Tag Archives: COVID-19

Resuming School on January 4th Parent Communication

December 31, 2020
Dear Families,
I trust that you all enjoyed a very special Christmas as you celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior.  As we are on the cusp of a New Year, I feel hopeful that brighter days are within our reach.  God has been so faithful to our school, and I am confident that He will allow us to pick up where we have left off with our learning, upon our return to school on January 4, 2021.
The North Shore Christian School will be opening on January 4th to receive our students back for in-person learning.  Our medical consultants recently met to discuss how to best ensure that our re-entry is as safe as possible, with the obvious goal being to minimize the risk of COVID-19 brought into our learning community.  This will require all of us working in a coordinated fashion, and with a level of transparency.  The NSCS administration is not about the business of patrolling our families, and we lean on the honor system, whereby we trust one another to be forthcoming with pertinent information, and take the appropriate steps to care for and protect our learning community.
NSCS will be requiring adherence to the following two protocols for re-entry to school on January 4, 2021.  Please note that the Travel Guidelines are only one part of the protocol that NSCS will be instituting.  NSCS will also be utilizing the Quarantine Guidance, as set forth by mass.gov.   Please also read the other requests and restrictions set forth by NSCS.
  • Should you have traveled outside of the state of Massachusetts, please visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order and follow the required guidelines.
  • Potential Exposure Encounter – NSCS defines potential exposure encounter as, “Anyone who was in a gathering after December 27, 2020 with individuals other than their immediate household and/or “close circle”, whereby masks/face coverings were not consistently worn, nor was social distancing consistently adhered to.”  Please be sure to fully acquaint yourself with the Quarantine Guidance, as set forth by mass.gov (https://www.mass.gov/guidance/information-and-guidance-for-persons-in-quarantine-due-to-covid-19).
  • To clarify, should a family have traveled outside of Massachusetts, and also experienced a potential exposure encounter, NSCS is requiring that families follow the Quarantine Guidance, instead of the Travel protocol.
  • Additionally, if your child, or anyone in their immediate household, has been informed of a positive case of an individual that they were exposed to after December 25th, please follow the appropriate Quarantine Guidance.
  • If you are in doubt as to what to do in way of returning to school next week, you are encouraged to stay home and speak with your PCP.  Your child’s teacher/s will work with you to ensure that your child does not miss school work, should quarantining be required.
  • As always, we also trust our families to keep their child/ren at home if they are experiencing ANY COVID-like symptoms, and to contact their PCP or child’s pediatrician.
  • NSCS will not be allowing volunteers and/or parents onto our Beverly or Lynn Campuses for the first two-weeks.  We hope to lift this restriction on January 19th.
  • Our SALT (Senior Administrative Leadership Team) members will follow a Smart Start re-entry, whereby each member will remain exclusively on one campus for the duration of the first two-weeks, in order to avoid cross-contamination between campuses.  Should you need to get in touch with any of our SALT members, you may find their emails below.  SALT members will resume a regular schedule on January 19, 2021.
*Please note, that teachers will work with any families whose child is unable to return to school on January 4th due to potential exposure, travel, or other COVID related matters.
As has consistently been the case this year, I am exceedingly grateful to each of you, and for the ways in which you have worked with the administration to ensure that our students and staff remain safe.  I have been humbled by the ways in which I have witnessed our learning community come together and support one another through this global pandemic.
These recent months have indeed been among some of the most extraordinarily trying, but God has remained faithful. It is my sincerest prayer that we will welcome the New Year with a sense of hopefulness, and that peace will settle in and take root in our hearts as we trust our good God to lead us confidently into 2021.
With Every Blessing,
Pam Heintz, Head of School
SALT Team Members:
Patti Cook (Business Manager) – Pcook@nschristian.org
Pam Heintz (Head of School) – Pheintz@nschristian.org
Robin Lowe (Lead Principal) – Rlowe@nschristian.org
Renee Southard (Senior Administrator) – Rsouthard@nschristian.org
Christine Saia (Director of Admissions and Community Engagement) – Csaia@nschristian.org
Jill VanderWoude (Advancement Associate) – Jvanderwoude@nschristian.org

November 19, 2020 – Travel Protocol Communication

Dear Families,

As the Thanksgiving and Christmas Breaks are upon us, it is important that we remain vigilant in caring for our Learning Community. This will require all of us to be mindful of how we are spending our time during our school breaks, and how this may impact those around us upon returning to school. With that having been said, we want everyone to enjoy their school breaks and vacations with friends and loved ones. These opportunities to connect with others are very important.

NSCS is requesting that each family refer to the Mass.gov guidelines around protocols pertaining to travel. You may reference the COVID-19 Travel Order for Massachusetts information below, and we ask that you reference it again upon returning to school after both the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, as we all know how rapidly, and unexpectedly, things can change.

Below, you will find links to the current Massachusetts guidelines for travel protocol. These guidelines will be ones that NSCS will follow. Again, please be sure to reference the Mass.gov website for the absolute latest information. We urge all families to follow the guidelines prior to their child’s return to school from breaks, and to participate in the recommended protocol for travel, quarantine, and/or testing. As a reminder, not all insurance companies will cover COVID-19 testing if it is travel related, and not due to symptoms of COVID, so you may want to confirm with your insurance company what the expense will be.

As is always the case, our Task Force, and Faculty & Staff are grateful for all the ways you have come alongside NSCS to ensure that our community is safe. We know that this has not always been easy or convenient, and so all the more we thank you.

We serve a living God. Even in these trying times, He is faithful. He is holding us safely in the midst of the storm. I know it doesn’t always feel that way during the hard times, but God has hemmed his children in, and is providing divine protection as he gently cares for each of us. As we walk through these uncertain times as a community, it is my prayer that we will do so with a hope so big that it is contagious!

We Love and Appreciation,

Pam Heintz, HOS on Behalf of the Reopen School Doors Task Force

 

Guidelines Directly from Mass.gov

All individuals arriving in Massachusetts by any means or mode, including Massachusetts residents who have left the state for anything more than transitory travel, are covered by the Massachusetts travel rule. Accordingly, even travelers not required to complete the form should act in compliance with the rule.

The rule requires that you MUST quarantine for 14 days unless you:

  1. are coming from a lower-risk state or
  2. can produce, on request, proof of negative test result for COVID-19 from a test administered on a sample taken not longer than 72 hours before your arrival in Massachusetts, or
  3. meet the exemption criteria.

MUST quarantine until you receive the negative result. You may obtain a test at your own expense after your arrival in Massachusetts but you MUST quarantine until you obtain a negative result. Individuals who fail to quarantine are subject to a $500 fine per day.

Detailed information about the quarantine requirement and a list of exceptions can be found here.

By completing this form, you consent to receive text messages from the Commonwealth. If you have indicated that you will be quarantined, you will receive daily text message reminders starting on your arrival date and for the following 14 days or until your departure date, whichever comes first. Message and data rates may apply. For help, reply HELP. To opt-out, reply STOP. SMS Terms and Conditions/Privacy Policy.

Downloadable file here:
Travel Protocol Letter to Parents

Exciting Educational Delivery Options for Academic Year 2020/21!

July 28, 2020
Dear North Shore Christian School Families and Friends,
We are excited to announce that NSCS will be providing two Educational Delivery Options this fall!  Please click here to view and learn more about these options as well as other educational supports we have set in place to partner with parents in their child’s educational journey!
NSCS needs your help in spreading the word that we will be providing these options of learning in 2020/21.  As a way to say thank you to our families for referring friends, this year we are offering tuition credits to any family who refers a friend who ends up enrolling and attending for the school year, whether full-time or part-time, On-Campus or At-Home Learning!  You may click here to view the Referral Program form.

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 23, 2020 COVID-19 LETTER FROM HOS

Dear NSCS Families,

As many of you already know Governor Baker has issued a stay-at-home advisory to begin Tuesday, March 24th until Tuesday, April 7th, and as the Coronavirus continues to make its presence among us known in new and more significant ways, we will continue to trust God with all things. Trusting God doesn’t mean we ignore what is happening around us, but it does mean that we deliberately choose to put our hope in a living God whose promises are amen and amen in Christ Jesus.

As NSCS looks at current trending in our nation, it is realistic to say that it is highly unlikely that we will be resuming school on April 8th as previously stated. I will communicate in greater detail any further prolonged school closures as soon as a concrete decision has been made. Additionally, our Deans will also clearly communicate to our parents what the implications of a further prolonged school closure will entail in way of at-home school. We recognize the challenge that at-home schooling may cause for some of our families, especially those parents/guardians who are also trying to balance working remotely from home, as well as overseeing their child/ren’s school work. I want to reiterate again that all of our teachers are here to support you and your particular needs to the very best of their ability. Please keep the lines of communication open between you and your child/ren’s teachers – we are all on the same team!

Please continue to send pictures and videos of your children so that we can post them in the newsletters and on our Facebook. Seeing the children’s faces in the newsletters has brought me such joy! While we are apart physically, you and your children are never far from my thoughts.

To the right is a picture from this morning. I had the pleasure of sitting in our Lynn Campus’s Teachers Meeting via Zoom. As is the case for each meeting, our teachers end their time in prayer. We prayed for the school, one another, our communities, our country, and the world. We prayed that God would use all things, including the Coronavirus, for His glory!

Continue to trust God, be good to each other – love big, forgive often, and encourage always.

Love,
Pam Heintz, Head of School

March 20, 2020 COVID-19 LETTER FROM HOS

Dear NSCS Parents,

We have made it through Week #1 of At-Home School. It is hard to believe that just one week ago we were at school, and life for the most part seemed normal. My how life has changed, and continues to change. It seems that changes are happening by the minute!

I have to admit that this morning I woke up feeling a bit…sad. I hate to admit that, because I am by nature a very upbeat, positive, and high-energy individual. But I am also human, and you know what? You are all human too! Because we are human, our minds may respond to this pandemic in unanticipated ways, maybe even ways that go against our usual natures and personalities. That’s OK. We need to all give ourselves that license to be sad, mad, depressed, confused, and even scared. These emotions are normal and human emotions, and we cannot stuff them deep down and act as though they do not exist. If we do, we may create even greater problems. We need to allow ourselves the freedom to feel.

Like I said I am a high-energy person. I thrive on collaboration and human interaction. Sitting still and being home is hard for personality types like me! But this morning I felt like God was asking me to just sit, and wait, and rest. So, I got my coffee, and asked Alexa to play some praise and worship music, and I just sat. As I did my soul became renewed and encouraged. I began to commune with God and I asked him to replace my fear and anxiety with hope and peace. I asked Him to take the cloud of sadness that seems to be lingering overhead, and toss it far away from me. I asked God to fill me with himself. Soon, tears of joy filled my eyes and my spirit was lifted in spite of what is still happening around me. At one point, there was a bird outside my kitchen window who seemed to be singing along with the worship music. This bird was a loud! I wondered if this bird was worshiping God too!

This little bird, so unaware of the pandemic and all the implications it carries, was just doing what it was designed to do. This got me thinking; we as God’s precious creation have been designed to trust him and to praise him. I read Psalm 148 and was reminded of the reality in which we are called to live as God’s people. His entire creation, which includes birds and people, has been called to praise him! If you have the time to check this chapter out. You will be encouraged! In spite of this pandemic, we are still called to praise and worship God, and as we do we will rise high above this current situation as we are filled with peace and hope.

Please know that our students and families are being prayed for daily. In yesterday’s Beverly Campus Teachers Meeting on Zoom we spent some time praying for one another and our school. One of our Board Members, Sharon Carlson, was in our meeting. Our Board is thinking about you all too!

With Every Blessing,

Pam Heintz, Head of School

Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children.

Psalm 148:7-12

With Love,

Pam Heintz, Head of School

No School COVID-19 Closure

North Shore Christian School will be closed for on-site learning and has moved to a home-based learning model until Tuesday, April 7th on our three campuses (Lynn, Beverly, and Hamilton).

MARCH 18, 2020 COVID-19 LETTER FROM HOS

Dear NSCS Families,

We are halfway through our first week of at-home learning. This week has been met with many adjustments as we all figure out how to “do school” and settle into a new normal. 

During these unusual weeks, and especially while we are apart, it is important that we all remember we are on the same team, and desiring the same outcomes. Among those outcomes is that our students will continue their learning, albeit in a different setting. We do recognize that for some parents/guardians this has required more hands-on participation. We appreciate your partnership in this area. The goal for all of us, NSCS school faculty & staff, and parents/guardians & students is that we all remain flexible and forgiving with one another as we continue to navigate the situation and make preparations and plans accordingly. It is my hope that God will be glorified in the process, and by the ways in which we have all supported and responded to one another in love and with patience.

As our Board and Administrative Team continue to watch the trending of schools and other public institutions we will provide our families with updates regarding any additional prolonged school closure that may be warranted. The decision has been made, however, to forgo our scheduled Spring Break (week of April 20th) and school will be in session that week, barring the Governor permits such gatherings. We fully recognize that this may interrupt some plans that families may have already set in place, and so we will offer excused absences on these cases. This week should not be viewed as “optional”, but we do want to be mindful that some families may have plans that cannot be altered.

As we continue to make decisions that are in the very best interest of our students and families, we ask for your patience and understanding. Tremendous care and consideration has been put into each and every decision that has been made thus far. As always, we will continue to closely monitor updates from our local, state and federal officials as we seek to remain in full compliance with guidelines and advisories and will most certainly keep you updated with new information as it becomes available and affects NSCS.

Today I was speaking with a teacher, and during our conversation we both agreed that more than ever before our school needs to pull together in new and exciting ways as we seek to uplift, encourage, and mutually bless one another. It is my prayer that God would be glorified as we interact with one another in gracious and supportive ways, recognizing that together we are writing the script in live time, as to how to best respond to COVID-19.

It will be in our responding to this pandemic, and how we interact with others, that God will be most glorified. May we remain a school community that loves big, forgives often, and encourages always.

With Love,

Pam Heintz, Head of School

March 16, 2020 COVID-19 Update

The North Shore Christian School made the decision on Friday, March 13, 2020 to move to a home-based learning model until Tuesday, March 31 on our three campuses (Lynn, Beverly, and Hamilton).  However, in response to Governor Baker’s mandate on Sunday, NSCS will be closed for on-site learning until April 7th as we support initiatives to flatten the curve of the pandemic.

We hope that during this unprecedented time in history, God will allow his people to be used to bring a sense of hope and peace to those that we come in contact with.  This is a tremendous opportunity for God’s people to rally together for the common good as we seek out intentional ways to uplift and encourage one another.  It is the sincerest prayer of NSCS that God would ultimately be glorified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

May our song be like that of the Author of Psalm 91, as we trust God to be our source of refuge during this pandemic, and as we trust Him with all things.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[
a]
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.’”

 Psalm 91:1 & 2