COVID-19 Updates

BJA Back to School Plan 2020
Updated (July 30, 2020)

 Welcome Back!

We look forward to welcoming students back to school as we return to in-person classes for 2020. School will be held on its normal schedule Monday through Friday, beginning and ending at its normal time, including early and late stay programs.

In their newly released report, the CDC emphasizes the critical role of schools and cautions that “school closure disrupts the delivery of these critical services to children and families, and places additional economic and psychological stress on families, which can increase the risk for family conflict and violence.” In order to safely open the school for our students, we recognize that all of us will need to make adjustments. It will be challenging, inconvenient, disappointing, and uncomfortable; but as we consider the possibility of school closure and distance learning, we realize this path is the better choice. And, we must remember that these measures are temporary. As soon as possible, we want to return to the normalcy we greatly desire. The CDC reports cites the encouraging findings of the European schools. Let’s pray that the Lord will grant similar grace and mercy for the schools in Greenville, South Carolina, and across the United States. As we proceed, we want to do so in a way that obeys God’s greatest commands, to love God and to love others (Matt. 22:37–40).

The details below are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the South Carolina Department of Education, local health officials, and BJU’s administrative and health leadership.

The information has been updated based on the current conditions in Greenville and the recommendations of the agencies mentioned. If need be, we will make additional changes and do our best to keep you current with any updates to the plan. We are committed to responding to new data so that we can provide a safe and healthy learning environment for the students throughout the school year.

Health Services

Nurse – Because health is a primary concern for BJA, we have an on-site nurse available to consult and support our students and activities.

Seclusion Room – a room has been designated for a student, faculty, or staff member to be temporarily and safely separated from others and cared for when Covid-19 symptoms are suspected

Faculty, Staff, and Student Safety

We plan to integrate several proactive steps to minimize exposure and to minimize the spread of illness.

  • Use physical distancing, including, where appropriate
    • Reducing room capacities and adding more rooms
      • Limiting class enrollment
      • Adding elementary sections added to reduce class sizes
      • Utilizing several Quadrangle classrooms to reduce middle school density
      • Opening several Applied Studies classrooms to meet high school needs
    • Spreading apart seating in classrooms and assemblies
      • Wide spacing of classroom desks. When full six-foot distancing is not possible because of the number of students, face coverings will be required.
      • Facing seats in one direction
    • Moving classes and assemblies to larger spaces when necessary
    • Modifying hallway traffic patterns
      • Restricting some hallways to one-way traffic or traffic lanes
      • Maintaining distanced single-file lines in elementary
    • Using backpacks and roller bags rather than student lockers
    • Modifying bus and lunch seating
  • Modify certain activities, where appropriate
    • Fine arts classes/groups
      • Spacing per recommendations
      • Temporary suspending of elementary choir since there is not an adequately sized room available
    • Physical education classes
      • Assigning lockers—distanced apart
      • Minimizing changing into PE attire
    • Athletics program
      • Soccer, volleyball, and cross-country postponed at this time
    • Emergency Drills
  • Encourage good hygiene by
    • Reminding students to
      • Wear face coverings when physical distancing is not possible
      • Wash hands
      • Watch distances
  • Asking parents to
    • Provide a face covering for each child that adequately covers the child’s nose and mouth
    • Provide hand sanitizer for student use while at school. In the elementary division, the teachers will manage its use; in the secondary division, students will use it as needed.
  • Enhance our cleaning procedures with
    • A focus on high-touch areas
    • Increased cleaning protocols in classrooms, with specific plans dependent on how the classroom is used
  • Limit contact with parents and guests at school
    • School buildings and grounds
      • Parents and guests are welcome to visit school offices for assistance; office personnel and faculty will assist with individual needs related to the classroom.
      • Face coverings are required when entering the school building to visit the office.
      • Elementary students will need to arrive through carline or say goodbye to parents before entering the building; If needed, K3 and K4 parents may enter the building and drop their child at their classroom door during week 1 (K3/K4) and week 2 (K3 only). Parents should wear a mask and have their temperature checked as they enter the front door with their child. They may walk to the room and say goodbyes at the classroom door and then should proceed out the back door of the Primary Center (please be sure to press the wall button to disarm the door alarm).
    • Lunch and chapel: Students and BJA faculty/staff only may attend.
    • School events: Each event is being evaluated and modified on a case-by-case basis regarding attendees/fans/audiences.
  • Limit exposure to other students or staff who may be ill by
    • Daily conducting the home health check for each student using the Basecamp Ascend application to determine student attendance eligibility for the day.
    • Keep home a student who receives an ineligible indication from Ascend or is symptomatic or has a temperature 100 degrees F or above
    • Plan to arrive earlier than normal to accommodate the onsite temperature and health screening checks upon arriving at school.
    • Contacting parents if their student becomes symptomatic while at school
      • The student will be cared for in an isolation room.
      • Parents will be contacted to immediately pick up the student.
    • Asking parents to seek medical advice and take appropriate action if their student shows signs of symptoms or has been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19. Read detailed guidelines here.
    • Communicating appropriately to parents if their student is believed to have been exposed to illness at school
    • Asking staff to daily check their own temperature and symptoms and to stay home if they are symptomatic
    • Maintaining cohorts of students where possible (primarily at the elementary level), avoiding unnecessary exposure to larger groups
    • Advising parents on a case-by-case basis
  • Face coverings
    • Each student (K3-12), faculty, and staff member must have their own adequate face covering when they arrive at school and throughout each day.
    • Individuals should don their face covering when entering a building or when requested to wear it by a faculty or staff member.
    • In classrooms where student desks are distanced but not to 6 feet, students will be expected to wear the face covering.
    • Efforts will be made to create distance and as much time as possible for students to not have to wear the face covering.
    • Students will be asked to wear face coverings when socializing in small groups, are changing classes, and walking together less than 6 feet apart from each other.
    • We will support any parent who wants their student to wear a face covering at all times.

Support

When a necessary precaution causes a significant difficulty for those affected, we plan to provide alternate solutions where possible and suitable.

  • School events (evaluated on a case-by-case basis)
    • Providing virtual opportunities when a face-to-face event is cancelled (e.g. Back-to-School Nights, parent-teacher conferences)
    • Back-to-School Nights: both the MS and the HS Back-to-School events will be a video presentation of school information and announcements, new procedures related to Covid-19, and walk-around video of classrooms, cafeteria, labs, music facilities, and much more to visualize planned physical distancing and safety features
    • Altering other components of an event when in-person attendance is limited (e.g. adding live streaming, adjusting the schedule to make student transportation easier)
    • Changes will be communicated to parents and students in a timely manner
  • Student learning (if an extended absence is required)
    • BJA is unable to provide distance-learning lessons while conducting traditional in-class instruction. However, the administration will work with teachers to provide appropriate homework assignments and/or other learning materials for students (similar to the kind of support that was given in previous school years).
    • Should local or state governmental agencies require us to suspend in-person classes, we will transition to a distance-learning model. We are committed to continuing to provide high-quality academic instruction regardless of the method of delivery.

Operational Procedures

Specific operational procedures for activities and buildings such as lunch, the Markham Center, chapel, changing classes, early/late stay, and after-school activities will be outlined with students the first week of school.

Agreement of Understanding

Our online check-in routinely includes a trip permission form and a release for emergency medical care, as well as other permissions. This year it will also include an agreement of understanding regarding COVID-19 that parents will need to sign before their child returns to school.

More Information

As we move into the school year, we will communicate details of specific events and any updates to our plan. We will continue to use email and our website to communicate this information to our families and staff.

Please contact us if you have questions or concerns.

We look forward to seeing your student back at school very soon!

First-Semester Schedule

Date Event
Aug. 13, 14 Back-to-School Virtual Events
Aug. 17 Classes begin
Sept. 7 Labor Day (no school)
Sept. 23–25 SCACS teacher’s convention (Wed: half day; Th–Fri.: no school)
Nov. 25–27 Thanksgiving Break (no school)
Nov. 30 Classes resume
Dec. 18 Last day of school (half day)
Dec. 21–Jan 6 Christmas Break (no school)