Nov 18, 2020

Coronavirus Updates

A SUCCESSFUL SEMESTER - COVID-19 UPDATE

11/20/20:

Watch the video for a winter COVID-19 update from Dr. Wiens and Julie Baute, RN.

Dear MPCS Family:

We hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving week off! Click above to watch the video from Dr. Wiens and our MPCS nurse, Julie Baute RN, with some COVID-19 updates.

As we head into the winter months, rest-assured that we will continue to be vigilant with the safety and sanitization protocols in place to ensure our students can remain on campus for the duration of the school year. After watching the video above, please review the clinic decision process outlined below to better understand how contact tracing for exposure works.

Thank you again for your grace and patience as we all navigate this season together. Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving break!


REMINDERS FROM THE CLINIC:

Updated 8/24/20:

Preventative Health Measures for COVID-19 and Beyond

In addition to the sanitization protocols and Synexis system put into place before the school year began, MPCS is taking precautions to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus during the school day. We are working hard daily to keep a safe environment.

The MPCS school clinic is available to your child in case of emergencies, as well as for assistance with ongoing conditions. Below are a few reminders about the clinic and our 2020-2021 policies and procedures to ensure the health and safety of your children. The clinic is also being vigilant in following CDC protocol for exposures and temporary quarantines if needed. (You can also always find general clinic forms and information on the Eagle Links page.)


Healthy Kids, Healthy School

Thank you families for erring on the side of caution when your child may not be feeling well, and keeping them home. MPCS will continue to take temperatures and screen students and staff every morning during carpool drop-off. A few items to note are:

  • As always, if your child is sick or has a fever above 99.9°F, do NOT send them to school. 
  • If your child has been ill, prior to returning to school, students must be fever-free without aid of medication for 72 hours, be free from symptoms for 72 hours, and/or on a newly prescribed antibiotic for 24 hours.
  • If your child is experiencing symptoms from seasonal allergies, please keep them home until the symptoms are well-controlled.
  • Remember to notify the nurses if your child has any medical updates. 

 

If your child(ren) must be absent for any reason:

Please fill out the absentee form so nurses can communicate with administration in case there's a new need for virtual learning.

ABSENTEE FORM

 

MPCS has implemented the following health and safety procedures:


Course of Action in the Event of a Positive COVID-19 Case

Please make note of the following protocols in case of illness:

Questions?

Email nurse@mtparanschool.com. Please join us in continuous prayer for a safe and healthy 2020-2021 school year!

Julie Baute, R.N.,
Alex Sullivan, R.N.
Ashlea Shumpert, R.N.
Tonya Westmoreland, R.N.


WHAT TO EXPECT AT MPCS FOR THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR:

Updated 8/10/20:

Click above to watch!

Watch the Video

MPCS faculty and staff cannot wait to welcome you back to campus! We know you have a lot of questions about what school will look like for your children. Click above to watch the video, which explains what they can expect on the first day, and be sure to share it with your child(ren) as well!

What to Expect

Here's a few changes to take note of for the first day:

  • Please remember that we are unable to allow parents inside the buildings without an appointment, even on the first day of school. So be sure to get your photos at home or outdoors.
  • We will post many first-day photos on our school social media, so be on the lookout.
  • New families should drive by Riverstone Church across Stilesboro Road after drop-off for the new family "Welcome Wagon."
  • All families may also grab any of our free "MPCS is Family" signs posted throughout campus to take home for your front yard.
  • Though chapel has moved to Tuesdays, students may wear normal uniform attire on the first day. Our first official chapel day is Tuesday, August 18.
  • All K-12 students will receive an MPC Eagle buff in their first period class or homeroom. Please have them wear a disposable mask or one they bring from home for the first morning of carpool.
  • Students will notice new signage and floor markings when they enter the school buildings.
  • While in carpool and hallway transitions, students and staff will wear face coverings.
  • We will remind students to keep 3-6 feet physical distance while in transitions as well.
  • Students will not be required to wear buffs or masks while seated in class or at recess, but are encouraged to do so if they are comfortable.
  • Students will be asked to wash or sanitize hands frequently throughout the school day.
  • Additional carpool reminders will be shared on Monday.

Thank you for entrusting your child(ren) into our care this school year, whether it be on campus or virtually. We are humbled and blessed by the commitment of our families to a Christ-centered education. Truly, our "family reunion" on August 11 will be so sweet! 


FROM MPCS CLINIC ON COVID-19 PROTOCOL:

Updated 7/31/20:

 

Preventative Health Measures

In addition to the sanitization protocols and Synexis system put into place before the school year begins, MPCS is taking precautions to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus during the school day. As outlined in our MPCS Family Reunion Plan to get back to campus, students can expect a few changes to begin the school year to help keep everyone safe.

 

School Clinic

The MPCS school clinic is available to your child in case of emergencies, as well as for assistance with ongoing conditions requiring daily administering of medications. Below are a few reminders about the clinic and our 2020-2021 policies and procedures to ensure the health and safety of your children. You can also find general clinic forms and information on the Eagle Links page.

 

Healthy Kids, Healthy School

As always, if your child is sick or has a fever above 99.9°F, do NOT send them to school. MPCS will be vigilant in taking temperatures and screening students and staff every morning during carpool drop-off.

If your child has been ill, prior to returning to school, students must be fever-free without aid of medication for 72 hours, free from vomiting for 72 hours, and/or on a newly prescribed antibiotic for 24 hours. Please notify the nurses if your child has any medical updates. As mentioned in our MPCS Family Reunion Plan to get back to campus, MPCS has now hired two additional nurses and created an additional clinic space! 

 

Daily Monitoring

  • Requiring that parents keep their student home if their temperature is above 99.9°F .
  • Requesting that parents alert the MPCS clinic if anyone in the household has tested positive for COVID-19 or has come in direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Reducing risks to our MPCS family through daily temperature checks and screening at carpool drop-off of all faculty, students, and visitors until restrictions loosen.
  • Educating students on the importance of reducing the risk of exposure with simple and consistent hand-washing and personal hygiene practices such as coughing or sneezing into a tissue or elbow and avoiding touching the face.
  • Hiring of two additional nurses 
  • Adding an additional clinic room for students who become ill.
  • Hiring of a second security guard on duty daily to assist with temperature screening at the gate.
  • Sage Dining team members handling lunch service without shared dispensing and employ additional safety and cleaning precautions.

 

Physical Distancing

  • Providing student buffs for grades K-12 for use during transitions, carpool, in hallways, and during collaborative learning.
  • Students will be strongly encouraged to wear face coverings throughout the day, if comfortable. Remember, no inappropriate messages, graphics, political statements, or themes are allowed on face coverings.
  • Providing PPE and masks for use by staff members if required.
  • Following CDC hygiene protocols and posting signs throughout campus to stay six feet apart and utilize traffic flow arrows.
  • Reduced furniture in classrooms to maximize square footage allowing for distancing of seating.
  • Since class sizes are already small, students will be spread out 3-6 feet

    within classrooms, where feasible, with assigned seating. 

  • Large group gatherings such as chapel will be done on a grade rotation and broadcast into classrooms.
  • Extracurricular clubs, groups, and meetings will be virtual, when feasible.
  • Providing flexible learning via synchronous classroom video technology in case of temporary quarantine.
  • Focusing on the equally important social, emotional, and spiritual health of our students and staff.
  • Utilize patio tent next to dining hall in order to physically distancing seating for all grades during lunch. High school will also use Dozier Hall on rotations.

 

Course of Action in the Event of a Positive COVID-19 Case

MPCS requests that parents and staff members follow these guidelines.

 

What should I do if I/my child/child's sibling/student/is EXPOSED to someone with COVID-19? 

Exposure is defined as being within six feet of someone that has tested positive for COVID-19 for longer than 15 minutes with or without a mask.

  1. Please notify the nurses immediately if your child has been exposed to COVID-19.
  2. If student is asymptomatic, he/she will quarantine for 14 days from the last date of exposure to the positive individual.
  3. Continue to check temperature twice a day and monitor for symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea)
  4. If the student becomes symptomatic during the 14 days, they will be advised to get tested and contact a health provider.

 

What should I do if my child or a member of my household is DIAGNOSED with COVID-19?

  1. Please notify the nurses immediately if someone in your family has a positive case of COVID-19.
  2. Nurses will notify local health authorities of a diagnosis of COVID-19, as required by the DPH.
  3. DPH will assist nurses in contact tracing and will alert those who may be affected while maintaining privacy and confidentiality required by HIPAA laws.
  4. MPCS will immediately close the primary area where the student was located for extended time, and heavily disinfect before re-entry.
  5. If a student or staff member tests positive and are ASYMPTOMATIC at the time of the test he/she must isolate for 10 days with day one beginning the day of the positive test.
  6. If a student or staff member tests positive and is SYMPTOMATIC, he/she must isolate for 10 days with day one beginning the first day of symptoms.
  7. Require quarantine of siblings and family members living in household with the affected student for 14 days, with return dependent upon requirements for return listed below.
  8. Require quarantine of those determined by contact tracing who were in close contact with the student, less than six feet, for longer than 15 minutes.
  9. Students may utilize the synchronous learning option during quarantine to continue to learn virtually when able.


When can my student(s) return to campus?

The individual must meet these criteria prior to returning to campus:

  1. Been isolated for 10 days from the start of symptoms or 10 days from the positive test if they are asymptomatic. 
  2. Be fever-free for three consecutive days without the use of fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen, which may run congruent with the 10-day isolation.
  3. Have greatly-improved symptoms or none at all.
  4. For those who were exposed, must have no symptoms during the 14-day period.

 

Questions?

Email nurse@mtparanschool.com. Please join us in praying for a safe and healthy 2020-2021 school year!

Julie Baute, R.N.,
Alex Sullivan, R.N.
Ashlea Shumpert, R.N.
Tonya Westmoreland, R.N.

 


Updated 7/30/20:

MPCS INSTALLS NEW MICROBIAL MITIGATION SYSTEM

Click here to read about this amazing new SYNEXIS technology installed in all classrooms on campus to help protect staff and students from airborne viruses.

 

Synexis System

Updated 7/16/20:

From Dr. Tim Wiens —

What a rollercoaster ride we continue to be on! COVID-19 has changed the world in which we live and the manner in which we are called to interact with one another – at least for the time being. To that end, we continue to evolve along with the disease we have been exposed to (metaphorically, for most of us). 

Yesterday, I am sure many of you were made aware that the surrounding school districts (Cobb County and Marietta City) have joined Fulton County, Atlanta Public, and DeKalb in planning a virtual start to their school years. Because we are smaller, more nimble, and have had the opportunity to strategize accordingly, we continue to plan to start live and in-person on August 11. For that, I am more than thankful, and, having heard from many of you, I know you are too. 

How We Will Start

As we continue to plan for the start in just a few weeks, a few things have changed since my last communication (change has become the new constant). Previously, we had communicated we would start as closely to normal as possible (Scenario #1 in the MPCS Family Reunion Plan). Today, as we continue to plan, we believe we will find ourselves in between Scenario 1 and Scenario 2 (Physical-Distancing Plan). In reality, we are now planning for Scenario 1.5. What this means is that while we are not fully implementing Scenario 2, we are planning to implement some of the practices of Plan 1 and some from Plan 2. We will start school with the following measures in place:

1. We will wear masks during the following:

  • Arrival
  • Departure
  • Transitions (walking to and from class, to the gym, to the library, etc.)
  • In common spaces (dining hall until seated, chapel, etc.)
  • We will not require masks in the classroom when students are able to be physically distanced.

2. Students will utilize mask or buffs.

  • Child-size buffs will be provided by the school for grades K-8. 
  • Parents may opt to send a mask to school, if masks are preferred.
  • Masks and buffs are available for sale in the Eagles Nest.

3. All masks must be MPCS appropriate. 

  • While no mandated uniform mask will be required, no inappropriate messages, graphics, political statements, or themes are allowed on masks.
  • The administration of each division has authority to make decisions on the appropriateness of all masks. 

4. Large group gatherings will be limited to numbers that allow for physical distancing.

  • Gatherings will be conducted on a grade-level rotation.
  • For instance, grade 9 will go to chapel one week, while grades 10-12 will participate in chapel as it live-streams into their classrooms.
  • Currently, the dining hall will physically distance students and utilize tents for outdoor covered eating areas.

5. All classrooms will implement physical-distancing measures. For example:

  • 3-6 feet between students (as recommended by the World Health Organization and American Association of Pediatricians)
  • All students will be assigned a seat in every class/classroom, and a record will be kept for tracking purposes in the event of a positive COVID case.
  • Musical masks have been purchased for choral and ensemble students.
  • Excess furniture has been removed from classrooms to maximize the space.

6. We will utilize a touchless sign-in and sign-out system at every front desk.

7. No parents or visitors will be allowed into campus buildings without a previously scheduled appointment. This applies to all parents and visitors.

8.  We will not utilize field trips as learning opportunities until further notice.

9.   Up and down stairways will be utilized during transition times with directional signage.

10.  Lower school students will be grouped in cohorts.

  • This will help to prevent the spread of contagions. 
  • They will be in class with, travel with, and learn alongside their cohorts. 

11.  Each division will utilize additional age-appropriate strategies not mentioned herein. 

The above are simply some of the new expectations that we will be implementing beginning on August 11. The duration of these strategies is still unknown, but we will utilize them until we understand it is safe for your children to do otherwise. Likewise, we will communicate regularly as we continue to monitor this situation.

 

Synchronous Virtual Option

Again, for those parents who wish to keep their children home until they feel more certain about their well-being, we are offering the at-home synchronous virtual option. Please let your division head know today if you would like to utilize this option. It will happen in real time, utilizing cameras from Lumen that are designed specifically for academic live-streaming.  

 

Investing in Safety

We want to assure all parents, students, and staff that we are doing all we can to protect the health and safety of the entire MPCS community. This year, we will have spent more than $1 million implementing new systems, providing a state-of-the-art microbial reduction system that eradicates airborne and surface contaminants (air purification to the level of hospital intensive care units), updating all air filtration systems, providing safe EPA-approved cleaning solutions, and increasing nursing, counseling, and safety measures as outlined more below. 

While I understand some of our new daily procedures may not rest well with all of our families, please know we are doing all we can to respect the perspectives of all families, while working to maintain a healthy, safe, and fully-operational school on campus. We are thankful for your grace and flexibility as we navigate this situation. As such, throughout this pandemic, we will seek to continue to build community and create unique opportunities to strengthen the MPCS family atmosphere.   

As I close, please know that community and gathering are at the heart of all we do. We have been specifically designed by the Creator of the Universe for face-to-face interaction and to be in community with one another. Our goal is to ensure that this life-giving community is provided in as uninterrupted manner as possible throughout the course of the school year and that our students have the opportunity to invest in the relationships with their peers and teachers that make MPCS the special place that it is. This can only happen when we do so together. 

I know you are all excited to be back to school. I look forward to working on your behalf and striving to provide your family with the MPCS education you have grown to know and love. My prayer is that, together, we will all seek the best of our community as we move throughout the course of the school year. 


BRIEF UPDATE AS OF 7/16/20:

MPCS will be live and in-person ON CAMPUS starting August 11 as planned. Our MPCS Family is blessed to be able to fully utilize our 68-acre campus. With safety standards up-and-above requirements, accompanied by new and existing technology, MPCS will continue to offer the stellar academic experience you expect. Additional details will be shared by Dr. Wiens tomorrow!
#PeerTeacherConnections #BuildingRelationships #MPCSIsFamily


Updated 6/26/20:

MPCS FAMILY REUNION PLAN

We encourage all families to read the updated MPCS "Family Reunion" Plan for coming back to campus on schedule August 11 to start the 2020-2021 school year.

The MPCS Scenario Planning Committee (comprised of leadership, nurses, operations, faculty, and staff) spent extensive time discussing multiple options for learning possibilities during the pandemic. As a result, three strategies were chosen as the most likely scenarios most beneficial for our families and fitting within DPH/GaDOE recommendations for a PK-12 setting on our campus. This plan allows for flexibility depending on government/DPH/CDC restrictions and in order to provide the continuous, world-class education you have come to expect, with Christ at the center.

Please click below to read the full Reunion Plan. We know you may have very specific questions so feel free to email us at townhall@mtparanschool.com or contact your division head. Also, be on the lookout for updates concerning plans for Back-2-School Night on August 6. 

 

MPCS Family Reunion Plan after COVID-19

Updated 6/1/20:

MPCS TOWN HALL

Thank you MPCS family for sending in your questions! We are happy to share answers regarding re-opening on August 11 for the 2020-2021 school year via the virtual Town Hall meeting video below. Also, many of the FAQs are listed below for your quick review. Thank you, once again, for your flexibility and cooperation as we work out plans for reopening this fall.

 

Please watch the full town hall presentation above, answering questions about re-opening and plans for the 2020-2021 school year.

REOPENING Q&A

Tuition:
On-Campus and Virtual Options:
Safety:
Schedules:

If you have more specific questions, feel free to e-mail townhall@mtparanschool.com, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!

 


Coronavirus Updates

 

Updated 5/11/20:

Please click to watch the full video from Dr. Wiens below for an update on plans for summer and fall schedules. (Read below for a summary of these action items in progress.)

Hello MPCS family, and welcome to the last week of the 2019-20 school year! It is truly hard to believe that the year is almost over. And, what a year it’s been! 

 

WHAT WE HAVE GAINED:

As the world opens back up and gets back to our “new normal,” let’s not forget the things we have learned during this time. Slowing down and enjoying one another is a good thing. Let’s not forget how good the downtime was and let it fall by the wayside. I am hopeful that we will create a great “new normal” as parents, as young people, and as a community.

 

SUMMER 2020:

Now, as we move forward, I want to share with you some things you can expect both this summer and in the days to come. All plans will be in compliance with health and government guidelines and subject to change:

  • Summer Programs for June are cancelled.
  • Summer Programs will be held in July (presuming social distancing measures are lifted and with cleaning protocols in place). Any changes to this plan will be communicated by June 15.
  • Summer sports and workouts are still TBD.
  • Communications about schedules will be ongoing.

 

FALL 2020:

  • Our plan is to be back in school as scheduled on August 11 for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • New health and safety measures will be in place (see below).
  • We are still awaiting news from GHSA concerning athletics start dates.  
  • We are planning for alternate scenarios, should the need arise.

 

NEW HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES YOU CAN EXPECT:

From a health and safety standpoint, please know we are taking the safety, security, and health of our entire community very seriously. To ensure the health and safety of every person who has and will step foot on our beautiful campus, we have done and are working on the following:

  • Hiring a second full-time nurse to ensure our health coverage is adequate for any demand.
  • Hiring a second security guard who will be on duty throughout the duration of the school day.
  • Purchasing and will daily use an electrostatic handheld sprayer on prepped surfaces and can be used to clean all public spaces. 
  • Have completed HVAC/AC system cleaning and maintenance of high-grade filters in all facilities.
  • Will install a new air filtration system in academic buildings.
  • Use only EPA-approved, safe disinfectants. 
  • Purchased 45 more hand sanitization stations to double sanitization locations, bringing that total to 85 stations on campus.
  • Will provide masks and gloves for use by all staff members, where and when appropriate if required.
  • Following all CDC hygiene protocols and have them posted throughout campus.
  • Suspend use of vending machines and water fountains.
  • Will be utilizing multiple new computer equipment cleaning units.
  • Will implement 6-foot distancing protocols, where appropriate if required.
  • Check temperatures of everyone coming on campus via new infrared thermometers.
  • Continue to comply with all OSHA regulations.
  • Review dining hall protocols and make any necessary safety adjustments.
  • Will have protocol in place to provide any additional verbal Coronavirus screening as recommended by the CDC for schools.

It is my hope that you understand the measures we are taking to ensure all that we do is for the best interest of you and your children. 

 

POSSIBLE SCENARIOS TO PREPARE FOR:

As we consider the coming year, we know there are several scenarios we may see play out (should CDC and government officials require it). 

  • We may be on campus all year long.
  • We may start virtually and return to campus at a later date.  
  • We may be forced to go in and out of quarantine at various times during the year.  
  • Due to social distancing or large gathering regulations, we may only be allowed to have a certain number of students on campus on a daily basis.  
  • Planning for the possibility of providing a variety of learning options for those families who may be vulnerable or hesitant to enter classrooms and be in large groups on campus at the start of the year. 

The Executive Council and I are spending countless hours planning for each scenario, and we will be ready no matter what may unfold. 

Concerning tuition, currently we are planning to be fully open on August 11, our original start date; so, we are planning tuition as scheduled. However, that could change in the coming months, per the authorities of our state and country. As such, the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees is working closely with the business office and me to ensure we have a fair and equitable tuition structure in place for different scenarios. We will alert you to any changes should another scenario play out. 

 

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS:

In order to answer your many questions, the division heads and I will host a virtual town hall meeting and live stream it to you in the coming weeks. We ask that if you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail them to townhall@mtparanschool.com by May 22, and we will do our best to provide detailed answers to your questions. More information on this virtual town hall will be forthcoming in the week ahead.  

Again, thank you for your prayers, for your support, for your patience, and for your care. MPCS is an amazing community, and it is a privilege to serve alongside of you and to be a part of the team that is blessed to educate your children. Know that you are loved, cared for, and appreciated. May God bless you and keep you in the days ahead. Have a great summer, and we will see you all in August! 

Watch this video update concerning summer and fall schedules from Dr. Wiens.

Updated 4/2/20:

Governor Kemp has made the decision to close public K-12 schools for the remainder of the school year. In the best interest, health, and safety of our students, staff, and families, Mount Paran Christian School will also keep campus closed. However Virtual Learning will continue through our last day on May 15. 

PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO MESSAGE BELOW FROM DR. WIENS CONCERNING PLANS TO FINISH STRONG!

More information and communications will be sent via each division head in the coming days and weeks. Thank you and stay safe MPCS family.

 

Watch this important update from Dr. Wiens

 

Updated 3/31/20:

From Dr. Tim Wiens —

As I'm sure you are aware, President Trump has extended nationwide federal social distancing guidelines through April 30. To that end, MPCS will also follow this directive. We will move our tentative campus re-open date to Friday, May 1. 

Virtual Learning will continue through this week, leading up to a well-deserved break. MPCS will be off through Spring Break and Easter, April 4-13. May you enjoy this time of rejoicing and celebration of the resurrection of our Savior with your families. Virtual classes will resume again April 14-30. 

With these ever-changing times, I can speak for my wife and myself - as well as our MPCS leadership team - that we are also extremely thankful for our schoolfamily and your continued flexibility and fortitude as we navigate the coming month. I am praying daily for you, your children, and our resilient community.


 

Updated 3/26/20:

From Dr. Tim Wiens —

As you may have heard, Governor Kemp announced today that he has instructed all Georgia K-12 public schools to stay closed through April 24. To further ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, and extended families, MPCS will also follow these guidelines and continue with Virtual Learning through April 24. 

We will still observe a week off for Spring Break and Easter, April 4-13. Virtual classes will continue as scheduled this week and next, and resume April 14-24. As of now, campus will re-open on Monday, April 27. We will communicate details concerning further event rescheduling and learning initiatives in the coming days.

We would appreciate your feedback concerning proactive options for continuity of learning during this time of uncertainty. Please fill out this SURVEY.

Thank you once again for your continued flexibility and patience with this unprecedented situation affecting us all in a multitude of ways. Our vow to provide your child(ren) an education with excellence and with Christ at the center is as strong now, and as it has been always. I encourage you to lean on Him as we get through this storm together.

 


 

Updated 3/18/20:

VIRTUAL LEARNING UNDERWAY AND QUARANTINE UPDATE

From Dr. Tim Wiens -

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we walk a road never traveled and experience a world that is changing before our eyes. If I am honest, it is all surreal. However, as I have said before and as I am sure I will say again, we have nothing to worry about. We are a part of a family that shares the same core beliefs and values. At the foundation, we have Jesus Christ. We worship the God of the Universe who is in control at all times. We serve a God who wants what is best for us and wants us to know we are loved and safe in the shelter of his wings. So, if you are worried, anxious, or troubled, you can find your rest in God. He is sovereign over all, and his plan is accomplished in good and bad times. This is truth.

Matthew 11:28-30 states:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

As we head into the coming days and weeks, please remember this. Our Savior is faithful, and he will provide rest. He will lighten our loads. You can count on it. Our God made that promise.

As many of you have now heard, Governor Kemp has asked that all schools close until the end of March. There is wisdom in this expectation, as we collectively work to eradicate this virus and ensure our most vulnerable populations are protected, safe, and healthy. My mother is 82-years old. She has diabetes. While she is healthy, she falls into the "vulnerable" category. My prayer is that the rest of the world would not just consider her and those vulnerable populations, but that they would turn their eyes toward our Savior and away from selfish desires so that not only she is safe, but so that many like her are safe as well. Each of us is more clearly responsible for our neighbors' health and the well-being of others than ever before.

We also have many teachers, parents, students, grandparents, friends, and relatives within our own community who are immunocompromised. Please, consider them as you make your decisions about where you go and who you see, and do only what is absolutely necessary outside your home. Just this morning, I spoke with a parent who is expecting that his own children stay home and not see their friends. This includes his adult children who are now home from college. This is difficult; however, he is concerned, as his children have many friends who are choosing to be out and about - in the community, at friends' homes, and disregarding the general request to social distance. Parents, I ask that you consider what is best for our entire community and help us not only encourage our children, but also oversee their behavior in this regard. We will be together sooner if we all respect the decision of our government officials.

When we consider the coming days and weeks, we now know that as a school community, our campus will be closed until after Spring Break. The first day we may possibly return to classes and life as normal is Tuesday, April 14, 2020. As such, classes will continue virtually until Spring Break. Any events scheduled after April 14 will be considered tentative, as we watch what unfolds in the community around us and the country.

I have been incredibly encouraged to see the quality of the engagement in the virtual classrooms that is taking place. I know that this engagement is a result of the hard work of teachers, students, parents, and the relationships we have developed within our community. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do in working with your children.

Each day, our administrative teams and faculties are meeting to determine the success of what we have done through our virtual learning platforms and to assess what we may do better. Please know we are working hard to ensure the continuity of learning and ensuring it is done with the highest possible quality. While it will not be perfect, we will continue to strive for excellence. As I say to our faculty all the time, we will be better tomorrow than we are today. You can expect that from us, as we expect it from ourselves. It is my hope that we all will encourage our children to become better students, friends, and disciples of Jesus each day.

By the end of the day Friday, you will hear from your child(ren)'s division head about any adjustments in schedule, delivery platforms, expectations, or any other teaching and learning-related matter. We also welcome your feedback. I have already heard from several parents who have had some very good ideas about how we deliver virtual learning. Your academic division heads and I welcome this input. While we may not implement every idea we receive, we already know we will make some changes based upon some of these great recommendations.

Again, I want to thank you for your patience with us, for your grace, and for your understanding. We are all navigating new roads, rivers, and valleys. I pray that God gives you the patience and wisdom do so tomorrow and every day to come. Know that we love your children, and we love you. Most of all, we love Jesus, and we are blessed to be a part of this amazing family.

Soli Deo Gloria,  

Tim Wiens, Ed.D., Head of School

 


Updated 3/12/20:

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR MPCS FAMILIES - PLEASE READ:

Governor Kemp and the Georgia Department of Public Health are urging local schools, childcare centers, and public workplaces to impose self-quarantines in an effort to contain any further outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. (Click here to learn more.

The MPCS community does not have any known or suspected cases of COVID-19. However, the CDC recommends that large gatherings should be avoided to curtail the spread of the disease. (Read more here.) Therefore, for the continued safety and well-being of our students and families, MPCS will follow these recommendations effective immediately, until further notice. 

The physical MPCS campus will close starting Friday, March 13 but will allow students, teachers, and staff to come to campus between 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. to pickup all needed supplies, devices, books, etc. in order to be able to work at home. There will be no assignments or virtual learning taking place on Friday. We will implement virtual learning on Monday, March 16 (8:00 a.m. for middle/high school, 9:00 a.m for preschool/lower school per virtual learning guidelines).

 

*NOTE: The "Tuck Everlasting" performances scheduled for tonight and this weekend will be rescheduled for a later date. All activities, including athletics, will be cancelled for the duration of the quarantine. We realize that this is very dissapointing to our students but do not want to take any unnecessary health risks.

 

Middle and high school students will receive instructions for virtual learning from their teachers and/or division heads by Sunday evening via their 1:1 devices, e-mail, and Google classroom. Preschool and lower school families will also be sent information through teacher and division e-mails about plans for virtual learning. We are thankful that all are prepared to continue learning experiences for our students through this quarantine time.

MPCS does not take this decision lightly and understands this is an inconvenience to our families, but we believe these precautions will keep our staff, students, and extended family members safe, while hopefully preventing spread of disease in our area. We urge our families to practice recommended "social distancing" strategies to help our local community more quickly eradicate the threat of Coronavirus. This means limiting group gatherings and interactions. Our goal is to cooperate with authorities, and hopefully get back to school as soon as possible. 

We will continue to communicate any changes or reassessments of the situation. We expect to be off campus for two weeks at minimum. Please be in prayer for those affected by this virus. We rest in Psalm 46:1: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Thank you for your full cooperation, patience, and understanding as we support the well-being of our community!

____________________________________________

 

For tips, guidelines, schedules, and expectations concerning Virtual Learning, please visit: mtparanschool.com/virtual-learning

You can find school announcements and Coronavirus updates on our website at: mtparanschool.com/coronavirus

You may continue to monitor real-time information concerning Coronavirus from the Georgia Department of Public Health, or the CDC website

 


Updated 3/11/20:

As Dr. Wiens shared this week, MPCS administration is meeting daily to review the COVID-19 situation. We are taking many precautionary measures to keep our students and faculty safe. It is our goal to offer schooling as normal with the stellar quality you know and expect. As of right now, we do not plan to close and have not been asked to do so by any state or local authorities. We are simply preparing for a “what-if” scenario in order to create a continual learning environment and to be well prepared in any situation. Currently, teachers are communicating with students and reassuring them that their safety and continual learning are our top priority. We are also preparing them for the possibility of virtual schooling should anything change. To read more about what this would entail, as well as TIPS for each grade-level concerning what to expect about virtual learning, click below.

mtparanschool.com/virtual-learning 

 

Updated 3/10/20:

MPCS custodial staff have been working diligently in sanitizing all commonly used areas. SAGE Dining is also working to take extra precautions in the dining hall to limit touching of common serving utensils, drink dispensers, etc. On Friday, all water fountains and refill stations will be out of service temporarily to prevent any spread of germs. 

Administration is meeting daily to prepare for a possible virtual learning environment should county officials request schools to self-impose 14-day quarantines. Our middle and high school students are already accustomed to online learning, and we will provide options for preschool and lower school students "just in case." Students are being encouraged to bring books and devices home daily and to be prepared should anything change. You can access the virtual learning page at mtparanschool.com/virtual-learning.

In the meantime, please refer to the quick links below for updates concerning how Coronavirus is affecting our area. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through solutions and options to continue a stellar learning experience for your family.

 


Updated 3/9/20:

With the latest news of COVID-19 reaching Cobb county, please click above to view a new video message from Dr. Wiens concerning updates on the Coronavirus. 

MPCS prioritizes our students' safety and well-being. Though we pray this virus never affects our school community, we are committed to following appropriate directives from the Center for Disease Control and Georgia Department of Health. Per the CDC summary, “For most of the American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.” However, if the situation were to quickly change in our area, MPCS is being proactive in our efforts to provide a safe learning environment. 

Please note the important information below from administration and the school clinic: 

1. Child Health and Safety

  • MPCS has already taken added precautions in our cleaning efforts. All school common spaces, restrooms, doors, furniture, and buses are continually being deep-cleaned. 
  • Students will continue to wash hands regularly. Help us in teaching your kids not to touch their face, mouth, or eyes.
  • Monitor your child(ren)'s health. Please use these CDC Guidelines if he/she experiences shortness of breath, cough, or fever above 100.4. (See diagram)

 

decision_diagram_6Mar20.jpg

 

 


2. Continuity of Learning

  • In the rare case that MPCS would have to close school for any period of time, we recommend that your family would go ahead and consider developing a childcare plan. Our goal is to avoid this, but we will follow proper precautions or directives from health authorities. 
  • In the event that school does close, parents will receive information from their division head about virtual learning and/or Google classroom assignments via the Connected Learning Program already in place (middle/high school). 
  • All MPCS teachers are preparing to work in a virtual learning environment to engage students at all levels with a consistent experience.

3. Student Trips and Activities

  • No local school trips or activities have been cancelled. We will alert you of any changes.
  • Currently, no mission trips or study abroad trips have been cancelled. We will continue to monitor those countries and CDC recommendations. If you have any concerns, please communicate with your student's trip leader.

4. Family Travel

  • If you or anyone in your direct family are planning to travel to a country that has been identified as a CDC Level 3 or higher risk rate, we ask that you notify the school clinic ASAP. 
  • If you travel to a Level 3 destination (prior to, or occurring while you are in-country), we ask that your family self-quarantine for 14 days based on the CDC recommendation. 
  • We will work with your family concerning ongoing learning or missed assignments.

CLICK HERE to check the CDC website concerning risk levels of each country.

5. Communication

  • The video and transcript from Dr. Wiens, as well as any updates concerning this virus can be found on this page, under the "News and Events" link, at mtparanschool.com/coronavirus
  • We will continue to send you any updates via e-mail or teacher communications periodically or as information changes.

As believers, we remember that 1 Timothy says God gives us a spirit of power, of love, and of discipline, not one of timidity. He will care for us!

If you have questions, please reach out to your division head, school nurse, healthcare provider, the Georgia Department of Public Health, or the CDC website. Thank you!

EagleTech Support

Virtual Learners: If you have technical difficulties with your device, please submit a request to the EagleTech IT helpdesk at at the contact e-mail below. EagleTech is on standby by phone/email/in-person to provide support to all students and staff!

Photograph of EagleTech Support Help Desk
EagleTech Support Help Desk
MPCS Technology Services

Announcements

December 1 - ParentEd.: "The Blessing of a B-Minus"

7:00 p.m., Pre-Event Book Review

December 3 - Lower School Open House

9:00 a.m., For Prospective Families

December 3 - Band and Orchestra Christmas Concert

6:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. (Parents Only)

December 4-5, 11-12 - Elf Jr.

Middle School Musical, Online Performances
Friday, December 4 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 5 at 5:00 p.m.
Friday, December 11 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 12 at 5:00 p.m.

December 7 - Ask the Experts

6:00 p.m., Virtual Webinar

Weekly Word News