GCA Reopening Plans for 2020-21

Dear GCA Family,

We are looking forward to seeing you back on campus on Wednesday, August 12th.  The leadership of Grace Christian Academy and the GCA COVID-19 task force have been working hard over the past several weeks on a plan which will provide a safe, fun, and enriching school year for all our students.  Our goal is to create an environment that mitigates risk as much as possible knowing that we cannot completely eliminate it.  In order to adhere to the latest guidance from federal, state, and local agencies, modifications to daily procedures and campus events may be required as we progress through the school year.  Even though things may look a little different for now, our school events are important and will continue to be a cherished priority for us. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  The success of the GCA Reopening Plan will depend upon our entire GCA community partnering together.  Please join us in upholding the guidelines outlined below.  If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact us.  Go Rams!

God Bless,
Tony Pointer
Grace Christian Academy Head of School
 

printable version of the reopening plan

Back to School During COVID-19: A Resource for Parents

Please take a few minutes to watch this video with Dr. Tony Pointer and physician, Dr. Nick Thornton, as they discuss the rationale for the return to school this fall.  We hope that it will be a helpful resource for parents as we navigate this unusual season.


 

GCA Illness Policy

Your assistance monitoring your child’s health at home every day will be needed and greatly appreciated.  If you need a thermometer, please notify your principal, and GCA will provide one for you. 

Please adhere to the following protocols prior to the start of every school day:

1)  Check your temperature and your child’s temperature.  Temperature checks will be available at school if needed.

2)  If you or your child feels sick or has a fever of 100.4 or above, please stay home. Your doctor/ pediatrician will advise you whether COVID-19 testing is necessary based on fever alone.

3)  If you or your child has a fever of 100.4 or above or two or more of the following symptoms, stay home until you have a negative COVID-19 test or your doctor releases you to return to school:

  • Diarrhea
  • Achiness/fatigue
  • Cough or sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden loss of taste or smell
  • Headache

4)  Parents will be required to sign a statement to certify their compliance with the GCA Illness Policy prior to the first day of school.  A link to the compliance statement will be shared with parents in advance.


 

Protocol for Students or Staff Members Who Exhibit Illness:

If a student or staff member has a temperature of 100.4 or above or shows signs of illness listed above while at school, that individual will be isolated immediately and sent home.  The student or staff member will not be permitted to return to campus until they have met one of the following criteria:

  • Documentation of a negative COVID-19 test is provided to the school or
  • Documentation that the individual has been cleared by a doctor to return to school or
  • The individual self-quarantines at home for at least 14 days from the onset of symptoms and has been fever and symptom free (with no fever medication) for 72 hours.

To avoid an unnecessary self-quarantine and to provide information for others who may have been exposed to the potentially infected individual, it is strongly encouraged that a COVID-19 test be conducted any time a potential case of COVID-19 is suspected.  To ensure greater accuracy in test results, COVID-19 testing should be performed at least 48 hours after exposure.


 

Protocol for Positive COVID-19 Results

If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, that individual will not be permitted to return to campus until they have met all 3 of the following criteria:

  • Fever free and fever medication free for 72 hours and
  • Resolution of upper respiratory infection, cough, and shortness of breath symptoms and
  • At least 10 days have elapsed since symptoms began (or date of positive COVID-19 test, if asymptomatic).


 

Protocol for Positive COVID-19 Results Within a Household

If an individual within a student's household tests positive for COVID-19, family members within that household will not be permitted to return to campus until they have met the following criteria:

  • Documentation of a negative COVID-19 test is provided to the school or
  • Documentation that the individual has been cleared by a doctor to return to school or
  • The individual self-quarantines at home for at least 14 days from the onset of symptoms and has been fever and symptom free (with no fever medication) for 72 hours.


 

Response to Exposure or Potential COVID-19 Case

On-Campus Exposure

Any student, while on campus, who has a fever of 100.4 or above or two or more of the symptoms listed above will be placed in a mask in a supervised isolation area until their parent/guardian can pick them up.  Staff members with a potential case of COVID-19 will be directed to leave campus.  The maintenance staff will be notified, and all desks, lockers, workspaces, etc. of the potentially infected individual will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. 

General Exposure

If a student or staff member has come in direct contact (prolonged exposure without social distancing and/or wearing a mask) with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days, the student or staff member needs to be monitored every day for the symptoms listed above.  The person(s) may need to be quarantined or tested if directed to do so by the Knox County Health Department or if guidelines change.   

If the potentially exposed student or staff member has a fever of 100.4 or above or two or more of the symptoms listed above, they need to stay home until they have a negative COVID-19 test, or their doctor releases them to return to school.  If the potentially exposed student or staff member is not presenting a fever of 100.4 or two or more of the symptoms listed above, they may return to school with regular monitoring detailed above.


 

Response to a Confirmed Case of COVID-19 on Campus

If there is confirmation that a person infected with COVID-19 was on campus, Grace Christian Academy will notify the parents of students who may have been exposed.  Parents of a potentially exposed student need to monitor their child for the symptoms listed above.  If the potentially exposed student has a fever of 100.4 or above or two or more of the symptoms listed above, they need to stay home until they have a negative COVID-19 test or their doctor releases them to return to school. 

If the potentially exposed student is not presenting a fever of 100.4 or two or more of the symptoms listed above, they may return to school with regular monitoring detailed above.  

The identity of the individual who tested positive for COVID-19 will remain anonymous in all communication to the GCA community.  However, the individual may need to be identified for contact tracing by the Knox County Health Department.

If your student is unable to attend school due to illness from COVID-19 or suspected illness from COVID 19, Grace Christian Academy will work with you to ensure that your student continues to progress academically.


 

Cleaning and Safety Procedures

GCA will continue to take into consideration all federal, state, and local recommendations relative to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.  In addition to our normal cleaning and safety practices, the following protocols will also be followed:

  • Increased frequency in cleaning of surfaces in classrooms, restrooms, offices, common areas, etc.
  • Nightly sanitation utilizing a non-toxic, electrostatic/ionized solution.
  • New dining hall procedures and protocols.
  • Strategic seating will be utilized in classrooms. 
  • Water bottle filling stations will be available instead of water fountains.
  • Regular handwashing and use of hand sanitizer will be encouraged.
  • New dining hall procedures have been established and are described under the Frequently Asked Questions.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers quickly here to frequently asked questions about the GCA Reopening Plan for 2020.


 

Student Well-Being

During this unique time, it will be more important than ever that we have partnership between home and school. As we work to ensure that we are keeping our students physically safe, we are equally focused on their spiritual, social, and emotional well-being. Though things will have to look a little different for a while, we are dedicated to avoiding a "scary" environment full of fear. We will work to teach students about ways to take precautions and keep safe while also helping them to continue to focus on the biblical truths that we hold as our foundation.

Our staff will continue to support each child individually and to provide the warm and loving environment that you would expect from GCA. Please continue to talk with your child at home as this will help them to process through a time where things may not make sense to them as children and young adults. If your child is having a more difficult time with this unique season, please let our faculty and staff know so that we can support.

Trained lay counselors are on staff to encourage students and families who might be struggling during this period.  Please reach out to your principal for assistance.


 

Relevant Articles that Support the Return to School

Helpful Links

Fight Germs. Wash Your Hands!