Due to the effects of COVID on the weakest in our world today, we have planned out THEO protocols to protect “the least of these” as in Matthew 25:40. Below is THEO’s published COVID policy for the 2022-2023 school year although we reserve the right to change the policy should circumstances change significantly. However, it is our strong desire and prayer that we can follow this published COVID policy for the entire school year.
1) Classes resumed in our THEO facility on Monday, August 16th and will follow the pre-set THEO calendar which can be viewed at https://theo.solutions/calendar
2) Everyone is permitted to wear a mask, but not required – regardless of the classroom size. We will not be social distancing in our classrooms or facility.
3) THEO’s internet has been upgraded to allow for 13 classrooms to broadcast remote teaching simultaneously. Our equipment is now upgraded to provide a remote option for those of you who are not comfortable sending your students into the THEO facility for nearly all of our classes. We have a few exceptions to the online option. Contact the teachers directly to find out their policies and plans. ONLINE classes on-demand will not be available for the 2022-23 school year, so please read class descriptions carefully if you are in need of an online option. That information should be clarified in each description.
4) We strongly encourage every student and adult to show respect to their fellow THEO family members. Should someone need to attend THEO wearing a mask, that person is not to be scoffed at or ridiculed by those without a mask. No one knows the entire story of another person. Nor should those wearing a mask attempt to shame the person without one. 2021-2022 provided an exceptional opportunity for us to demonstrate respect for our fellow humans.
5) If your student will attend classes at THEO, then there is an additional waiver and liability release document for you to sign. See Covid Waiver.
6) If your student will be attending THEO live classes remotely, then there is an understanding of protocol and services document for you to sign. (email firstname.lastname@example.org to have a copy of it emailed to you)
7) Except for special circumstances, parents will not be allowed in the building.
8) We will no longer take every person’s temperature before they enter the facility.
9) We ask that anyone who does not feel well or with a temp of 100 or above stay home from classes – or attend remotely as offered. Last year demonstrated the thoughtfulness of our THEO family of families. It is our expectation and prayer that the trend of kindness and thoughtfulness will continue during our 2022-2023 school year.
10) Upon arrival, every student should go directly to their study hall seat or classroom. There is not a space for socializing inside of our THEO facility.
11) Although the refrigerator and vending machine will be available for use, the student lunch room is limited to fewer than nine students who must be eating. Students are also able to eat outside – in the courtyard, on the benches or on the steps. At this time McDonald’s is open. Students may eat in their car, but THEO doesn’t monitor if social distancing is violated by one or more students eating together in outside of our THEO facility. Determine if your students are mature enough to follow your family protocols and respect the boundaries of other students before sending them to THEO.
12) Cleaning protocols: The restrooms will be cleaned multiple times during the day. In every classroom, a paper towel dispenser was installed and we added a bottle of Cintas sanitizer. After every class, the teachers or one or two students will spray down the tables, chairs, door handle and light switch. Some are more sensitive to chemicals than others, so we will seek permission before having your student assist with cleaning.
13) If a student tests positive for the COVID virus, they should remain quarantined (not attending THEO classes except through zoom) for five days after the symptoms began. THEO does not require a COVID test to return to class although we have found the vast majority of our families are re-testing at the end of their quarantine to confirm a negative test.
14) What if someone else in the household tests positive for COVID? The student should quarantine for five days following the first symptoms by their family member, or five days past when they first experienced symptoms – whichever is longer.
15) What if a student develops COVID-like symptoms but never tests? We then assume the student has COVID and ask them to quarantine until five days from the onset of symptoms.
16) THEO does not require anyone to take a COVID test even though the test results are very helpful for THEO administration to determine next steps. THEO’s Board feels that is a decision best made by parents and will not require a test from anyone associated with THEO.
17) What if a THEO student is exposed to someone who has COVID – a non-family member. This is when decisions are far more complex. To date, our THEO families, teachers and staff have made abundantly cautious and kind decisions to self-quarantine when they suspect they have been exposed. Through the 2020-2021 school year, THEO only closed one week for a COVID exposure in our facility. Everyone has been abundantly kind and gracious to protect one another. THEO is a sweet family of families who truly represent Christ well in these challenging days, demonstrating what it looks like to look out for their neighbors.
18) However, if you would like to talk through the procedures on specific situations with someone, our THEO Director, Terri Threadgill, is happy to talk through options with you and pray with you about this matter. She does not have medical training, nor can she offer medical advice. But she is happy to listen and help as much as possible, including pray.
19) All COVID cases will be kept as confidential as possible. In some cases, THEO students have been quick to notify friends and fellow students of their positive test. Others have been more private about sharing the results. News travels fast, but THEO administration will do their best to keep it private – believing that it is your story to tell and not ours.
Please read this thoroughly. Please pray about it. Talk to your student to find out what they are comfortable with. We have spent hours upon hours trying to think through how to move forward in faith, to keep your students safe and yet able to function at some level of normalcy.
This was all designed with Matthew 25:40 and Matthew 20:45 in mind.40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Some of our THEO students and families have compromised health. If we can serve them well through these uncertain days, then it is as if we, as a THEO community, are serving Jesus. I don’t know about you but that sounds like the safest place to be.
Not all of us agree on the threat of COVID, but it is definitely life-threatening to some. Some of our THEO families – more than I can count – have already lost family members to COVID. We trust that God has numbered our days, but that does not mean He expects us to be cavalier with our choices and health.
It is my privilege to serve our THEO families. Please pray with me that we can implement this well and find any “leaks” in our plan! God bless you THEO.