2020 Back-to-School Plan

Welcome to the 2020-21 School Year

The Parish School has prepared several learning options for the upcoming school year. Please view the following video for an overview of those options for each level, as well as changes and precautions in place due to COVID-19.

Learning Options

We will offer two instructional models for enrolled students - either face-to-face instruction or a hybrid model - as well as a contingency plan in the event of closure. Please follow the links below to view each of these plans.

  ELEMENTARY LEARNING OPTIONS

  EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNING OPTIONS

 

Virtual Q&A Session

View the recording of our Back-to-School Virtual Q&A Session held Friday, August 14 on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Ui0mzznHKqM

Dear Parish Community,

Happy Friday, everyone!

First, I would like to thank everyone for your hard work as we continue to navigate our “new normal.” This goes out to our parents, students, staff, board members and ESPECIALLY our teachers! I know so much of this is difficult, but I am proud of the patience and flexibility being shown in transitioning and modifying lessons between in-person and remote learning. You are all making the best of a difficult situation and for that, I thank you!

To update you on class closures this week, we are pleased to announce that last night, we received a negative COVID test result for the individual who was experiencing COVID-like symptoms in the class that closed on Wednesday. That class was notified and resumed in-person instruction today. Unfortunately, we did close a different class this morning due to an individual experiencing credible symptoms of COVID-19. Families in that class have been notified and are transitioning to remote learning. We will update the community once their COVID test results are available.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the virtual Open Board Meeting last night. In case you missed it, the video recording is now posted on the Parish YouTube station to view at any time.

One item of note from last night that we are thrilled to announce is the board’s approval to break ground on Oak Creek Exploration Zone! This project is fully funded by donations made to the Margaret Noecker Nature Center, and will turn the current preschool playground, which is in need of major repairs, into an outdoor learning environment for our 4- to 6-year-olds. Construction will likely begin in late December or early January. More details will be shared as we work through plans with contractors.

As we approach the holidays, I know we’re all excited to share in the joys of the season. With so much taking place over the past year, we could all use this extra bit of pick-me-up! However, please remember our COVID policy on treats when planning for class parties and birthday celebrations. For families wishing to provide a treat or food item for the class, please first contact the classroom teacher, who will get approval of that item. At this time, only factory sealed individually packaged foods are permitted. In addition, party favors are not allowed. Of course, we hope to eventually reduce restrictions on this as well as other COVID policies, but with cases continuing to trend upward in our community, it is all to help keep our community as safe and healthy as possible.

Here’s a list of events to look forward to in the week ahead:
  • Q&A Session on Mental Health and Medication with Dr. Alain Katic: Held on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 7:30pm via Zoom. Bring your questions for this open dialogue where Dr. Katic discusses medications that are commonly used to treat ADHD, anxiety and mood symptoms in children. Please register to attend using this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAlfuytrzojHdHTUZsyN-mLmP_8tzLzIFDm
  • Grandparents’ Gardening Group: Held Friday, Nov. 13 at 7:50am (Elementary) and 11:15am (Early Childhood). Grandparents are invited to spend some time gardening on campus with their Parish grandchild! RSVP for a grandparent to attend at www.parishschool.org/gardengroup-nov
Have a great weekend!
Cheval

October 30, 2020

Dear Parish Community,

As we have just wrapped up Fall conferences, I would like to congratulate all teachers for their hard work in preparing and thank all of our parents for contributing to students’ educational success! Due to COVID-19, we were unable to run conferences in our usual method, so turned to Zoom instead. While this is the first time conferences were held virtually, it was an overall great success!

I am so glad we were able to continue our campus trick-or-treating tradition this week, even if it did look a little different. It’s always so much fun to see the adorable and spooky costumes that students pick for Halloween!

Here are a couple of events to look forward to in the week ahead:


We will be welcoming back the class that closed due to a confirmed COVID-19 case. The class is set to re-open on Tuesday, Nov. 3, following a mandatory 14-day quarantine period. We are still awaiting COVID-19 test results that will allow those impacted by the October 28 and 29 announcements to return to campus.

While we understand the importance of spending time with family and friends, I ask that you carefully consider the impact any off-campus social behavior may have on the greater Parish community. Our goal is to remain open for face-to-face learning for as many students as possible and for as many days as possible. Also, please be aware that when we learn that a student has potentially been exposed to COVID-19, they are escorted to our COVID waiting room where they are provided entertainment and supervision until a parent is able to pick them up. To reduce the amount of time your child is in this space, we kindly ask that you please plan to arrive within an hour of our call to pick your student up from school.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns and thank you for your continued patience and understanding. Please have a happy and safe Halloween!

Cheval

Dear Parish Community,

Even with as many precautions as we have been taking, we anticipated this time would eventually come. This week, an individual in our school tested positive for COVID-19. While we must protect their privacy, we believe it is best to communicate transparently with you.

Once made aware that they had been in contact with a positive case of COVID-19, this individual left school and was immediately tested. At that time, their class was restricted to only their room and could not be pulled for therapies for the remainder of that day. We were fortunate in that the individual received their test results within a few hours. As soon as we were notified, we contacted public health officials and began following our procedures, which are recommended by the CDC and Health and Human Services.

Please know that our team is on top of this situation and has taken every step as recommended by authorities to contain the spread. The impacted class has been closed for a 14-day mandatory quarantine period, and the entire Laurel Oak cottage has been deep cleaned and thoroughly sanitized.

Additionally, we are still awaiting test results that will allow the three classes that closed on Wednesday to re-open. As mentioned previously, while they share the same cottage, these are unrelated to the confirmed positive COVID case.

We will continue to provide you with periodic updates with as much information as we can. As always, if you or someone in your household exhibits COVID-19 related symptoms, please notify Angela Burris, school nurse, at aburris@parishschool.org, so we may track any potential outbreaks within our community.

On behalf of the entire Parish team, I want to thank each of you for your continued patience and understanding. It means so much to us.

In preparation for the week ahead, please note the following events:
  • Halloween at Parish: Held on Wednesday, Oct. 28, students and staff are invited to wear costumes for trick-or-treating on campus. Please see the guidelines sent from your teachers.
  • Elementary Fall Conferences: Held on Thursday, Oct. 29 and Friday, Oct. 30 via Zoom meeting. Teachers are reaching out to schedule these meetings. There is no school for Elementary students on those days.
  • Poinsettia Fundraiser: Orders are due Friday, Oct. 30 and are submitted online at bidpal.net/parishpoinsettias. The student with the most poinsettia sales receives a free spirit shirt!

Be well,
Cheval
Dear Parish Community,

Happy Friday! Please mark your calendars for some very important events at The Parish School!

Picture Days take place Monday-Wednesday next week. Please visit www.parishschool.org/school-calendar for your child’s official picture day. Students do not have to wear school uniforms for their photos.

Early Childhood’s fall conferences will be held Thursday, Oct. 22 and Friday, Oct. 23 via Zoom. Teachers are reaching out to schedule these meetings. There is no school for Early Childhood these days (except the Armadillos and Caterpillars, who will meet as usual).

As you know, we had several class closures due to suspected COVID-19 cases. All classes were able to re-open with negative results, but the 6-day closure of three classes was particularly difficult, leading us to take a hard look at our policies. After consulting with legal and health officials, and speaking with other area independent schools, the COVID task force was reaffirmed that our current policies and precautions are working well at keeping our community as safe as possible, as we have still not had a positive case of COVID-19 in our community. Our administrators will, however, be stepping up the amount of communications with the classes experiencing a closure, to try to ease some of the stress from not knowing when to return to campus.

As hard as it is, I do ask for families and staff to remain patient. When a class must close and pivot to distance learning, please plan for the closure to take the 14-day quarantine period – anything less than that would be considered a bonus. For those experiencing a closure, a communication will be sent by 7pm if there is a change from remote to in-person, otherwise, remote learning will continue.

As for COVID tests, we are only accepting Real-time PCR test results, and not the rapid test. We’ve had a lot of requests for a list of testing sites with quick turnarounds. As much as we’d like to provide this, we have done significant research and found that all sites/labs to be comparable in the time they take to return results. We also found that the timing of receiving test results is not dependent on where you go, but rather, on which lab the site sends that test to and how busy the lab is, which can vary from day to day. In fact, the same lab handled the test results we received this week – one took 8 days for results and the other took 2 days!

I know that a class closure is extremely difficult on our families and teaching teams, but please be patient and know that this is all to ensure the overall health and wellness of our school community, and to contain any potential outbreak on campus.

In other news, I am happy to announce that we have filled the Elementary Reading Specialist position. Kelsan Landry, M.Ed. is joining our team in this role that provides supplemental reading intervention for our elementary students. Kelsan has been an educator in various settings – including both public and private schools – for more than 19 years. She has completed the Neuhaus Certified Academic Language Practitioner coursework and is currently working toward becoming a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) as well as an Educational Diagnostician. The search committee of five Parish staff members unanimously selected Kelsan to join the team due to her stellar credentials and caring demeanor, and we look forward to her starting with us the week of October 26.

Please enjoy your weekend and this much cooler weather that has rolled in!

All the best,
Cheval
Dear Parish Community,

As we begin to settle into the cooler fall weather, I hope you are also feeling a bit more settled into the school year. Although this year looks a little different for all of our students, I am so impressed with their resiliency each day. Everyone is doing so great with showing flexibility, wearing masks, following screening procedures, utilizing technology and so much more.

As you know, we closed four classes this week with one able to reopen so far. We will alert the community as soon as we receive the results needed to reopen the additional three classes. Please know that due to our commitment to the privacy of those involved, we are unable to provide more specific details on our class closures, but I thank you for continuing to trust our process and the measures taken to help keep our community safe.

We hope you’re able to join us on campus tomorrow morning for Fall Family Garden Day. The time spent by our families and staff working in the gardens truly has an immense impact on the beauty of our campus, and I am so grateful to those who choose to help us in this way! If you’d like to join, please RSVP and our event team will reserve a socially distanced spot for your family to work in. Unfortunately, if your class is currently experiencing a closure, your student will be unable to attend the Garden Day event. www.parishschool.org/fall-gardenday

Conferences are coming up later this month and are taking place via Zoom. Your teachers will be reaching out to schedule these with you and will be sending the link to join the online meeting. Limited virtual parent observations will also take place after conferences. You will be able to sign up for a 1-hour timeslot to observe your child’s class via our 360° cameras. Please contact Nancy Mosley, Administrative Manager, if you would like to schedule this.

As a reminder, Monday, October 12 is the Columbus Day holiday for Early Childhood students and staff. For Elementary, it is a school make-up day from pushing their start date back, so only Elementary students will have school on Monday.

I also ask you to join me in offering well wishes to a long-time member of the Parish team, Libby Hall, who resigned this week after 15 years of valued service with our organization. Libby is now needed at home to support the virtual learning of her own children, as well as to be available to support the care of her parents.

“This transition was not my plan, but I feel I am being shifted in a different direction – to actually focus on being mom and daughter,” Libby said.

Since we cannot gather together to celebrate Libby in person, please join me in celebrating her time here at Parish by emailing well wishes, thoughts, funny stories, etc. to Holly Wilbourn, Director of Advancement, at hwilbourn@parishschool.org by Friday, October 23. Additionally, if your child has a card that they’d like to send Libby, feel free to send it to school in their Good News Book. We will be gathering these messages to present to Libby.

Please enjoy your weekend!

All the best,
Cheval
Dear Parish Community,

Happy Friday! This week has been amazingly beautiful on campus with the change in the weather and seeing the students get outside more frequently. It’s hard to believe we are already in October. Although we were all apprehensive about returning to school, I can’t tell you how pleased I am with the way things are going so far!

Both virtual and concurrent learners seem happy to be at school. They are learning academic content as well as lots of life lessons about flexibility and resilience; and they are enjoying interacting with their peers. Our students are experiencing the Parish magic even in the midst of a pandemic!

As you know, we did have a couple of classroom closures this week; however, we still have not had any confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in our community! I truly appreciate all of our faculty, staff, students, and parents for being so vigilant about following our precautions, policies and procedures. If your child is age 10 or older, please remember to send them to school wearing a face mask. To stay abreast of our most updated COVID precautions, please visit our website. www.parishschool.org/covid19

We had a very successful UnLuncheon yesterday! Thank you to all who tuned in! If you missed it, Michael Hold and Jennifer Campo, two current parents, shared their Parish story and gave very sweet testimonials on behalf of our school. Keynote speaker, Ellen Dodge also gave a brilliant presentation on how we as parents and caregivers can help children manage and express their emotions. Between event sponsorships, ticket sales and an additional extremely generous donation, the UnLuncheon has now raised $133,000 in support of our school and financial assistance fund – a record for our Luncheon events and an amazing way to wrap up this week!

Next Friday, October 9, is a teacher workday for Early Childhood Educators. There will be no school for Early Childhood students.

Enjoy the wonderful fall weather this weekend!

All the best,
Cheval
Dear Parish Community,

We made it through another stormy week. Hopefully, none of you were significantly impacted by Tropical Storm Beta; and hopefully, Tuesday will be the last instructional day we lose to hurricane season. Even with the disruptions and differences, students have settled in nicely this school year.

Once again, I am thrilled to announce that we had no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the school or clinic, and all classes remained open to face-to-face learning this week. The COVID-19 task force continues to meet frequently to review changes to CDC guidance and how that might impact our policies and procedures. Thank you for your continued cooperation with the measures we have in place to keep our community safe!

MAP testing for elementary students has gone smoothly over the last two weeks and wrapped up today for face-to-face learners. Testing for concurrent learners will be completed next week. Parents, thank you for your very important role in supporting students during their testing window.

We hope you’ll join us online for the Giving Voice to Children UnLuncheon next Thursday, October 1 at 11:30am. Our keynote speaker, Ellen Dodge, will share timely advice on how to help our children understand and communicate their feelings. You don’t want to miss it! Tickets are available at https://givebutter.com/parishluncheon.

As a reminder, next Friday, October 2, is an elementary teacher workday and there is no school for elementary students that day.

I am so grateful for the Parish community and the partnership of the faculty, staff, therapists, parents, and students in creating positive learning experiences this year!

All the best,
Cheval
Dear Parish Community,

It’s nice to wrap up another busy, successful week here at The Parish School and The Carruth Center. Today’s weather was absolutely beautiful and there was a lot of great outdoor learning all around our beautiful campus.

We opened our doors to students on August 18. As of today, we have one month under our belt with no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in our community! I truly appreciate all of our faculty, staff, students, and parents for being so vigilant about following our precautions, policies, and procedures. To stay abreast of our most updated COVID precautions, please visit our website at www.parishschool.org/covid19.

Our primary elementary students completed their Measuring Academic Progress (MAP) testing this week, and lower and upper elementary students will be tested next week. Parents, you do not need to do anything special to prepare your student for this testing. Teachers have already been preparing them by using social stories and practice activities. All we need from you is to ensure that your child gets a good nights’ sleep and that they have a good breakfast each morning. If your child is one of our concurrent learners, please arrive at your designated testing time and be prepared to separate from your child during the testing session. We will take all necessary precautions during their one-on-one testing environment.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns and thank you for your continued patience and understanding. We look forward to next week.

Enjoy your weekend!
Cheval
Dear Parish Community,

We had another great week of learning! Students are starting to settle into their school routine and learn classroom expectations very nicely. Within the next of couple weeks, academic expectations in the elementary program will ramp up significantly as we get through beginning of the year assessments and MAP (Measuring Academic Progress) Testing. Once completed, we will form academic groups for reading and math in order to differentiate instruction for students’ specific needs.

Hopefully, you all learned a lot during our curriculum nights this week. I know it was a lot of information to process, but please feel free to reach out to your child’s instructional team and/or school administration with any questions you have now or in the future.

Face-to-face instruction is going very well and faculty, staff and students are doing a great job of consistently following the COVID precautions. We also saw a significant improvement with our concurrent learning platform after making several adjustments to technology and classroom management. I appreciate your understanding and patience as we continue to take each day as it comes and adjust based on real-time scenarios and feedback from all stakeholders. As educators, we are so accustomed to planning and being prepared. It is difficult for us to realize that even with all of our planning, it was impossible to anticipate all the challenges we are facing. With that being said, I see the instructional teams’ passion and dedication to doing their best work for our students every day.

More and more students are beginning to return to the face-to-face environment, and we are so excited about that! As a reminder from my communication last week, please give us at least one week to prepare for your child’s return. This applies to elementary students only, as early childhood does not require the same amount of preparation time. We believe one week is very reasonable, as most schools and districts are requiring a 6-9-week commitment to a chosen learning platform. We also ask that you give us the same one-week window of time if you would like your elementary child to move from face-to-face instruction to concurrent learning. The only exception is if your child must be out due to a COVID-related reason. In that case, your child would be allowed to switch to concurrent learning immediately. However, please be patient with the teacher in getting the student set up on that platform with their needed materials.

As you know, we were advised by the health department to suspend face-to-face instruction for one of our elementary classes yesterday. I am thrilled to announce that we have received a negative COVID test result for the individual who was experiencing symptoms, and face-to-face instruction for that class will resume on Monday! I realize that a class closure is very inconvenient for many families; however, I hope you understand that this will likely be required at times throughout the school year in order to keep our community safe.

Enjoy your weekend! I can’t wait to continue the journey next week.

All the best,
Cheval
Dear Parish Community,

After two smooth days last week, Hurricane Laura interrupted our progress a bit; but thankfully, we were not directly impacted. However, many of our Parish extended families were impacted, and our thoughts and prayers are with them as they continue to recover.

Our first full week for elementary and second full week for early childhood went exceptionally well. Students are starting to learn classroom routines and expectations, and they are having such a great time being back on campus with their teachers and peers. I am thrilled to announce that we had no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 and all classes remain open to face to face learning! We have updated our morning screening process, which will be implemented starting on Tuesday. More updates to our COVID-19 procedures/precautions can be found on our website.

Also, since opening our clinic doors on May 8, The Carruth Center has had no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19! Our COVID-19 task force, as well as all faculty and staff have been vigilant about implementing our safety policies and procedures, and it is paying off.

Face to face instruction is looking great! Students are adapting nicely to all of the COVID-19 expectations. Particularly in our elementary program, the students are now accustomed to wearing at least one layer of protection during the school day and washing their hands frequently. In fact, the majority of our younger elementary students are wearing their masks throughout the school day even though it is not mandatory for them. If your child wears a mask, whether required or not, please ensure that their mask is on and they are ready to exit the vehicle before pulling forward to be screened during morning carpool. This is essential for making our carpool process run efficiently. Thank you, parents, for encouraging mask wearing and practicing with your children at home.

In the elementary program, concurrent learning is going better for some students than for others, but we are seeing improvements each day. Most of the challenges with concurrent learning have been due to internet and technology issues, and we are working through those issues with our IT consultant today. As a reminder, concurrent/remote learning is still very new for all of us, and teachers and students are working hard to adapt to this new and likely ongoing platform of teaching and learning. Regardless of the learning platform, our educational philosophy remains the same. We are here to support all of our students’ needs as well as to support you as parents. Please do not hesitate to provide feedback about your remote learning experience and let us know how we can support you and your child. Going forward, we would like to ask that you give us at least one week’s notice if you would like to switch from face to face to concurrent/adaptable learning or vice-versa to allow the instructional teams ample time to be better prepared for that change.

Also, due to the later start for elementary students and the missed school days last week, the school calendar will be updated to make up lost instructional days. In addition, MAP testing and conferences for elementary only have been moved back two weeks. Please be sure to refer to the most recent calendar for instructional days and other important dates.

I truly appreciate your patience as we continue to learn and grow in this process! Please enjoy your extended weekend.

All the best,
Cheval

Dear Parish Community,

We did it! We successfully reopened our doors to students this week and it was an amazing success. Our early childhood students graced our campus with their beautiful smiles and laughter on Tuesday and I truly enjoyed watching them learn and play all week. Thank you, parents, for following the carpool procedures so well. On day one, carpool ran into the school day by about 8 minutes; but we were able to shave those minutes off very quickly and we are moving through the carpool process efficiently already!

Our COVID-19 procedures are being implemented as planned, and we had no COVID-19 related incidents this week!

On Monday, we are welcoming our elementary students back to campus. We're eager to have all of our students back (whether in person or virtually). Our early childhood teachers made the transition back to school look seamless, and I know we will see that same level of excellence with our elementary teachers on Monday.

Parents, our teachers have worked very hard over the last few weeks preparing for our students’ return. As you might expect, their anxieties are high during these uncertain and very different circumstances. We recognize that many of you are anxious about what this school year will bring. As always, teachers will do their very best to support you as we begin the year, and I am also here to answer any questions you may have. I ask that you remain flexible as we continue to learn and adjust almost daily.

Also, please continue to be patient with our teachers. We all need grace to make mistakes during this time, because we are often making plans and decisions with limited and changing information. In addition, as much as I am committed to ensuring the safest possible environment for our students and staff, I am also committed to supporting our teachers’ needs for self-care. As a reminder, the expectation for teacher responsiveness to e-mails and/or phone calls is within 24 hours. Please allow teachers their evenings and weekends to be with their families and recharge mentally and physically so they can give their very best to our students each and every day.

With week one under our belt, I am feeling even more encouraged by our ability to navigate this school year with a solid plan in place. Even with the challenges ahead of us, I expect this year to be filled with great moments!

All the best,
Cheval

Dear Parish Families,

It was such a treat to see you and your beautiful children on campus today for Meet the Teacher 2020! It was clear to me that students are just as excited as we are about the start of the school year. My hope is that the students were able to make an initial connection with their instructional team and their learning environment. Whether you have chosen the face-to-face option or the concurrent/adaptable learning option to start the year, it’s important that your child has the opportunity to have an initial meeting with their teacher prior to the first day of school. If you were not able to make it to Meet the Teacher today, please contact your child’s teacher to schedule a brief virtual meeting.

On Friday, we had nearly 70 parents join us for our virtual Q&A! Thank you for the rich conversation, feedback and input. If you didn’t have a chance to join us, you can view the recording here.

I truly appreciate your level of engagement and your patience as we continue to learn, while monitoring the pandemic environment on a daily basis. Due to ever-changing information, including input from all stakeholders in our community, our plans may continue to evolve. I left Friday’s Q&A with three topics that I felt needed further exploration and clarification.

Acceptable COVID Test: As stated in our COVID-19 precautions, individuals who have been diagnosed or have displayed symptoms of COVID-19 may return to school when: they have been fever free without the use of fever-reducing medication for 24 hours, after respiratory and COVID-19 symptoms have resolved, AND at least 10 days after symptoms first appeared; OR the individual has received a negative COVID-19 test result OR the individual has a doctor’s release form. It’s important to note that we will not accept an antibody test or a rapid test as an acceptable result for returning to campus.

Arts and Sciences Plan: Whenever weather permits, Arts and Sciences classes will be held once per week outside with facial coverings and social distancing measures in place. We have set up canopies/tents and fans to make the environment as comfortable as possible. When weather does not permit outdoor learning, these classes will be taught virtually while students are in their classrooms. With this model of delivering Arts and Sciences, students will not be in direct contact with these teachers and there will be no cross-contamination of classes, thus maintaining the integrity of our commitment of no intermingling of classes.

Communications Plan: If there is a COVID case in a classroom or if an individual is experiencing COVID-like symptoms, we will immediately notify the impacted families and staff members. The impacted class will close and transition to distance learning. The greater Parish community will be notified shortly thereafter, whether their class has been directly impacted or not. The impacted class will later be notified when they may return to school.

As always, the Parish leadership team is here to assist you with any questions and/or concerns you may have. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at any time. Remember, we are walking with you through this uncertainty. Let’s have a great school year despite these challenges!

Best,
Cheval
Dear Parish Community,
At the end of last week, Harris County officials ordered area public and non-religious private schools closed to face-to-face learning until Sept. 8, 2020. However, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a guidance letter this afternoon stating that local health authorities may not preemptively close any private school (religious or non-religious) due to threat of virus spread and gives private schools the right to decide whether to open or close. Following this guidance, The Parish School will open our doors to face-to-face learning in August with the following modification:
  • Elementary: We will be pushing back the Elementary start date to Monday, August 24 to allow teachers more time to develop their remote learning plans. The four lost days will be made up during the school year. The calendar will be updated and shared as soon as possible.
  • Early Childhood: Will begin on Tuesday, August 18 as originally planned.
There is no change to Meet the Teacher, which is planned for Monday, August 17.

Remote Learning
A remote learning option will be available to families who are not yet comfortable sending their child back into the face-to-face environment. Also, in the event that we are forced to close the school and transition to remote learning for all students, we will be ready! Although our teachers are still on summer break, we are committed to formulating preliminary plans for a valuable remote learning experience. In the coming weeks, we will provide more details about these two remote learning situations.

Procedures and Policy Changes
Our COVID-19 screening, safety and cleaning protocols have been updated since my last communication and can be found at www.parishschool.org/covid19. These guidelines change often and updates will likely be made between now and the start of school and beyond. The Parish School has created a taskforce of administrators and staff who meet frequently and monitor changes to give our community updated information as adjustments are made based on guidance from the CDC, Health and Human Services Commission and Open Texas.

The Parish School COVID-19 policy changes and/or differences from years past of particular interest are:
  • Drop-Off and Pick-Up Procedures:
  • Click here for the current carpool procedures
  • School Hours:
  • Early Childhood – Emerging Language: M-F 9am-12pm
  • Early Childhood – Preschool and Pre-Primary: M-Th 9am-1pm; Friday 9am-12pm
  • Elementary: M-Th 8am-3:15pm; Friday 8am-12pm
Early Morning and Extended Day
To minimize the risk of exposure and maintain the integrity of our commitment to keep students only with their classmates, we will not be able to offer Early Morning Drop-Off or Extended Day programs for Elementary students. Nor will we be able to offer Early Morning Drop-Off for Early Childhood students. However, Extended Day will be offered for Early Childhood students, as they will be kept in their respective classrooms during that time. Extended Day students must be picked up by 4:30pm Monday-Thursday. There is no Extended Day on Fridays.

Adventure Play
Information on Adventure Play will be sent directly to enrolled families.

Face Masks
As stated previously, students ages 10 and older will be required to wear a face mask upon arrival to school. For classroom use, we will provide face shields for ALL elementary students and they will be encouraged to wear them. These face shields will remain on campus. If your child would prefer to wear a cloth facial covering in class, they can continue wearing the one they brought from home. Elementary students under the age of 10 choosing not to wear a face mask or shield will be required to work at their desk behind a three-panel plexiglass shield. All staff will be required to wear a face covering.

Social Distancing
To minimize and contain potential exposure to the virus, students will be working in their classrooms and not intermingling with students in other classes. Common areas will be closed and all staff who are required to work with multiple classes (e.g., arts and sciences teachers, speech-language pathologists, etc.) will move between classes with proper personal protective equipment, physical distancing and cleaning/disinfecting procedures taking place. Outdoor classes will be encouraged whenever possible and appropriate.

Please take the time to read through the entire COVID-19 procedures webpage, and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Again, we ask for your patience as we continue to monitor this situation and adjust based on constantly changing information. We are all in this together!

Sincerely,
Cheval Bryant
Dear Parish Families and Staff:

The Parish School’s Administration Team is aware of today’s press conference where Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a mandate that all Harris County public schools and non-religious private schools are to remain closed to face-to-face instruction until September 8, 2020. We are currently working to understand all the new details of this mandate and how it impacts our school. As of now, we have not made any changes to our plan sent in the July 6 communication. We will be sending you another update as soon as we can.

We ask for your patience as we continue to monitor this situation and adjust based on constantly changing information. We are all in this together! In the meantime, please stay well. 

Sincerely,
Cheval Bryant
Greetings Parish Families,

I hope you’re enjoying your summer as much as safely possible during this ongoing pandemic environment. Despite the difficult end to the 2019–20 school year, I am very excited about what’s to come during 2020–21. In our elementary program, we are rolling out a new math curriculum and have added two reading specialists to our faculty. For our early childhood program, we’re providing enhanced occupational therapy services for students and Hanen training for parents. Our hope is that you will see an even stronger push toward strengthening students’ pre-academic and academic skills, while continuing to nurture their communication delays and all of their unique needs.

To accommodate the increased academic rigor, our elementary program hours will be slightly extended. School hours for primary, lower and upper elementary levels will be 8:00 AM–3:15 PM. There will be no change to the hours in early childhood.

We are on track for a smooth and successful face-to-face start in August. Our plan is to maintain face-to-face learning with COVID-19 safety measures in place, unless we are mandated to close by state or local officials. Screening, safety and cleaning protocols will be strictly implemented and can be found at parishschool.org/covid19.

In the event we are required to pivot to remote learning, we will be ready! We have spent the summer months learning more about remote learning and planning a much stronger experience. Again, we acknowledge that there is no way to replicate a face-to-face Parish education in a remote learning environment. However, due to the excellence of our instructional teams, we will be able to provide a valuable experience to our students.

The last several months have been tumultuous for us all, and we recognize that many students will enter our doors in August with significant social-emotional needs. As such, we have also spent the summer preparing prescriptive in-service trainings to better prepare our faculty and staff to manage students’ emotions regarding the pandemic, protests and race.

We can’t wait to have them back on campus!

Student forms and the parent handbook acknowledgement are completely digital this year. You should have received an email to complete student forms on the Parish Portal. These forms are required for your child to attend the first day of school and are due no later than Monday, August 3. Additionally, enrollment in optional programming and information on school uniforms and lunch are also located on the Parish Portal. If you have any trouble logging on or accessing forms, please contact portal@parishschool.org.

Teacher assignments will be finalized in late July. We will be sending notification of your child’s teacher no later than August 3.

Please note that The Parish School is closed July 1–31, and The Carruth Center is open with limited services throughout the month of July. Campus officially reopens Monday, August 3.

I am eager to get back to some semblance of normal teaching and learning this fall, and I’m sure our students feel the same way. Just the thought of seeing their smiling faces walking across campus again warms my heart. Looking forward to a great year!

Sincerely,
Cheval