Maranatha Starts Class In-Person with COVID-19 Guidelines in Place
The 2020-2021 school year is well underway for students at Maranatha Christian Academy. The scholars attend class in-person, five days a week, like usual. However, this year, there are many COVID-19 prevention protocols to keep students and staff safe. There are more than 700 students this year, a 40 percent jump from previous years. Debbie Larson, the assistant head of Maranatha said the increase in enrollment is partly due to families wanting on-campus learning, childcare and/or having the ability to work.
“The best learning platform for our students is going to be in the classroom with the teacher. School is more than just a worksheet and learning certain pieces of knowledge. There’s the whole social piece,” explained Larson.
Everyone has to follow social distancing guidelines. Guests are screened, and their temperature is taken before they can enter the building. Students are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and are required to wear masks.
The learners work in pods throughout the entire school day. Some of the lower grades also eat their lunches in the classroom instead of the cafeteria. The idea is to keep students in the classroom as much as possible.
“Each grade level, Pre-K through grade five, is doing that grade level pods, and once it gets to that middle school level, we bridge two different grades at a time, and then our 9-12th is considered a pod,” said Larson.
Students and staff are asked to do self-screening at home and continually check for COVID-19 symptoms. Meanwhile, Maranatha Christian Academy officials say they are ready to switch to virtual learning should the number of COVID-19 cases spikes.