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Waiver Received: K-6 Opening for In-Person Classes

September 16, 2020 by Elaine Rottman

The Santa Barbara County and State of California health departments approved a waiver allowing Providence to hold Lower School classes in person.

Mr. Soo Chang, Providence’s head of school, sent a notice to school families on September 16, thanking them for “your patience and your prayers.” In his message, he writes, “Please join me in praising God and celebrating this good news for Providence Lower School families! And keep praying that it won’t be long before ALL Providence students can resume their studies in person.”

All faculty and staff who will be on the San Roque campus are completing baseline routine COVID-19 testing and will be retested on a rotating two-month basis. Health and safety protocol training and run-throughs for K–6 staff will take place on a previously scheduled in-service day on Friday, September 18. 

“We are eager to reopen our San Roque campus and welcome everyone back to school,” writes Mr. Chang, “and we remain deeply committed to our students’ safety and health and the safety and health of our faculty and staff.” 

A tentative staggered reopening will allow students and staff sufficient time to become familiar with the new procedures. Junior Patriots (Kindergarten) classes will use Monday and Tuesday of next week (September 21 and 22) to get comfortable with health screening, drop-off, and pick-up procedures. Other classes will come back to campus one grade per day, beginning with first grade on Wednesday, September 23 and culminating with the sixth grade by the following Wednesday, September 30. Details will be sent home to parents in the next few days.

Providence@Home distance-learning will continue for all classes not yet back on campus, to provide a relatively seamless transition from the remote classroom to the physical classroom. Students began the year already assigned to their classroom teacher and cohort.  

The Providence K–6 Reopening Guide contains key information on health screening, arrival procedures, lunches and water bottles, masks, physical distancing, cohorts, cleaning and disinfecting, and much more.  

“We understand that some families may not be comfortable with sending children back to school at this time and we respect that decision,” Mr. Chang notes. “We will discuss with each family how we can make accommodations to serve those students.” 

Seats remain open in a few Providence classes. Please contact the Admission Office for information.