March 2, 2022

Good Afternoon Parents,
I want to thank all of you for working with us this year as we navigate all COVID-related protocols.

We have been committed to keeping our students, staff, and families safe by following all health guidelines to the best of our ability. While at times it may have tried our patience, everyone has done a great job keeping our campus a healthy place.

I am pleased to announce that starting March 14, 2022 mask wearing will be a student/family choice. Following CDPH guidance masks are recommended. If you still desire to have your child wear a mask you may send them to school with one.

We will continue to be diligent in providing a safe environment for everyone and will monitor all state and local guidelines by encouraging hand washing, using morning health checks, and frequent classroom cleaning.

Please keep our students, faculty, and staff in your prayers.

In Him,
Ben Elliott

Superintendent
760.747.3029 x7105

January 21, 2022

Grace Christian School considers the health and well-being of our students and staff a priority. We also prioritize in-person learning for our students.  This week, the COVID-19 Decision Trees for K-12 Schools have been updated and to support these objectives and (hopefully) clear up some of the confusion regarding quarantine and isolation we want to share these new procedures for our students.

Following this updated guidance, Grace will now implement the group tracing model to advise families of potential COVID-19 exposure.  Under this model, the school will notify the parents of any student who shared an indoor airspace for 15 minutes or more with a person who tested positive with COVID-19.  Exposed students CAN stay in school and should test on Day 3, 4, or 5 following exposure in order to remain in school, they are able to participate fully in all school activities. Students choosing not to test should quarantine at home until returning on Day 11, please notify the office of this decision.

PLEASE KEEP your children home if they test positive or develop any symptoms of COVID (sore throat, cough, runny nose, diarrhea,  nausea, recent loss of taste or smell, fatigue, muscle aches, or fever).  Students who test positive for COVID-19 may return to school as early as Day 6 with evidence of a negative test collected on or after Day 5 as long as symptoms are resolving with no fever within the past 24 hours.  If a student returns prior to Day 11, they must wear a mask inside and outside when around others.  Without a negative test, students who test positive for COVID may return on Day 11 contingent upon resolving symptoms and no fever being controlled with Tylenol or Ibuprofen.  As return to school dates are often conditional upon test results and medical conditions, we encourage parents to accompany students when they check-in at the school office upon returning from quarantine or isolation.
Testing on Day 3, 4, or 5 after exposure can be completed at any of the following:

-Your doctor’s office
-County testing sites
-Rapid testing sites
-Home test
*Apply to receive 4 test kits from the USPS – https://www.covidtests.gov/
Grace has very limited access to antigen tests, please try to secure testing from one of the above locations. If you need a test please let Mrs. Deborah or I know.
Finally, we understand the guidance from health officials is both confusing and ever-changing.  We thank you for your patience and will continue to provide you with regular updates as needed.  In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have questions or require additional information.
In Him,
Ben Elliott
Superintendent
760.747.3029  x7105

January 10, 2022

Hello Grace Families,

The CDC and HSSA have updated the protocol so we wanted to share it with you so you will know what to do. We just have to remember that it is definitely flu season and many people are becoming ill.

Because tests are becoming so difficult to obtain, you have a choice whether to have your child test or not. Choosing not to test does require more days absent but you still may choose.

As a side note, we encourage you that if you or a family member requires testing, choose a Molecular test. Using Antigen testing requires a second test be taken.

Child Exposed: (ie: parents, grandparents, friends, etc. test positive) Exposure means having been in close contact (within 6 feet for over 15 minutes) with a COVID positive person. When you call in, please let us know the date of your child’s exposure. If you choose not to have your child tested, they should stay home for 11 days from the date of exposure and may return if they have no symptoms being controlled by Tylenol or Ibuprofen. They may return to school sooner with a negative covid test but you must wait to have them tested 5 days from exposure. If their test returns negative, they should wait 3 more days (8 days total) and return to school with a copy of the negative test.

Child Exposed AT SCHOOL: If student are exposed at school while wearing masks, we can follow a special quarantine procedure. If there is exposure at school, we will advise you what the quarantine time will be.

Child Tests Positive: When you call in, please let us know the date of your child’s positive test. They should stay home for 11 days from the date of positive test and may return if they have no symptoms being controlled by Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

WHEN IN DOUBT PLEASE KEEP YOUR STUDENT AT HOME. This will keep us from having to quarantine entire classrooms or even school closure.

Other Illness: If your child is not feeling well (non COVID related and have not been a close contact), they MUST stay home for 2 days. If their symptoms improve, they may return on day 3. When you call in, let us know the symptom and when the symptom started.

Thank you so much for helping the school stay open for in-person learning by following this simple protocol. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for clarification or with any questions you may have.

Please click HERE for the latest COVID-19 Decision Trees for K-12 Schools

August 12, 2021

Good Afternoon K-8 Families,

I wanted to share a few updates about the upcoming year. As always the State of California changes guidance and regulations quickly and sometimes at the last minute.

We have updated our School Safety Plan to follow the current state and local guidance. The full plan can be found here. Please take some time to review the plan. Below I have highlighted some of the key takeaways from the plan:

Continuing COVID-19 Requirements:
All students and staff are required to wear masks indoors (with some limited exceptions).
Healthy hygiene instruction will continue.
Daily cleaning will continue.
Increased ventilation and enhanced filtration will continue.

Modified COVID-19 Requirements:
Wellness screenings to enter campus will be a quick check to make sure everyone is healthy (no temperature checks).
The six-foot physical distancing requirement has been rescinded, we will maximize space between students when possible.
All adults are required to wear masks when sharing indoor spaces with students.
Vaccinated students and staff are no longer required to isolate at home following close contact with a positive COVID-19 case at school.
Quarantine requirements for unvaccinated students following close contact with a positive COVID-19 case have been relaxed to reduce the number of students who must isolate at home.
Parents will be able to walk their students to class (may not enter the classrooms, unless pre-scheduled) but must leave campus by 8:15. Please park in the church parking lot.

Return to Pre-COVID-19 Conditions:
Masks are not required for students or adults while outdoors.
Seating at lunch tables will be similar to pre-COVID.
We will allow parent volunteers on campus (volunteers must be scheduled) and will host important in-person events like back-to-school nights.
Students will be able to participate in field trips and athletics activities.

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this time.

If you have questions, please let me know.

In Him,
Ben Elliott
Superintendent
760.747.3029 x7105

July 15, 2021

Dear Parents,

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released updated guidance for K-12 schools in preparation for the new school year. The new guidance reflects updates made last week to the K-12 schools’ guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We are reviewing the new guidance to determine if it will impact operations at Grace. What we do know is that California will continue to require that masks be worn indoors in school settings. Additionally, continuing layered mitigation strategies are recommended including the following: screening, testing, ventilation, handwashing, respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection. All are critical layers of prevention to keep schools safe.

This new guidance clarifies some of the state-level requirements which will help us hone plans for when students return for the new school year. Our team has been hard at work crafting plans for the 2021-22 school year that have the academic, social, and emotional well-being of students and families at the center. We appreciate your partnership as we implement systems that address public health conditions and the needs of our school community.

We look forward to seeing everyone at our Welcome Back Open House night on Aug. 19th from 5:30-7:00pm.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

In Him,
Ben Elliott
Superintendent
760.747.3029 x7105

June 25, 2021

Dear Parents,

As we close out the school year, and with summer camp underway, we’d like to update you on changes to state guidance for students and staff.
Face Coverings for Students 
The California Department of Public Health has released updated face coverings guidance that aligns with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Under the new state guidance, children are no longer required to wear face coverings while they are outside at school, whether they are vaccinated or not. Children and adults are still required to wear face coverings while indoors at school.
New Rules for Staff
Last week, the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board adopted revised COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards for employers and employees. Changes for our staff you should know about include:
  • There are no face-covering requirements outdoors (except during outbreaks) for employees, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Face coverings are still required to be worn while indoors at school.
  • With some exceptions, there are no physical distancing or barrier requirements for employees, regardless of employee vaccination status.
  • Fully vaccinated employees do not need to be tested or quarantined after close contact with COVID-19 cases unless they have symptoms.
Additional State Guidance Still to Come
The CDC is expected to release updated guidance for schools regarding the 2021-22 school year in the coming weeks, and we anticipate there will be additional changes to state guidance once the CDC acts.
Grace will continue to monitor the state guidance and will keep you posted on any changes that impact school operations. Once the new guidance is released we will update the campus plan.
Celebrating Our Success This year has been challenging in different ways for everyone. Whether you’re excited for the future, feeling overwhelmed by changes, trying to process loss or a combination of all these things, we want to acknowledge your role in making it through this historic school year. Our school community and staff members supported each other, went far above and beyond to learn new ways of doing things, and did everything possible to take care of our students and families. We did it together.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
In Him,
Ben Elliott
Superintendent
760.747.3029  x7105