I’m sure that many of you have wondered about our plans for the fall in the event that restrictions on schools would prevent us from operating as normal. This is a very good question. We have been grateful for the flexibility and sacrifice of the parents, the work of the teachers, and the resiliency of the students in this time when the school building has been closed. But if there is anything we can do about it, we will not be repeating the springtime experience of guided homeschooling when school begins in September.
A distinctive of Evangel Classical School is our commitment to community. This informs our enrollment decisions, Matins, recess, field trips, conflict resolution, feasting, and more. In order to build the culture we wish to see here in North Snohomish County, the next generation of worshipers and culture shapers must be committed to fellowship and love, and that is hard to cultivate in a Zoom meeting (though we sure have tried). God only knows what the fall will hold, but rest assured: we will only start school in the fall as we have finished it this year if we have no other choice.
Additionally, I want to express again our commitment to love and serve you all, the families comprising our school community. You’re our people and the idea of leaving you to fend for yourselves academically was not even an option for the Board in our deliberations last evening. We are not considering closing the school. It may sound a bit cheesy, but we are building something, and this season has provided something of a setback, but not the doom of the school.
With that said, here are our preferred options (in descending order) for the fall. Of course they all have their pros and cons, and I’m glad to go into those if you’d like, but for now I’ll list and explain them briefly. Here goes:
Option A: Reclamation Church. We would be at Reclamation Church just as we were at the start of last year, with restrictions lifted and schools opened up by the state. We would be delighted to return to normal. But if that is not an option, then…
Option B: Multiple campuses. Between the main building and the Table Building at Reclamation Church as well as one other site, we have considered dividing our student body as needed across town in order to maintain a normal school schedule and keep fewer than 50 bodies in any one building.
Option C: Alternating days by classes. This would involve allowing some grades and classes to attend on certain days (e.g., Tuesdays and Thursdays) while the remainder met on the alternating days (e.g., Wednesdays and Fridays). This would keep our numbers down in the building and optimize spacing for the students.
Option D: Alternating days by families. This is similar to Option C, but families (rather than classes) would be able to stay together.
Option E: Guided homeschool (as with Q4 of this year). If all else fails, we would have a guided homeschool option again for as long as necessary. I’m confident that we could make some modifications to make it better than it was in the spring. Nevertheless this is our last option (at the moment).
A host of factors (some of which are out of our control) will inform and drive the Board’s decision as the fall approaches, but I promise to keep you apprised as details develop.
I know that it may see like lip service or just the polite thing to say right now, but I sincerely mean this: I am grateful for our school community. I have been impressed and humbled by how supportive our people have been, evidencing that you are committed to the mission of the school through thick and thin.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the graduation on Sunday. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Risus est bellum!