Bethany Christian School

Sierra Madre, California

Reopening PlanFirst-Eighth Grade

Bethany Christian School’s mission is to partner with parents to educate, develop, and nurture students for a life of Christ-centered excellence in academics, Christian character, and servant leadership.

The safety and well-being of our students and those who serve them (staff members, parents, and others) on our campus is an essential consideration of school operations. Our approach, as always, is to seek God’s wisdom and direction to develop a plan that is in accordance with His Word and the legal requirements of the State of California and Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health.

We acknowledge that this is a plan which we will execute with diligence while being flexible to change and be ready to adjust as expectations shift in response to the changing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following plan assumes three possible contingencies that may be in place by September 8, 2020:

  1. The State of California (https://covid19.ca.gov) will have issued guidance for all private schools to be allowed to fully reopen (with health and safety protocols in place); or
  2. Los Angeles County will have been in the substantial (red) tier for a minimum of two weeks, and all schools will be allowed to reopen (with health and safety protocols in place); or
  3. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) will have granted a waiver for Bethany Christian School to reopen (with health and safety protocols in place).

Should none of these be the case, we have developed two approaches:

  1. The school faculty will provide distance learning to students in first through eighth grades who are not permitted to come onto the campus for in-person learning.
  2. The school staff will provide Distance Learning Cohorts so that students may engage the school’s distance learning program in a childcare setting with health and safety protocols in place. This option is designed to serve essential workers and homes in which both parents/guardians work.

This Reopening Plan is based on a Healthy Only framework for reopening the Bethany Christian School campus. This framework requires parents and employees to ensure that only healthy individuals are permitted on campus. The school facilities will receive increased levels of cleaning and sanitizing, but there would be minimal disruption to typical classroom routines. Parents will be required to sign a waiver of liability and health screening agreement.

A Healthy Only framework provides the greatest level of "normalcy," but depends on students and employees to remain at home if they display any flu-like symptoms or have been in contact with others who are symptomatic. Violators may lose their privilege to return to campus for the duration of the pandemic.

Parents will have the opportunity to continue with the distance learning option, as space is available and in coordination with school administration and faculty.

Bethany Christian School

Reopening PlanFirst-Eighth Grades

The following is subject to change via new guidelines and current data at any time. This plan shall incorporate the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health Order of the Health Officer: Reopening Protocols for K-12 Schools: Appendix T1. This reopening plan will be in place as long as needed to comply with state and local health requirements of schools throughout the pandemic.

Plan ItemProtocols
Instructional Option: On-Campus/In-Person Instruction

Distance Learning
  • Class cohorts will be defined as a stable group of no more than 12 children or youth and no more than two supervising adults in a supervised environment in which supervising adults and children stay together for all activities (e.g., meals, recreation, etc.), and avoid contact with people outside of their group in the setting.
  • Class/cohort sizes will be limited to the number of students that can be accommodated in that assigned space, including the teacher and aide (if assigned), with student workspaces at least 6 feet distant from one another.
  • All teachers and students are required to wear cloth face coverings and/or face shields at all times while on school property except while eating, drinking, or carrying out other activities that preclude the use of face coverings.
  • Protocols for handwashing and hand sanitizers will be followed. Cleansing of surfaces will be conducted per guidance protocols.
  • Specialist teachers (e.g., art, music, foreign language) will come to the classroom weekly for enrichment instruction. Students will not travel to the specialist rooms.
  • A core cohort team will be accessible to the entire student body. This team consists of the Principal and the administrative team. The core cohort team will wear face coverings during interaction with students. All interactions will be documented to assist in potentially necessary contact tracing.
  • Students may be allowed to attend school virtually via the live classroom webcam for direct instruction.
  • Students would be required to have the necessary home support to be fully effective. Parents would be required to oversee work being completed and returned to the teacher with the same guidelines of on-campus attendance.
  • Students may not shift between in-person attendance and webcam attendance without administrative approval.
  • Afterschool interscholastic and intramural sports will be paused until further notice.
  • Contact sports will not be permitted during Physical Education classes or recess times.
  • Any gym class activities are offered outdoors and are selected to permit physical distancing; contact sports are not permitted.
  • Recreational and sports equipment will be provided and exclusive to each class/cohort, and regularly cleaned and sanitized.
  • Middle School students will not dress out for PE classes until further notice.
  • Meals, snacks, and beverages must be individually packaged and brought directly by the student.
  • Lunches will consist of only boxed pre-packaged/bagged lunches brought from home or catered lunches from Only Place in Town, a local restaurant that provides school lunches at an additional cost.
  • Lunches must be brought by the student at the initial student drop-off.
  • No additional lunch drop-offs will be accepted during the school day.
  • Failure to provide a lunch will result in the student receiving an emergency lunch (consisting of cheese, crackers, applesauce, and water for a fee of $5.00).
  • Class/cohorts will eat at the outside lunch tables or in the classroom, observing appropriate distancing and sanitization requirements.
  • No sharing of food items will be allowed.
  • Students in after-school care will need to provide their own disposable water bottles and snacks.
  • Before and after school childcare will be considered a cohort and assigned spaces to allow for appropriate distancing and sanitization requirements.
  • Occasional childcare will not be available.
Classrooms & Facilities
  • All classrooms have been equipped with hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, wipes, and paper towels.
  • Common areas including the lunch tables will be cleaned and sanitized by staff throughout the day and between each class/cohort use.
  • Designated school staff will be responsible for cleaning and disinfecting the school facility at the end of each school day.
  • Classroom doors, as well as non-fire hallway doors, will be kept open as much as possible to allow for ventilation and airflow.
  • Water fountains will not be operational.
  • Students will bring their own water bottles labeled with their name. If a student does not bring a water bottle, a disposable water bottle will be provided, and the student’s account will be charged $2.
  • Students may only touch or handle their own learning materials (e.g., textbooks, pens, etc.).
  • Each student will have a separate basket/container for their own classroom supplies (pens, pencils, scissors, glue, paste, crayons, etc.)
  • Students may not touch or use another student’s backpack, or any other item without first disinfecting the item.
  • All classrooms will be set up with forward-facing desks with as much space between each desk as is feasible.
  • Teachers may set up an outdoor classroom in designated spaces as is permissible by the weather.
  • The middle school lockers will not be used.
  • Operations/Cleaning in the event of a positive COVID-19 student/staff member:
    • The classroom will remain untouched during the time of the quarantine.
    • The classroom will be cleaned prior to students resuming instruction in the room.
Parents and Visitors
  • Due to health restrictions, parents and visitors will not be allowed to leave their vehicles or congregate on campus.
  • Parents and visitors will only be allowed to exit their vehicles for official school business. Prior authorization by the administration may be required.
  • All parents and visitors are required to complete a health and temperature screen, located in the school office.
  • All parents and visitors are required to wear a cloth face covering.
Health Screening Waiver and AgreementIdentifying and Addressing Illness
  • Parents and employees must complete a waiver at the beginning of the school year with required signatures releasing BETHANY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL of any liability in regards to COVID-19.
  • Parents and employees must sign a Health Screening Agreement that they will neither send a student nor enter the campus themselves if they are exhibiting any of the symptoms listed here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
  • A waiver will be provided for a parent signature and will be required to be returned, signed by all legally responsible parents/guardians before the first day of attendance.
  • It may be required that any person who has traveled out of the country or to a COVID-19 “hot spot” self-quarantine for no less than 14 days at home with no symptoms appearing, prior to returning to school.
  • Any child that exhibits a fever of 100.4 or higher will be held in the isolation area and parents will be notified to pick up their child/staff to be transported home and not allowed to return until the non-COVID-19 related fever has been reduced without the aid of medication for a period of no less than 24 hours.
  • If a student/staff presents any possible COVID-19 symptoms, a complete assessment will be made and the office staff will notify the affected parent/staff to be sent home. According to HIPPA guidelines, details of a student/staff absence will NOT be shared.
  • If a student/staff has a negative COVID-19 test, they can return to school once there is:
    • no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines,
    • they have felt well for 72 hours, and
    • must provide a doctor’s note clearing them to return to campus.
  • In order for a student/staff who tested positive for COVID-19 (with or without symptoms) to be allowed to return to campus, they must be able to answer YES to the following questions:
    • Has it been at least 10 days since the individual first had symptoms?
    • Has it been at least 24 hours since the individual had a fever (without using fever-reducing medicine)?
    • Has it been at least 3 days since the individual’s symptoms have improved, including cough and/or shortness of breath?
    • Do they have a doctor’s note clearing them to return to campus?
    • If non-symptomatic for 10 days following the positive test, has the student/staff had two negative tests at least 24 hours apart?
    • If it is less than 10 days and a false-positive test result is indicated, a doctor’s note clearing student/staff to return is required.
  • Student absences due to Health Screening restrictions will not be counted as school day absences.
  • Addressing non-COVID-19 related illness: Non-COVID-19 related illnesses will be handled in accordance with existing BETHANY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL handbook guidelines.
Identification and Tracing of Contacts
  • Identification of and tracing of contacts of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case on campus will start with the foregoing steps listed for immediate isolation of the case, followed by initial contact tracing for the student or staff member.
  • In the event of a confirmed positive COVID-19 student/staff member, the school will follow “Steps for Managing Exposure” as found in Appendix T2: Protocol for COVID-19 Exposure Management Plan in K-12 Schools.
  • Any known cases will be identified, and initial contact tracing done; then the case will be immediately referred to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for their review and recommendations.
  • Bethany Christian School’s designated COVID-19 primary contact is Mrs. Shari Siewert, (626) 355-3527 ext 1651, ssiewert@sbcglobal.net.
  • If any other condition arises or exists that the Principal believes would best be responded to by closing the school to on-campus learning, the school will pivot to distance learning. This will be maintained until such time as the Principal feels it is safe to resume on-campus learning.
Instructional Pivoting to Distance Learning
  • In the event of a state-mandated school closure due to COVID-19, protocols, and practices to ensure a high level of engagement in learning will be in place to support distance learning at home. While this will be the LAST resort, we do recognize the possibility of a closure exists, and failure to plan would be negligent.
  • Each teacher at BETHANY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL will work to attain certification as a Google Certified Educator.
  • Students will have been trained and prepared for this transition.
  • In the event of a cohort needing to be quarantined for any reason, students will pivot to webcam attendance or distance learning for the appropriate and necessary timeframe.
  • In order to ensure a smooth transition at any time in the future that the school may need to shift from campus-based to online-based instruction, all teachers will be proficient in the use of the following online tools:
    • LMS - Google Classroom: This Learning Management System (LMS) will be utilized for posting all assignments and communications regarding assignments.
    • FACTS - SIS/RenWeb : This Student Information System (SIS) will host all grade-book information.
  • In the case of pivoting to distance learning, devices may be made available to all students in need.
Lost and Found
  • This year, it will be very important for all school items, including jackets and other items of clothing, to be labeled with the first and last name of the student.
  • All lost items will be secured in the school office where the items will be sanitized and held for only one week.
  • After one week, items will be donated to a local charity.
Cloth Face Coverings and other Essential Protective Gear
  • All teachers and students are required to wear cloth face coverings and/or face shields with a drape at all times while on school property except while eating, drinking, or carrying out other activities that preclude the use of face coverings.
  • We acknowledge the benefits of utilizing face coverings to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Should a student forget, break, or need an additional mask, a disposable mask will be provided to the student.
  • Our first orientation of the school year will include education for our students on socially appropriate conversation-starters about face coverings. Our desire is to be an environment where all can truly be part of this community, embraced through the love of Christ, regardless of outer appearance. We have already established this emphasis as a school culture, and we will align with this new aspect of school life quite fluidly for those who choose to wear face coverings daily when no longer mandated to do so by state and local guidelines.
  • Any persons on campus who are required to wear face coverings but refuse to do so will be directed to leave campus immediately.
Personal Items
  • All personal items brought to the school by a student or staff must be disinfected daily prior to being brought on campus.
  • No personal items may be shared (e.g., backpacks, clothing).
  • Learning materials may be shared only once they have been disinfected (e.g., textbooks, tablets).
  • All personal items (including textbooks) must be labeled with the student’s name (e.g., water bottles, notebooks, backpacks).
Campus ProceduresDrop-Off / Dismissal / School Office:
  • Student drop-off begins at 7:00am at the designated area for the childcare cohort only.
  • Student drop-off begins at 7:45am (4th-8th) and 8:00am (1st-3rd). After their health check, students will report directly to their class/cohort. Teachers will be ready to meet students in their classroom.
  • Morning childcare students will be delivered to their classrooms at 8:00am.
  • Parents will use the West Gate entrance for both drop-off and pick-up each day. Cars will enter from Montecito, continue through the loop, and exit onto Highland.
  • Parents should not leave their vehicles during drop-off or pick-up.
  • Students will be screened before exiting their car. Screening will include the taking of temperature (using a touchless thermometer) and questions concerning cough, shortness of breath, fever, and other related COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Any temperature of 100.4 or greater will result in the student immediately being sent home, with additional health tracing to follow.
  • Students checking in after 8:00am (4th-8th) or 8:15am (1st-3rd) are to be taken to the school office by the parent, where both the parent and student will be screened prior to the child being cleared to go to class.
  • Cloth face coverings for all adults and children over the age of two are required to be worn during arrival, dismissal, and at any time on campus.
  • Students will be released at regular dismissal time for the carline pick-up and be distanced by cohort.
  • Childcare students will be taken to LionsGate (childcare) and signed in by the LionsGate staff.
Check Out:
  • Early checkout: parents will call the school office to request their child to check-out.
  • The child will be released and walked by a staff member to the parent at the West Gate.
  • Upon entering the classroom, students will sanitize their hands.
  • Students will be instructed not to share items with their classmates.
  • Recess schedules will be modified to only allow one class at a time on the playground in a designated space.
  • Reminders will be displayed throughout the school (classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, welcome center, administrative offices) for students and staff:
    • Temperature checks required
    • Masks are required on campus
    • Stay 6’ apart when possible
    • Proper and frequent handwashing
    • How to stop the spread of germs
  • Fire drills, earthquake drills, and lockdown drills will be modified to maintain proper physical distancing to the greatest extent possible.
  • Campus bathrooms will be disinfected once per hour when school is in session.
  • Chapel services will continue to be held in the Worship Center with physical distancing in place in an effort to maintain our fellowship and in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • All unnecessary trips to campus should be avoided.
After-school Activities
  • All after-school activities will be paused until further notice to prevent contamination of cohorts.
Field Trips/Special Events
  • No field trips will be held until allowed or advisable by the CDC and approved by the administration.
  • Virtual campus-wide events will take place until physically allowed or advisable by the CDC (e.g., Grandparent’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas).
  • We love our parent volunteers. During this season, parent volunteers are required to work remotely using recommended safety guidelines. There will be no parent volunteers on campus.
  • Parents will call into LionsGate using their personal phone to direct-dial at 626.921.1281.
  • Staff will check-in students using FACTS SIS.
  • Students will be screened before exiting their car. Screening will include the taking of temperature (using a touchless thermometer) and questions concerning cough, shortness of breath, fever and other related COVID-10 symptoms will be asked.
  • Currently, both before-school and after-school childcare will be available for students regularly on campus.
  • Childcare will also be set up in cohorts based on multiple-family units, understanding that this creates a second/third cohort for students.
  • During this initial phase, occasional childcare will not be permitted to allow for limited cohort disruption.
  • Childcare for both morning care and afternoon care must be pre-registered and prepaid in your FACTS account.
  • Pick up procedures: Parents will call into LionsGate using their personal phone to direct-dial at 626.921.1281.
  • Staff will check-out students in FACTS SIS and the student will be escorted to the door by the childcare teacher.
  • No parents will be permitted to enter LionsGate (child care) during this process.


BETHANY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL is hereby providing notice to me that it intends to reopen its school program on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. I/we understand that BETHANY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL cannot protect my child/student and/or me from risks which may be encountered as a result of my child attending the school and/or participating in any school-sponsored program. I/we realize there are natural, mechanical, and environmental conditions and hazards which independently or in combination with any activities engaged in while participating in this program may result in the exposure to certain risks including exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19), or other biological agents, virus or similar bacteriological agents, and the risk of being quarantined, or illness that may result in medical care, hospitalization or death.

I hereby agree not to enter the campus of BETHANY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL nor permit my child/student to enter the campus of BETHANY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL if they have exhibited within the previous 48 hours any the symptoms currently listed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as Symptoms of Coronavirus (see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html).

I hereby state that I, on behalf of my child/student and myself, am an adult, over the age of 18, and legally competent to sign this form. I understand these inherent risks and dangers involved with participation in the school providing their services and acknowledge the existence of risks which are not obvious or predictable, and hereby intend this release to extend to injury or loss which results from both obvious or predictable risks, as well as risks that are unpredictable and not obvious and to extend to myself and my child/student, as applicable.

In consideration of myself and my child/student, I/we, and any legal representatives, heirs, and assigns, hereby release, waive, and discharge BETHANY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, its officers, directors, employees, agents, and representatives from all liability for any loss or damage, and any claim or damages resulting therefrom, on account of any injury, illness or exposure to and/or contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19) or other biological agents, virus or similar bacteriological agents by me or my child/student’s attendance at and participation in any BETHANY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL program, including any medical expenses, injury and/or death.

I agree to indemnify BETHANY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, its officers, directors, employees, agents, and representatives from any loss, liability, damage, or cost that may be incurred due to my child/student participation in the aforementioned program, whether caused by the negligence of BETHANY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL or otherwise. I fully understand, on my behalf, and behalf of my child/student, the risks associated with the aforementioned participation and assume any risk associated therewith.

This notice, release, and indemnity agreement contains the entire agreement between and among the parties hereto, and the terms of this release are contractual and not a mere recital.

The parties to this agreement hereby agree that the interpretation and enforceability of this Release shall be governed by the laws of the State of California.

I expressly agree that this release, waiver, and indemnity agreement is intended to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by applicable laws and that if any portion thereof is held invalid, it is agreed that the balance shall, notwithstanding, continue in full legal force and effect.

I understand that by signing this agreement, I am giving up on behalf of my child/student and myself certain legal rights and remedies including the right for my child/student and/or myself to recover damages in the event of death, personal and/or bodily injury of any kind, property loss or damage, expenses of any nature whatsoever including attorney's fees, and other losses that my student(s) or that I may sustain in association with my child's participation in the program.