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Chesapeake Schools Preparing for Reopening

By Janesta Walker, superintendent of schools for the Chesapeake Conference

Discussing what is happening with America’s schools has been the hot topic across the nation all summer. People have been waiting for the Coronavirus Task Force, local governors, and regional Boards of Education to make decisions and give guidance regarding the safe reopening of our nation’s schools. On an almost weekly and sometimes daily basis, guidance has changed based on new statistics and resurgence of the coronavirus in different regions. All the while, educators have been chasing a moving target.

Amidst all this confusion and uncertainty, our Chesapeake Conference educational leaders have been working diligently to put plans in place that will allow for the safest and most appropriate reopening of each school. Principals and school boards have been reviewing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for the safe reopening of schools, and consulting with local health agencies to make sure that our students are able to access quality Adventist Christian education this fall. Some schools are planning to open in person, some will have a hybrid approach, and some will begin online. Many of our schools are offering options to parents so they can choose the best scenario for their family. Our goal is to make Adventist education accessible for all.

On August 12, Chesapeake Conference teachers will be receiving professional development on key topics surrounding effective distance learning programs so that we will be ready to have seamless instruction no matter what comes our way during the pandemic. Although our teachers were caught off guard in the spring when schools were shut down quickly, they did a remarkable job with providing distance learning to finish the school year. However, with plenty of time for planning, professional development, and collaboration, our programs will be even stronger this fall.

The support of the membership of the Chesapeake Conference as our schools face these challenging times is critical. You can help by keeping our schools in your prayers, referring students to your local Adventist school, and offering financial support during this crisis. The education of our young people is one of the most crucial ministries of our church. As a family of believers, we can unite in this time of need and emerge even stronger together.

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