ETC & Covid-19
We are all so thankful to have this difficult past year behind us! It's hard to know what the 20021/22 school year is going to look like. However, we want to update you on our best plan moving forward.
SARS-CoV-2, virology, immunology, community spread, PPE, epidemiology: we've learned a whole new set of jargon in the past year and a half. Information from every perspective is abundant. Some vaccinate, some don't. Some shelter-in-place, some don't. Some wear masks, others don't. A large variety of perspectives can be found within our group and most of our group members have decided how their own family is going to deal with the pandemic. ETC wants to welcome every one of you and we want you to partner with us in making every member feel as comfortable and safe as is reasonably possible while we are at Consortium. To that end, let me expound on four key values ETC holds.
Support - Many of us have seen the toll isolation can take, and want to regain a sense of normalcy moving forward.
· We have no plans to cancel classes at all this year. However, be aware that there are few things outside of our control (policy changes of our host church, excessive absences by our instructors and/or students for illness, etc.) We are making every effort to keep our regular activities and classes running as usual.
o If some unforeseen events do force us to shut down Consortium be assured that we are prepared to issue refunds for all classes that are canceled by ETC. So if we had to end a semester early or we have to close down for a couple of weeks while people are regaining their health and strength, the cost of those missed class dates will be prorated and refunded accordingly at the end of the semester. (Unfortunately, we are unable to refund fees based on an individual family's absence.)
· Let's share our burdens with one another; let's pray for one another; let's encourage one another. That is what Jesus has called His followers to do. For this season our "one another" includes ETC.
Freedom - We want to honor the independence and autonomy that homeschooling families value; most of us in leadership share those values.
· We have no plans to require anyone to wear a mask or other personal protective equipment. However, if you are most comfortable wearing a mask, or other personal protective equipment, you are welcome to do so without judgment or condemnation.
· We will not be asking about anyone's vaccinations status or health history.
· We will not be taking temperatures or doing health screenings at check-in.
· We will not be contact-tracing beyond our normal attendance records.
Health/Safety - We want to love our brothers and sisters by caring for one another's health, and avoiding the spread of disease or infection of any kind when we can possibly do so.
· We have brought on Registered Nurse, Bailey McGee, as our official "nurse" at Consortium. Although she cannot treat medical conditions she can administer first aid for the bumps and scrapes, runny noses and headaches, that often happen on class days. She can also help us evaluate more worrisome symptoms and consult with parents about treatment options.
· We will be cleaning thoroughly, as we have always done while taking extra caution to clean for germs between and after classes. This will take a collective effort.
· We will have hand sanitizer placed at high-traffic areas, in the lunchroom, and in classrooms throughout the building.
· The teachers and assistants will be extra mindful of encouraging regular hand washing.
· We are asking each of our members to carefully evaluate their family members' fitness to attend each Consortium day. Although we will miss your family, please keep all types of communicable illnesses at home.
· If your family does contract the Coronavirus or any other highly communicable disease, please notify a member of leadership; we will make a general announcement to the group so members can be on the lookout for symptoms in their family members. No names or identifying references will be given. It is always your decision to share your health status.
· Our illness policy will be covered in more detail at the student orientation but feel free to carefully review it before that meeting date.
Unity - We should each consider ETC a place of unity. Let's purpose to create an environment where we can each feel comfortable and welcome.
· Stay focused on our similarities: our Christian faith and our choice of home education.
· Respect the ideological diversity within our group.
· Reserve debates on the topic of the pandemic for a time and place outside of ETC. Arguing over these issues will almost always be fruitless, and could lead to personal offense.
· Encourage your children to avoid arguing over pandemic issues, as well. Children can often be blunter with their words than adults might be.
Please join our prayer...
Father, give us strength and wisdom as we walk through this coming year together. Give us the courage to walk by faith in You. Surprise us with a deep love for one another that surpasses all of our expectations. To You be all praise and glory! Amen.
Executive Director, Angela Lathrom and the Board of Directors and Leadership Team of ETC