Our Plan Moving Forward
Athens Bible School Reopening Plan for 2020-2021 School Year
Dear ABS families,
We are excited about opening a new school year! Over the last several weeks, we have been working very hard to find ways to continue delivering an excellent education to our student body while also providing a safe and healthy environment to everyone on campus. We strongly desire to offer our traditional educational model with a daily focus on the Bible. This year will look different in many ways, but our mission and purpose will never change. Our faculty and staff are working extremely hard to provide your child with a quality education that will allow them to excel spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially. After careful consideration and continued prayer, our current plans for starting the school year are outlined below.
This is still a fluid situation and these plans are subject to change before and during the school year. If changes or modifications are warranted, we will make those known as quickly as possible.
We began as scheduled on Wednesday, August 19 in a traditional manner implementing safety precautions that are necessary. For, at least, the first eight days of school, we will have half days of school. This will be done in an effort to help everyone adapt to new procedures. As of now, the school calendar released to families earlier this year is still in place. All teachers and classes are prepared and equipped to convert to virtual learning should a mandated state closure occur.
In January, when Mr. Chris Duke agreed to become the next Principal of Athens Bible School, he
did not know exactly what lay in front of him. Being a principal always has it unknowns. But, our
current situation with COVID-19 is truly something that is impossible to plan for.
During the past several weeks, Mr. Duke has worked tirelessly in an effort to provide solutions to
problems that are constantly in motion. He has been in constant communications with the Board of
Directors, our faculty and staff, education officials from Limestone County and the city of Athens,
medical professionals, and many of the patrons, parents, and students of Athens Bible School.
Last week, after much prayer and planning, Mr. Duke released the school’s plan for opening school
on August 19. At a very high level, those plans included:
1) Establishing new policies and procedures for classes, chapel, dining, physical education, and
2) Coordinating with the Board of Directors and generous donors in the acquisition of four
“foggers” that will be used to ensure that the campus is as clean as possible.
3) Working with the Athens City School system to acquire additional health and safety
supplies for our campus.
4) Creating of additional training opportunities for our faculty to enhance their ability to
deliver our educational product during this unique time.
The feedback that we have received to the plan from our employees as well as the parents and
students has been extremely positive. Everyone involved recognizes the amount of love and concern
that went into the plan to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.
These additional measures have created a number of work opportunities in the form of work
scholarships for the parents of our current student body. If you are interested in receiving some
information about how to serve Athens Bible School in this capacity, please contact the front office.
We would like to offer our sincere appreciation to not only Mr. Duke and the staff of Athens Bible
School, but also the incredible group of parents and students that we have the honor of serving
every single day. The Athens Bible School family is truly that, a family. When good things happen,
we celebrate together. When sad things happen, we cry together. And when difficult times come,
we work together.
Beginning August 19, we will, once again, learn together. And we cannot wait to see our family
back on campus. You will not want to miss it!
Student, Faculty, and Staff Wellness
The first line of screening is at home each morning. Please become familiar with the screening tool found here and assess your child. If your child answers yes to any question, please do not send them to school. Temperature checks will be conducted for all students by faculty/staff each morning. No student, faculty, or staff member will be permitted to enter the building with a temperature of 100.4 or above.
Social distancing will be in effect when possible. To minimize contact between classes, elementary students will remain with their individual classes for the entirety of the school day. Chapel, lunch, and physical education classes will be conducted in such a way that social distancing may take place. Middle and high school classes, classrooms, and lunch/chapel periods will be adapted to promote social distancing as much as possible.
Enhanced sanitization measures will be implemented across campus. These include the addition of hand sanitation stations and the utilization of sanitizing foggers (due to generous donations, we were able to purchase four of these devices) each day after school or as needed. Click here for more information about foggers. Handwashing and sanitizing practices for students will also be modeled and encouraged. We also encourage employees and students to have access to their own personal hand sanitizer when possible. We will encourage frequent, proper hand washing for everyone.
Teachers will wear facial coverings when in close proximity to students. Masks for students are encouraged but not required when appropriate social distancing can be maintained. When that is not possible (some classroom settings, class changes, chapel, etc.), facial coverings will be required.
To maintain a healthy environment, no visitors (including parents) will be permitted in campus buildings during school hours. This includes chapel and lunch periods. No deliveries to students, by parents or businesses, will be permitted (this includes lunch deliveries).
Whenever possible, use of shared objects and items will be avoided. When use of shared items is required, items will be disinfected after each use.
All water fountains will be turned off, so students are encouraged to bring a water bottle to utilize throughout the day.
Our school nurse will continue to oversee and monitor our health services for faculty, staff, and students. If anyone on campus or directly connected to someone on campus receives a positive test result, we will follow the standard procedures for quarantine and return as outlined by the Alabama Department of Public Health.
In addition to the nurse’s office for regular medical needs, an “Isolation Area” will serve as a supplemental space for individuals needing to be removed from the school population.
While we meet for half days for a set amount of time, we will not be serving lunch. Instead, students would have a snack in the room or outside about mid-morning. If we attend for the day and lunch is served, younger grades would still go to the lunchroom to eat on a staggered schedule. Upper elementary and high school would have it delivered to designated room or area to eat.
Field trips will be postponed for now. We will reevaluate on a regular basis to determine when to safely and effectively resume field trips.
The AHSAA in cooperation with the ALSDE are permitting athletic practices and games to move forward as scheduled. Student athletes continue to prepare on campus for their seasons. All coaches utilize screening procedures as mentioned under Student, Faculty, and Staff Wellness. More information regarding Fall Sports will be provided as it becomes available to us from the AHSAA
Additional details specific to different situations will be provided as needed.
Placing our trust in God and working together for the good of every student, we can make this a great year.
“…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (ESV)