BACK TO SCHOOL PLAN FOR 2020-2021
We are at the end of July, and just like that, we are only a few weeks away from the first day of school! This will be an unusual time to meet back on campus, but we are confident that our Back to School Plan for 2020-2021 will answer all your questions on how we intend to carry out this tricky year of instruction. Keep in mind this detailed guide is an ongoing work in progress as government officials, health organizations and education agencies release or update information. Thanks to the feedback of our dedicated community, we were able to make adjustments to accommodate your instructional needs within our reach.
We heard your preferences through the survey, enhanced the instruction options, and now it’s time for you to officially select the instructional model to start the school year. The registration for Instruction Preference requires two steps:
- Complete the registration form online by Wednesday, Aug. 5. Submit a separate form for each child.
- Sign the waiver that pertains to your instruction preference and return the printed copy at Orientation or before the first day of school. Print and sign one copy per child.
As many public and private schools still navigate through their options to start the school year, we are fully equipped to come back on campus and we are certain most of you are ready too. For those who are still undecided, you can register for Individual Distance Learning for a period of four weeks, once the session ends you can consider the in-person option.
Next week we will share Orientation and First Day of School details. The communication will include specific information per division, including dates and times.
We appreciate your trust and commitment as we worked throughout the summer to build a strategic plan that allows us to continue fulfilling our mission, even during this pandemic. The mission to offer an exemplary education that develops the whole child in a nurturing environment. And rest assured our nurturing community is more powerful than ever. We can’t wait to see the smiling faces again and we hope you are ready to start a new year of learning.
REGISTRATION FOR INSTRUCTION MODEL
A SNAPSHOT OF SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR 2020-2021
Summary of COVID-19 Guidelines
Dear HSES Parents,
We hope our students are enjoying the summer and your family is safe during this heat and pandemic.
As we continue to navigate this uncertainty, we understand that our families have many questions about returning to school for the new year. What will this look like? How will HSES manage my child’s education in a safe and healthy environment?
The COVID-19 Task Force has worked non-stop to develop a rigorous plan, aligned with The Texas Education Agency (TEA) guidance for schools to strategically reopen that was recently released. Subject matter experts in the legal and medical field also collaborated in this effort for HSES to offer in-person instruction in the most efficient and safest way possible.
Although the detailed plan will be ready by the end of July, we want to share a summary of the guidelines so far. Because the situation continues to shift, these guidelines are subject to change if state or local officials impose new mandates. We encourage families to review the measures identified to maintain a healthy academic environment.
Our goal is to offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible. However; in the event of a school closure, we are prepared to transition to remote learning and accommodate each division based on their developmental needs. Early Childhood and Primary School – now in the process to also become licensed through state child care – will remain open if child care is considered an essential service.
Early Childhood reopened its doors Monday, June 1 with strict protocols to avoid risks for Camp Little Saints. Kidventure implemented the same protocols during summer camp at HSES, allowing to provide an engaging yet safe summer with minimal exposure.
We continue to monitor health and government officials as the situation evolves and will notify you of any changes or adjustments as information is released. We look forward to the day we can welcome back our students and regain the face-to-face connection, which we pray continues as Wednesday, Aug. 19.
COVID-19 TASK FORCE
Director of Facilities
Director of Administrative Services
Director of Enrollment Management
Lower School Team Lead
Director of Advancement & Marketing
Middle School Teacher
Head of Middle School
Head of School
Head of Early Childhood and Primary School
A Message from the Head of School
VIEW MORE NEWS
A Message from the Head of School
Dear Early Childhood Families,
We are excited to announce that the Early Childhood (EC) program at HSES reopens Monday, June 1 to all families as approved by the Governor this week!
As we plan to safely and strategically open EC in accordance with Texas Health and Human Services Child Care Licensing and CDC guidelines, we will strictly enforce the revised policies and procedures to minimize the risk and spread of COVID-19.
Although our initial intent was to offer child care only to essential employees, we are now prepared to receive all families by adhering to the instructions attached. To enroll in the EC program that starts June 1:
- Review the policies and procedures.
- Complete each section of the interactive form.
- Send the completed form by Wednesday, May 27 at noon.
To protect families, children and staff, we have enhanced safety and health measures to our program that allow us to remain open in the future.
We can't wait to welcome each of you back and see all of your precious children again. Our days to come will certainly be filled with joy as we reunite for a fun-filled summer!
We will offer a drive thru-experience for parents to pick up and drop off items, while complying with state safety guidelines for end of year functions. The teachers will pack all student belongings for parents to pick up through the carpool line, also providing the opportunity to return any school belongings. Each division, and grade level, has been assigned a date and time to limit the amount of people on campus.
Thursday, May 28 and Friday, May 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. The teachers will pack all student belongings for parents to pick up through the EC driveway, also providing the opportunity to return any school belongings.
Wednesday, May 20
9:00-9:30 a.m. — Primary 3 students that last name starts with A through M.
9:30-10:00 a.m. — Primary 3 students that last name starts with N through Z.
11:00-11:30 a.m. — Primary 4 students that last name starts with A through M.
11:30 a.m.-noon — Primary 4 students that last name starts with N through Z.
Thursday, May 21
9:00-9:30 a.m. — Lower School students that last name starts with A through M.
9:30-10:00 a.m. — Lower School students that last name starts with N through Z.
Thursday, May 21
11:00-11:30 a.m. — Middle School students that last name starts with A thru M.
11:30 a.m.-noon — Middle School students that last name starts with N thru Z.
To maintain social distancing during this process, we are requesting parents to drive up and open their trunks for teachers to insert the belongings. For cars without an accessible trunk, parents must lower the back-passenger window for teachers to place the bags. The same process applies for returning items; however, they must be ready in a bag labeled with your child’s name, for the teachers to easily retrieve either from the trunk or the back-passenger side.
We want to remind parents to follow the carpool safety guidelines while driving on campus to protect pedestrians and incoming traffic. We also ask that you remain in your vehicle at all times for the safety of our community.
At this time, we are only accepting items that need to be returned to the school such as library books, textbooks, athletic uniforms, classroom materials, etc. We will not be accepting used uniforms at curbside pick-up or during the summer break. We will notify parents when it is safe to drop off used uniforms.
Remote Learning Continues for Remainder of School Year
I reach out to you with the same sadness you must be experiencing due to the Governor’s announcement today that all schools must remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year. As much as I felt this strong possibility, I was holding on to the hope that we could come together for the last three weeks of school and finish the academic year as a community. I know this has been challenging for families, just as it has been hard for teachers and staff. We chose the field of education because of our love for the kids! Those smiles, hugs and “ah-ha” moments charge our energy, and we truly miss the face-to-face contact that brightens our days.
I am working with the Board of Directors and Leadership team to finalize a plan to complete the school year remotely, including the details of what to expect in the future. I am very proud of our community response to the pandemic so far. Despite the challenges, we have received many positive and encouraging comments that motivate us to continue working through this. We are grateful for your kind words!
We launched remote learning after Spring Break with the ability to fine-tune the program based on your wonderful feedback and our research on best practices. We have scheduled more distance learning training for faculty and continue to offer support and development opportunities during this online instruction period.
Parents will receive a survey next week to share their perception of how HSES managed COVID-19 and the effectiveness of the remote learning program. This anonymous survey will help us identify where to adapt the program to support your needs.
It has been delightful to see all the creative ideas our community has originated to stay connected while physically apart. Our heartful students, parents, teachers and staff have formed lively birthday parades, designed fun social media challenges, initiated acts of kindness, hosted Zoom get-togethers, and much more.
We are creating additional ways for students to connect and conclude the year together. This includes honoring our graduates until we can gather at a later date to celebrate this important milestone, welcoming new families to the school by following social distancing, and conducting virtual tours for future families – which have already proved a success with new students enrolled in every division. We welcome your input and engagement as we draft new concepts, we can’t do this without you!
For Early Childhood, please click the link below to view the plans as we move forward.
Dear Early Childhood Families,
We want to thank parents for your positive words of encouragement as you continue to support us through this time. You and your children make it truly worthwhile.
With the Governor’s announcement that all private and public schools will remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year, we are working on a plan to reopen our year-round early childhood program. To serve the needs of our families, we want to reopen when it is safe and feasible to do so. We can’t wait to have you back on campus; we certainly miss your sweet children.
Amid these trying times, we have wonderful news to share: The Board of Directors has approved to waive May tuition for all EC families. Thanks to the support of our community, we have been able to cover the salaries of every teacher and staff member during this unexpected break. In addition, the Paycheck Protection Program (under the CARES act) loan was approved, allowing us to take care of our teachers, staff and maintenance personnel during this unprecedented time. We are thankful for this opportunity to retain our beloved teachers as they patiently wait for us to reopen and welcome you back.
As we look to establish a date to reopen our doors to EC families, we want you to know there will be severe restrictions in place to maintain a safe environment for all of our children. We will comply with guidance from the department of Texas childcare licensing, the CDC, and government officials regarding these restrictions and all of these are subject to change. These restrictions include (but not limited to):
Social distancing measures by avoiding chapel, special gatherings, Tumble Tykes, soccer, ballet, Stretch and Grow, Arts Alive, splash days, and other group activities.
Adjusting daily activities to minimize the potential for transmission by dividing children into smaller groups, staggering playground time, spacing out children during naptime and assigning alternate spaces (meaning students may not be placed in the same space they were before Spring Break).
Wearing face covers for anyone over the age of two while on campus.
Staggering arrival and drop off at curbside, with limited contact between parents and staff.
Assuming full responsibility when dropping off a child on campus by parents signing a daily checklist that includes checking the child’s temperature at home and acknowledging the child has been free of fever 72 hours, hasn’t traveled and hasn’t been in contact with a potential or positive case.
Screening procedures upon arrival by using barriers to protect staff and conducting temperature checks before children enter the building.
Permitting only children and teachers to enter the building. For example, visitors such as parents, grandparents, nannies, or any other special guests will not be allowed inside the school.
Lunches and snacks will not be provided by Simply Fresh or the school. All food items must be sent from home each day.
We understand that this information can seem overwhelming as we navigate through this unprecedented time. These are some of the guidelines provided by the CDC and Texas childcare licensing, designed for the safety of our children, families, and staff. Despite these restrictions, we look forward to providing the same loving and nurturing care that you have come to appreciate from HSES.
To move ahead and make plans for a target date to reopen, we will send you a survey early next week to determine your childcare needs.
I am holding in my heart the day we will all be back together again! The anticipation of our joyful reunion is what gives us strength and courage to face these remaining days apart. I pray for you and your family; and that you may stay safe and healthy during the days and weeks ahead.
Dear HSES Parents,
We pray that your family is healthy and well. After careful consideration and because your safety is our main concern, we have decided to comply with federal guidelines and continue with social distancing until the end of April to assist in slowing the spread of COVID-19. In response to this effort, remote learning for Primary 3 through 8th Grade will extend until Friday, May 1. Classes on campus will resume Monday, May 4. Early Childhood will be closed until May 1 and return to school Monday, May 4.
During this extended period of distance learning, we commit to providing students with the same quality of instruction as in a regular classroom setting. Teachers are working harder than ever to create interactive content and age-appropriate materials, aligned with their revised and condensed curriculum. Their main priority is to meet the academic and social needs of each student by developing a nurturing environment for remote learning. Their dedication is remarkable!
Just as teachers work relentlessly to enhance distance learning, we ask for parents to prioritize tuition. April tuition represents the last payment for the 2019-2020 school year. For any families that desire to honor tuition but are currently facing financial hardships, please contact Mrs. Johnson in the Business Office. We rely on your tuition commitment and patronage to sustain financial obligations, including the salaries and benefits of our talented and beloved teachers.
We appreciate your unconditional support as we face this challenge and we treasure your partnership as we take these precautionary measures for the safety of our community. May the Lord bless you, be gracious to you, and give you peace.
Dear HSES Parents,
In light of the latest federal, county and city requirements in response to COVID-19, and after careful consideration, we have decided to extend campus closure until Friday, April 10. We want to ensure every student, teacher, parent, caregiver, and the entire HSES community feels safe by providing the most accurate and latest information; especially during uncertain times.
Early Childhood (infants and toddlers)
To follow the advice of health experts and local officials, the school will remain closed until Friday, April 10. Classes will resume Monday, April 13 unless otherwise instructed. After spring break, we will provide age-appropriate learning tools and resources to use during this extended period at home.
Primary, Lower and Middle School (Primary 3-8th Grade)
The extended Spring Break will continue until Tuesday, March 24. Distance learning will begin Wednesday, March 25. We will continue with online instruction until Friday, April 10 or until officials determine it is safe to return to school. Our plan is to resume classes on campus Monday, April 13 — previously assigned as a holiday.
Each student has been assigned a school email account with a profile to access Google Classroom. Parents of Primary and Lower School will receive — if not already — a form with the log-in credentials. Middle School students already use these accounts and should have their profiles set-up.
We will also send a video with instructions on how to access and navigate through this user-friendly platform. If a student needs technology support or has limited access to technology, contact Brian Smith or Kelly Broaddus.
Teachers, students and parents will learn how to connect through Google Classroom and other online resources for instruction and social interaction during this extended period of time.
We will cancel or postpone all events included in the calendar before Monday, April 13. We will share an updated calendar once revised.
We are committed to serving our families by placing their health and safety as our top priority. We hope that by joining other public and private schools in extended closure, we will help flatten the curve to overcome COVID-19. As a local, national and global community, we will prevail to defeat this unprecedented disease.
It takes courage and resilience to confront uncertain challenges, but with the strength of our community, we will endure this difficult situation. Please know we are all in this together and if you need extra guidance do not hesitate to contact us. We are truly grateful for your flexibility and patience.
Due to recent school closure announcements in response to the latest COVID-19 news, we have decided to close school effective immediately.
Primary, Lower and Middle School (P3-8th)
The extended Spring Break will continue until Tuesday, March 24. Distance learning for Primary 3 to Eighth Grade will begin Wednesday, March 25. We will continue with online instruction until officials determine it is safe to return to school. Our plan is to resume classes on campus Monday, March 30 unless advised otherwise.
As mentioned in the previous communication, teachers, students and parents will learn how to connect through Google Classroom, an online resource for instruction and social interaction.
Each student has been assigned a school email account with a profile to access Google Classroom. Parents of Primary and Lower School will receive – if not already – a form with the log-in credentials. Middle School students already use these accounts and should have their profiles set-up.
We will also send a video with instructions on how to access and navigate through this user-friendly platform. If a student needs technology support contact Brian Smith or Kelly Broaddus.
To follow city and county recommendations, PSIA is officially canceled. We plan to recognize the hard work of students within our community. Other field trips, excursions and school events have been canceled or postponed. We will share an updated calendar soon.
Early Childhood (infants and toddlers)
The extended closure is scheduled until Friday, March 27. Our plan is to resume classes on campus Monday, March 30 unless advised otherwise.
We appreciate your flexibility and patience as we navigate through this unprecedented event!
After the pandemic announcement from the World Health Organization (WHO), the City of Houston canceling the Rodeo and other public events in March, Montgomery County confirming the first presumptive case of a local transmission, COVID-19 continues to raise anxiety within our community.
We want to reassure families that during these times of uncertainty, we rely on the knowledge of our staff, the wisdom of our parents, the strength of our students, and the faithful guidance of His Spirit to guide us and grant us patience as we navigate these ever-changing waters.
In response to the rapidly evolving situation, we have decided to extend Spring Break for Primary 3 to Eighth Grade. Students will not have school Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24. These two days are now assigned to conduct teacher training and prepare for online classrooms.
Transition to Online Learning
We continue to prepare for the possibility of a closure. On Wednesday, March 25 HSES will transition to distance learning ONLY if local public school districts (SBISD), the Houston Area of Independent Schools (HAIS) or city officials recommend closure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. During this time, students will receive online instruction until officials determine the disease is contained.
Each student has been assigned a school email account with a profile to access Google Classroom, a user-friendly platform designed to conduct online learning for all age levels. Parents of Primary and Lower School will receive a form in Friday Folders with the student credentials. Middle School students already use these accounts and should have their credentials and profiles set-up. If a student is not able to access their profile, did not receive an assigned credential or needs technology support, contact Brian Smith or Kelly Broaddus (a.k.a. the techie gurus).
As we implement remote instruction, we embrace the inevitability of mistakes and the opportunity to discover the interactive tools of this virtual technology. Together, teachers, students and parents will learn how to connect through this online resource for instruction and social interaction.
Spring Break Travel
Spring Break is almost here and we are excited to welcome this time of leisure. Since international travel continues to pose a threat for transmission, consider a staycation and discovering local attractions. Many of us have reconsidered or modified travel plans based on local and CDC recommendations; however, if you still plan to travel, review the U.S. State Department Travel Advisories and the CDC travel restrictions and notices.
Families that travel to a country later identified (advisories change overnight) as Level 2, Level 3 or Level 4 – even for a connecting flight – agree to the expectation that they will not return to HSES and will follow the CDC guidelines of social distancing and self-quarantine for 14 days.
To protect our community, please notify us if you are traveling, need to self-isolate or experience any symptoms. We will work with families to provide assistance in their absence and overlook attendance.
Field Trips and Events
Since the City of Houston is under an emergency health declaration and Harris County is under a disaster declaration, all public events in March have been canceled or rescheduled.
To follow the same protocol, we have canceled field trips and Ecolink excursions in March. We are still evaluating other student and parent events on the calendar as we wait for city officials to release further details on social gatherings.
The challenges presented by COVID-19 continue to change rapidly, yet our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community, while still fulfilling our mission to prepare students for academic success. We appreciate your flexibility and adaptation as we manage this evolving situation!
We continue to closely monitor COVID-19 and constantly communicate with local, regional and health officials. With your partnership, we hope our community can mitigate the spread of this disease so we can resume regular activities. In the meantime, we wish you a safe and healthy spring break!
Contact the nurses or school administration for questions and concerns. For more information visit the resources section.
Early Childhood Flexibility Beyond Spring Break
At this time, we have decided to maintain the Spring Break schedule for Early Childhood. Students will not have school Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20; classes will resume Monday, March 23.
However, we expect changes during this dynamic situation and we appreciate your flexibility to ensure the safety of our students and staff. If any changes occur, we will make decisions accordingly and notify you immediately.
NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION
HSES admits students of any race, creed, color, national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded, or made available to students at the school. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, national or ethnic origin in the administration of educational or admission policies, scholarship programs, athletics or any other school-administered programs.
As we plan to safely and strategically operate EC in accordance with Texas Health and Human Services Child Care Licensin [ ... ]
As we plan to safely and strategically operate EC in accordance with Texas Health and Human Services Child Care Licensing and CDC guidelines, we will strictly enforce the revised policies and procedures to minimize the risk and spread of COVID-19.