Dear Lancer Family,
As the school year approaches, I know many of you have questions. I hope this email answers most, if not all, of them. Even today, the attached plan is subject to change due to the fluid status of COVID-19 in Hillsborough County. First, though, there is the question of delay. You may have heard that Hillsborough County voted last night to delay their school start by two weeks in order to better evaluate their ability to keep students safe from the spread of Covid-19 given the increased presence of the virus in our area. CCS is distinctly different from the vast Hillsborough County School District in numerous ways, and it is because of those differences that our Board of Trustees agreed to make our own decision regarding the safe opening of school, rather than a default answer of following the county’s lead. We have decided to delay the start of our school year by one week, making the start date August 17th. Please see the attached revised calendar for start-of-school events and for make-up days on November 9th, 23rd, and 24th. We believe this delay will make the start better because it will allow us sufficient time to properly train and equip our teachers to be excellent in the execution of COVID-related accommodations and protocols, the streamlining of technology platforms, and the delivery of Home-based Instruction.
I also want to call attention to a change in our requirement for cloth face coverings, as I know this is a question for many. Previously, we announced they would be required for students in grades 5-12 when unable to socially distance. Since that time, the surge in COVID-19 cases has led us to require cloth face coverings for students in grades K-12 when unable to socially distance, as is now standard practice among all schools in the Tampa area. CCS will allow cloth masks, medical masks, or CCS neck gaiters. As conditions remain fluid, we will be continually reevaluating and adjusting our protocols as safety and wisdom dictate.
We are so looking forward to seeing everyone again in August. Yes, we say that every year, but we mean it more now than ever! We plan to be on campus, and we are offering our Home-based Instruction program to our high-risk students and families that are not yet comfortable sending your children for on-campus classes. In a prior communication, I hoped and expected that we would be in phase 3 by August. Instead, we have experienced a spike, and phase 3 feels elusive. Still, phase 2 allows us to be on campus. We will be proceeding primarily according to the previously provided plan, though there are a couple changes that are detailed in the attached Reopening Plan. You will also find attached four COVID-related protocols that we will be following. Life on the Lancer campus will not be entirely back to normal, as social distancing, cloth face coverings, and other accommodations are being made, but the love we have for the Lord, each other, and our students is unchanged. Right now, that love will be manifested in prioritizing the health and safety of our students, families and staff. These relationships define Lancerville. May that always be true.
For His Kingdom,
Shawn Minks, M. Ed.