Reunion Plan 2020

Reunion Plan 2020

FBCA plans to begin in-person and distance learning instruction on Wednesday, August 19, 2020.

FBCA’s Reunion Plan is the culmination of extensive conversations with school stakeholders and consultation with the most up-to-date guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of Texas, Texas Education Agency (TEA), and local health officials. Since May, representatives from every stakeholder group at FBCA, in collaboration with medical professionals, have been engaged in many hours of planning, discussing multiple scenarios for learning during the global pandemic. We have truly been working to provide answers to every question and detail for the opening of the school year – no matter what it looks like.
 
As you read FBCA’s Reunion Plan, you will find brief explanations for the most likely scenarios we may encounter as a community this academic year. While we are confident that we will begin our school year in-person, we want to be prepared and flexible should any government mandates or shift in public health demands require we modify our plans.  We are fully committed to providing the exceptional education program that you have come to expect albeit in-person or through distance learning as needed. 
 
Our Reunion Plan includes a multitude of health and safety protocols we will implement to protect the welfare of our staff and students on campus. Each of these decisions ties directly to guidelines provided by the CDC, the State of Texas, and TEA. Our top priority in reuniting our community is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and parents.   
 
FBCA will continue to evaluate these protocols up to the start of school and throughout the year to assess their effectiveness in light of the changing health conditions. We will always remain steadfast in our mission to be Christ-Centered and to be among the premier Christian schools in our region in how we teach, in how we serve, and in how we cultivate our students to thrive spiritually, academically, personally, socially, and emotionally. 

FAQs

List of 6 items.

  • Academics

    How are faculty preparing their course content?

    Our faculty have dedicated themselves this summer to professional development and adopting new pedagogical approaches, skills, and techniques. This includes:
    • Grade-level and vertical collaboration to discuss curriculum concepts and scope and sequence of instructional units; 
    • Instructional planning to prepare for the delivery of content in dual environments (in-person and online); and
    • Technology training to streamline communication processes with Pre-K through Grade 12 students and parents, deliver quality synchronous learning experiences and support independent asynchronous learning.  
    Faculty will continue to use pre-assessment strategies throughout the year to inform them of concepts that need emphasis to ensure mastery as well as areas where extending and enriching concepts is needed to challenge students.

    What is FBCA’s distance learning model?

    Distance learning will be an enhanced version of what FBCA delivered this past spring. There will be a daily structured schedule and live instruction times (synchronous learning) with other students and a teacher. FBCA will use a variety of digital tools to make sure our students thrive and experience an excellent learning environment regardless of where they may be. Some of the tools we will utilize include:
    • Blackbaud
    • Zoom
    • SeeSaw
    • Google Drive
    • Nearpod
    • Flipgrid

    What is the purpose of distance learning?

    The purpose of FBCA's Distance Learning Option is to accommodate students who have at-risk family members in their household, are at-risk themselves, or who do not feel comfortable attending class in-person at this time due to COVID-19. Distance learning can also be used for students who must quarantine at home during the school year.  

    Distance learning will not be used for regular school absences including family trips, routine illness, appointments, etc.

    Can I return from Distance Learning at any time?

    FBCA understands that families who choose distance learning to begin the school year are facing different circumstances at home and we want to be respectful of each family's situation. When a student is ready to return to in-person learning on campus, our division heads will partner with parents to develop a plan for their family.  
     
    Students will not be permitted to go back-and-forth between in-person learning and distance learning at any time during the school year.

    What happens if a teacher must quarantine or be absent from school for an extended period of time?

    FBCA’s Leadership Team will work diligently to support teachers through all circumstances this year.  In the event a teacher must be away from school due to COVID-19, Division Heads will work with the faculty member to teach remotely, when feasible, and livestream into his or her classroom on campus. A substitute teacher will be placed in the classroom during this time to facilitate instruction and supervise our students.

    What is the policy for on-campus tutoring?

    At this time, FBCA will limit visitors on campus. Regular tutors, therapists, and learning specialists will be required to schedule an appointment through the school counselor and interact with students in an isolated location on campus.
     
  • Co-Curricular Experiences

    How will FBCA support students’ social and emotional well-being?
     
    At the center of FBCA’s planning for this school year is students’ social and emotional learning and well-being.  FBCA is committed to ensuring that every student is known, loved, cared for, and connected as we return to campus this fall. We will utilize our school counselors to provide training to our faculty, and frequently engage with and be available to students and parents, whether in the classroom or from a distance. FBCA will also offer a range of opportunities including resources, professional development, and educational programming to support our students, staff, and faculty, and parents.

    What is the policy for holding indoor gatherings and large-group events?

    Indoor large-group gatherings and events will be very limited. Group activities may be reimagined to take place outdoors, within larger meeting spaces, or will occur in a virtual space.

    What will happen with field trips?

    In the fall, we will operate with limited travel, so that will cause us to explore alternate options for retreats and field trips. Field trips for all grade levels may be canceled or rescheduled to a future date this school year pending health conditions improving in our area.  

    What is FBCA’s plan for Athletics?

    FBCA values the student athletic experience, and we are working closely with our athletic associations to offer a robust experience for our student-athletes during the upcoming school year. FBCA will follow guidance provided by the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS), the Greater Houston Athletic Conference (GHAC), and state and local health officials as we plan when to open practices and competitions. We will continue to share information and updates as the schedules and decisions are made by our governing athletic associations and by the School.

    How will FBCA safely provide for student arts activities and performances?

    We know that indoor group performances, especially those that include singing and playing instruments, are a particular risk for transmitting COVID-19. FBCA will utilize outside spaces as much as possible during the school day and for performances. All group performances will be organized to incorporate social distance and other state and local guidelines. As needed, group performances may be postponed or reimagined to showcase our students’ talents using virtual production.
     
  • Communication

    How will FBCA keep the community up to date on new information and developments?

    FBCA is committed to sharing information consistently, as we have been doing since the spring. We will send additional details with the regular back-to-school communications in August. We will also regularly update the Back-to-School Plan, as needed, via email and on our website. 
     
  • Distance Learning

    Will FBCA need to switch to distance learning during the school year?

    We are planning for on-campus instruction beginning on August 19. However, should there be circumstances or state mandates that affect FBCA, we may be required to transition to distance learning with age-specific adaptations. Through distance learning, all students will be required to follow a structured daily schedule that includes live (synchronous) online learning for specific instruction. 

    How are faculty preparing to be able to deliver their course work digitally?

    Our faculty have dedicated themselves this summer to professional development and adopting new skills and technologies. This planning and training will allow them to deliver their coursework seamlessly, primarily in the classroom but also via digital tools when and where it is necessary.

    New distance learning schedules will be created for each grade level. These schedules will include “live” instruction periods, asynchronous activities, small-group experiences, and individual conferences with teachers.
     
    What technology platforms will FBCA use for distance learning?

    For Lower School, Zoom and Seesaw will continue to be used as the primary platforms for on-campus and at-home learning. Middle and Upper School will use combinations of FBCA’s learning management system, Blackbaud, Zoom, discipline-specific software as appropriate to a particular course, and web-based resources to increase student engagement and optimize learning experiences for on-campus and at-home learners. For all Divisions, Zoom will be used for synchronous instruction, and Blackbaud will be our primary source of communication.

    What equipment will be assigned to students to help them with distance learning?

    All students in Pre-K - Grade 1 will be assigned an iPad.  All students in Grades 2-9 will be assigned an individual Chromebook as to avoid any shared supplies. Students in Grades 10-12 will be expected to supply their own devices.
     
  • Health and Safety Measures

    What guidance is FBCA following to establish health and safety protocols?

    We continue to closely monitor COVID-19 cases in our area and health guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Bend County Health and Human Services, Texas Education Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, school and athletic associations, and other public health resources to inform our reopening plans.

    What new health and safety measures will be in place for the 2020-21 academic year?

    A wide range of new safety measures will be in place for the fall, including required daily health screenings, new cleaning protocols, staggered arrival and drop-off times, changes to dining services, required face coverings, frequent hand washing, and many other measures to prevent illness.

    What responsibilities do members of the FBCA community have to help keep one another safe?

    Keeping our community safe is a shared responsibility, and we are counting on everyone to do their part. This includes taking everyday precautions such as washing your hands, social distancing and wearing a mask. Members of the community are asked to notify FBCA’s School Nurse, Lisa Lucik, immediately if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have a family member or other close contact who tested positive. This will allow our leadership team and Registered Nursing staff to take appropriate actions to further protect our community. Any student, staff, or faculty member who is feeling ill, has relevant symptoms, or is running a fever should not come to campus. We have developed protocols and a checklist to help families determine when a child should stay home.

    How will classroom assignments and layouts change?

    Faculty will organize their classrooms in such a way as to space students apart and provide for social distancing when feasible while preserving a positive environment and experience. Class sizes have been reduced to allow teachers greater flexibility in their classroom set-up.  Additionally, plexiglass barriers will be placed in classrooms where tables exist as another protective measure for students and teachers.

    What will be the protocol for restrooms?

    FBCA will observe new, intensified cleaning protocols for restrooms, and there will be limitations on the number of people who can be in restrooms at the same time. 
     
    How will frequent hand washing be encouraged?

    Additional sanitation stations will be provided throughout the School. During summer, a sanitation station was added to every classroom on campus in addition to portable stations at the entrances of each building. Students, staff, and faculty will have regular, designated times for handwashing and access to hand sanitizer throughout the day, with a specific focus on arrival to school, entering the classroom, and before meals.

    Our Registered Nursing team will post communications around campus, reminding students of the importance of good hygiene practices, and will reinforce these measures on the first day of school and throughout the year.

    What is FBCA’s Masking Policy?

    FBCA will require all employees and middle and upper school students to wear a cloth face covering on campus. Individuals who are working alone in a private office space or classroom, or socially distanced outdoors, can temporarily remove their face coverings. Coverings may also be removed during times of eating or actively exercising. Faculty will have the ability to utilize a clear face shield when teaching and socially distanced from students. Face coverings should be simple, non-distracting, non-political, and without wording or messaging.

    Lower School students are not required to wear face coverings to and from school or in their homeroom classes. Lower School homeroom teachers may offer the suggestion of temporary face coverings for classmates participating in an educational game or activity that brings students together closely. To help foster the safest campus environment, Lower School students will be encouraged to wear face coverings when traveling to and participating in enrichment classes. Face coverings will not be worn during times of eating and during PE classes and recess. 

    What is happening with large-group gatherings and events?

    Indoor large-group gatherings and events will be very limited. Group activities may be reimagined to take place outdoors, within larger meeting spaces, or will occur in a virtual space. Chapels will be realigned for smaller groups, both in content and location, and as a last resort via video distribution. We will continue to move forward in accordance with public health guidelines and social distancing recommendations provided to us.

    How will the Clinics be structured?

    Clinic space will be offered for well care separate from sick care. The goal is to keep children and adults who are sick (even with regular, seasonal colds and flu) away from healthy students and staff who come to the Clinic for medication and other needs throughout the day.

    What will you do if students, staff or faculty develop symptoms of illness?

    Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day will be removed to a separate location. FBCA’s Return to Campus Policy will be followed for self-quarantine at home until the person is fully recovered.

    Will FBCA be equipped to test students, staff, and faculty for COVID-19?

    The FBCA Clinics are not equipped to perform virologic testing. If an FBCA student or staff member has a known exposure to COVID-19 or has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, our Registered Nursing staff will work with the family and refer to their health care provider or other local providers for testing.

    How will FBCA define Close Contact?

    The definition of close contact is evolving, and individual scenarios will be determined by Fort Bend County Health and Human Services. In general, close contact is defined as:

    a. being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g. being coughed on); or
    b. being within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes; however, additional factors like case/contact masking (i.e., both the infectious individual and the potential close contact have been consistently and properly masked), ventilation, presence of dividers, and case symptomology may affect this determination.
     
    Either (a) or (b) defines close contact if it occurred during the infectious period of the case, defined as two days prior to symptom onset to 10 days after symptom onset. In the case of asymptomatic individuals who are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, the infectious period is defined as two days prior to the confirming lab test and continuing for 10 days following the confirming lab test.

    What happens if members of the school community are lab-confirmed with COVID-19?

    FBCA will implement the following process:
    • Notify Fort Bend County Health and Human Services and follow their direction.
    • Close off areas of campus used by an infected student, faculty, or staff member and clean and disinfect the area before re-entry.
    • Inform staff and families who may have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality requirements.

    What is FBCA’s Return to Campus Policy?


    Any individuals–including faculty, staff, students, or other campus visitors–who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 (listed below) must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the following conditions for campus re-entry have been met:

    In the case of an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, the individual may return to campus when all three of the following criteria are met:
    1. At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medications; AND
    2. Symptoms have improved; AND
    3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
    In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may return to campus when all three of the following criteria are met:
    1. At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medications; AND
    2. Symptoms have improved; AND
    3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
    If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must either:
    1. Obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis; OR
    2. Obtain an acute infection test at an approved testing location that comes back negative for COVID-19.
    Individuals–including students, faculty, staff, or other campus visitors–who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19, must stay home for 14 days after exposure based on the time it takes to develop the illness. If the individual did not experience COVID-19 symptoms during that period, the individual can be allowed back on campus. If the individual experienced symptoms, they must stay home until the conditions outlined above have been met.

    FBCA will require quarantine of any student, faculty or staff member living with an infected person for 14 days after last exposure, with return dependent upon meeting the FBCA COVID-19 Return to Campus Policy. 
     
  • General FAQs

    What standards is FBCA benchmarking against?

    We continue to closely monitor COVID-19 cases in our area and health guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Bend County Health and Human Services, Texas Education Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, school and athletic associations, and other public health resources to inform our reopening plans.

    Why do FBCA leaders believe the School can reopen in the fall with on-campus instruction?

    FBCA has carefully reviewed the public health guidance and will employ a number of new health and safety protocols to limit the risk of illness on campus. Central to Fort Bend Christian Academy is its mission to equip students to thrive spiritually, academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. We believe our students are healthiest and happiest when they are in school and connected with their teachers and classmates. For this reason, returning students to campus has been a priority. 
     
    We will continue to monitor guidance released by federal, state, and local health officials as we strive to implement a plan that keeps our students and staff as safe as possible.
     

List of 2 items.

  • Athletics

    Our athletic facilities and programs that serve enrolled FBCA students have distinct needs from other settings. To help reduce and minimize the risk of exposure to our student-athletes and staff, we have created the Athletics Guidelines and Response to COVID-19 resource. This resource outlines student participation, campus safety procedures, return to play guidelines, and participant expectations. This guidance is in accordance with local, state and federal governmental direction and is subject to change as regulatory restrictions change or by the administration of Fort Bend Christian Academy.
     
  • Commitment to Community

    We are eager to welcome our Eagle family to campus as scheduled on Wednesday, August 19. 
     
    As an independent school, we have the grace and flexibility to make decisions that are appropriate for our school community of approximately 700 students and 130 staff members. Our beautiful 35-acre campus affords us the opportunity to spread out, yet maintain and create safe environments for social interaction and collaborative learning.
     
    With the support of our Board of Trustees, FBCA’s Academic Leadership Team has been planning various instructional scenarios to meet the needs of our students and staff. These scenarios will continue to provide the excellent academic and co-curricular experiences you have come to expect at FBCA, including enhancements to our online learning opportunities. All of our planning has occurred within the guidelines of our government agencies, local health officials, and medical leaders.
     
    We are committed to:
    • Starting school with face-to-face instruction on campus five days a week.
    • Providing synchronous learning using classroom-based distance learning technology for students who have at-risk family members, are at-risk themselves, are currently or who go into quarantine, or who are not ready to begin school on campus.
    • Communicating updates of our protocols and procedures to our learning community as guidelines or mandates impact operations on campus.