Berean, Trinity Lutheran announcing openings

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Christian schools to employ more social distancing, mask use

Protestant Christian schools around Monett have announced plans for their school openings.

Berean Christian Academy, located east of Monett off Highway 60, has canceled its open house for Monday and will begin classes on Wednesday. Principal Mary Blinzler has been joined this year by Administrator Jason Hutsell. The faculty has 25 full-time and part-time members.

Blinzler said a few changes are planned to manage under current health concerns. Students will have their temperatures checked outside daily before entering the building and before their parents leave. Grades 7-12 will have a home room this year and teachers will rotate in.

“Our biggest class size is 15, which helps us,” Blinzler said. “We have enough to distance in the classrooms. Students will wear masks when they are in common areas. With our numbers, it works, and we don’t have to worry about traffic in the hall.”

Gym classes will be help outdoors. All music classes will continue to be offered. Blinzler said enrollment numbers are “good” and she anticipates offering a positive experience for students. Information on Berean Christian Academy is available by calling 417-236-9088.

Trinity Lutheran School in Freistatt will open for kindergarten through fourth grades on Aug. 25, and for fifth through eighth grades on Aug. 27. The early childhood preschool program will open on Sept. 1. Principal Amanda Moennig said her school board has a reopening plan that has been reviewed by the Lawrence County Health Department.

Among the steps in place to ensure safety are the requirement that all staff and students grades five and up wear masks. Masks are also recommended for younger students. Temperature checks will be done daily at the school entrance.

“No visitors other than staff and students will be allowed in the building,” Moennig said.

Desks will be spaced and social distancing protocols in place. Students will continue to learn in classroom groups based on their age and grade level. The size of classes are being capped this year, Moennig noted.

“Currently we only have openings in grades 2-4 and 7-8,” she said.

School will be in session Tuesdays through Fridays. Monday is set aside for “deep” cleaning, which will be a high priority overall this year with new sanitation strategies going into place.

“Our school was the recipient of a CARES [Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act] grant from Lawrence County that has given us the flexibility to purchase many items to increase safety and our ability to offer online instruction,” Moennig said. “Some of the things the grant covered: Chromebooks for all students and smart boards for every classroom, acrylic desk partitions for each student, water bottle fillers for the building, hot water to each classroom, personal protective equipment [such as masks], electrostatic sprayer and cleaning supplies, new anti-microbial stainless steel bathrooms partitions, and more.”

Questions about Trinity Lutheran may be addressed by email to Moennig at amoennig@tisfreistatt.org or by calling the school at 417-235-5931.

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