Dear Zion Family/Community,

 We have been working diligently to create a plan for returning to campus in a safe and responsible manner, pulling in guidance from local, state and national health experts for the 2020-2021 school year, which begins on August 17, 2020. We know nothing can rival a modern classroom, where students can learn face-to-face from a highly qualified teacher and collaborate with peers. We also recognize the vital role school plays in promoting socialization, nutrition, mental health and physical activity.


Please read over the plan that will be put into place for reopening so that you are aware of the procedures.


Phase 1: 


  • Remain open for in-person instruction Monday- Friday from 8 am to 3 pm (as well as before and after school care) until mandated not to do so, if there are no positive results among staff and families. 
  • If someone is symptomatic (see below for symptom definition) but not tested yet, we will inform family and staff and will close until results have been received. If results come back positive for COVID 19, we will move to Phase 2.
  • Parents are asked to take children's temperatures each day before leaving for school. This is to limit creating a fearful environment at school. If a child has a temp of 99.5 or higher please keep them home, notify the school and observe the 72 hour exclusion. We are trusting staff and families to be prudent in observing these exclusion rules so that we can remain open.
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures will include adding hourly wipe downs of high touch areas, fully cleaning all shelves and toys after use and each day at closure, removing any high risk/hard to clean supplies. Bathrooms and drinking fountains will be sanitized multiple times throughout the day. It is encouraged that students bring their own water bottle with a lid (reusable water bottles are preferred) to discourage drinking fountain usage. 
  • Pickup and drop off will be modified. We will have a check-in station at each grade-level entry (entry locations will be shared at a later date) where temperatures will be taken and recorded, and we will screen for symptoms. Only essential personnel will be permitted to enter the facility. These procedures will be to limit the exposure to our staff members and school, as well as limit repeated touching of door knobs and sinks by multiple people.  Masks or face shields are required for anyone coming onto the school grounds (please notify the school office if there is a health concern regarding this policy). We ask that you bring your own face mask/ shield, but if you arrive without one we will provide one as needed. 
  • We will limit items brought from homes. 
  • Social distancing: This is the hardest part because some children this age struggle with this concept. We will have desks spaced out, and recess and lunch schedules will be staggered.
  • Require all staff to practice and monitor social distancing outside and inside the classroom as best they can.
  • Require staff and students to wash their hands multiple times throughout the day. Utilize the hands-free sanitizer and paper towel dispensers, newly installed throughout the campus.
  • For the safety of our Zion community, we ask staff and families not to hide symptoms. 


Phase 2

(This phase will be enacted if we have a positive test among staff or families.)

  • All staff and families will be notified and those who have been in close contact with the affected individual will be notified to observe voluntary isolation. 
  • Should we be mandated to close or have a positive case among families or staff, we will ask healthy staff to come in to clean and prepare to be closed at least 2 weeks, possibly longer. All surfaces, toys, etc. will be thoroughly cleaned. 
  • In the event that we are mandated to be quarantined as a community, we will do everything in our power to arrange care for children of healthcare and other essential workers. 
  • During mandatory quarantine, we will transition into remote learning. 
  • Tuition assistance is available to any families facing financial difficulties. 


Emergency Symptomatic Plan 

In the event we have someone showing active symptoms of Covid - 19, we will follow the steps below. Here are the symptoms to watch for: 

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Body aches
  • Chills, sweats
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell


  1. Isolate symptomatic children or staff.  Emergency services will be contacted if any symptoms of difficulty breathing are present.  
  2. Immediately contact family from the updated emergency contact form to pick up immediately.         
  3. Follow Phase 2


Our first priority is the health and safety of our students and their families. Please be aware that this is subject to change as we monitor the pandemic outbreak in our local area.


In His Service,

Elizabeth Lyles                         Zion School Board

Acting Principal              

714-535-3600 EXT. 402



COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What are the plans for re-opening the K-8 school campus?

A: Zion Lutheran School's most up-to-date plans for the upcoming school year can be found here: COVID Planning July 21, 2020. At this time we are hopeful that we will obtain permission from OC Health to open for full-time instruction in Fall 2020. However, we are simultaneously planning for remote and blended learning opportunities so that we can serve all students according to their needs. In the event that Orange County schools are not able to open in Fall 2020, we will offer continuous child care services through our ECEC and SAC programs.


Q: The CDC lists three risk levels for schools ("lowest", "more", and "highest" CDC Considerations for Schools). What "risk level" will Zion take?

A: Zion plans to reopen in-person instruction on campus, with modifications. By the CDC's definition, this is a "more risk" environment. The only way to be "lowest risk" is to only offer remote instruction. We know that we have students and families in our school community that are medically vulnerable and need to be in a "lowest risk" environment. We want to continue to serve you and we are working on solutions for offering a "lowest risk" option for families that have a medical necessity.


Q: How will Zion achieve physical distancing in classrooms?

A: Zion has many options for achieving physical distancing, such as removing unnecessary furniture from classrooms so that desks can be spread out from each other, using partitions where physical distance cannot be achieved, and the use of outdoor learning spaces when appropriate.


Q: Does Zion plan to use outdoor learning spaces in the Fall?

A: Zion has spacious outdoor areas that can be used for teaching and learning spaces. It is already common to see students and educators working and learning at the outdoor tables. Using outdoor learning spaces has already been a part of our program because it provides flexibility, reduces noise in the classroom, allows students to spread out, and optimizes our beautiful climate for fresh air and sunshine! There are some specific lessons and activities, such as singing or practicing phonics and diction, that may be more safely practiced outdoors in open air with physical distance. It is quite possible for Zion to continue using outdoor learning spaces in a way that feels "normal" to students while complying with CDC guidance for physical distancing.


Q: Will parents be allowed to walk their children to class?

A: No, although this procedure will be continually reviewed based on our local conditions. Everyone who enters campus will be required to be screened. Screening our student population each morning will require several staff members and will need to be as efficient as possible so that students can get to class. The teachers and staff will plan alternate ways to make the first day of school special for students and families and we will support students in adjusting to new routines.


Q: Will volunteers be able to help on campus during the 2020-2021 school year?

A: As of May 29, 2020, the CDC recommends that schools, "Limit any nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations as possible – especially with individuals who are not from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, county)," (CDC Considerations for Schools). We are likely to limit guests, volunteers, and all non-staff adults, although it is something that may change throughout the upcoming school year depending on the health of our surrounding community (Orange County, specifically).


Q: How can Zion address COVID-19 differently than other schools, particularly public schools?

A: As a private school, Zion is obligated to follow civil authority. In the case of COVID-19, we still must comply with national, state, and local orders. However, we do have the opportunity to apply for approval to open on campus even if the local school district is closed.


Q: Will Zion require students to wear masks at school?

A: Zion will require students, staff, and all visitors to campus to comply with civil authority. Current orders require students in grades 3-8 to wear masks whenever they are indoors. Students in grades TK/K-2 are recommended, but not required, to wear masks. Faculty and staff will wear masks or face shields at all times.


Q: Is Zion planning to offer different tuition rates if remote instruction is required?

A: At this time Zion is planning to maintain our traditional tuition structure for all students. Tuition Assistance is provided based on financial need. Faithful tuition payments provide Zion with the financial resources needed to invest in a safe and healthy school campus. Thank you for your faithful tuition payments!