COVID Updates to Back to School Plan

August 4, 2021

Dear PCS Family,

While I am excited and confident that God has something good in store for us in this new school year, I have to admit that local statistics from schools and hospitals keep me on my knees and awake at night.

Our school community is unified with the cohesive hope and prayer that school be in session and on campus every day of this school year. In effort to make that as likely as possible, PCS will take reasonable proactive measures.

Our heart is to keep things as “normal” as possible, we do feel responsible to mitigate risk where we are reasonably able. This year has one very large difference than last year: children are not only carrying COVID, but are seeing an exponentially higher number of positive COVID diagnoses with serious ramifications. Last year, we may have each made decisions to take protective measures as a means to serve selflessly those who are at greater risks than our student body. This year, our students themselves must take reasonable measures of protection for themselves, as well as, others.

We will be taking things in increments of two weeks to allow us to make accurate decisions, based on the most recent data. This allows us also to be nimble and make changes as we are safely able.

Face-coverings:

—Face-coverings will be required for students, staff, and visitors unless socially distanced (defined by CDC as 3-feet or more), eating/drinking, or outdoors, regardless of vaccination status.

—For events in which attendance is optional (i.e. orientation/meet the teacher), we are taking our cues from the local government making face-coverings “strongly recommended.” For those who may consider themselves or their family to be high risk, due to the optional nature, it may be wise for them stay home.

Virtual Learning:

—We plan to continue our virtual learning option for those who consider themselves or a member of their households to be high risk. However, those students who are opting into the virtual learning track by choice or necessity, will not be permitted to participate in athletics or extra curricular activities to allow for continuity in their protection.

—To opt into the virtual learning option for your student, email Jaime Griffin (jgriffin@pcsk12.org) for Elementary students and Molly Hill (mhill@pcsk12.org) for Secondary students.

—In order to change from your optional virtual classroom track back to in-person instruction, two weeks notice must be given.

Athletics: 

—Face-coverings will be required and enforced for all travel, as well as, seating charts.

Vaccinations at PCS through Hattiesburg Clinic: 

—We still plan to participate, through Hattiesburg Clinic, in offering optional vaccinations at PCS by appointment. Please email our school nurse, Lauren Bahm at lbahm@pcsk12.org to sign up to be vaccinated on Thursday, August 12th. Time for these is to be determined.

—These vaccines are expected to be the Pfizer brand and will be distributed through Hattiesburg Clinic by a registered nurse.

—Only students who are age 12 and older will be considered, according to the current CDC vaccination guidelines.

—Remember that “fully vaccinated” is defined by two weeks after the documentation of both vaccine shots in order to be considered for quarantine passes.

Reporting Reminder: 

—Reporting close contacts and positive cases is not optional, as you and your students have signed an agreement to make these reports as a protection to every single person in the PCS Family. If you have pertinent information, please email lbahm@pcsk12.org so that our confidential records are as accurate as possible for decision-making.

Grace and peace,
Seth Parrish, EdD

Head of School
Presbyterian Christian School