COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the plans for re-opening the K-8 school campus?
A: On August 20, 2020, St. Paul's Lutheran School received approval from OC Health and CDPH to reopen for face-to-face instruction for grades TK-6. The first instructional day of school is September 1, 2020. Grades TK-6 will be face-to-face on campus. Face-to-face instruction will begin for grades 7 and 8 when Orange County is off the "monitoring list" for 14 days. Even though St. Paul's has been approved for on-campus instruction, we will continue to offer remote and hybrid options for families who need or prefer an alternative to full-time on-campus instruction.
Q: Can I review the St. Paul's Lutheran School Reopening Plan and Waiver Application to reopen campus for on-campus instruction?
A: Yes, the planning and application process are transparent to the community. You can review the plan here: Campus Reopening Plan, and the Waiver Application here: Waiver Application
Q: The CDC lists three risk levels for schools ("lowest", "more", and "highest" CDC Considerations for Schools). What "risk level" will St. Paul's take?
A: St. Paul's plans to reopen in-person instruction on campus, with modifications. By the CDC's definition, this is a "more risk" environment. The only way to be "lowest risk" is to only offer remote instruction. We know that we have students and families in our school community that are medically vulnerable and need to be in a "lowest risk" environment. We are offering remote and hybrid options for students and families that need a "lowest risk" environment.
Q: How will St. Paul's achieve physical distancing in classrooms?
A: St. Paul's has many options for achieving physical distancing, such as removing unnecessary furniture from classrooms so that desks can be spread out from each other, using partitions where physical distance cannot be achieved, and the use of outdoor learning spaces when appropriate.
Q: Does St. Paul's plan to use outdoor learning spaces in the Fall?
A: St. Paul's has spacious outdoor areas that can be used for teaching and learning spaces and has added 200 square feet of shade for each class adjacent to the existing classroom. It is already common to see students and educators working and learning at the outdoor tables. Using outdoor learning spaces has already been a part of our program because it provides flexibility, reduces noise in the classroom, allows students to spread out, and optimizes our beautiful climate for fresh air and sunshine! There are some specific lessons and activities, such as practicing phonics and diction, that may be more safely practiced outdoors in open air with physical distance. It is quite possible for St. Paul's to continue using outdoor learning spaces in a way that feels "normal" to students while complying with CDC guidance for physical distancing.
Q: Will parents be allowed to walk their children to class?
A: No, although this procedure will be continually reviewed based on our local conditions. Everyone who enters campus will be required to be screened. Screening our student population each morning will require several staff members and will need to be as efficient as possible so that students can get to class. The teachers and staff will plan alternate ways to make the first day of school special for students and families and we will support students in adjusting to new routines.
Q: Will volunteers be able to help on campus during the 2020-2021 school year?
A: As of May 29, 2020, the CDC recommends that schools, "Limit any nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations as possible – especially with individuals who are not from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, county)," (CDC Considerations for Schools). We are likely to limit guests, volunteers, and all non-staff adults, although it is something that may change throughout the upcoming school year depending on the health of our surrounding community (Orange County, specifically).
Q: How can St. Paul's address COVID-19 differently than other schools, particularly public schools?
A: As a private school, St. Paul's is obligated to follow civil authority. In the case of COVID-19, we still must comply with national, state, and local orders. St. Paul's has been granted permission to reopen for on-campus face-to-face instruction for grades TK-6.
Q: Will St. Paul's require students to wear masks at school?
A: St. Paul's will require students, staff, and all visitors to campus to comply with civil authority. Current orders require students in grades 3-8 to wear masks whenever they are indoors. Students in grades TK/K-2 are strongly recommended, but not required, to wear masks. Faculty and staff will wear masks or face shields at all times.
Q: Is St. Paul's planning to offer different tuition rates if remote instruction is required?
A: At this time St. Paul's is planning to maintain our traditional tuition structure for all students. Tuition relief is provided based on financial need. Faithful tuition payments provide St. Paul's with the financial resources needed to invest in a safe and healthy school campus. Thank you for your faithful tuition payments!