Dear Zion Family/Community,
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand. Isaiah 41:10
Zion Lutheran continues to closely monitor the evolving situation related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and evaluate the outbreak’s impact of both the schools, the church, and the community at large in accordance with recommendations from the CDC, OC Public Health Agency, California Department of Health, Orange County Department of Education, as well as the Orange County Lutheran Schools Association. The health and safety of all members of our community are, as always, of the utmost importance.
At this time, there are no known or suspected cases at Zion Lutheran Church and Schools.
In recent weeks, the State of California escalated its efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, through the executive order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom calling for California residents to stay at home, with exceptions for attending to essential needs. In addition, a Major Disaster Declaration by President Trump also acknowledged the scope of this crisis and bolstered California’s emergency response efforts.
Within this context, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, announced the following this week: “Due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year.”
Locally, Orange County Superintendent of Schools, Al Mijares, expressed his support for Orange County school districts to extend school dismissal dates. “Keeping children home from school is a drastic measure, one that shows how seriously health officials and educators are taking this public health threat,” said Mijares. “We must do our part now to flatten the curve.”
Based on these conditions, directives and preventive measures, Zion Lutheran School has extended remote learning for our elementary school and dismissal of our ECEC through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, which ends on June 5, 2020.
Zion Lutheran administration will continue to closely monitor the guidance from federal, state, and local authorities and coordinate our actions and responses with expert health agencies.
For Our Graduating 8th graders: We fully appreciate the impact that this extraordinary situation is having on all of our students, staff, and families, but especially all of our 8th graders and their families. It is heartbreaking not to be able to celebrate all of your successes and great moments of your last year at Zion in person. Our staff misses you and we are thinking of all of you and celebrating from afar. However, please know that we are still committed to honoring our 8th graders through graduation celebrations at a later date to be announced.
Campus Closure Status
Remote Learning Information: Zion Lutheran Administration made the decision to close the physical campus for students and transition to remote learning beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. All activities and events, including athletics, have been postponed or canceled until further notice.
The campus was open to students to retrieve personal items and classroom books/materials, as well as check-out devices (if needed) on March 16. After March 17, and in compliance with Governor Newsom’s order issued on March 19, access to the campus is restricted to essential employees only. Our critical school services continue to operate and remain accessible through remote means. Details and instructions regarding accessing and engaging remote learning platforms and contacting faculty were communicated to your family on Friday, March 13, 2020.
If you are in need of checking out a device in order for your child to continue his/her remote learning, please contact your child’s teacher and/or Mrs. Lyles and we will make arrangements to do so.
Critical and timely information will continue to be sent out immediately when appropriate. While our community and world at large did not expect to be in this position at this time, we thank you for your patience, understanding, and ongoing prayers.
Instruction: During the COVID-19 campus closure, Zion Lutheran teachers continue to deliver planned lessons for each class covering the same content and skills that they would on campus via their remote learning platform (Google Classroom and-or Email). All teachers email a daily checklist each morning for all classes in order to provide students with clear, proactive communication regarding their learning for the day. Teachers also post videos, presentations, and online resources. Assignments may be submitted through Google Classroom and/or Email.
Communication: We continue to value and prioritize relationships with our entire community, and so communication with teachers is very important during this time. Please note that teachers are expected to respond to email within 24 hours. Additionally, teachers proactively email a daily checklist to students that explains their learning for the day.
Academic Conduct Code: It is important to remember that though students engage in a remote learning environment, the policies and principles of the academic conduct code still apply. The learning environment at Zion Lutheran School includes the exchange of ideas, the pursuit of truth (distinctly through the Truth Incarnate: Jesus Christ), and the quest for knowledge. In maintaining appropriate academic conduct, students will build mutual trust, cultivate character development, and learn to live responsibly in a community setting. Specifically, students may not engage in cheating, plagiarism, or forgery and are expected to demonstrate academic responsibility.
Remote Learning Etiquette: The remote learning environment is governed by the same policies and principles as the on-campus learning environment. Students are expected to demonstrate kindness, respect, empathy, and integrity in their interactions with others in the remote learning environment. The following are examples of how this behavior might be demonstrated in a remote learning environment:
● All academic pursuits should meet the requirements of the academic conduct code.
● In various mediums, allow others the opportunity to communicate.
● Wait for a speaker to complete their thought before entering the conversation.
● Refrain from disrupting the opportunity for others to engage in the learning activity.
● Demonstrate respect when disagreeing.
● In any video setting, ensure all content is consistent with the purpose, values, or standards of Zion Lutheran School. This includes clothing, location, background, and anything within view of the audience. (examples – don’t send a video or join a meeting from your bathroom or from a swimming pool)
● All posts, comments, uploads, and virtual collaborative work must be consistent with the purpose, values, and standards of Zion Lutheran School.
We look forward to this crisis coming to an end and welcoming our students back to Zion. In the meantime, please continue to check your email for updates and information as we will continue to communicate regularly to address questions that could impact our students. Thank you for your patience and partnership. We will continue to work together to provide the essential educational resources needed for our students and families.
Blessings to all of our Zion Families,
Elizabeth Lyles and Amy Jacobson