rehearsals and performances will move to a full virtual environment.

Extended Day and Enrichment will not be offered.

Campus Health & Safety

Campus Health & Safety precautions will be in place as we return to campus, mindful that these may change throughout the year with the evolving pandemic landscape.

Daily Symptom & Exposure Pre-Screening required for all students, faculty and staff prior to coming to campus. A lanyard will be worn, upon arrival, to indicate the pre-screening was completed.

Healthy Habits re-enforced on campus including, but not limited to, maintaining adequate supply of hygiene products, training on essential hygiene practices including proper face covering usage, washing hands, and using hand sanitizer (placed in strategic locations around campus), and limiting the shared use of supplies.

Health Rooms will separate sick and well students. The existing health room will no longer have divisional designations; one side will be designated as “sick” and the other for “injury/medication.” Students will be directed to the “sick” area when they are symptomatic and to the “injury/medication” area when they stop in for routine medications and physical injuries. Benches will be located outside the health rooms to triage students.

Sanitizing and Cleaning protocols, including disinfecting throughout the day in high-traffic areas and application of antimicrobial products (Protex) to heavy touch surfaces (door knobs, handrails, desks and chairs). This invisible coating prevents germs from living on surfaces for 6 months. Enhanced disinfection procedures in accordance with CDC guidelines and industry best practices.

HVAC Filters upgraded to a denser filter that captures a larger number of particles and increases outside intake airflow, turning air more frequently.

Campus Signage posted to promote physical distancing, healthy habits and safety precautions.

Water Fountains closed, but water fillers will be available.

Face Coverings will be worn regularly throughout the school day with age-appropriate modifications in place. 

Group Gatherings in large on-campus venues will be adjusted to no greater than 50% maximum occupancy to allow for physical distancing.

Classroom Space Modifications to promote distancing, including forward-facing desks and removal of ancillary furniture. We plan to maintain regular class sizes with furniture arranged to maximize space between desks, although we cannot guarantee six feet of distance at all times and that your student will not be in close contact with others on occasion.

Programs, Event and Activities modified to limit group sizes and promote distancing. Online platforms will be utilized for alternate delivery solutions.

Limited Campus Access for Non-Essential Guests. Essential campus visitors only during the school day (no chapel or lunchroom guests).We recognize that some traditions will have to be modified for this school year and we are counting on your partnership to help us protect the health of our school community.

Carmel Cafe will serve prepared boxed lunches, with reduced menu selections. The cafeteria will be utilized up to 50% capacity with fewer students per table to allow for physical distancing. Shared food, brought from outside sources, is prohibited.

Elementary Recess enjoyed by each individual class. Students will not interact with other classes on the
playground or during recess.

Annual Health Forms required for all students, including a new COVID-19 waiver.

CCS will follow CDC and NCDHHS Protocols for the most up to date information on COVID-19 best practices as well as for notification and contact tracing procedures in the event of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in the school community.

All CCS students, faculty and staff are required to complete a Daily Symptom & Exposure
Pre-Screening
BEFORE coming to campus. We are relying on a firm commitment to this process by the entire community to safeguard the health of our CCS family.  This is a required and necessary component of our campus  re-entry plan and your adherence to the process is essential.  A lanyard will be worn, upon exiting the vehicle in carline, to indicate this pre-screening has been completed. Placing a lanyard on your child indicates your commitment to upholding campus health & safety. 

SYMPTOMS:
If you answer yes, to any of the following questions, you may NOT return to campus: 

A fever (greater than 100.4 degrees F) or chills in the past 72 hrs

(without the use of any medication)

Chills

New Cough

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Loss of Taste or Smell

Diarrhea (in children only)

Vomiting (in children only)

QUARANTINE:

You have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days, 

You submitted the COVID-19 Reporting Form and are waiting to hear from the health team on when you may return to campus.

Has any health department staff or a health care provider been in contact with you and advised you to quarantine? 

EXPOSURES:
If you answer yes, to any of the following exposures, you must self-quarantine BEFORE returning to campus:
•  Have you had close contact* in the last 10 days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19?
•  Has any health department or health care provider advised you to quarantine?
•  Since you were last at school, have you been diagnosed with COVID-19? 
* The CDC defines exposure as “contact less than 6 feet for 15 minutes or more.”

CLICK HERE to Request a Replacement Lanyard.

Each CCS Faculty, Staff, Student and Family MUST self-report if you or someone in your household:
• Has been Exposed to COVID-19
• Is awaiting a COVID-19 test result 
• Has tested positive for COVID-19. 
All members of your household should refrain from coming to the Carmel campus until you are contacted by the School Nurse regarding the appropriate next steps for your family. Our team will contact you as soon as possible, but not later than the following school day.  Click here to confidentially inform the COVID-19 Task Force of a possible exposure.   

Carmel will follow CDC and NCDHHS protocol regarding notification and contact tracing in the event of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in our community. 
UPDATED FACE COVERING PROTOCOL
On Wednesday, April 28, Governor Cooper issued a new executive order which lifted the requirement to mask when outdoors. This new order was effective on Friday, April 30 and includes schools, childcare facilities and sports activities. You may view more detail in Sections: 2.1a, 2.5 & 3.3 here
 
Carmel Christian School will IMMEDIATELY adopt this update on Monday, May 3. Faculty, staff and students will no longer be required to wear a face covering when attending recess, classes or activities held outdoors on our campus. We look forward to the creativity of our faculty and principals to find opportunities for students to enjoy the fresh air this spring! 
 
EXCEPTION: Students should continue to wear a face covering when exiting their vehicles and as they walk into the building each morning. This will ensure that each student continues coming to school with a face covering.  
 
Please be reminded that lanyards must also continue to be worn throughout the end of the school year.

Consistent with previously published face covering protocols, cloth face coverings should not be placed on: 
• Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious. 
• Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
• Anyone who cannot tolerate a cloth face covering due to developmental, medical or behavioral health needs. 

Students who qualify under one of these exemptions should disclose this information to the school nurse so the exemption can be noted on the student lanyard. 

Carmel Christian will educate staff, students and families about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, when they should stay at home and when they can return to school. Keeping the CCS community safe is a shared responsibility and we each must make a firm commitment to do our part.

Each CCS Faculty, Staff, Student and Family MUST self-report
if you or someone in your household:
• Has been Exposed to COVID-19
• Is awaiting a COVID-19 test result 
• Has tested positive for COVID-19. 
All members of your household should refrain from coming to the Carmel campus until you are contacted by the School Nurse regarding the appropriate next steps for your family. Our team will contact you as soon as possible, but not later than the following school day.  Click here to confidentially inform the COVID-19 Task Force of a possible exposure. 

CCS QUARANTINE GUIDELINES: COVID-19

CCS STAY AT HOME GUIDELINES: NON-COVID-19
Our CCS School Nurses are committed to the continued health of all CCS students. All families should follow the standard protocols and guidelines for reporting student illnesses not related to COVID-19 located in the Health Room Policies and Procedures. It is increasingly important for families to communicate regularly with our school nurses concerning ALL illnesses and the accompanying return to school process. Please consult with the nurses prior to making arrangements with other administrators or faculty members. Nurse Nichols and Nurse Hendricks are eager to assist you throughout the school year. 

If a student, faculty/staff member, or campus visitor becomes COVID-19 symptomatic during the school day or at any CCS event, the school and Nurses will follow the health and communication protocols below based upon CDC and local public health guidelines.

(Click on graphic to enlarge)

CCS faculty and administrators are committed to providing effective instruction for students who require learning at home due to long-term health concerns or a short-term illness or quarantine. Short term remote learning is designed to provide an option for students to continue class attendance in the event that they are required to stay home due to minor illness or quarantine.  

REMOTE LEARNING OPT IN REQUIREMENT:
For any CCS student to successfully opt in to remote learning for a short term period of time, the parent MUST complete the divisional absence form, indicating the reason for the absence as well as the estimated duration of remote learning period. 
Elementary School Absence Form
Middle School Absence Form
High School Absence Form

Before returning to school following any illness, parents must gain permission from the School Nurse.

Our goal is to position CCS students for success when learning at home. Please follow these divisional instructions to initiate a short term (2 weeks or less) period of remote learning for your student:

Elementary School Students
Detailed preparation is required by the Classroom Teachers for an Elementary student to learn at home. To opt in to remote learning for a short term period of time, the parent MUST complete the Elementary School Absence Form, indicating the reason for the absence as well as the estimated duration of remote learning period.

Elementary students who are required or choosing to quarantine may submit a request to opt in to remote learning on the first day of the absence by completing the Elementary School Absence Form

• Requests for remote learning for students in grades K-2 received by
   8 a.m.will be provided remote learning access within 48 hours of the request. 
• Requests for remote learning for students in grades 3-5 received by
   8 a.m.will be provided remote learning access by the start of school the following day.

Students who are home due to sickness or Covid-like symptoms should continue to pick up missed work and rest for one full school day prior to requesting access to remote learning by completing the Elementary School Absence Form. Make-up work is available by contacting the classroom teacher who will leave assignments for parent pick up at Ms. Donna’s desk.

Detailed Elementary Remote Learning instructions may be found here

Before returning to school following any illness, parents must gain permission from the School Nurse.

Middle & High School Students
To opt in to remote learning for a short term period of time, the parent MUST complete the divisional absence form, indicating the reason for the absence as well as the estimated duration of remote learning period. 
Middle School Absence Form
High School Absence Form

To provide consistency for both students and staff, students will be required to attend classes in the same manner for the entire school day. For instance, if a student is learning at home for the first block class, they must continue learning at home for the remainder of that school day.  Students will not be permitted to opt in and out of remote learning on the same day. In special circumstances (ie: doctor’s appointments, etc), parents may contact the Principal for consideration of an exception. 

Detailed Remote Learning instructions for the Middle School Division may be found here

Detailed Remote Learning instructions for the High School Division may be found here

Before returning to school following any illness, parents must gain permission from the School Nurse.