Dear FCS families,
We hope that this letter finds you well and that you had a blessed Christmas Day with your family. As we prepare for the start of second semester, there are a few adjustments to the school calendar that we would like to share with you. In an effort to curb potential exposures and consequent exclusions from school due to Christmas and New Year’s festivities, we are postponing the start of the second semester until Monday, January 11. This will allow 10 days to pass (from New Year’s Day) and hopefully give us a better footing to begin the new semester. We do encourage you to try and limit non-household contacts for the 10 days, giving everyone a chance to start school symptom-free.
To help offset the five additional days of Christmas break, we are amending the 2020-2021 school calendar. The following Wednesdays will now be IN-SCHOOL days: January 20, February 17, March 17, April 21, and May 19. We apologize for any inconvenience that these changes may present; however, we feel that it is important to do whatever is possible to give us the best chance to be in-person, five days/week with limited student and staff exclusions from school.
Also, we would like to make you aware of updates to the “Faith Christian School COVID Flow Chart.” The information on this chart was updated to reflect guidance given to us by the Ogle County Health Department. The changes come in the area of close contacts…reducing the number of isolation days. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the Flow Chart and information found on the document.
We continue to follow IDPH guidelines regarding face masks, social distancing, sanitizing and hand washing. We remind students to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, and to cover coughs and sneezes. As always, everyone should monitor their health and stay home if they develop symptoms. We strongly encourage sick persons to contact their health care provider to determine if testing is needed. Anyone who develops severe symptoms should seek medical care immediately. If your child has had close contact with a known case of COVID-19, please keep your child at home and notify your primary healthcare provider, Faith Christian School, and your local health department.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we move forward into the second semester. We will continue to monitor health department guidelines and will keep you informed of any changes in policies and procedures. We are committed at FCS to provide our students and staff with a safe, nurturing environment…a place where they can grow and learn, becoming who God created them to be!
Happy New Year and blessings to you all,
Pastor Jon Marx
We have been enjoying celebrating Christmas with your children. Our two Dress-up Days—Christmas Spirit Day and Who-Bilation Celebration, were a huge success!! It was fun to see so many come to school decked out in great costumes and creative attire!! It really is a privilege and blessing to be able to celebrate Jesus’ birthday and the joy of the Christmas season together! We have one more Dress-up Day. It is this Thursday, and it is our annual Pajama Day. (Please remember, that all pajamas must meet dress code guidelines.) Also, students can bring slippers to wear in the classroom. Regular shoes will need to be worn to school.
We are currently in need of a couple of lunch recess volunteers. The time would be 10:45-12:00. Days needed are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. If you are available to help, please let Mrs. O know.
During winter, we will go outside for recess (unless it is too cold). Please send appropriate snow/winter clothing (i.e. snowsuit/snow pants, snow boots, hat, gloves, coat) with your child on those days. If you have an extra set of boots, gloves, etc., your child may leave those in his/her locker throughout the winter season.
Classroom Christmas parties will be held this Thursday, December 17, in the afternoon. During the party, students will take part in their classroom’s Christmas Gift Exchange.
The Elementary staff and I wish you all the merriest of Christmases. We pray that the joy of the Savior fills your home and you experience His goodness and love!
Upcoming Calendar Items
- Thursday, December 17—Annual Pajama Day, Classroom parties in the afternoon with Gift Exchange, End of 2nd Quarter
- Friday, December 18-Sunday, January 3—Christmas Break…No School
- Monday, January 4—School resumes
Virtual Grandparents’ Day
Each class has been preparing Grandparents’ Day projects to share with grandparents. Most projects will be posted on the classrooms’ Seesaw blogs. A link and password to the blog will be sent home with your child that can be shared with grandparents. Please note—As a safety feature, grandparents will need to use the password to view the blog. Parents, if you have the Seesaw Family app, you do not have to enter the password to view the blog. Another blog safety feature is that each teacher has to approve a post before it can be added to the blog to be seen by others.
Drop-Off/Pick-Up Car Line
Please remember that we ask that you do not pull around vehicles that are parked in the car line unless directed by a staff member. In an effort to keep the car line moving, if your child needs help getting out of the car at drop-off or if they need a few minutes more to finish prepping to go home, we ask that you park in the middle section of the parking lot. A staff member will help get your child to you.
In the event of inclement weather that necessitates the cancellation of school, notification will be sent via text alert and Facebook. Also, Elementary will send an announcement through Seesaw. If you have not signed up for Text Alerts, you can contact the school office for more information. We do go outside during the winter months. Students should come with the proper snow gear—winter coat, winter boots, hat, gloves, etc.
Upcoming Calendar Items
- Friday, October 30—No School
- Sunday, November 1—Daylight Savings Time ends…we get an extra hour!!!! 🙂
- Friday, November 20—No School
- Tuesday, November 24—Thanksgiving Parties
- November 25-29—Thanksgiving Break
- Thursday, December 17—Christmas Parties
- Friday, December 18—No School (Please note—All remaining half-days on the 2020-2021 School Calendar will be FULL days OFF from school.)
Have a great rest of the week and a wonderful weekend!!
Welcome to October!
It is hard to believe that we have almost reached the end of 1st Quarter (next Friday, October 9). We are thankful for how God is working at school and also with the progress that we see students making. He is so good! As we continue to move forward in the school year, I want to take just a moment to remind you of some important dates and information.
SCHOOL PICTURE DAY
School pictures will be taken on Monday, October 5. 1st-4th grade will walk over to the main building for pictures. We will leave the elementary at approximately 8:15a.m. (Kindergarten will walk over the same day at 12:15p.m.) We will NOT be doing class pictures at this time. Hopefully, we will be able to do them at a later date in the school year and include them in the year book.
Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held VIRTUALLY on Thursday, October 15, from 1:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. (15-minute slots) via Zoom. This year, Fall conferences will be by REQUEST only (Parents or teachers can request a conference). If you would like to schedule a conference with your child’s teacher, please notify them by Monday, October 5. On Tuesday, October 6, we will send out scheduling emails through www.signupgenius.com. If you do not receive an email on Tuesday, it is because a conference has not been requested for your child (either by you or the teacher). If you have multiple children at the elementary campus, you will receive an invitation from each of your children’s teachers. Sign-ups are on a first-come/first-serve basis.
We have suspended most of the volunteer jobs this year due to COVID restrictions. Once IDPH restrictions are lifted, we will reinstate these positions. If we are not able to do so this year, they will be a part of our procedure again next year.
- Monday, October 5—School Picture Day
- October 12-16—NO SCHOOL…Fall Break
- Thursday, October 15—VIRTUAL Parent/Teacher Conferences (by request only)
- Friday, October 30—12:00 Noon Dismissal (No Kindergarten)…Grandparents’ Day has been cancelled for this year.
If you have any questions about the information above, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you again for your support and prayers…it is a blessing to be able to partner with you!
In His service,
Elementary Seesaw Update
Part of our “Back to School” plan includes bettering our online communication tools with you at home. One of the avenues that we will be using is Seesaw. Seesaw is a family of free apps for use by students and their families. We used Seesaw during Remote Learning in the Spring…so many of you are already familiar with it. One added piece this fall is the Seesaw Family app. Teachers will be using the Family app to communicate with you, the parent. There is a hand-out in your login codes packet (that was sent home on Wednesday, August 26) that helps to explain the difference between the Class app and the Family app. We will not be using FAITH Folders this year, so it will be extremely important that you check your Family app daily for important messages and classroom updates. Remember, we are all learning this new technology, so we will take it slow and help each other as we move forward.
We are excited to be able to add Seesaw to our school day. We continue to move forward in 2020!!
In case you were wondering…
How Do I Add Another Child to My Family Account?
Follow these instructions to add your child’s new journal to your existing account. You can also follow these instructions to add another child to your account.
With the QR Code (On iOS, Android, Chrome or Firefox):
- Sign in to your family account.
- Tap your profile icon (top left).
- Tap “+ Add Journal”.
- Scan the QR code or enter the code on the handout from your child’s teacher.
We are excited that the start of school is here! We have missed our students and are looking forward to being able to see them once again. In preparation for Monday, August 17, I wanted to take a moment to share with you a few procedures and notes for the days ahead.
- Drop-off for Grades 1-4 begins at 7:50 a.m. (Kindergarten drop-off begins at 11:45.) Before entering the school building, students will have temperatures checked by school staff using a contactless thermometer. We ask that your child wait in your car until a staff member comes to you. If the temperature is 100.0 or above, that student or visitor will not be allowed to enter the school building. Your child must be fever-free (below 100.0) for 24 hours (without the aid of fever-reducing medication) before returning to school. Also, by sending your child to school, you are verifying that he/she does not have any COVID-19 symptoms. (Anyone entering the building will have a temperature check.)
- Per IDPH guidelines, face masks will be worn indoors by students and staff regardless of social distancing. They will not need to be worn outdoors when social distancing is possible. We ask that students wear a CLEAN mask each day to school. Masks are to be provided by the student’s family. Also, over the next few days, take some time to let your child practice wearing a face mask. We will do our best to make this a positive experience for your child.
- For the 2020-2021 school year, lunch will be eaten in your child’s classroom. Please send a drink with your child’s lunch (juice box, water, etc). Microwaves will not be used this year. It is our plan to continue the Fun Lunch program. Please watch for more information on that once school starts.
- Elementary Afternoon Pick-up begins at 2:30p.m.
- We will not be using water bottles this year. Instead, we will be using disposable cups. If you sent a water bottle with your supplies, we will send it home with your child on Monday.
- More information will be sent home next week regarding Seesaw. We will be using this free app for homework and home/school communications.
- Coming next week—The Elementary Policy Manual will be sent home towards the beginning of the week. It will cover Dress Code, Tardies, Clip Chart System and more. Please be on the lookout for that important document.
Thank you for trusting us with the education of your child. We know that this has been a difficult time for all, and we know that routines and normalcy have been turned upside down. Please know that we are committed to making this the best year yet for your child. We will work hard to provide a safe place for them to grow, learn and shine! FCS really is a place where students SOAR!