Topeka Collegiate Coronavirus Update
Update #8, Monday, July 27 10:30A.M.
Dear Families and Friends,
We have had a busy summer at Topeka Collegiate with much planning for a safe and healthy return to school. Soon we will open our doors to begin our 38th year. Just like every year, we will continue to fulfill our mission of academic excellence. And yet, this year's opening is unlike any we have had in the past.
Due to recent events, we know you're wondering about the first day of school. As an independent school, I want to emphasize that, in most circumstances, the decisions made at the state level do not legally apply to our school. However, we are listening and considerate of the fact that we are part of a broader community.
Earlier this week, I reconvened the Eagles360° Taskforce to review the Eagles360° Program and determine what adjustments were needed. We discussed the health and safety of our students - but more than that, we discussed our parents, grandparents, volunteers, and, significantly, we discussed the health and safety of our teachers and staff. Without their courage and commitment to our students, opening our doors would not be possible.
As a result, our first day of school will be Wednesday, August 19, 2020, for all students,
on-campus, with the "Opt-Out Option" for Distance Learning. This is one week later than initially planned. When reviewing the school precautions recently outlined by the Governor, we confirmed that we either meet or exceed each requirement thanks to the work done by the Eagles360° Taskforce in June and July.
However, when we open our doors, we want to be as ready as possible. We will do this right. We all deserve that. Before this new date, teachers and staff were expected to both learn and implement new COVID-19 protocols, while also meeting with families to prepare for the upcoming year. The extra week will allow teachers to focus on each critical step of the process: learning, then implementing, then communicating it with all of you.
Please note that this means the last day of school will also be extended by one week to
May 26, 2020.
There's a lot to cover in this letter, so I'll get to the point:
- The Taskforce identified additional precautionary measures that we can take during pick-up, drop-off, and lunchtime. Please read this entire newsletter for details.
- The Eagles360° Program Guide is available on the Family Resources page of our website. Here's a short overview video of the Eagles360 Program.
- Please carefully review the events and calendar dates outlined in this newsletter. Many of them will apply to you; some will be conducted virtually this year.
We are also excited to welcome some talented additions to our faculty and staff. You have read about them throughout the spring and summer. Here's a quick recap:
- 1st Grade: Ms. Laura Schwerdt and Mrs. Jaime Frederick will once again be teaming in our 1st-grade classroom. Mrs. Dina Dudinyak will be teaching our second 1st-grade classroom.
- Middle School: Mrs. Hayley Smith will be our new Middle School History instructor.
- Physical Education: Mr. Brady Drane will be teaching physical education and wellness and serve as our Athletic Director.
- Technology: Mrs. Shelly Robinson will be our new Technology Innovation teacher.
- Leadership: Mrs. Jodi Boyd and Ms. Debra Ricks joined our administrative team as Director of Development and Director of Finance and Operations.
- Buildings and Grounds: Mr. Nelson Nolan will be leading in the care of buildings and grounds as Building Manager.
- Eagles360° Support: Mrs. Nancy Nelson will join our staff as our building aide, helping wherever needed within the Eagles360° Program. This will include health monitoring, frequent cleaning of touchpoints, and assisting in classrooms.
Each new Collegiate member brings unique talents that will contribute to our school community. Please give them a warm welcome the next time you see them.
As educators, we are fortunate to begin anew each year. This year provides us new challenges, but we are prepared, eager, and ready to welcome our students. We are prepared to begin another year of Limitless. Learning. Potential. School officially starts on Wednesday, August 19, 2020.
We will do this, one step at a time, together!
Lyn D. Rantz Ed. D.
Head of School