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5-Day, Full-Time, On-Campus

Covenant During COVID-19

A New Normal

5-Day, Full-Time, On-Campus Instruction

Parents are faced with the difficult decision of where to send their children to school during the pandemic.  Due to our small class sizes and supportive community, Covenant returned to five-day, full-time, on-campus instruction for the entirety of the 2020-2021 school year.  We look forward to welcoming students back to the classroom again this fall!

We have two simple goals: provide our students with joyful learning at school and do our best to make Covenant a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment for students–physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

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Favorable Factors Amidst These Times

Our Small Class Sizes

Our Small Class Sizes

We are small, and in times like these, our small class sizes are beneficial to both students and teachers.

A Dynamic Community

A Dynamic Community

We are a responsive community; our parents are remarkably cooperative and share our goals to promote health and safety.

We are a gracious and nurturing community. We know and love our students for who they are, and our school serves as a good place for students to be during these difficult times.

Engaging Academics

Engaging Academics

While having the flexibility of providing on-campus instruction, remote learning, and synchronous learning when needed, Covenant prioritizes academic excellence through our intentionally-designed curriculum.

A Christian Faith

A Christian Faith

Our daily instruction in the classroom engages ideas and values rooted in Christian faith. This not only helps students understand what Christians believe, but it also helps students understand the world in a way that is complete and cohesive.

The Flexibility of E-Learning

The Flexibility of E-Learning

With the use of Microsoft Teams for Education, our instructors, students, and parents have learned to transition at a moment's notice to a remote learning environment if needed.

A Communication Plan

A Communication Plan

It is our priority to keep our community members and prospective families up to date with the latest developments regarding the pandemic and our efforts to provide each child with the stability of a quality education.

The Care of Our Students' Souls

Covenant Classical School is leveraging the best of who we are to provide our students with stability, healing, and an increased sense of well being.  This unusual time of home isolation and uncertainty about the future impacts our students’ hearts and minds.  Teachers are seeking to be instruments of comfort and grace in the care of students’ souls.

Moreover, our Student Health and Safety Task Force continues to research and prepare to promote joyful learning while implementing our best effort to care for the physical health of our students, staff, and families.  Click here to view our weekly COVID-19 updates.

Leaving Space and Extending Grace

We all have an opportunity to care for one another in new ways. This care at Covenant takes the form of open communication, a willingness to stay home for the sake of others, and caring for our own health with good hygiene practices both in and outside of school. We seek to care for our entire community by enhancing our cleaning and disinfecting protocols, expanding our sick policies and procedures, and staying connected during times of absence.

Face Coverings

Covenant Classical School is working to align our daily operations with the stated requirements for face coverings and guidelines from federal and local authorities and experts in the medical field.

Does this mean our students are required to wear masks all day at school?

Students and teachers wear face masks when inside the school building in an effort to protect our community members.  Our team has intentionally designed time throughout the day for students to be outside in order to take refreshing breaks from face coverings.  Large outdoor tents allow students this important time outdoors even during inclement weather.

We're Moving Forward!

  • Our much-loved morning walking club has returned.
  • Our students enjoy recess with multiple grades.
  • We allow 4 students at a lunch table instead of just 3, and students are able to sit with students from other grades.
  • We’ve returned to weekly recitation times for all Grammar School grades
  • We have Morning Lauds for the Grammar School grades.
  • We again have all-school chapel on Fridays.
  • Our Logic School students returned to playing dodgeball at the end of lunch.
  • Parent volunteers have returned to the classrooms.

Returning to School

When can my child return to school after being ill?
When it has been determined that the symptoms are not caused by COVID-19 AND when the symptoms have improved.  According to the recommendations from the IDPH there are three ways to determine that a child’s symptom is NOT COVID-19.

  1. Contact your child’s primary care doctor.  He/she is able to sign a note indicating an alternative diagnosis.
  2. OR Get a COVID-19 test and present the negative result.
  3. OR Quarantine for 10 days and observe if symptoms disappear.

Download Covenant’s guide for your reference.  See our Resources section for the forms needed after isolation and quarantine.

Questions or Concerns?

Our team is committed to researching and developing the best plan we can to accommodate all of the requirements of the federal, state, and local authorities and the best practices of the public health agencies as we implement our mission and distinctive model of education for your children.  Our teachers are working to maximize student learning to ensure that our students progress through our distinctive academic program, whether in the classroom or during intermittent periods at home.

Thank you for your efforts to stay informed and bring your thoughtful questions to our attention.  We are delighted to be able to give you our very best during this time.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns regarding the 2021-2022 school year.

Ask a Question

Are Covenant’s students be required to wear face coverings at school?

Yes.  Students are required to wear face masks when they are inside the school building, with the exception of lunch.  We have scheduled breaks for students to go outside for fresh air and a break from their masks.  This ensures that students will typically not wear masks for more than 90 minutes at a stretch.

The question of students wearing masks is by far the most frequently asked and the one about which people have the most concerns. For this reason I want to provide a brief rationale for policy decisions.  We recognize that the data surrounding the study of COVID-19 is all recent, limited, and frequently changing.  Federal and state public health officials now know that COVID-19 is spread primarily through respiratory droplets and that placing a barrier over one’s nose and mouth is believed to be one of few effective measures for reducing the risk of spreading the virus to others.  

For this reason, Governor Pritzker’s office issued another mask mandate on August 4, 2021.  Their guidance is clear that all persons–including faculty, staff, and students (regardless of vaccination status)–in public and private schools must wear masks when inside the school building.

How does Covenant help make the wearing of masks at school more bearable?

Our focus is on how we can help make the wearing of face masks at school as bearable as possible in the following ways.  

Face masks are only required indoors, so we ensure that our students get frequent breaks outdoors.  Outdoor tents enable us to take students outside even when it rains, and our teachers build additional short breaks into the schedule when our students are able to remove their masks outside and enjoy fresh air.  

In addition to these scheduled breaks, the teachers are encouraged to teach physical education outdoors twice per week whenever possible, and all teachers are encouraged to take students outdoors for periods of instruction or simply for a fresh-air break when they can.

What types of masks are required?

We encourage parents and students to purchase masks that are as comfortable as possible.  We welcome bright colors and fun patterns of all kinds and masks that look as far from clinical as possible.  There is no need to match colors to our dress code uniforms.  Branded griffin masks are also available for purchase.  We do ask, however, that students wear masks that were designed for the purpose of covering the nose and mouth, that fit securely, and that use ear loops or are able to be tied.  By this we mean that we do not want students to wear a bandanna or similar face covering around their faces at school. We would love to work together to share ideas within the Covenant community about which types of masks are the most comfortable for students of all ages.  We invite you to utilize the Covenant Community Facebook page to share your ideas about mask brands that work well for children.

What if my child is unable to tolerate wearing a mask?

Some children are able to tolerate wearing a mask better than others.  For this reason, we encourage parents to help prepare their children to wear masks at school by beginning to wear them for periods of time at home.  The guidelines from the state authorities allow for these students to remove their mask if/when it becomes distressing and when they are able to remain socially distant.  The state guidelines recommend a doctor’s note in such cases.  We are more than happy to seek a way to accommodate these special circumstances without presenting a health risk to others.  We encourage parents to speak directly with Miss Eekhoff with any questions.

Is it possible that the expectation for students to wear masks at school will change?

It is very possible, perhaps even likely, that the expectations for students wearing masks will change in the weeks and months ahead.  It’s simply impossible for us to anticipate the ways in which they will change.  Some states are seeing a resurgence of the virus requiring them to tighten restrictions.  If the numbers of people testing positive for the virus in Illinois continues to stabilize or decrease, it is also possible state and local authorities will loosen restrictions.

What happens if there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the Covenant community?

During the School Day

If a student or employee develops any of the symptoms listed above during the school day, that individual will be immediately asked to isolate in the designated medical-care area. For students, the front office will then communicate with the student’s pick up contact and ask that the student be taken home immediately. For employees, the front office will coordinate with the administration about further actions.

In Response to a Confirmed Case

We ask school families to notify the school immediately if a student, family member, person living in the home tests positive for Covid-19. The following actions will be taken if a student or employee has tested positive:

  • School Administration will contact IDPH with appropriate details.
  • Teachers, classmates, any siblings at the school, and students in the same carpool will move to remote learning will move to remote learning.  
  • School Administration will communicate with the community about further plans, while maintaining confidentiality of the COVID-positive student or employee.

Covenant is taking measures to best minimize close contact* with other students at school. We believe that asking classmates, siblings, and carpool members of a student who tests positive to quarantine will help prevent the potential outbreak of the illness at school that would require the whole school to shift to e-learning.  

*The IDPH defines “close contact” as “the individual was within 6 feet of the individual with symptoms for more than 15 minutes”.

Returning to In-Person Instruction

A class will be able to return to in-person instruction once approximately 60 percent of the class has been cleared to return to school, per the requirements of our illness policy described in this plan. All decisions regarding a switch to remote learning and return to in-person instruction will be made at the discretion of the administration, with the health and safety of our community as our utmost priority.

When should my child stay home from school?

As stated previously, any individual presenting COVID symptoms will be required to stay home from school.  Please click here for a list of COVID symptoms to monitor.

Additionally, family members of someone presenting symptoms should also stay home if unvaccinated. It is strongly recommended that any persons exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 be tested for the virus. As recommended by the CDC, we will use the flow chart in our detailed plan to determine when a student or employee may return to school.

What measures will be taken to promote cleanliness in the schooling building?

We are taking measures to increase the cleaning and disinfecting practices in our facility in order to promote community health and comfort.

These measures include:

  • Cleaning desks, shared tables, door knobs, phones, railings and bathroom fixtures frequently throughout the day. 
  • Thoroughly disinfecting those surfacings with EPA-registered disinfectant and an electrostatic sprayer on a nightly basis.
  • Promoting good hygiene practices with signage throughout the facility and intentional teaching, as well as providing additional times for handwashing.
  • Washing hands is a vital step in preventing the spread of virus, and students will be given intentional breaks throughout the day to do so. This will be the preferred method of hygiene, though hand sanitizer will also be provided in each classroom and throughout the hallways and may be used when needed.
  • Providing access to hand sanitizer in classrooms, throughout the hallway, and at facility entrances. Utilizing automatic water bottle filling stations instead of water fountains in the school building. 
  • Providing the classrooms with fresh outside air whenever possible and purchasing high-quality air purification equipment to place in each classroom.

Do students share school supplies and materials?

Students do not share common classroom materials such as pencils, scissors, and markers. We ask that parents label each of their student’s supplies (using a child’s initials is sufficient) in order to accommodate this.  Classroom materials that must be shared, such as math manipulatives or science lab materials, are kept in individually marked bags for the duration of the unit and sanitized thoroughly before being returned to communal storage spaces. Though many textile supplies such as pillows will be removed from the classrooms, Kindergarten students keep their naptime blankets in large plastic bags that are individually marked. We ask that these be taken home to be washed on a weekly basis.

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