2021-22 Opening & Mitigation Plan
Since 1982, Cedar Park Christian School has been providing students with an education that is both Christ-centered and in partnership with parents. From the first class of 8 preschool students to the 2200+ students enrolled for 2021-2022 across four campuses, the commitment to teaching Biblical truths and rejecting secular philosophies and curriculum has been foundational and consistent.
With our emphasis on partnering with parents, and believing each family should have freedom to make educational and health decisions they deem best for their children, our desire is to extend those rights to parents with regard to COVID restrictions and requirements as soon as, and in every area, that we are able to do so. However at this time, just like all other public and private schools in the state of Washington, we do not have a choice to reject the mask mandate. Our Administrative Team and School Board have sought legal counsel, convened with other like-minded schools, conversed with local county health officials, and consulted with the Washington Federation of Independent Schools but no alternative is available, and therefore, staff and students, regardless of vaccination status, must comply with the compulsory mask mandate for K-12 schools as we begin our school year on August 31st. As with last year, medical exemptions are allowed for students with signed documentation on file with the school. Preschool regulations vary by age and those details will be communicated to those families separately. Each school is required to provide a School Board approved Opening and Mitigation Plan here which provides further specific details and will be a valuable resource for families to navigate illness and return to school policies. As part of our layered mitigation strategies, students and staff will continue to wear health check lanyards to school as a daily, visual reminder to stay home whenever symptoms are present to minimize germ exposure of all kinds.
We will continue to seek every lane of liberty and flexibility that becomes available to us, including the “appropriate removal of layered mitigation strategies” at the earliest opportunity. Like educators across the world, our Cedar Park faculty knows that wearing face coverings is not only uncomfortable, but has a negative impact on communication and social dynamics. That being said, unlike most other schools in our state, with God’s blessing we successfully conducted full-time, in-person learning for the entire 2020-2021 school year while adhering to the mask mandate. As a community, we may not want to do this, but we did do it, and we can do it again so that we can continue to provide students with high-quality academic instruction and Christ-centered spiritual training.
In response to questions concerning vaccination requirements, there is no mandate in this regard and zero interest on the part of CPCS to require, promote, or track the status of students or staff, again believing that each individual should make the health care decision that is right for them. Based on the current guidelines, the only time individual vaccination status would be discussed would be initiated by a student/parent or staff to the designated Campus COVID Coordinator if they are required to quarantine having been identified as a close contact. At that time the individual can provide confidential documentation of their vaccination status to the designated Campus COVID Coordinator that would then exempt them from the quarantine requirement, based on current guidelines.
While our staff is disappointed that we will not be able to start the school year with the freedom of a mask-optional environment that we long for, we also acknowledge our commitment to families that we will continue to do whatever it takes to provide in-person instruction. We also recognize there is a wide range of opinions with regard to not only mask wearing but vaccinations and all the other COVID-related issues. For the sake of unity in the Body of Christ, as represented by the CPCS community, our desire is to avoid the political and religious controversies over these issues with regard to our communication and interactions in our community and showing mutual respect to those with differing perspectives.
While the lingering COVID restrictions and requirements add unwelcomed layers to the beginning of the school year, the energy and enthusiasm from staff, parents, and students as we anticipate the upcoming school year truly does reflect the spirit of the CPCS community and our excitement to see what the Lord has in store for us in this new season.
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14
- CPCS District Administrative TeamOpening & Mitigation Plan for 2021-22