Today most of Christendom celebrates the life of St. Benedict. He is the fellow responsible for the Benedictine Rule. He was born in Italy coming into his place in church history by developing and implementing a way to live and work as God’s faithful children in the midst of great corruption in the church and the collapse of the Roman Empire which was the prevailing government of that age. Most monastic traditions owe their guidance to him as do other facets of our Christian life. His rule emphasized regular times of prayer, scripture reading, work, reflection, obedience, concern for the believers community, and those outside. His methods brought constancy, peace, and faithful communities that were able to flourish in the midst of much external chaos. I find encouragement for our little school community in reflecting upon St. Benedict’s ways. In a small, but by no means insignificant way, Dominion Academy intends to reflect these very principles. Our regularly scheduled Christian assemblies, teachings of scripture, literature, science, history, arts, and mathematics are all designed to help us learn about and align ourselves with God’sing digital environment for our stakeholders.
This letter is running long, so I will share some of what we know now. We plan to send information once a week going forward to keep you updated. I need you all to respond to a survey that will be coming in just a couple days from us. It will ask you questions concerning your preferences for class structure this coming year. If you will got that information back to us as soon as you receive it will help us in planning. I also want to share the following developments as we stand right now:
1) On sight class sizes will be running at half of the local Fire Marshall’s posted safe capacity. This enables us to maintain proper distancing.
2) All staff will wear face coverings in accordance with state requirements.
3) All persons entering DA will have their temperature taken prior to entering the building using infrared temp gauges. Anyone with a temperature above 100.4 will not be able to enter.
4) A separate, comfortable, adult monitored, safe space will be created as a holding room for any student becoming ill while at school.
5) The gallery open seating will be eliminated until further notice.
6) All lunches will be eaten in classrooms with staff present. (For this reason, all peanut products must be banned from campus at this time).
7) All prep students will get properly distanced regularly scheduled outdoors and bathroom times.
8) Whenever possible, teachers will rotate to students instead of students rotating classes.
9) Most student cleaning positions are being eliminated in order to hire regularly scheduled custodial staff for cleaning and disinfecting.
10) Student masks and face shields are being implemented for certain grades and scenarios. We will have more on this soon.
I know there are many more concerns and questions. I don’t want to overwhelm you all at this time and some details of execution remain. It is my hope that our weekly updates will progressively answer your questions. Should you have a pressing question, please feel free to call or email.
Resting in the Peace that passes all understanding,
Dss. Michelle Caldwell
Head of School