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School Status: Distance Learning through May 22, 2020.

Duing this time period, all classes are digital and all extracurricular activities are canceled.

School Notices

Dear Savannah Christian families,

Life can change so quickly. Just a few weeks ago, our students were preparing for trips abroad, spring break, and looking forward to all of the fun that the end of the school year brings: graduation, class field trips, athletic competitions, and then COVID-19 brought unprecedented uncertainty to our world. However, throughout this uncertainty, one truth remains: the truth of salvation through Jesus Christ and the reminder that while times are stressful, we will get through this. As the Lord said to Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Currently, we are scheduled to return to school on May 1. In cooperation with Governor Kemp’s State of Emergency through May 13, we will continue with our distance learning through the end of the school year. While this does seem to dampen many of the end of year activities we normally experience, your principals have been working on alternatives to celebrate this year. In the coming weeks, you will receive more information from them concerning the ways we will celebrate our students’ successes this year. Additionally, we plan to have a Raider Last Day celebration sometime early summer when the stay at home and social distance requirements are lifted. This will give our students the chance to come to campus to give one last goodbye to their teachers and retrieve their personal items from the classrooms and lockers. Once we know when these orders will be lifted, we will communicate the date of this final event to you.

Over the past several years, the school has strengthened its financial position while keeping our tuition lower than our competitors. This financial position was caused by several factors. First, our board and school leadership focused on strong stewardship of our finances to make sure our students are securely taken care of and receive a top tier education while managing our expenses. In past years, we have done more with less. Second, our donors have seen the steps we made to improve our school, and they joined with us to meet our challenges by providing opportunities for the school and students where tuition was not able. Lastly, our families committed to our tuition rate. While we have increased tuition in the past years, our school has continued to see healthy enrollment. Each year, we operate with prudence under a balanced budget and do not rely on fundraising to make up the difference between what we charge and what we spend. Essentially, we live within our means to ensure the longevity of the school.  These financial steps have provided our school with a strong financial standing and flexibility in our operations as we face the complexities of navigating the weeks ahead. We are grateful.

I share this information so that you know that your tuition is wisely utilized. While I know that many families will be financially challenged during these next several months, I also know that the school will face challenges. While we have a healthy financial footprint, a prolonged closure will affect us in much the same way that our personal homes will be affected. However, we are continually taking steps to secure the future of the school for our children.

In this period of distance learning, I remain impressed with the resolve of our teachers and students. Our teaching staff continues to creatively provide instruction, and our students remain engaged in learning. We made a promise when you enrolled your child at Savannah Christian: a promise to provide an excellent education. In the past month, we have seen schools not only close their doors but also cease teaching, or make it optional. Instead, we have our eye on the future. We know that some students will not have the same gains being at home and this will be followed by the educational loss that is experienced during the summer break. However, we are committed to finishing the year strong. We plan to teach until the final day of school. We will also offer summer enrichment, should the State of Emergency be lifted, and are making plans to make sure all of our students are on grade level target within the first part of the next school year. The teaching staff has been amazing at adjusting to this new method of teaching, and we are already planning for the future.

It is important for me to note to our entire school community that this year, we have 91 seniors who will finish their high school career. These students have lost those special moments that come with graduating. As soon as we can get together, we are going to celebrate them in a big way, including graduation. I invite every alumnus, parent, student, and community member to join us when we have the opportunity to send them off to college.

Our school community never ceases to amaze with its show of strength in difficult times. During this period of fear and uncertainty, we hope to provide comfort and support for our families. Together, we will come out stronger.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. – Isaiah 43:2

 

It’s a great day to be a Raider,

Chris Harmon, Ed.D.

Headmaster

SCPS families,

Over the past month, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a great degree of uncertainty among our community. From the outset, I wrote home to our families with the goal of assuring you that we will monitor the unfolding situation and will respond to the information we receive with thoughtfulness, keeping the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and families at the forefront of our decision-making. This past weekend, the President extended social distancing guidelines until April 30, 2020. Therefore, we find it in the best interest of our SCPS community to extend our distance learning program until April 30.

We will continue to monitor the spread of the pandemic in our area. If under the advice of our medical community and government agencies, we believe there is a need to remain closed for a prolonged time, we will change the date to reopen classes on campus. Given the fact that new details about the coronavirus come out daily, looking farther into the future does not seem prudent at this time. This is why we have tried to communicate frequently, looking at a two-week period. However, this new guideline moves the date to resume school into May.

As we enter into April, I want you to rest assured that our teachers are innovating, evolving, and providing new opportunities at every grade level. The move to distance learning has our teachers working in overdrive. In one week, our entire staff transitioned from a traditional teaching and learning model to digital instruction. Our teachers have been essential in making sure our students stay connected to learning. Words cannot capture the essence of the time they have committed to making sure we continue the learning process full time. All three schools have a dedicated webpage, in addition to the school’s distance learning page, that outlines the process for distance learning. I would encourage you, if you have not already done so, to visit these sites to stay up-to-date on our distance learning program.

Lower School Distance Learning Site: https://sites.google.com/savcps.com/ls-distance-learning

Middle School Distance Learning Site: https://sites.google.com/savcps.com/msdl/home

Upper School Distance Learning Site: https://usdl.savcps.com/home

Each of us is closely monitoring the impact this pandemic has on our homes and families. We know that choosing a private education comes with a commitment. This academic change has no doubt been unique for you as parents. I appreciate your help while our students are at home. However, our intent is not to create work for the whole family. While we are in this together, please reach out to our staff if we can help you. I am grateful for your partnership and look forward to working with you as we weather this storm together.

Our commitment to your family remains the same in that we desire to offer your student a quality education in a Christian environment. Our goal is to successfully prepare your student for the future. Please also know that we appreciate the opportunity to serve your family and our team is praying for you.

Sincerely,

Chris Harmon, Ed.D.

Headmaster

 

School Schedule

April 1-9: Distance Learning

April 10-13: Easter Break (no school)

April 13-30: Distance Learning

May 1: Tentative Campus Reopening

All major school events schedule for April have been postponed. New dates and times will be set when school reopens. 

Parents,

While the first week back from spring break was not traditional in terms of learning, that did not stop your students and our teachers from making it a great week! The Zoom class pictures, positive feedback from parents, and dedication of our faculty reminded me time and time again why it’s a great day to be a Raider! 

As we near the end of our first week of distance learning, I want to provide you an update on the duration of our distance learning plan. Our implementation of the school’s distance learning plan was done in relation to the Governor’s closing of public schools. This morning, our principals met to discuss our operating status. Our conversation considered health metrics, government state of emergencies, and learning needs of our students.

Our consensus is to reopen the campus for learning on April 13, 2020, which is the day after Easter.

While preparing this email, the Governor issued an order to keep all public schools closed through April 24, 2020. I understand why he needs to prolong the closure for public schools due to their vast size. However, we would like to open back on April 13, 2020, unless the pandemic worsens in Chatham County. As the pandemic arcs in Chatham County, we will have a better indication of the school’s future.

As always, our top priority is the health and safety of our Savannah Christian community. We greatly appreciate your patience, prayer, support, and cooperation with the complexities of managing this situation, as details and logistics have been subject to change frequently. I hope this weekend provides you and your family much needed rest and relaxation.

Sincerely,

Chris Harmon, Ed.D.

Headmaster

Savannah Christian community,

Monday night, Governor Kemp issued an Executive Order closing all public schools until March 31. While the order is not incumbent upon Savannah Christian, we believe it is in the best interest of our school and our community to transition to distance learning until March 31. All activities through March 31 have been canceled. The junior/senior prom that was originally scheduled for Friday, April 3, has been postponed to a later date. We will communicate the new date once details have been finalized. Please know, this timeframe may be adjusted in the event of a widespread outbreak in our community.

Please understand that we will still celebrate graduation for our seniors. Should we need to postpone graduation due to a widespread outbreak in our community, we will find a new date for this year’s graduation.

I know this is a challenging time for all our families. Our staff has been diligent in establishing a plan for the continuity of learning for our students. Please take the time to read through this communication in order to understand the educational procedure for the coming weeks. Beyond this notice, you will receive correspondence from your division principal that will outline, in further detail, the learning objectives for your child. These will differ between grades and would be too comprehensive for this communication.

Distance Learning Communities

Our teachers have begun building the online learning community based on our developed distance learning plan. We want to make sure that every student has the full opportunity to continue the learning process even though we are physically separated. Please know, our hope in moving to a distance learning community is to keep the learning process progressing; however, we understand that the academic gains will not be the same as in the classroom. Therefore, we have developed a plan that keeps the minds of our students engaged.

Needed Technology

The first item a student will need is access to technology (desktop, laptop, tablet, or cell phone with a camera and reliable connection). Knowing that each child may not have access to a home computer or tablet, or in families with multiple children who may need the technology at the same time, we will make arrangements for our students to borrow school technology. If your family needs to borrow a school Chromebook or if you do not have access to Wi-Fi, please click on the button below to fill out our Needed Technology form. The school will contact you about a time when you can come up to school and check out a Chromebook for the duration of our distance learning.

School Materials

If your child did not bring home their learning materials last Thursday, please plan to come to school between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Thursday or Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. to collect all of your child’s books, notebooks, and other materials they would normally need for class. When you arrive on campus, please check-in at the division office before heading to the classrooms and/or lockers. We will be practicing social distancing and making every effort to welcome you on campus while also maintaining personal space.

Online Learning Environment

Your child will need access to three different areas for their distance learning environment: (1) their school email (grades 3-12), (2) Google Classroom (grades 3-12), and (3) Zoom (PK-12). First, students need access to their school email. This will be the method by which teachers communicate with our students. We will not use personal email as these are not secure for the learning environment. Your student has been taught and is familiar with accessing their school email.

Additionally, the Google Classroom link will be emailed to your child. The Google Classroom is the place in which the teacher will regularly connect with students, post assignments, and documents for the class.

Lastly, Zoom is an online communication portal in which the teacher will be able to hold face-to-face classes. Once again, students will need access to their school email to access the Zoom link.

Parents, please check your email and have your child (grades 3-12) check their school email each evening. Email will be the first way teachers communicate with students and parents. They will also be directing students to resources on class pages and to online learning tools students will be accessing as part of our distance learning initiative.

I realize this is a lot of information at once, and I appreciate your patience as we implement a distance learning plan to support our students at every grade level. Our plan will vary slightly based on the developmental needs of students of different ages, and your child’s teachers will be the experts on how to customize the development and implementation of a plan that best meets the needs of your child. In many ways, this is an opportunity to stretch the boundaries of our experience, engage with our children/students in new ways, and model the positive and pro-learning attitudes that are indicative of our school community. Be looking for an email from your child’s division principal for more details. Thank you for your continued flexibility!

For our children,

Chris Harmon, Ed.D.

Headmaster

Savannah Christian Community,

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease, our emergency preparedness task force has been tracking the spread at both the international and at the national level. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have regularly updated schools and we have spent time pouring over their advisories in addition to information we have received from our academic associations. While there are concern and speculation in this very fluid situation around the country, I should be clear that there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Savannah Christian and the risk in our local area remains low at the present time.

As the health and safety of our campus community is a top priority, the emergency preparedness task force, drawn from a variety of school departments, has been meeting in recent days to review options and to take precautionary steps consistent with the guidance provided by the CDC and our state and local officials. Given uncertainties around the spread of the virus, the need to further plan for contingencies in how best to continue the semester, and out of an abundance of caution, we have asked all of our students to take all of their academic materials home throughout spring break. Additionally, over the past weeks, we have developed a plan in the event we need to transition to a temporary remote learning environment. As part of this plan, your child will need to have their academic materials. Hopefully, we will not need to exercise this plan but want to be prepared in the event this occurs quickly. Our hope remains that classes will resume as normal when we return from spring break on Monday, March 23.

Throughout the break, the SCPS campus will remain open and operational. Little Raiders Learning Academy, athletic practices, holiday care, dining services, central services, and the business office plan to function at normal capacity to accommodate the small population on campus.

At this time, there are no plans to cancel any event or school. CDC advisories will be taken into account regarding any travel. As noted in my communication to our community yesterday, until further notice, we ask for your cooperation in letting our school nurse, Julie Murphy (jmurphy@savcps.com), know if you are traveling to an area where either the U.S. State Department or the CDC has issued an Alert Level 2, or a Warning Level 3 or 4, or if you have been in contact with a traveler who has recently returned from these areas.

Should our community experience a change in status due to the spread of COVID-19, a detailed contingency plan will be available to you on your FACTS Family Portal under the “Resource Documents” section. Instructions are below in case you are unsure of how to access your Family Portal.

  • Log on to your FACTS Family Portal at https://sav-ga.client.renweb.com/pwr/. Our district code is SAV-GA.
  • On the left side of your screen, please click on the “Resource Documents” section.
  • Click on the “COVID-19 Education Contingency Plan” document. It will automatically download for you.

These instructions will also be available under the “Announcements” section of your FACTS Family Portal homepage.

As always, our top priority is the health and safety of our Savannah Christian community. We greatly appreciate your patience, prayer, support, and cooperation with the complexities of managing this situation, as details and logistics have been subject to change frequently. Paul’s letter to Timothy instructs us that the Lord does not give us a spirit of fear. With His power, with love and care for each other, and with a sound mind, we can make the prudent decisions that will serve us all well as we navigate this global health situation.

Praying and trusting,

Chris Harmon, Ed.D.

Headmaster

Savannah Christian Community,

The health and safety of your child is always our highest priority. With the recent news from the CDC regarding the novel coronavirus (nCoV-2019), I wanted to take a moment to share the most current information we have received with the steps we can take to protect ourselves and our school from respiratory viruses.

The coronavirus has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. To date, the CDC has confirmed six cases in the state of Georgia. While one patient at St. Joseph’s/Candler has been tested, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Chatham, Bryan, Effingham, or surrounding counties. Although new developments may cause worry for some, the CDC is closely monitoring the disease and preparing appropriately. Symptoms of this virus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Our best defense against the spread of respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus and flu, is prevention. By following the recommendations listed below, together we can reduce the spread of infections at Savannah Christian:

 

CDC Travel Advisories

If you are traveling during spring break, please check the CDC Travel website and the State Department website to ensure a safe experience for your family. We recognize that families may have travel plans for spring break that include international travel. As of this mailing, the State Department has issued a travel guidance related to COVID-19 that includes a Warning Level 4 (do not travel) for China and Iran and a Warning Level 3 (avoid all non-essential travel) for Italy and South Korea.

  • The CDC recommends that travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel at this time.
  • The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all non-essential travel to South Korea, Italy, China, and Iran. Those entering the United States from China and Iran are subject to restrictions upon entry to the United States.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, or until further notice, we ask for your cooperation in the event of international travel. If you are traveling to an area where either the State Department or the CDC has issued an Alert Level 2, or a Warning Level 3 or 4, or if you have been in contact with a traveler who has recently returned from these areas, please notify our school nurse, July Murphy, at jmurphy@savcps.com.

As of March 11, 2020, there are no travel advisories to any cities in the United States.

We would ask that if your child awakens feeling unwell in any way that you keep them home for observation to determine if further symptoms will develop. This is especially important in the lower grades. Please know that we are diligently monitoring all information from the CDC. If a status change affects our community, we will communicate with you appropriately. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the school nurse, Julie Murphy, at jmurphy@savcps.com or 912-721-2115.

Be well!

Chris Harmon, Ed.D.
Headmaster

Directions for Distance Learning

Middle School

Email: Students need to check their school email accounts on a regular basis.  This will be a main source of communication between students and teachers, so it is important for students to be reading emails and sending emails constantly throughout the day.  It is important for parents to check their emails regularly as a main source of communication from the school.

Google Site: This site will provide important middle school distance learning information, such as Zoom links for teachers’ meeting rooms, announcements, the middle school class schedule, and other helpful resources.

https://sites.google.com/savcps.com/msdl/home

Zoom:  We will be using Zoom as our online learning platform for instruction.  Zoom can be accessed on a computer, or from any device you can add the Zoom app to like an iPhone, iPad, etc. Teachers will email students the information for joining these online class sessions.  Every class will have meeting time in Zoom.  Students are required to attend all of these online Zoom sessions.  These Zoom sessions will be recorded and loaded into Google classroom for students to view.  Students will receive a link to join Zoom from each class teacher.

Google Classroom:  Students will be using Google classroom as a platform for students and teachers to exchange class information, turn in assignments, provide class resources, etc. Students should automatically see all their classes in Google Classroom if logged in with school email at the classroom url (http://classroom.google.com)

Digital Learning Etiquette:  Digital learning etiquette will be reviewed by classroom teachers to ensure that students are being responsible.  Students should dress appropriately for Zoom sessions because they will be seen by others.

Schedule:  Students will follow the Middle School Distance Learning Schedule that is attached to this email.

Instruction:  Students will have two sessions of online instruction for every class each week.

Independent Learning:  Students will also be required to complete independent learning outside of online instruction for each class every week.

Assignments:  Students will be required to complete assignments and submit them.  Teachers will provide details on the specific assignments.

Office Hours:  There will be office hours where students can meet with teachers to get individual help.  Office hours are available at the end of each school day and all day on Wednesday.  Students can email questions or request a time to meet with the teacher during office hours by emailing the teacher.  The teacher will reply to the email to answer the student’s questions or set a time to meet with the student.

Zoom: You can help by making the live Zoom meetings with classroom teachers a priority- we  want to continue to connect with our students as much as possible.  We will be taking attendance.

Emails:  You can help by checking your emails and encouraging your students to check their emails regularly.

Google Classrooms:  You can help by making Google classrooms a priority – this will be an important component of our distance learning community.

Learning Environment: You can help by making the student’s learning environment as distraction-free as possible.

Ask Questions:  You can help by asking questions to your child’s teacher and our team.  If your child is struggling with accessing a class, please email the classroom teacher.  We are in this together!

Stay Positive:  You can help by staying positive, giving your student(s) plenty of time to play outside and have fun, and by providing plenty of experiences that remind them that learning is a gift and is fun!

Upper School

The College Board announced that they have now postponed the March 25 SAT test administration.  The College Board has planned a tentative makeup date of April 1

Email: Students need to check their school email accounts on a regular basis.   This will be a main source of communication, so it is important for students to be reading emails and sending emails constantly throughout the day.  Parents also need to check their emails from school.

Zoom:  We will be using Zoom as our online learning platform for instruction.  Zoom can be accessed on a computer, or from any device you can add the Zoom app to, like an iPhone, iPad, etc. Students will receive a link to join Zoom from each class teacher, and every class will have meeting times in Zoom which students are required to attend.  These Zoom sessions will be recorded and loaded into Google Classroom for students to view at any time.

Google Classroom: Students will be using Google classroom as a platform for students and teachers to exchange class information, turn in assignments, provide class resources, etc. Students should automatically see all their classes in Google Classroom if logged in with school email at the classroom url (http://classroom.google.com)

Digital Learning Etiquette: will be reviewed with students by teachers in order to ensure that students are being responsible.  Students should be dressed appropriately because they will be seen by others.

Schedule: Students will follow the Distance Learning Schedule that is attached to this email.

Instruction:  Students will have two sessions of online instruction for every class each week.

Independent Learning:  Students will also be required to complete independent learning outside of online instruction for each class every week.

Assignments:  Students will be required to complete assignments and submit them.  Teachers will provide details on the specific assignments.

Office Hours:  Office hours with teachers will be available at the end of each school day and all day Wednesday.  Students can email questions to teachers or email a request to meet with the teacher for help during office hours.  The teacher will reply to the email to answer the student’s questions or set a time to meet with the student.

AP Students:  AP students should be prepared to have one additional class meeting if needed outside of the two online classes on Zoom each week.  These additional meetings would be scheduled either on Wednesday or after daily classes are complete.

Dual Enrollment Students:  Students should check Point University emails and follow Point’s procedures.  1st period Point classes will be held from 8am-9:15am on the student’s regular meeting days.   Please note that this is the regular meeting time but that it differs from 1st period times on our Upper School Distance Learning Schedule.

Please ensure that your child is prepared for class and joins the live Zoom meetings with classroom teachers.  We will be taking attendance.  Live classes help us to continue to connect with our students as much as possible.

Please email the teacher if your child is having trouble accessing Zoom or Google Classroom.

Please check your emails and encourage your students to check their emails and Google classrooms.

Please help make your child’s learning environment as distraction-free as possible.  They will need a study area/quiet place to take classes.

Please email your child’s teachers and our team if you have questions – we are in this together!

Please stay positive, give your student(s) plenty of time to exercise and have fun, and provide plenty of experiences that remind them that learning is a gift and is fun!

Message from Dr. Harmon