Updates and Messages
May 26, 2020
Dear CHS Community,
In response to the Covid-19 health crisis, CHS has formed a task force named Return to Learn whose goal is to prepare for the anticipated 2020-21 school year. We are actively preparing for the reopening of campus in the fall and planning for various scenarios that will allow us to hold classes in-person. As guidelines from the CDC, the state, and local health officials continue to unfold, CHS will develop appropriate learning models to be implemented at different levels of impact of Covid-19. The work of careful preparation to provide a safe, healthy, and engaging learning environment is already underway, and we remain committed to providing a top-quality Christian education for our students. In the process, we are drawing upon the best expertise available, both within the CHS community and the community-at-large.
Having gathered information from a range of sources – local, national, and international – the task force has created seven committees to focus on specific areas of planning: (1) health and safety; (2) operations and facility; (3) schedule; (4) academic program; (5) activities and events; (6) communications; and (7) wellbeing and support. Because the implications of social distancing and health protocols are far-reaching within a school community, these committees will coordinate with others as well as make recommendations particular to their area. Through these efforts, we will employ every practical measure to safeguard the health of our students, families, and staff.
At the end of this school year, the Return to Learn team will be sending a short survey for parents and older students to provide feedback on this year’s distance learning. Your input is valuable as we look toward next year. Additionally, we plan to hold some live (Zoom) meetings during the summer to give updates, receive feedback, and answer questions. Those dates will be communicated via email.
CHS will continue to uphold our mission by offering a program that is academically and spiritually robust in all learning contexts. As always, that mission represents a partnership between the school and our families, and we are deeply grateful for your support, confidence, and prayer, now and in the weeks and months ahead. We on the Return to Learn team are grateful for the opportunity to serve the students, families, and staff at CHS through this work, and we prayerfully anticipate the ways the Lord will work all things together for His glory at CHS.
Gratefully, on behalf of the Return to Learn team,
May 22, 2020
CHS will not be hosting a summer camp this year. We regret not being able to provide this service for our families. If you have any questions please feel free to contact John Naeher, Director of Operations at email@example.com. If you had already registered our business office will be sending you a full refund. Thank you for your understanding,
Director of Operations and Student Life
May 18, 2020
Weekly Upper School Distance Learning Update. Latest notes: last parent meeting will be combined for both MS and US
parents at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, May 27; locker clean-out schedule; parent resources.
May 11, 2020
May 6, 2020
Dear CHS Community:
Earlier yesterday, I envisioned different points in this school year and truly enjoyed the memories of the “senior tunnel” that welcomed students to campus on August 28, the visions of parents with their children enjoying a Kingsmen Café breakfast before the morning bell rings, the drop-in classroom visits where I watched skilled teachers mentoring eager students, and so many other fantastically wonderful snapshots of the school year. I am still in process of crystalizing the memory of March 12, the day we held our last campus-based classes, and the evening our The Little Mermaid cast and crew wowed the audience in our gym with an exemplary performance of the spring musical.
On March 13, caution regarding the spread of COVID-19 led us to quickly shift our learning delivery to a distance format and we have all been living in the center of tension between our desire for safety for our community and our desire to reopen our community. Yesterday, Governor Lamont declared that all Connecticut public school buildings would not reopen for the remainder of the spring semester. Before yesterday’s announcement, school buildings in our state had been closed through May 20. CHS will align with the governor’s decision and will continue with distance learning throughout our final day of classes, on June 10.
I know this news is unwelcome to most, and I am truly sorry that this course of action is necessary. I am particularly feeling for the Class of 2020 and their parents, many of whom have been part of the CHS community for 13 years. I want to be clear that this new announcement about campuses being closed for regular classes does not necessarily mean that some form of live graduation will not occur. Dr. Parrish is determined to offer the very best commencement allowable by the social distancing expectations of that day to the Class of 2020. Several options for our graduation exercises are on the table, and CHS will continue to work with the families of our senior class to craft plans for all possible scenarios.
More information about the final several weeks of school will be coming to you through Mrs. Smith and Dr. Parrish. I want to thank both of our principals for their steadfastness during this unusual time. As you know, Mrs. Smith will be retiring at the end of this school year after forty years of service at CHS. While our attention has been fixed on honoring the seniors in the Class of 2020, we will remain patient for the right opportunity to fittingly and wholeheartedly share our gratitude and love for Mrs. Smith. Please look for information about a forthcoming event.
It is also important to recognize the wonderful job the CHS faculty has done through this pandemic. These superb teachers continually share new ideas with each other and clearly have the needs of your children in mind as they enthusiastically enter each new school day. I want to also thank all CHS parents for the significant extra effort you have invested in the education of your children – particularly the parents of our younger students. Quarantine days will soon be behind us, and I pray we re-embrace the good habits of old, while also incorporating some of the new and helpful routines we have learned through this family-centered season.
Finally, I want to share with you that our Senior Staff spends significant amounts of time and energy on our preparations for the fall of 2020. Different medical experts and different news organizations paint somewhat divergent pictures of future days in this battle against COVID-19. While we cannot predict with any certainty what social restrictions, if any, will remain in place by August, I can assure you that CHS will start the fall with the very best plan in place to educate your child. The school had three days to shift to distance learning in March. We now have months to plan for different scenarios. Kim Baylis is leading our Return to Learn committee – which is eager to open with live classes in the fall, but is also preparing for a streamlined, parent-friendly delivery system for any or all students who cannot attend live classes. Ms. Baylis and her team of eight administrators, teachers and parents are peering through different lenses (instructional, social, physical, and safety) as they create a vision and plan for the fall.
Thank you for your perseverance through these extraordinary days. Throughout all the change, please know that the love of our Father and the joy of Christian community remain eternal and unchangeable forces.
Grace and Peace to you,
Brian J. Modarelli Head of School
May 4, 2020
April 27, 2020
Weekly Upper School Distance Learning Update. Latest notes: sharing prayer requests; student workload relative to Thursday schedule; middle school and high school parent meeting this Thursday, April 30 at 8:00 PM.
April 20, 2020
April 9, 2020
Dear CHS Community,
Governor Lamont is expected to announce an extension of the closure of Connecticut’s public schools today, with a date of May 20, 2020 as the newly proposed day when campuses will reopen to students and teachers. Of course, federal and state health officials will continually monitor COVID-19 to inform the governor on possible extensions to the May 20 date.
CHS has shifted to a distance learning paradigm for an indefinite period of time. We will reopen our physical campus when the federal, state and local health experts inform us it is safe to do so. The CHS return date will not be before May 20. Our academic year is slated to finish on June 10, 2020, the originally scheduled calendar date for the last day of classes.
The school realizes that a safe return date for one family might not coincide with a safe return date for another school family. Our Senior Staff is currently designing plans for families who live with higher levels of medical risk to be able to continue with distance learning once physical classes resume. We are also evaluating our time-honored, end-of-year events to craft the best strategy for each of them.
Please have a blessed Easter and a wonderful spring break.
April 8, 2020
Dear CHS Families,
Greetings to you as we approach Easter Sunday and prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus two millennia ago and the reality of that event in today’s world.
In just a few hours, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont is expected to address the residents of the state with a COVID-19 update. It is likely today’s speech will include new information on public school campus closures for this semester. As of today, Connecticut public schools have been closed by Governor Lamont through April 20, 2020.
Assuming Gov. Lamont provides an update to the issue of school campus closures, the CHS Senior Staff will judiciously assess the contents of today’s speech and communicate our intentions for CHS classes and CHS end-of-year events with you as soon as possible. The Senior Staff has been developing contingency plans for certain end-of-year activities, dependent upon the date that our campus will reopen.
The Senior Staff at CHS is committed to providing a strong distance learning program for our students while the congregating of students and adults on campus is deemed unsafe. However, we genuinely look forward to the date when our students are back in the classroom and joyfully learning in a community of physical presence.
Please let me take this opportunity to highlight two forthcoming parent meetings. Dr. Parrish will be hosting a meeting for parents of middle school students tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., followed by a meeting for parents of high school students at 8:30 p.m. Links to the meetings were sent to parent emails on April 7.
Please enjoy the God-designed colors of spring, the warmer weather, and the week-long gift of spring break!
Grace and Peace,
Head of School
March 31, 2020
March 29, 2020
March 23, 2020
March 17, 2020
Top of the morning to you, CHS Community,
The CHS faculty and staff are currently crafting the final touches of our e-learning launch, scheduled to begin at 8:00 tomorrow morning. The life-on-life educational model we typically enjoy will be temporarily replaced with a distance learning platform. Please expect a significant amount of communication from the school over the next several days.
While the plans in place are very good, we certainly anticipate hiccups inherent within the technology-based learning paradigm. Please be quick to contact the school’s newly created help line (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any software or connectivity issues. We will collect data on these calls and on the solutions to the issues, and incorporate that information into a FAQ list for the school community. High school students are asked to contact AppleCare for any hardware issues with their iPads.
Flexibility, persistence and grace are overarching themes that we, as a Christian community, will anticipate of each other. When future generations look back at this moment in time and reflect on our responses, I pray they see a spirit of unity and a strong sense of trust in God’s providence.
Grace and Peace,
March 13, 2020
Yes. No assignments will be sent home on the 16th or 17th. Teachers will be on campus those days in further preparation for the distance learning launch on Wednesday, March 18. All student activities are cancelled until further notice. The campus will only be open to faculty and staff.