The first week of school at Centralia Christian School (CCS) saw excitement and transition as students adjusted to in-person class under safety protocols.
The school, which is nondenominational and serves grades K-10 along with preschool, opted for a variety of safety measures to allow full-time, face-to-face instruction to all grades starting September 2. Enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures, social distancing, cohort-based and remote chapel services, along with face-covers, temperature checks at home and illness monitoring were just some of the new protocols the school set in place to keep the building clean and the students safe.
“We’re following the guidelines of the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and they both recommend in-person schooling for children as the best option,” said CCS Principal Ann Stout. “We realize that the public schools have a lot more to deal with than we do. As a small school, we believe we can offer in-person education safely.”
Toward this end, the CCS Safe School Start Task Force, which was comprised of school administration and Board members, staff, local medical professionals, and parents, collaborated to create a robust reopening plan that prioritized safety as well as the essential role in-person learning plays in a child’s well-being and development.
The school opted to provide all of its students with face shields attached to CCS caps. Students may also wear masks or other face covering. Unnecessarily furniture was removed from the classrooms to provide more space between desks.
“We do have a pretty large facility,” Stout said. “Our building is almost an acre square and our campus sits on 5.35 acres”, giving the teachers the option to utilize both the classrooms and the outdoor spaces as needed. “Especially for our younger students, social learning is probably one of the biggest things we try to teach and you can’t really do that from a distance. You can’t learn to share if there’s no one else to share with.”
To ensure its students have access to safe school supplies and learning infrastructure, the School Board approved the purchase of Chromebooks for all students in the 3rd-10th grades. If students need to stay out of class due to sickness or possible illness exposure, a family liaison will also be available to help families and students keep current on school work.
CCS’s goal is to keep learning and student experiences as safe and normal as possible.
Centralia Christian School (CCS) is a preschool through 10th-grade nondenominational Christian school located in Centralia, WA. At CCS, students learn to use their hearts, heads and hands for Christ by pursuing Christ in character, academics and service. The school is affiliated with the Washington Federation of Independent Schools (WFIS) and is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).