All posts by Jill VanderWoude

Lynn Campus sign

Reopening School Doors

Dear NSCS Families,

I trust that you have all stayed healthy and safe during the first part of summer break. It has on many levels been a different kind of summer with the many restrictions we have had to work around.  If you are anything like me you are feeling like you have had enough COVID-19 focus.  It dominates almost every conversation and dictates almost every decision, and at times there seems to be no end in sight.  It can in deed be wearisome.  

In spite of the Coronavirus, the Senior Administrative Leadership Team (S.A.L.T.) at NSCS, along with our Reopen School Doors Task Force, have been busy preparing for the fall, and the reopening of school, and in doing so, I was reminded of a verse from Isaiah 40:31.  I am certain that it is a familiar verse for many, in fact, I’d bet many of you have it memorized.  It reads, …but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint (New International Version).  According to other Bible translations, the word hope can be interchanged in this verse with the word wait.  Consider the translation from the English Standard Version (ESV).  Ok, so why does it matter if one translation uses the word hope and another uses the word wait?  We can conclude that earlier translations of the Bible used these two words interchangeably or, that these two words were so closely interdependent on one anther that they were viewed as having a connected activity.  In other words – waiting in Isaiah 40:31 wasn’t merely a mindless activity, sort of how you might feel waiting in the Dunkin’ Donut drive-thru lane.  This sort of waiting was a hope-filled waiting, one that was infused by a realistic sense of anticipation that carried an inward sensation that something was pending, and that one needed to begin preparations.

To put Isaiah 40 into historical context, for several decades the Israelites were under Babylonian captivity and rulership.  Life was hard.  The Israelites were restricted in their daily living and were hard pressed on all sides.  Life wasn’t normal, nor did there appear to be an end in sight.  Remind you of anything?  Then one day it is told to the Israelites that their waiting was over and it was now time to get moving…literally!  To put this announcement into perspective, it would be a 700-mile journey from Babylon to Jerusalem…remember there were no cars, and so this walk would be the equivalent to walking from New York City to Atlanta, Georgia, with your kids in toe!   A whole lot of preparations had to happen to make this trip a reality!  

The same is true for NSCS!  We recognize that while we might feel that we are being held captive to the Coronavirus as we wait for restrictions to ease, we also know that a day is coming when restrictions will ease and life will return to near-normal.   As difficult as it may be to imagine that this time is coming, we must begin to prepare for this day, and we must do so with a good measure of hope.  

After careful evaluation of the information we have to date from both the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) NSCS has made the decision to begin preparations to reopen our school doors to receive students on-campus this September.  This decision was made with a sincere sense of hope and with a level of great anticipation that the same faithful God who led the Israelites out of captivity many, many years ago, will prove faithful to His people today.

Our Reopen School Doors Task Force has been meeting over the summer, with another meeting scheduled for the end of the month.  I could not be more appreciative of our volunteers.  It is an assembly of highly gifted and dedicated individuals who are invested in helping our school’s S.A.L.T. (Senior Administrative Leadership Team) make the most informed decisions that are in the very best interest of our students, families, and teachers, as we seek to reopen our school doors to educate our students on-campus, and in-person during the Academic Year 2020-21.

Our Task Force hopes to have a Town Hall Meeting of sorts later this month, at which time you will have the opportunity to ask questions of our Task Force members, as well as share your concerns or desires for the start of the new school year.  Please be on the lookout for a date of this Zoom Town Meeting.  Additionally, please also be on the lookout for Parent and Student surveys that our Reopen School Doors Task Force has created to better understand and gage our continuants feelings around reopening school in the fall.  Your feedback is hugely important in this process.  

 

Please use the link below to learn more about our reopening of school doors for the Academic Year 2020-21. https://drive.google.com/file/d/13ytFbhA_IOB9zT2f-TcOePn87yYsycSq/view?usp=sharing. This model was communicated with our families on June 8th.  Also included in this attachment is our Hybrid Model, which was also communicated to our families at the same time.  A hybrid model will be considered as a viable option should the CDC and DESE deem it necessary to begin the school year in this manner, or initiate this model at any point during the school year should it be deemed necessary to do so for a variety of COVID-19 related reasons.  

Please take note of the two sections, one entitled, Additional Health & Safety Precautions, and the other one entitled, Additional Information, on the Reopening attachment.  As is the case with all information that we will share throughout the summer, it is subject to change as we receive additional guidance from the State.  We anticipate adding to these two lists of important information as we continue to shape our reopening of school. 

I hope that you will be encouraged as you read through both the Press Release from DESE, https://mailchi.mp/doe.mass.edu/press-release-dese-releases-initial-back-to-school-guidance, and the Near-Normal Model for the fall, as they paint a very realistic, and doable model for safely reopening our school doors in September.  We of course recognize that there are a fair amount of hurdles to jump, and that we as a community, are all at varying degrees of comfort-levels as we live in a world of COVID-19, and so all the more I urge you to send your comments along to me directly, and I will be sure to share them with our Task Force.  I also want to encourage all of us to be patient with one another as we navigate a time in history that has no script.  While we cannot control the fluid nature of this Virus, we can control how we respond and interact with one another, and it is my sincerest desire that we would do so with a measure of grace and understanding, remembering that ultimately we all have one shared goal in mind, and that goal is to educate our students in the safest manner possible.

As always. I cannot express to you enough my deepest gratitude and appreciation for being an amazing community of parents and caregivers.  Your devotion to and care of our learning environment is a source of deep blessing.

With Love and on Behalf of the Reopen School Doors Task Force,

Pam Heintz, Head of School 

Reopen School Doors Task Force Committee Members Renee Southard, Director of Development; Patti Cook, Business ManagerChristine; Saia, Director of Admissions and Community Outreach; Kathy Ely, NSCS Chaplain & Teacher; Jenna Joseph, NSCS Teacher; Nicole and Elias Pearson, Parents; Melissa Reaume, Parent; Chapin Jacob, Parent;  Navid Mahooti, Parent/MD; Sandi Hickey, Parent/RN, MSN, ANP-BC; Chuck Downing, School Counselor 

 

Statement of Solidarity

Dear NSCS Community,

Like many individuals around the country, the past couple of weeks have been filled with significant emotions.  Coronavirus is one thing, but intentional racism and hatred is another.   These sorts of activities conjure up an altogether different emotion.  The events that took place around police activity in Minneapolis that led to the death of George Floyd, and the subsequent protests, riots, and hate crimes since Floyd’s death on May 25th, have been difficult to watch.  How sad our Heavenly Father must be.  He created all men and women as His special image-bearers who are highly valued among all of His creation.  God created each individual unique, and each person possesses specific characteristics, talents, and ideas.  In His infinite creativity, God also has allowed each of us to interact in a world that is filled with diverse people, and like all of His creation, we are to celebrate this fact, embracing it as God’s good and perfect plan for His creation.

Almost 70 years ago NSCS was established by an assembly of diverse persons who envisioned an evangelical Christian school on the North Shore that would open its doors to children of all colors and races, and in doing so the staff would value each child seeing them as perfect and holy representations of God’s creation.

We acknowledge that NSCS has been silent up until this point on  this matter.  We also recognize that silence speaks volumes in a time like today, and for that we apologize – we want our voice heard and we desire to listen, to understand, and to do better as we strive in our participation with others to be instruments of peace.  More than ever before in our school’s history, we have before us an opportunity to demonstrate the original attitude in which our school was established many decades ago.  To remain silent around these sorts injustices will mean to miss the opportunity to demonstrate our outrage, and our desire to see hatred and racism eradicated from our society and vocabulary.  As believers in Christ, the time is now to take a stand and allow Christ’s example to permeate our thinking and doing.  What is Christ’s example?  Christ showed no favoritism.  There is neither Jew or Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

True justice is taking on the mindset of making someone’s problems our own problems and doing something about it.  Racial injustice in our country will never go away on its own.  It will require the involvement and collaboration of all of us working together.  We will need to listen to each other, observe, and learn how inequity is not only wrong, but it is outside of God’s plan for humanity and has limited the ability of many black individuals to rise above the many obstacles that have been laid in their path for centuries.

The North Shore Christian School will not condone racism and blatant injustice, and we, like many others in our county, desire to have our voices heard as we seek to demonstrate our solidarity and support of the black community.  As a participant of a committee of educators from Lynn called, The Lynn Education District Partnership, NSCS has also supported the published statement produced by the LEDP.  You may view this statement by clicking here.

Below is a list of truths from God’s precious Word that bears reminding now, more so than ever before in our country’s history.  These non-negotiables are what have made NSCS distinctive among schools all these years, and they will be the truths that continue to guide us for decades to come.  These truths are available to all our learning community:

– The Bible says in James 1:19 – My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Therefore, NSCS commits to listening more to our students, faculty, and community.

– In Luke 15:3-7, Jesus tells us a parable of how we should leave the 99 sheep to find the 1 lost sheep. We should then rejoice when the one lost sheep is found. With this, NSCS commits to loving and supporting those in our community that are struggling due to racial injustice, cultural insensitivity, or other issues.

– NSCS commits to loving each individual as an individual part of our body; our family.

– As stated above, NSCS will not condone racism, prejudice, and injustice in any form.

– NSCS encourages our constituents to participate in being problem-solvers in their respective communities, and as the Lord leads them to do so.

– Finally, in Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus instructs us of two greatest commandments: Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself. With this NSCS commits to loving God first and loving each other with humility and grace.

Our Administration and Board, along with our school family, thanks you in advance for your support as we seek to leave a footprint in our country that leads down a path of fairness and justice for all people and for future generations.  Please feel free to reach out to one of us at any time with any questions or concerns. We stand together as brothers and sisters in Christ with the NSCS community.

Sincerely,

      Jerome Thomas  Miriam Thomas

On Behalf of the Administrative Team, Board of Directors, and our School Families

Pam Heintz, Head of School and Jerome and Miriam Thomas, Parents of NSCS Students

Pam Heintz – pheintz@nschristian.org

Miriam and Jerome Thomas – miriammarie1979@gmail.com

How is North Shore Christian School Educating Students During This Crisis?

On Friday March 13, 2020 the teachers at North Shore Christian School sent their students home with textbooks in hand, equipping them with the materials needed to be taught remotely for two weeks. Little did they know that our exodus from our school buildings would last much longer than 2 weeks.

Our desire throughout this prolonged closure is to continue to provide our students with the best form of the distinctive NSCS education that we can. We do this by teaching our students, Preschool to grade 8, in creative and effective ways, using a variety of platforms.  

Since Monday, March 16,  NSCS teachers have been conducting live meetings with Zoom Math classindividual students, small groups, entire classes, and combinations of grade levels, primarily using the Zoom platform.  Additionally, teachers are providing instruction using platforms such as SeeSaw, FlipGrid, SrWooly, PhET Colorado & Inq-ITS (KnowAtom), Lexia, ReadWorks, Reading A to Z, Sadlier Connect, and much more!  There are so many options that have become available to us. Each of our teachers have chosen the platform that is most useful in allowing them to continue engaging with students while completing the NSCS curriculum.

NSCS is continuing to educate the whole child by offering academics as well as the arts and physical education. Our specialist teachers are connecting with students by posting videos and enrichment activities in our weekly newsletter. Individual music lessons and play practice take place over Zoom on a weekly basis. In fact, the theatre group is preparing to perform their show, with actors performing in their own homes, by creating a video performance that can be shared with family and friends.

percussion class       

Our primary teachers are involving our students in extracurriculars as well. They are providing fun activities to keep students connected using social media to host middle school socials, movie nights and game gatherings! We also have an opportunity for all of our families to gather and worship together at our All-Campus Chapel, every Friday, over Zoom. This is a first for us at NSCS, as we have never before been able to gather all of our campuses to worship as one.

Zoom Pictionary      Chapel 

Sweetening the pot even more, several teachers from both campuses have visited student homes. Practicing social distancing, teachers have stopped by students’ homes to drop off supplies, deliver Birthday greetings or just to say hello. 

In addition to our teachers remaining involved, our Deans on both campuses have been meeting regularly with one another and with their faculty to support, encourage, and lead them through these weeks of At-Home school. Likewise, our Administration has continued to remain connected over phone calls and Zoom meetings, both schoolwide and on our individual campuses. Board members have been known to make an occasional appearance, as well.  

While this At-Home schooling experience is difficult on families and schools alike, we are confident that the time and effort NSCS teachers and administration have put into its students during this prolonged closure is making a significant difference in our students’ education.

Social Distancing Mobile

NSCS Social Distancing Teacher Visits

In this time of zoom classes and school from home, the teachers at North Shore Christian School have been getting creative by surprising their students with socially distanced visits! Kathy Williams, the 1st and 2nd grade teacher at the Beverly campus, decorated her car, calling it her “Social Distancing Teacher Drive-By Mobile”. She visited all 15 of her students with her daughter Ariana at the wheel. Corrine Previte, a teacher at our Lynn campus, made quite an impression with her 5th graders as she stood outside each house holding signs that read “I miss you” and “You’re a Champ!” (a phrase she uses often with her students).  Jenna Josephson, from our Lynn campus, wanted to wish her 4th grader, Isaiah Balaba, a memorable Happy 10th Birthday, so she organized a car parade with Isaiah’s classmates!

           

The Early Childhood teachers from North Shore Christian School’s Beverly and Hamilton campuses surprised their youngest students as well. Betsay Van Cleef, Kristy Camp, Sharon Kim and Lilly Heintz all made separate visits to their students at home. Mrs. Kim travelled from house to house with her own children and her guitar, encouraging her Pre-K students to sing along. Ms. Heintz visited her preschoolers with her dog Ishmael in the car because the letter of the week is “I”!

   

These teacher trips are no small feat! With each of these teachers stopping in 6 to 7 towns to make sure all of their students receive a personal visit, these drive-bys are well worth the effort as they bring on big smiles, lots of laughter, singing voices, barking dogs, cheers and even tears. These visits brought true joy during this time of isolation!

   

March 12, 2020 COVID-19 Letter from HOS

Dear NSCS Families,

I want to keep you all apprised of recent decisions and considerations that have been made by the Board and Administration.  Please keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic is dynamic, and things can change hour-to-hour, so please check your email frequently for updates.

As of Thursday evening, March 12th, all three of our campuses will remain open tomorrow, March 13th.  Tomorrow the administration, along with Board approval, will make a decision as to future school closings, and we will inform families either by Friday night or Saturday morning of our decision via email.

With that said, teachers will be sending school-work home tomorrow with students in grades K through 8.  This work will be enough for about two-weeks.  NO DECSION has been made yet about a school closure, however, should one be made over the weekend we want to be prepared.  Additionally, any parent/guardian who desires to keep their child/ren home from school tomorrow, or at any time during the pandemic, may do so without having the absence recorded on their child/ren’s school records.  All absences will be considered excused.

As always, please never hesitate to reach out to me at pheintz@nschristian.org with any questions or concerns you might have.  We are all committed to working through this together as we mutually support each other’s efforts.  This is a difficult time for all of us we navigate a situation that has no script.  However, we move forward trusting that God is in control.

Below is a letter that I had written to all our families this morning, with the intention of emailing it out by noon today, but my day ended up holding many distractions and conversations around this pandemic.  I have decided to send it out anyhow hoping that it will prove to be a source of encouragement to you.

With Blessings,

Pam Heintz, Head of School

——————————————————————–

Letter to Families- March 12, 2020

Dear Families,

I was driving to school today and feeling a bit scared.  There, I’ve admitted it.  I was feeling scared, insecure and uncertain.  I was tired of turning on the radio or TV and hearing about the Corona Virus and its far-reaching effects, its unknowns, and the chaos it seems to evoke.  I was feeling like the whole world had gone mad!

As is my routine to pray during my commute to work, I said a quick token prayer out of obligation.  I asked God to bless and protect my family, our school, and the country, and then I said, amen.  Following this prayer, I immediately turned the radio on to hear the news, and learn about what might have changed in the past three minutes since I last tuned in.   As I listened my mind traveled to all the what-ifs.  Letting one’s mind travel to the what-ifs is always a dangerous place to go.

I arrived to our Beverly Campus and Chapel soon started. I really wasn’t up for Chapel today.  Please don’t judge meJ  It was simply that my head was filled with other thoughts and distractions.  I was self-focused thinking about how I needed to manage things at school and at home in the midst of a pandemic.  As I walked into Chapel my spirit immediately soared. Our Student Worship Team was already singing, and what a melodious sound it was!  I took my place and stood in a pew with some older students, and was swept up in the moment of being present before the Lord.  As I looked around the room, I saw students worshipping a mighty God.  I witness children unabashedly singing out in confidence to their Savior.  Teary-eyed I asked God to forgive me for being so fearful and to fill me with His peace which passes all understanding.  I asked God to take my feet and plant them securely upon the rock, that is His Son Jesus.  I asked God to allow me to be a witness to those around, and especially during this time.

As I left Chapel, I felt uplifted and ready to face life’s challenges.  I soon stepped into a meeting with Christine Saia, our Director of Admissions.  We made small talk, which included a brief conversation about the Corona Virus, as every conversation these past several days has.  Mrs. Saia shared with me that while she was praying with her own children this morning, who had questions and concerns about the pandemic, the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart.   Mrs. Saia was able to share the most insightful and wonderful message with her children. She explained to them that the word corona is a Latin word meaning crown.  Mrs. Saia proceeded to tell her children that only our God wears a crown worthy enough for the King of kings.   She expressed that only our King has control over all things.

It is our crown-wearing King that holds all the whole world in the palm his hands, including the Corona Virus.  God knows all things and there is not one tiny microscopic germ that he does not have full authority over.  We can trust God with this pandemic and with all things.  He is a Faithful God.

I want to encourage you to remain calm and hopeful as we trust God to help us ride out this storm.  We have a tremendous opportunity to respond differently than the world.  We can respond with peace, and offer reassuring words to those around us, particularly to our children and students.

I was reminded today, that our students, even the younger ones, sense that something is amiss.  They are feeling the strain of what is going on right now in our world, and unlike adults, they have not fully grown into the capacity to layer what they hear with reason and logic.  As the adults in their lives we must be the voice of reason.  Some healthy behaviors that we can adopt at home, and around our children would be to limit the amount of news that children have access to.  While it is good for them to be aware of what is going on in the world, the content of information needs to be age-appropriate and monitored.  It is also good to connect regularly with your child/ren and asking them if they have specific concerns about the Corona Virus.  Consider making a family contingency plan in case there is a prolonged school closure, and reassure your child/ren that if you still have to go to work that they will be well-cared for by someone else during the day.  Remind your child/ren that they are safe at home and at school, because the adults at these places are doing all they can to make sure these environments are kept clean and safe.  Be sure that your child/ren receive plenty of sleep and maintain a healthy diet – these are good practices for healthy living!  Above all, spend time with your child/ren doing “normal” everyday things like, baking cookies, playing games, doing chores around the house, or reading a good book together.  Life must go on in spite of this pandemic and our children need to see the adults around them still engaging in every day affairs.

I have attached the lyrics to a song that our Student Worship Team sang today, and I encourage you to listen to it when you have the opportunity.  It is a powerful reminder that there is victory in Jesus!

With Love,

Pam Heintz, Head of School

See a Victory, Elevation Music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNd-PbVhnvA

The weapon may be formed, but it won’t prosper
When the darkness falls, it won’t prevail
‘Cause the God I serve knows only how to triumph
My God will never fail
Oh, my God will never fail

I’m gonna see a victory
I’m gonna see a victory
For the battle belongs to You, Lord
I’m gonna see a victory
I’m gonna see a victory
For the battle belongs to You, Lord (oh yeah)

There’s power in the mighty name of Jesus
Every war He wages He will win
I’m not backing down from any giant
‘Cause I know how this story ends
Yes, I know how this story ends

I’m gonna see a victory
I’m gonna see a victory
For the battle belongs to You, Lord
I’m gonna see a victory
I’m gonna see a victory
For the battle belongs to You, Lord
I’m gonna see a victory
I’m gonna see a victory
For the battle…

 

March 11, 2020 COVID-19 Letter from HOS

Dear Families,
I wanted to provide an update for you all, and will do so periodically so that you will remain informed as to the measures NSCS is taking to ensure the continued safety and well-being of your children.

Our amazing faculty has committed themselves to faithfully disinfecting the hard surfaces of their classrooms each afternoon. Our custodial staff has also provided extra measures of cleaning and disinfecting to all our buildings. Teachers are also being vigilant about reminding students to cover their mouths and noses when they sneeze, with either a tissue or the crook of their arm, and then washing their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. They are also providing ample opportunities for hand washing and/or usage of hand sanitizer throughout the school day.

Additionally, I have been in close communications with our Deans who are working closely with the faculty to ensure that an Academic Plan will be ready to execute should we encounter a prolonged school closing (week or more). This plan will be dynamic, and teachers have already begun to engage the process.

NSCS would like to encourage Parent support in these specific ways;

  1. Please do NOT send your child to school if they have a cough or runny nose. We want toremain extra vigilant during this especially difficult flu and virus season.
  1. Please do NOT send your child to school if they have been symptomatic with flu-likesymptoms, vomiting, or fever in the past 24 hours – they MUST be symptom free for at least24 hours before returning to school.
  1. If you feel lead to purchase hand sanitizer, tissues, rubber gloves, face masks, or hand soap that has disinfectant properties we would welcome these donations as we work to secure that we have an ample supply on hand at all times.
  1. If you have traveled within the US or abroad, please check with the Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention to view information regarding travel bans and updates, precautions, and actions needed should you or family have traveled to areas that are consider at risk. You can find this information on their website at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
  1. Please continue pray for this global and dynamic situation. In times like this we have the blessed opportunity to interceded through prayer and press into Jesus. He is faithful all the time.

As is always the case, I am available should you have questions, concerns, or suggestions.

To God Be the Glory,

Pam Heintz, Head of School

 

March 10, 2020 COVID-19 Letter from HOS

Dear NSCS Families,

As you read this letter, please keep its content in perspective.  It is loaded with a lot of protocol and cancelations.  It is easy to read a letter like this one and have a bit of dread settle in.  This certainly is not my intention.  Our number one priority as a school is the safety and well-being of every student, faculty, and staff member.  As we seek to set protocol and practices in place to best accomplish this objective, we feel confident that we are also protecting our students’ families, and in doing so we are playing an active part in helping the broader communities as we all seek to limit the spread of COVID-19.

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread around the globe, throughout the country, and closer to home in our own state and neighboring communities, NSCS has remained engaged as we continue to monitor the dynamic nature of the situation.  In doing so, the school Board and administration have made some decisions out of an abundance of caution.

I want to be clear that we have not heard of any COVID-19 cases, or any pending cases, or of any risks posed to our learning community.   Again, these decisions have strictly been made out of an abundance of caution.

Below is a list of decisions that have been made by the Board and administration that will go into effect immediately:

  • Any parent or guardian of a North Shore Christian School student or any NSCS student who has come in contact with a person known to have or is suspected to have COVID-19 should notify HOS Pam Heintz and self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
  • Any parent or guardian of a North Shore Christian School student or any NSCS student who has traveled out of the country or has traveled within the country to any areas that have high COVID-19 cases, should notify HOS Pam Heintz.  You and your child/ren may be asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days, depending on the situation.

Out of an abundance of caution we are asking that parents and guardians keep all children home from school;

  • if they are exhibiting flu-like symptoms with or without a fever
  • has a cough or significant runny nose, which is not allergy related or related to other medical or health reasons
  • has had a fever, vomiting, flu, or flu-like symptoms within the past 24-hour span

All teachers have been asked to cancel all upcoming field trips.

*Please note, the FUN RUN, scheduled for March 12th and 13th has been postponed.  Detailed information will be forthcoming.  We will have regular school days on both of these days. 

 The Chick fil-A fundraiser scheduled for March 12th is optional.  Families should make their own decision as to whether to attend or not, as they feel comfortable.

The Spring Semi-Formal Dance scheduled for March 21st for grades 5-8 has been cancelled.

We will inform the Robotics’ Team members in a separate correspondence, as to the status of their travel to the World’s competition.

If you feel led to purchase hand sanitizer, tissues, rubber gloves, or hand soap we would welcome these donations as we work to ensure that we have an ample supply on hand at all times.

To obtain up-to-date information about COVID-19 please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html) as well as visiting the Massachusetts Government website(https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19).

Ways we are working at school to ensure your child’s well-being:

Teachers will begin to show videos that demonstrate proper handwashing to all students.  Students will watch these videos either in their classrooms or during homeroom for the upper grades.   The videos are designed for the various grade levels.  The links to these videos are listed below.

Teachers will continue to disinfect all the hard surfaces of their classrooms at the close of each day.  Our custodial crew will continue adding an additional layer of disinfecting on all our campuses.

Teachers will continue to;

  • remind all students to cough or sneeze into the crook of their arm or use a tissue, followed by washing their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • remind all students to refrain from sharing food or drinks with others
  • provide ample time for handwashing throughout the day

Additionally, teachers are prepared to send school work home with students should it be determined that a prolonged school closure (a week or more) is warranted.

Please note, that as this situation remains dynamic, we will adjust and respond accordingly.  This may entail making new decisions or altering decisions that have been made, such as; lifting our request to self-quarantine and allowing field trips.  We will continue to communicate with our families as things change and as we receive more information.

As we navigate this difficult and dynamic global situation, we will continue to trust God with all things.  He is a good and faithful God, who loves his children with a relentless love – We can trust Him fully!

As always, never hesitate to stop by my office, call me, or email (pheintz@nschristian.org) if you have any questions or concerns.

With Every Blessing,

Pam Heintz, Head of School

Links to the handwashing videos that will be shown in the various classrooms

February 29, 2020 COVID-19 Letter from HOS

Dear NSCS Parents,

Your children’s health and safety are among our top priority.  In fact, this past week two of our faculty members attended an intensive training through ALICE (click here to learn more https://www.alicetraining.com).  ALICE is an emergency response preparedness training.  Over 80% of our staff and faculty have already completed an online training this past winter in preparation for a broader and more detailed training that will take this place this spring.

Our students’ wellbeing is always paramount in our planning.  With that said, given the recent situation that is of global-focus with the Coronavirus Infectious Disease identified in Winter 2019, our Administrative Team has begun to conceptualize a plan that will go into effect as early as this week.  To stay abreast of the COVID-19 situation you can visit www.cdc.gov/coreonavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.  Additionally, I am keeping a very close eye on how local schools are preparing for and managing day-to-day concerns around the COVID-19.

While the potential for possible exposure in our community may be limited right now, we do not want to assume that this will remain the case.   NSCS administration has received guidance from a medical personnel from one of our local colleges who is on the frontlines of assisting parents and students around this current pandemic and is working closely with NSCS to help us ensure that the steps we are taking to limit the spread of any and all germs are the appropriate ones.

Here are the steps the school will be immediately taking;

  • Each afternoon all teachers will disinfect their classroom’s hard surfaces with a product that kills 99.9% of germs.
  • Each classroom, bathroom, and various rooms throughout the buildings on all of our campuses will have an ample supply of hand sanitizer available.
  • Students will be encouraged to wash their hands often throughout the day using soap and rubbing hands under water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • Students will be reminded that when coughing and sneezing that they are to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or cough or sneeze into their sleeve and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Students will be encouraged to refrain from touching their mouths and noses, and if they do so they will be encouraged to wash their hands.
  • Students will be asked not to share food or snacks.

Our custodial staff has been asked to perform a deep disinfect several times/week and as the situation with COVID-19 persists.

Here are the steps we are asking Parents to immediately take;

Inform school administration of any upcoming or recent international travel.

Please keep your child at home if they have a runny nose, fever, cough, or you suspect that they are under the weather.  We desire to keep all germs at bay during this flu season.

Ensure that your child receives plenty of sleep and remains physically active, help your child to manage stress, have them drink plenty of water and fluids, as well as eating nutritious food.

Report any flu symptoms to your health care provider.

Here are the future steps the School will take in the event the situation necessitates such;

NSCS will have school closures if the CDC or local officials request and/or require that such an action is necessary – we will do so for the short-term and long-term – as long as we are instructed by the CDC or other local officials to do so.

Should the School have prolonged closures (a week or more) teachers will have prepared school work for grades Kindergarten – 8th that will be ready to be set home.

For the various grade-bands (K-2, 3-5, and Middle School) school work may include assignment packets, assignments communicated through Google Classroom, videos prepared by your child’s classroom teacher, and/or emailed assignments.

Text books, workbooks, and other school supplies will be sent home with the students if the need be.

Administration will communicate daily with families as to the status of the School closure and any pertinent information.

While we are all praying that God in his divine mercy would spare the world of prolonged and devasting effects due to the COVID-19 virus, we trust that He is sovereign.  It is my sincerest desire that you all would continue to pray for those around the globe who are struggling with the effects of COVID-19.  I believe that God often allows difficult situations to come across our paths so that we can be strengthened in our faith as we learn to trust Him more.

Please never hesitate to reach out to me regarding this matter, or any matter if you need further clarification or have questions.  Also, if you have further suggestions, that can be added to those mentioned above, I would welcome your feedback.

As always, it is a joy for me to serve NSCS and to associate with such extraordinary children and families!

To God be the Glory,

Pam Heintz, Head of School

basketball on the bench

Athletics in Lynn – Going Strong All Year.

By Todd McMillian, Middle School Social Studies

“What Team? North Shore! What Team? North Shore!! What Team? North Shore!!!” These words became the NSCS Girls Basketball team chant. It revved them up during a game and brought them closer as a team.

basketball on the benchThe girls basketball team, led by coaches Ari Ramsarran and Lily Rivera had a new starting lineup this year due to last year’s 8th grade graduates moving on to high school. The girls enjoyed friendships and experiences on and off the court, and improved week by week as the season progressed from its start in mid November through its end in late February. 7thgirls basketball grade team members included Cynthia Muriithi, Jade McMillan, Anastasia Mason, and Eliana Grullon. 6th grade members included Violet Saia, Danielle Nalesnik, Tiffany Dorsey and Akeelah Osun. 5th grade members included Kaylee Ashley and Shannon Ashley. We look forward to seeing what this team can achieve next year with a full slate of returning players.

The boys basketball team, led by coaches Alan Nahigian and Evan Betti, have laid down a solid foundation for the years ahead. The boys really enjoyed being a part of the program, worked hard in practices, and competed well in every game. The team will graduate 8th grade team members Matti W’Gebriel, McLaren Cook, and Sebastiano Di Modica. 7th grade boys basketballteam members include Isaac Portugal, Reid Smith, and Matthew Stuart. 6th grade members included Jayden Kelly and Daniel Brown. 5th grade members included Noah Thomas, Ian Bogertman, Josh DeSouza, Brendan Sharwood, and Alex Zemlyansky. Walter Ainsworth served tirelessly as the boys team manager, helping out with any needs during practices and by manning the stat book during games.

In other athletics news, NSCS is starting a co-ed Spring Track and Field Team! The program will be led by Miss Corinne Previte. Miss Previte is USATF Level 1 and 2 certified in sprints and jumps. She currently coaches at Gordon College along with teaching 5th grade at NSCS. Track and Field team members will experience different events that include distance, sprints, jumps, throws, relays and more! More details coming soon!

 

Robotics team in action

Big Wins Qualify Lynn School Teams for Robotics World Championships

LYNN – North Shore Christian School wins the Southern New England VEX IQ Robotics Championship.

NSCS sent two teams to the VEX IQ Robotics State Championship held at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester and brought home two wins. The middle school Steam Punks, consisting of 8th grade students, McLaren Cook (Wenham), Mattias W’Gebriel (Saugus), Sebastiano Dimodica (Saugus) & 7th grader Matthew Chatterton (Lynn) won the Premier Event at the Teamwork Challenge Alliance Competition.  The elementary Brobots, consisting of elementary students Ralph Gerber (Peabody), Brendon Sharwood (Saugus), Nicholas Saia (Saugus) & Gabriel Barbosa (Lynn) placed highest in their division based upon their total cumulative score in all qualifying competitions. The Steam Punks and Bros will travel to the Robotics World Championships in Kentucky April 26-28th. 

March Steam Punks Win Coach David Cook said, “In addition to all the hands-on learning that goes into designing and building the robots, these tournaments provide a microcosm of real-life experiences for our kids. They have to make complex decisions quickly, under pressure and in front of large crowds. These kids not only discover what they are capable of technically, they also learn how to work in teams, how to win well and how to lose well, what it means to encourage and to be encouraged. The program is as much about building character as it is about building robots.”           

Building on critical skills students develop in the KnowAtom science curriculum, NSCS began the robotics program because they believe the best way to instill a lifelong interest in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) is to provide fun, engaging, and hands-on opportunities to explore and experience these for themselves. By its nature, robotics inherently incorporates all four pillars of STEM. March Bros win

This clean sweep for both the middle school and elementary school divisions of the invitation-only Southern New England Region put NSCS firmly on the map as a high-quality STEM school on the North Shore and in Massachusetts.

For more information, contact Jill VanderWoude, 781-599-2040.