#childsafety | 2020 Back to School Edition

Compiled by Nancy Price

The Marion County Public Health Department has given permission for schools in Marion County to reopen with their original opening dates, with recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other professional organizations. Individual schools may choose to implement more rigorous protocols. Guidelines are as follows:

  • Increased access to cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer for staff and students
  • Cloth face coverings or masks for teachers, ancillary staff and students in sixth grade or higher
  • Students should be seated 3-6 feet apart; arrange for teachers to be 6 feet apart from students when possible
  • Cohort students as much as possible using a team approach (the same students stick together and rotate as a team)
  • Require all students who are sick to be fever free for at least 72 hours before returning to school; designate an area where symptomatic students can wait for pick-up separate from clinic area; limit items to be shared between students
  • Transportation by personal vehicle encouraged; bus drivers should wear face coverings; students expected to wear a face mask during transportation
  • For COVID positive symptomatic, at least 72 hours must have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms) and 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
  • For COVID positive asymptomatic, students must be excluded from school; a return to school 10 days from the positive test assuring no symptoms developed
  • For no COVID test symptomatic, exclude from school; return to school if at least 72 hours have since recovery (defined as resolution of fever without the use of medications and improvement of respiratory symptoms) and 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
  • For reporting cases, designate a contact person or team within each school, preferably a school nurse

For more information go to marionhealth.org/homeslider/latest-on-coronavirus

Johnson County public schools also plan to start classes as originally scheduled for the 2020-21 school year. Under guidance from the Johnson County Health Department and the state, each district within the county will have its own specific plan. Guiding principles include limiting school building visitors, in addition to implementing the following safety measures: strongly encouraging students and staff to wear masks, with masks required in some setting; providing frequent opportunities for handwashing and/or hand sanitation; and requiring students and staff to be fever free (and fever-reducing medication free) for 72 hours prior to returning school. Center Grove, Greenwood Christian Academy and Greenwood Community schools may have additional specific measures included. Please read letters in this section from Johnson and Marion County’s schools’ superintendents or principals for more information.

Beech Grove City Schools

Dear Beech Grove Families,

I know you have many, many questions concerning the start of the 2020-2021 school year as we all continue to navigate life in a pandemic. Our staff members have been working diligently to craft a safe and flexible structure to accommodate our BGCS students.  Beech Grove City Schools will start school, as scheduled, on Thursday, July 30.  We will offer instructional options in either the physical school setting, or online for students who are not able or are uncomfortable returning to school on the scheduled start date.

Be sure to take a look at the Hornet Blast e-newsletter, which is published every Thursday morning, to access the latest school information. Our district Facebook page and website are also two important resources to keep up-to-date with the latest information for Beech Grove City Schools’ families.

This has been a difficult and challenging time for all of us, but please know our priority continues to be the safety of each of our students and staff and providing each of our students with the best instructional resources. We learned a lot from the extended e-learning experience and have made modifications to ensure that, when needed, at-home learning offers increased robust instruction for our students.

Thank you for your trust, your patience and your understanding as we navigate these experiences together.

Welcome back, Beech Grove City School students!

Small schools. BIG opportunities.

It’s always a great day to be a Hornet!

Paul A. Kaiser, Ph.D.

Superintendent

 

Center Grove Community School Corporation

On behalf of the Center Grove Board of School Trustees, administration, faculty and support staff, we would like to welcome everyone back to school on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020! This year’s first day of school is one we have been eagerly anticipating. We have certainly missed our students and colleagues during the extended closure and summer months. Our administrators and staff, along with our teachers’ association, have been working diligently on our plan to return to school. Our top priority remains the safety of our students and staff. We are implementing safety measures as recommended, along with a thorough three-step cleaning process in all school buildings. We have worked to make as few changes as possible to our school day and school calendar to provide our families with stability, while developing precautions and protocols to protect their health. Our Teaching & Learning team has worked with our principals and teachers to develop extensive plans to help students who may need additional support to start the school year. They have also created a virtual learning model for families who choose that option over traditional learning during this time. Much more information is available on our district website at centergrove.k12.in.us/Return2020. We appreciate the extraordinary partnership we share with our parents and residents of our community as we work to provide exceptional educational experiences for our students. We look forward to welcoming everyone back for the 2020-21 school year!

Sincerely,

Richard A. Arkanoff, Ed.D.

Center Grove Community School Corporation

 

Franklin Township Community School Corporation

On Monday, Aug. 3, our new school year begins, and on behalf of the Franklin Township Community School Corporation School Board, administration, faculty and support staff, we would like to welcome everyone back to school for the 2020-2021 school year! FTCSC has four four-star schools and six schools rated “A” by the Indiana Department of Education, the most for any Marion County public school district. Franklin Central High School (FCHS) earned Silver Status and is ranked as a Best High School in Indiana and America by U.S. News & World Report for eight straight years. FCHS is ranked in the top 10 for central Indiana, top 20 for Indiana and in the 10 percent nationally for Best High Schools. Our student athletes compete in one of the toughest conferences in Indiana, the Hoosier Crossroads Conference. In addition, we have strong clubs and arts programs with our choir, band, performing arts and our competitive clubs competing at the highest levels. We have monitored the guidance from the CDC over the course of the spring and summer and in collaboration with the Marion County Public Health Department, Marion County Superintendents, our school board, staff and with input from our community, we have created our Return to School Plan for the 20-21 school year. Please visit ftcsc.org to review.

The Wanamaker Early Learning Center is a preschool and has openings for children ages 3-5 years old. You may learn more at welc.ftcsc.org or by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We encourage you to contact your child’s school to find ways to volunteer in the school. In addition, please visit and bookmark ftcsc.org for resources and information to help your child experience success this school year. Finally, you can also stay current by following our central office, schools, classrooms, teams and clubs on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

#WeAreFlashes 

Kent Pettet, Ph.D. 

Chief People Officer  

 

Greenwood Christian Academy

Greenwood Christian Academy (GCA) is an interdenominational Christian school with a student body of more than 500 in Grades pre-K through 12 representing more than 80 local churches. There are many reasons to consider Greenwood Christian Academy including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. A safe, fun and Christ-focused learning environment
  2. 21st-century preparedness
  3. Core Values: Respect, Integrity, Compassion, Excellence
  4. Re-Entry, Back to School In-Person Plan for the 2020-21 school year approved by the Johnson County Health Department
  5. A comprehensive education, focusing on the whole child
  6. Technology integration in the classrooms
  7. Dual credit college courses
  8. Special Needs Department
  9. Fine Arts Department (drama, choral, band, art)
  10. Athletic members of the IHSAA (many sports options for both girls and boys)
  11. Graduates accepted and attend the best colleges/universities around the country
  12. Affordable tuition with many vouchers and financial aid options
  13. Accredited by the State of Indiana
  14. Bus route options
  15. A highly qualified, certified and experienced faculty and staff

It is true that parents have only one chance to raise their children. In an ever-changing and challenging society, it is imperative that parents place their children in a safe, caring environment that reinforces and teaches the belief systems and values taught at home. Greenwood Christian Academy seeks to be an extension of the home, partnering with parents to help raise their children. For more information about all that GCA offers, please visit our website at gcak12.org or call (317) 215-5300. Our first day for students is Aug. 6.

Mr. Michael C. Chitty

Superintendent of Schools

 

Greenwood Community School Corporation

On behalf of the Greenwood Community School Corporation Board of Education, I would like to welcome students, parents, staff and community stakeholders back for the 2020-21 school year.  We always are so excited to see our students. However, I believe this year that excitement is at a whole new level! I want to first mention the members of our board of education. Our success as a school district starts with this governing body. Members of our board of education are Steve Moan, president; Jack Napier, vice president; Mike Metzger, secretary; LaDawn Weston, member; and Brian Ford, member. I begin my eighth and final year as the superintendent here in Greenwood. I have been honored to serve the Greenwood Community School Corporation and the community of Greenwood. The key word in the Greenwood Community School Corporation is “community.” It takes a community to help educate students. Everyone – whether you are a parent, staff member, business leader or a resident with no children in our school system – has a responsibility to our young people. Our school district enrollment is expected to remain at 4,000 students this year.  We always appreciate the feedback we get from parents new to our district regarding the positive culture and climate that exist for our students. Thank you for being a part of the Greenwood Community School Corporation. Please know that we don’t take you for granted. We are a service organization, and we take our service responsibility to our students, parents and community seriously. Please help us to carry out this mission by volunteering your time and talents to better serve our students. Here’s to a great 2020-21 school year!

Respectfully,

Kent DeKoninck, Ph.D.

Superintendent

 

Lutheran High School

It is the desire for all students and teachers at Lutheran High School to engage in the spirit of fellowship and community. Both social and emotional well-being requires an environment that allows for in-person relationships to thrive through human interactions. To be able to worship, interact, serve, engage and respect each other’s needs is best served in-person. Therefore LHS has a good plan to reopen and begin school on Aug. 6, 2020. This plan had been created to guide the safe continuation of Lutheran High School’s mission to its students and families of central Indiana while under the impact of COVID-19 pandemic conditions.

Our guiding principles are:

  1. Safety for All. Ensure a safe learning and working environment for students, teachers, staff and families by promoting healthy and respectful behaviors.
  2. In-School and In-Person. Encourage in-school and in-person learning experiences for all students as allowable by state and local guidelines.
  3. Continuous Mission and Learning. Care for each student’s success by providing a continuous mission and engaging curriculum when in-school or in-person learning is interrupted, and conditions require either individuals or the community to stay home. Our one-to-one digital resources allow for face-to-face classrooms to continue in a mobile environment if needed.
  4. Support the Plan. Provide training, time and the support necessary for all members of Lutheran High School to prepare for the successful reopening of its campus.

Lutheran High School’s theme verse for 2020-2021is from Revelation 21:5 – “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”

We welcome all who wish to join our family and experience our mission.

Michael Brandt
Head of School

 

Perry Meridian and Southport high schools

Dear Perry Township Family,

Perry Township Schools is excited to welcome students to class on Wednesday, July 29. Like last school year, the 2020-21 year will likely be met with difficult circumstances, and our educators are prepared to meet those challenges.

Teachers and administrators are committed to being flexible to meet the needs of every student. Some students will receive in-person classroom instruction; others will require remote learning. We vow to provide a high-quality education to each child every day.

We are grateful to the families and staff who have shown tremendous patience and understanding during this unprecedented time. We are also thankful for the Marion County Health Department and Indiana State Department of Health’s expertise, which has provided us with advice and guidelines to keep our students and staff protected during the pandemic. Although our understanding of the crisis is constantly changing, we are committed to listening to the experts and following the recommendations to make our classroom environment as safe as possible.

There is no playbook that instructs us on how to educate children during a global health crisis. This school year, much like the end of last year, promises to be one of the most challenging times in education. We are all doing the best we can, and every decision we make is carefully considered and measured against the latest health care recommendations. We take seriously our responsibility to keep every student and employee safe. It’s possible that we will be required to close our classrooms again, so our educators are already making contingency plans to provide students with a high-quality education no matter what.

While students’ and employees’ physical health is a priority, we also value their emotional and psychological well-being. This year, we will place a stronger emphasis on diversity, inclusion and anti-racist teachings for students and staff. We want to make sure that students and employees of color feel safe, valued and included. We want to recruit more diverse staff.  We want to empower students to call out discrimination and harassment when it happens. And are committed to investigating these reports as soon as we receive them.

Over the past four-and-a-half months, the entire Perry Township community has shown remarkable character. Parents and community partners have helped school leaders meet every challenge that presented itself. We are thankful for the support, and we are humbled to serve our students and families.

Perry Township Schools

Roncalli High School Principal Chuck Weisenbach discusses plans for reopening. (Submitted photo)

Roncalli High School

While all schools have a mission to form young people academically, and some strive to go beyond that by also attempting to form citizenship, Roncalli’s mission for over 50 years has been to form the whole person: body, mind and spirit! This can best be explained by our graduate profile, which we use as a compass to direct all of the work done with our young people. The profile sets a very high standard for our graduates. Roncalli is passionately committed to partnering with our parents, parishes and community in making this profile a reality for all of our students!  We share our graduate profile with you in this article as it gives clear direction as to what we hope to accomplish during this 2020-21 school year at Roncalli High School.

Roncalli Graduate Profile

As Christ has called upon each of us to “go make disciples of all nations’” and to the extent that our namesake, St. John XXIII (Angelo Cardinal Roncalli) was committed to that task, it is Roncalli High School’s intention to create disciples of Jesus Christ in the image of St. John. It is to this purpose that we aspire for all of our graduates to honor and glorify God by:

FAITH

Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and evangelizing the message of the Gospel through their actions.

ACADEMIA

Reaching their fullest potential through a commitment to lifelong learning.

SERVICE

Serving the needs of others with loving and compassionate hearts.

COMMUNITY

 Being devout members of the Church, cultivators of the Roncalli spirit and responsible citizens.

DIGNITY

Recognizing that every person is created in the image and likeness of God, having the utmost respect for life and embracing a diverse world.

All of us at Roncalli High School are very excited to welcome students, teachers, staff and families back to campus and back to school! We have been working diligently since March to ensure the safety of all in our school community as we return to in-person instruction!

We learned a great deal about what works well and what does not work well with e-learning from the nine weeks of e-learning that concluded the 2019-20 school year. With great leadership from our IT department and great cooperation and dedication from our faculty and administration, we are very excited to unveil the synchronous learning model that will allow for excellence in education to go uninterrupted for our students who are not able to be in school on a daily basis.

In these challenging and uncertain times, please join all of us at Roncalli in praying for a safe, successful school year for all schools!

Chuck Weisenbach

Principal

 

Three money skills that every student should know

By Financial Center First Credit Union

As you think about your teen heading off into the real world, you may have a lot of conflicting thoughts and feelings. On one hand, you are excited to see the person that your child will grow up to be, but on the other hand, you may be nervous about the future decisions they will make.

When it comes to money management, having foundational knowledge and dedication is important in making financial decisions that affect their entire lives.

A poll conducted by Everfi shows that only 47 percent of high school students felt prepared to manage their finances on their own, and the average student can only answer two of six basic financial questions correctly.

If these stats make you think about how your child manages money- here are three tips to give your teen a head start on money management:

Establish an Early Habit of Paying Yourself First

The thought of setting money aside instead of spending it on things your child wants isn’t glamorous, but it can be fun. Instead of thinking about placing money into a savings account as “saving,” teach them to think of it as paying themselves first. As soon as they get their first paycheck, let them pay themselves and put a good portion aside for a future want or need.

Create a Budget Together

A first paycheck is going to be more money than your child may have ever had – which is why he/she should understand the cost of necessities. Create a budget sheet together with detailing expenses, saving and spending money to use as they see fit.

Learn that Paying Bills on Time Is Essential

Students may or may not have bills in high school, but the discipline of paying bills before all other expenses is essential to developing good money management habits. You can create practice bills as a way for children to learn to manage money. If you ask them to pay their phone bill, ask for funds on a certain day of the month, and ensure that they follow a schedule to meet payments on time.

As a final note, remember that failure is ok – in fact, it’s a key component to learning. No one starts out perfect, and with helpful guidance along the way, your student can be in a great place with their finances and on the track to long-term success.

Find more helpful tips on budgeting and money management at fcfcu.com/financial-education.


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