July 9th Update:
Our Leadership Team is learning more every day about how to set up a safe and effective school day. Three things:
This week, the Faculty met at length to learn more about technology options available for classroom use that would enable a student who is not able to attend school to still participate in class. Our goal is “remote hookup” tech bags that teachers can use to broadcast their class if and when needed.
Our stated plan is to meet 5 days per week, utilizing a similar bell schedule as recent years, but with more “space” built in for physical distancing. We will be broadening our classroom use to include the Church Fellowship Hall, and even outdoor settings.
Daily health screening is definitely going to be part of the protocol for attendance at school (faculty, staff, students, volunteers). We are looking at a few models, looking to adopt one that is both simple, yet effective.
July 16th Update:
Cleaning, and then more cleaning! A signature experience at JRHS has always been the "Daily Stewardship" experience. Well, this year, we are going to become connoisseurs of clean like never before. As one of our strongest defense against Covid (and other unwanted invisible visitors!), we will be perfecting "Clean In - Clean Out" standards of classroom use. Faculty and Students will effectively clean all shared surfaces prior to the entrance of a class and will repeat the exercise at the exit multiple times per day exercise will add to the probability that JRHS will be a Covid-Safe place.
The JRHS Retreat is a seminal annual experience, one we rightfully prioritize each year as it not only starts the year strong in terms of mission and focus, but it also offers great life experiences that carry well into adult life. We are pleased to announce we will be going forth with an awesome retreat this year. Much more on this to follow, but here are some highlights:
We have moved the location to a larger, more southern location, Camp Sentinel in Tuftonboro. At Sentinel (what a fitting name!), we can more readily accomplish physical distancing compared to our beloved Shiloh.
We have moved the date a little bit later into September (23-25) to give us some more time to set and practice the routines of the "New Normal" for school in the 2020-2021 year, which will be of paramount importance as we quest to keep JRHS open, in person, for as many days as possible in this unprecedented time of pandemic.
July 23rd Update:
All of life’s great challenges give us the opportunity to adjust our perspective, and consider our response from a “God-Perspective”. The Covid Crisis of 2020 is going to give us an unsolicited opportunity to “think more highly of others than yourself” Philippians 2:3. This week’s topic is our commitment to the “Family Pre-Screen”, and the “At the Door Check”, both of which are being widely adopted in schools and businesses. As a front line effort to make the JRHS a “Healthy Only” campus, we will be putting into place the following two start of day steps:
Each person (faculty, staff, students, parents) coming onto campus will do a personal pre-screen. We are researching an efficient and low-cost tech app to coordinate this effort; this will include a temperature check and an candid answer to the standard five questions. Each family will need a reliable digital thermometer.
We are in the process of raising up “Check In” parents who will partner with each period one teacher to welcome, check in, and temp check each student. We anticipate this process taking approximately 15 minutes; any wonderful volunteer who thinks they might be able to help in this way, please contact Jeff.
This process will indeed take time, and will be both an encumbrance and even a nuisance at times. Yet, the challenge is there for all of us to re-frame this into an understanding that we all have a responsibility to keep JRHS as Covid safe as possible. None of us want to be the one who creates significant hardship for others, or adds to the possibility of a return to remote learning. The benefit far outweighs the cost.
July 30th Update:
I know one thing I will be working on this later summer and into the fall is my sense of Gratitude for all things. Perhaps you too have been around people who can only see the negative in our current situation (covid, culture wars, economy, etc), and they seem to pollute the air with a complaintive, negative view of life. Yet, Scripture challenges us to be grateful for all God’s good gifts, and this unprecedented time we live in gives us unparalleled opportunities to “come boldly to the Throne of our gracious God, where we will receive His mercy and we will find His grace to help us when we need it!” Heb 4:16
I’m looking forward to Chapel this year, our opportunity to come together as a community of scholars and teachers to worship, listen, pray and grow together. This integral part of the JRHS experience will look a little different in terms of time and space, but the purpose is the same. Chapel will hold its normal Friday spot, but the new time will be 11:15 to 12:15. For the fall season, we will utilize our lovely Joy Pavilion and lawns for an outdoor chapel. When it gets cold, well, we will have a plan then!
Blessings to all, Mr. Jeff Philbrick
August 6th Update:
Like, Wow! Really cool tables! The examples may be far and few between, but there are a few instances where this Covid time has offered some unexpected treats. A few weeks ago, I wrote about some new cameras and tech equipment we are bringing into the school, and this week, we have these really cool tables to debut! In an effort to more effectively use the available classroom space we have in each room, we have invested in some new (smaller) tables to incorporate into the year. They will clean quite easily, and will allow for more space in our rooms.
Athletics are not going to be easy, but we are committed to trying to make our sports teams work as best as we can this year. The plan is to go forth with soccer, yet some of our traditional opponents are not planning to play, at least interscholastically. Our Athletic Director, Doug Langlois, is researching additional opponents for us, and is also looking into mini-tournaments creatively scheduled where school, club, or mixed teams could come together for a round-robin type tournament. As a “has been” athlete myself, I recognize the fun and the value of athletics for many of our students, and we are working hard to make a safe and rewarding athletic experience.
Jeff Philbrick, Headmaster