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.




Virtual Q&A Session

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

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,

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!

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!

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. 

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!