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Returning to School: A Message to Families

August 6th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

Trinitas’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan for the coming year is now in its final stages of review. We have based our plan on Michigan’s “Return to School Roadmap” (elements of which are binding on non-public schools) and guidance from the CDC, Kent ISD, and Kent County Health Department. The official plan has been reviewed by faculty and will soon be reviewed by the board; you will receive a copy on or before August 17.

Please keep in mind that there will be changes to the plan throughout the year as guidance evolves at federal, state, and local levels and as we determine what best serves our students and staff. We will communicate those changes in our newsletters and in a dedicated place on our website. One thing that will not change is our commitment to a safe and healthy, rigorous and joyful learning environment.

For now, I want to address a few elements of the plan:

Phases and Face Masks

  1. If our region is in Phases 1 through 3 of the MI Safe Start Plan, we are required to teach only online.
  2. If we are on campus in Phase 4, students in kindergarten through 6th grade will generally not be required to wear face masks in their classrooms. One exception might be when they are working in close proximity to one another. Guidance on exceptions is still changing. 7th and 8th graders and all adults will be required to wear face masks.
  3. If we are in Phase 5, masks for 7th and 8th graders and adults will be encouraged but not required.

Masks, which families will need to provide, may be cloth or disposable. Now is the time to find the most comfortable mask for your child and to get them accustomed to wearing it.

PE Uniform Reminder

You have read by now that students will not change uniforms at school this year. When they have PE, they will wear that uniform all day in order to eliminate the close contact that would occur with a uniform change. The expectation, then, is that PE uniforms fit well and are in very good condition.

Beach Towels

You will also have noticed the addition of beach towels to the school supply list. Students will use their towels as often as we can have lunch outside in the fresh, open air.

No Microwaves or Shared Utensils

As you plan for this school year, please note that we are removing shared, high-touch items such as microwaves. There will be no way to warm food at school, so you might need to add an insulated food container to your back-to-school list.

If our school community even remotely reflects the broader culture, families will likely be unhappy with various elements of the plan. Some may find them too loose; some may find them too strict. That is understandable. It will be important for students, however, that we do not vent our frustrations in front of them. Please, if you have a complaint or concern, bring it to the attention of someone on staff who can do something about it. If it has to do with the classroom, talk through it with your child’s teacher. If it has to do with the school, talk through it with me or a dean of students.

I do expect that we will encounter obstacles periodically. One of the many benefits of being a smaller community is our ability to adjust quickly. This was evident when our teachers were able to convert their classes to online delivery over a three-day weekend last year. I have every reason to believe that we will be just as flexible and agile as together we perceive and respond to new challenges and opportunities as they arise. I look forward to seeing you all again soon and to working with an exceptional team of teachers and staff to serve your family!

Regards,

Peter Marth


Safe Schools Roadmap: Opening Plans for 2020-2021

July 27th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

With other nonpublic schools, we have received confirmation that we will have to adhere to the “required” elements of the Roadmap released by the governor’s office on June 30. When our region is in Phases 1-3, we will be limited to remote instruction. When we are in Phases 5-6, we have a great deal of latitude to pursue best practices that fit our circumstances.

Phase 4 requirements for in-person instruction present greater challenges when it comes to keeping the learning environment as “normal” as possible. We are still working out the details, but we expect that grades 5-8 will have to wear masks during Phase 4 in-person instruction. We are almost certain that masks will remain optional for grades K-4 students in the configuration we will propose. Many more details are sure to follow.


Graduation Planned for Monday, August 3

July 27th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

We are pleased to announce that our kindergarten and 8th grade graduation will be held on Monday, August 3, at 6:30 p.m. To stay within the current limit of 100 people for outdoor group gatherings, we are only extending the invitation to our graduate families at this time. Parents of graduates should submit their RSVP form to indicate if they are able to attend and how many “tickets” are needed for their family. We are able to invite parents, siblings of all ages, and two guests (e.g., grandparents) from each graduate’s family. If space allows, we will make any extra tickets available to other school families on a first come, first served basis.

We thank you again for your patience as we have waited to host this special occasion. We are also making plans to hold the “awards” part of our Awards and Graduation program. Students will be honored for their accomplishments at the beginning of the school year.


Shop Our Uniform Closet

July 27th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

Don’t forget to shop our uniform closet for the items you might need this fall. We have a great selection of gently used items for just $2 each! If you have been cleaning out closets and dresser drawers this summer, you are welcome to donate your old uniform pieces. They may be brought to the school during office hours (9am-1pm, Monday-Thursday).

If you did not review the important PE uniform information sent to families, please click here. Our online apparel store is open until August 11. The full list of uniform requirements and recommendations can be found here.


Family Directory Coming Soon

July 27th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

Our 2020-2021 family directory will be available in August. Parents will be asked to review their information at the orientation on September 9, but they are encouraged to send address or email changes to the office as soon as possible to be included the first copy of the directory.

N.B. The directory is used for school-related communication and should not be used for private purposes or shared with those outside the Trinitas community.


Kindergarten and 8th Grade Graduation Plans

July 15th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen
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Summer Community Picnic

July 10th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen
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Michigan Safe Schools Roadmap for 2020-2021

July 9th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

On June 30, Governor Whitmer unveiled the Return to School Roadmap. This 63-page document includes requirements and recommendations for schools based on the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic at any point in time. As expected, guidelines and procedures will vary as the phase we find ourselves in varies. Even though we don’t know what the virus will look like in September (or any month), we can still be prepared for it. Indeed that remains our message and commitment to you. We are preparing for all the phases detailed in the roadmap as we continue to prepare students for lives well-lived.

It is clear that if we are in phases one through three of community spread, we will move to distance learning. If we are in phases five or six, we will have more latitude to determine how the recommended practices apply to our particular situation. Phase four, where new virus cases have fallen but overall case levels remain high, will be the most difficult to navigate, but we will continue to work with guidelines from the CDC and Kent County Health Department.


NOTICE – Important PE Uniform Information

July 9th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen
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As we face a different set of circumstances this fall, we are working to identify elements of our regular school routine that may need alteration. We know that controlling group size and interaction will be key to on-campus instruction. In order to avoid crowded bathrooms for changing, students will wear their PE uniforms all day on the days they have PE during the 2020-2021 school year. Because students will be in this attire for the duration of the school day, please make sure PE uniforms are in good condition (no holes, stains, or excessive fading) and fit well.

Please review the required/recommended PE uniform below.

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Awards and Graduation Update

July 9th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

While our hope remains to hold our Awards and Graduation, we continue to watch for any update to outdoor gathering numbers for our area. Until the state declares otherwise, Kent County remains in Region 2 and Phase 4 of the Michigan Safe Start Plan. Executive Order 2020-110 (Sections 5 and 6) states:

  • Indoor social gatherings and events among persons not part of a single household are permitted, but may not exceed 10 people.
  • Outdoor social gatherings and events among persons not part of a single household are permitted, but only to the extent that the gathering or event does not exceed 100 people, and people not part of the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another.