I have heard from many that have appreciated the Reopening Childcare document I posted last Thursday. I want to share what I have put together for reopening our Sunday School on promotion day August 16. I know we are all reopening at different times, but if this will assist you in any way I want to help. Please know a couple of things that are happening. First, behind the scenes I am texting workers with some options. I am have asked about their plans for returning to church. Will they be available to teach on our first day back? Are they planning to wait another month? Maybe they are planning to wait until a vaccine is available? Or are they unsure? I’ve heard back from teachers and I have about 50% returning when we reopen Sunday School. I sent the same thing to families using Survey Monkey. I explained very briefly what the timeline looked like and asked them to answer the same question by clicking a link. So far, we have 52% of the kids coming back although it is wise to multiply that number by 1.7 to get a better idea since this question went to families.
Over the next few weeks we will ask parents to choose which hour and grades their children will attend so we are better prepared. Covid-19 numbers change constantly, so asking later might give us a better idea what we need to provide. I will continue to record our Sunday School lesson for preschool and younger children. We are trying to provide a virtual class for grades 3-5 with a teacher ready to respond over a computer while the other teachers are working in real time with our attenders. I’m praying we can figure it out and provide this option when we begin determining where kids will be during Sunday School.
Also, we are gathering in larger rooms and in larger groups – for two reasons. First, we need to social distance especially since we are not requiring masks. This is stated clearly for parents, so they will not be surprised. Secondly, we are also dealing with fewer adult workers. If we meet in larger rooms (or hallways) we can manage the learning time easier with less workers. It will be more like a camp style of teaching in a large group. For example, a leader might bring up a child or two to the front to do an activity while the group watches instead of everyone participating. It will be essential for kids to sit in their place to provide social distancing. We are providing a gallon Ziploc bag with personal supplies for any activities the child will do. We will put each child’s name on the bag for them to use each week and we will only have to sanitize the bags since the contents are only used by that child and probably germ free by the next week.
As the morning groups grow, we will divide out grades. We can do this as long as we have workers and classrooms that are large enough. If our workers don’t come back, we will be forced to limit the number of children in classrooms. Parents would be asked to make reservations each week. I pray, we will not have to do that, but safety is first. Preschool rooms are much more limited and will continue operating with reservations when we reopen for Sunday School. I’ve attached the Reopening Sunday School document I created. You are welcome to use it as a reference or however you need. We are all on the same team. We are going to get through this challenging time best by helping each other so kids can hear about Jesus and learn the Bible.