As we approach the start of school, I am aware that there are many questions and uncertain situations that you are trying to work through. I hope to ease your mind, and it is my desire to give you answers to some of your questions. Below, I will go through a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and provide answers that will help you in determining decisions that you need to make between now and August 10 (1st day of school!). You have been very supportive, and I am so thankful for all you have done for us during this time. There has been so much information shared at such a rapid pace. Please understand that our protocol is subject to change based on the conditions surrounding Covid-19. Also, understand that we will do the best we can to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but we do not guarantee that there will be no cases within our student body and staff. Your flexibility is needed. I am praying for and anticipating a safe and successful start to the 2020-2021 school year.
Q. Can we opt out of on-campus attendance if we are not comfortable sending our child to school due to conditions related to Covid-19?
A. Yes. We will accommodate you if you are not ready to return to campus. Contact your child’s building principal to let them know that you prefer distance learning during this time. You can return to school when you are ready.
Q. Are masks required?
A. Masks are allowed and can be worn at any time during the school day for any student K3-12. Masks will be required in situations when social distancing is not possible. Masks must be solid in color with no designs or words.
Q. What preventive measures are in place?
A. We want the school day to seem as normal as possible for students and staff, but understand that there have been changes to help minimize the risk of contamination. We have implemented the following:
- Purchase of 4 fogging surface sanitizer/mister machines that are made by GENESIS. Buildings will be sprayed every day before the start of school.
- Hand sanitizing stations to be placed in the hallways, doorways, and near restrooms.
- Sneeze Guards for the secretary desks.
- Dividers for student desks and tables.
- Lockers have been removed from the secondary school in order to create more space in the hallway for proper distancing.
- Student textbooks will be kept in the classroom during the pandemic. Each student will have his/her individual textbook. There will be no sharing of textbooks. A plan for ordering licenses for electronic books in certain subjects is being discussed.
- Visitors will be limited. Anyone who enters the school will be screened before interacting with other students and staff. There will be no lunch visitors during the pandemic.
- Signage at all entries, exits, and in the hallway- these signs will give instruction and remind students to practice proper distancing and proper sanitation habits.
- Reduction in numbers and proper spacing in the cafeteria.
- Flexible absentee policy that is not punitive for staff and students who are absent due to Covid-19 conditions.0
- Screening for staff and students. Staff, students, and elementary families need to answer NO to the following questions in order to participate in on-campus learning:
- Have you been in close personal contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the past 14 days?
- Have you had fever, new or worsening cough, or shortness of breath in the past 24 hours?
- Have you had a new loss of taste or smell?
- Daily temperature checks. Every teacher will have a touch-less thermometer in their classroom. Temperatures will be checked at the beginning of every school day and again at the mid-point of the school day. Can someone take temperature before the student enters the building?
- Chapel will be conducted in each classroom instead of the sanctuary.
- Desks will be arranged to help avoid transmission of the virus.
Q. What is the protocol for a symptomatic student or staff member?
A. If a student or staff member answers YES to any of the 3 screening questions listed above, they will be isolated in a designated location, checked out of school, and must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Be fever free (without medication) for 72 hours, and
- Produce a negative Covid-19 test result or a note from a doctor that allows the student/staff member to return to school.
Q. What if a student/staff member tests positive for Covid-19?
A. They will be required to be in quarantine for 14 days from the onset of symptoms. Any family member (parent, sibling, spouse, other household contacts) will also be required to quarantine.
Q. Will there still be an orientation?
A. Yes. We will still have orientation, but it will be done virtually. You will be able to access this via the school website on or before July 30.
Q. Will we be able to meet our child’s teacher(s) in person?
A. Yes. You will be able to meet your teachers, but there are changes being discussed that will allow this to take place in a safe setting. Please be patient as our administration works out all of these details.
Q. Will we still have Meet The Crusaders?
A. Meet The Crusaders is scheduled for August 7. We have decided to change the location from the Clyde Muse Center to Shepherd Field in Pearl. This is tentative. We will let you know if we have to cancel as soon as we have clear direction.
Q. Will there be athletics this fall?
A. Yes. At this time, all schools in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) are scheduled to start their athletic seasons on time. We will communicate any rules for fans (number of fans allowed in the stadium, etc.) with you in advance. This will be a fluid situation, and each school is responsible for determining how to safely host a home event.
I know that there are questions still unanswered, but I hope that this gives you a better understanding about the start of school for PPCA. This is an unprecedented situation, and we will continue to make adjustments as we get new information. In the meantime, pray for our school. May we seek God’s glory as we prepare for the start of a new and exciting school year.
Head of School