COVID-19 Information and Updates

Bethany Christian School and office is closed effective Monday, March 16,
and all activities, athletics, events, and programs are canceled.

This is based on the recommendation and guidance of our local health authorities 
and public and private educational agencies.

3/26/2020 - Bethany Christian School Closure Extended to May 1, 2020

Click HERE to view Dr. Walner's recent message to the students

Dear Bethany Community,

I trust you and your families are well and staying safe in these unique days!

“Learning at Home” extended to May 1st.

Bethany Christian School continues to provide ongoing education for our students through a distance-learning format. Our faculty and administration work from home. Teachers have enrolled me in their Google classrooms, and I am able to gain an overview of the instruction going on from K through 8thand in the HEP program (a virtual “walkthrough” each class!) I am impressed by the creative and fun ways our teachers and students are remaining connected through this time.

Our administrative team continues to closely follow the COVID-19 communications coming from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), along with recommendations from Los Angeles County and our local school districts.

At this time, public school districts have extended their dates for school closure. Los Angeles Unified (LAUSD) states they will reopen on May 1. Pasadena, Monrovia, Arcadia, Temple City, and Duarte school districts state they will reopen on May 5.

Based on current recommendations, Bethany Christian School will continue in a distance learning format through May 1st. Monday, May 4thwill be a pupil-free teacher preparation day on campus, with students returning to campus on Tuesday, May 5th.

Caveat: If our government and health authorities allow for an earlier return to school, we are glad to do so and will inform you as that information comes to us. It is also possible that we will be required to extend “learning at home” beyond May 5th. Again, if this becomes the situation, we will let you know as soon as we know.

Easter Break will be the week of April 13-17, 2020, as planned. No distance learning will be provided during this time. Our students (and our teachers!) will need a break from screen-time. Use this time for deep spring cleaning, family ancestry heritage projects, or writing the family novel! Or get a head start on spring landscaping! Teachers will be ready to resume distance learning on Monday, April 20.

Many thanks to those of you who have sent emails of encouragement to our teachers and staff—it means so much. Be sure that we appreciate you and all that you do to stay connected to our Bethany learning community.

Blessings to you all,


William Walner, Ed.D.

Bethany Christian School, Sierra Madre626-355-3527

3/19/2020 - Bethany Christian School Closure Extended to April 3, 2020

Dear Bethany Community,

A hearty, “Well done!” to our students (AND parents!) for adjusting quickly to the online learning format. Our teachers report that students are engaging well. I am grateful to our faculty team for the extensive work they have done (and continue to do!) to help our students to move forward in their learning during this unique time.

We continue to monitor the situation to ensure the health and safety of our school community. We realize that we are not operating in isolation, but in sync with the wider community in which we live. In response to the President’s call (along with other health agencies) for a 15-day plan to slow the spread of COVID-19, a number of our local public-school districts have determined to extend closure through Friday, April 3, 2020.

Therefore, Bethany Christian School will also extend the on-site closure of school to Friday, April 3rd. Teachers will continue to guide our students in their online learning.

Also, our preschool will be closed beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, and will align their closure with the K-8 program. Preschool families should refer to a separate letter from Mrs. Leon, our preschool director.

The faculty and staff of Bethany Church and our school continue to pray for each of you and for our community. We are grateful for your prayers on our behalf, as well.

We will continue to keep you posted as new information becomes available.

Prayerfully yours,


William Walner, Ed.D.

3/19/2020 - Bethany Christian Preschool Closure Effective March 23, 2020

Dear Bethany Preschool Community,

Our primary responsibility during this coronavirus pandemic is the health and safety of our Bethany students, families and staff. With that as our #1 priority, and out of an abundance of caution, we believe that it is in the best interest of our families to close Bethany Preschool and align with our K-8 schedule beginning Monday, March 23through Friday, April 3. April 13-17 is our scheduled Spring Break. We will update you weekly with additional developments and potential re-opening date.

Barbara Sargent will be crediting your tuition account for each week that the preschool is closed. (bsargent@bcslions.org)

While we had hoped to remain open for families who need childcare, it became obvious this afternoon that it is no longer possible. This decision was difficult but necessary for the health and safety of our entire BCS Community. Our leadership team will continue to check their emails regularly to support you and your family to the best of our ability. Please don’t hesitate to email us for assistance or concerns.

We have curriculum packets prepared for your children for the next two weeks. You are welcome to pick it up at Bethany Preschool today through Friday, March 20, along with any personal items you might need during our school closure. We will email more packets in the weeks to come.

During this time at home, I would recommend: reading books, puzzles, play outside, play dress-up, cook together, make playdough and have dance parties. Play is how our children learn.

Now more than ever we need to be reminded of what Jesus said: “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

We thank you for your trust as we work together to minimize the risk and exposure to protect the health of our entire community. All of us at Bethany Preschool will continue to pray and stay vigilant and as informed as we can to protect our health and well-being during this situation. Should you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the school office. 626.355.3527 ext.1653.

Blessing to you all,

Rosemary Leon

Preschool Director

3/17/2020 Message from Dr. Walner

Good evening Bethany families and community.
We continue to stand in awe of the goodness of our God.
Click here to view the message Dr. Walner has prepared for you.
If you have questions or need assistance, you are encouraged to call the school at 626-355-3527 or email us at bethanychristian@bcslions.org.
Emails and phone messages will be monitored during regular office hours, 8am-3:30pm.

Shari Siewert


Dear Bethany Community,

Toward the end of our Pi Day opening assembly this morning, I shared with our students, faculty, and guests about our school’s response to the COVID-19 virus. Most importantly, we are a people of faith. As a friend of mine said yesterday, “We are not a people without a God.” And our God is a refuge for His people. He is also a God of wisdom and desires His people to respond wisely and not in fear.

“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

After consulting with local health authorities, private and public education agencies, the BCS board, our church leadership and faculty, our administrative team has determined that we will close our K-8 classrooms and transition to distance learning beginning Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27, 2020. This decision is not made lightly, and we recognize that it will cause some hardships for many of our families. Information regarding this situation changes rapidly and we will remain in constant communication with authorities and provide regular updates to our families, teachers, and staff.

Our school office will remain open and available to respond to questions and concerns.

We are determined to ensure that teaching and learning continues through meaningful and powerful distance learning. This will be a new method of delivery and there may be bumps along the way—I am confident that the Bethany community will walk together in unity and grace as we learn and grow together. Our K-8 faculty instructional planning is targeted to take place on Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17. We anticipate that distance learning for students will begin on Wednesday, March 18.

Our preschool will remain open next week, Monday through Friday, in order to provide service for working families. We are able to do this because of the small class sizes (12 children or less) and the ongoing sanitization processes that are already in place. Students will remain in small groups. Large groups, such as recesses and chapels, will not meet. We will review this decision on Thursday, March 19, and provide an update to the preschool families at that time.

Also, our HEP classes will not meet during the K-8 classroom closure.

The following events are also canceled or postponed:

All sports events are canceled until further notice.
All field trips scheduled during this time are canceled.
Open House (March 26) is will be rescheduled and modified.
Mrs. Nelson’s Book Fair is canceled.
Our ACSI/WASC accreditation visit (March 22-25, 2020) will be rescheduled for the fall.
Alice in Wonderland, Jr., is moved to May 1-2, 2020.
8th Grade Knott’s Berry Farm Physic Fun Day will be rescheduled.

We are in much prayer for the Bethany community—church and school. And we are so grateful to the many of you who have shared words of encouragement and indicated that you are praying for our team.

Blessings to you all,

William D. Walner, Ed.D.


Hello Bethany families.

Bethany Christian School partners with parents to provide a safe, secure, and healthy learning environment for all. We are committed to the health and well-being of our students and staff.

As you may know, there have been updated reports shared regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). While there have been isolated cases outside of China, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), our community as a whole is at a very low level of risk. We want to reassure you that we continue to monitor the situation There is currently no reason to suspect the coronavirus (COVID-19) will approach or impact our community.

We would like to use this as an opportunity to remind you about some best practices to avoid spreading any infection:

If your child is sick or exhibiting contagious symptoms such as fever, dry cough, or having trouble breathing, please keep them home from school to avoid spreading illness. Your child must be fever/vomit free for 24 hours without medication before returning to school.

Remind your child that hands should be washed often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Refrain from shaking hands, instead, connect with a fistbump or elbow bump.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used.

When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Dispose of tissue immediately and wash hands.

Avoid contact with anyone exhibiting cold-like symptoms.

Additionally, if planning to travel, please refer to the CDC's Traveler Guidance website and follow appropriate safety precautions.

Again, we are confident in the global health community's assessment of the low-risk level and will be monitoring the situation closely through the CDC and WHO (World Health Organization) in case that assessment changes. In the meantime, if you have any additional questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to us at 626-355-3527.

Lastly, it is important that we do not act out of fear, but rather focus on treating everyone in our community with kindness. Kindness is a part of our school culture and I know that we will continue to support an environment in which all students, staff, and families feel welcome. Be aware of the misinformation surrounding the coronavirus.

You can get the most accurate information on the CDC website here.

Thank you for your partnership and support of our school community.


Bethany Christian School