2020-2021 School Year Procedures
We are excited to announce that Zion Lutheran School’s application to reopen for in-person instruction has been approved at both the county and state levels. We are now authorized to provide in-person instruction for students in grades TK-6 starting on August 31st. If your family would like your child to continue remote learning, please contact your child’s teacher. Seventh and Eighth-grade students will have been approved by Orange County to attend in-person learning on September 22nd. Orange County has been off the watch list for two consecutive weeks.
Zion completed the Waiver Application required from the State of California.
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the plans for re-opening the K-8 school campus?
A: Zion has received from both the State and County approval to re-open with in-person instruction on campus.
Q: The CDC lists three risk levels for schools (“lowest”, “more”, and “highest” CDC Considerations for Schools). What “risk level” will Zion take?
A: Zion 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 want to continue to serve you and we are working on solutions for offering a “lowest risk” option for families that have a medical necessity.
Q: How will Zion achieve physical distancing in classrooms?
A: Zion 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 Zion plan to use outdoor learning spaces in the Fall?
A: Zion has spacious outdoor areas that can be used for teaching and learning spaces. 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 singing or practicing phonics and diction, that may be more safely practiced outdoors in open air with physical distance. It is quite possible for Zion 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 Zion address COVID-19 differently than other schools, particularly public schools?
A: As a private school, Zion is obligated to follow civil authority. In the case of COVID-19, we still must comply with national, state, and local orders. However, we do have the opportunity to apply for approval to open on campus even if the local school district is closed.
Q: Will Zion require students to wear masks at school?
A: Zion 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 recommended, but not required, to wear masks. Faculty and staff will wear masks or face shields at all times.
Q: Is Zion planning to offer different tuition rates if remote instruction is required?
A: At this time Zion is planning to maintain our traditional tuition structure for all students. Tuition Assistance is provided based on financial need. Faithful tuition payments provide Zion with the financial resources needed to invest in a safe and healthy school campus. Thank you for your faithful tuition payments!