Arissa Viering | 7/8/2020 | Goodday Mineral Wells | CCS School Announcements
“There is a drastic difference between MWISD and our school, especially when you talk about numbers [of students].”Jefferson, CCS Administrator
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, W. Douglas Jefferson, administrator and leader for Community Christian School (CCS), moved mountains to train faculty and families so that they may learn and teach remotely. In March, the Texas governor’s office mandated that both public and private schools would be required to close their doors. This was unusual as the Texas Education Agency (TEA) states the “TEA does not have oversight of private schools or vocational schools in Texas.”
“In March, April, and May, we had to do what TEA said because we are ultimately accredited by TEA as well. But, that was rare. I’ve been doing this for 13 years and never have I had TEA tell us what we had to do on our campus here in Mineral Wells. That was a first.”
Jefferson has a lot of pride for Community Christian School. Not missing a beat as he promoted the successes of the CCS athletics teams and their theater program, Jefferson spoke of the future guidelines for the upcoming school year. Due to CCS being a private school, they are not required to follow the same guidelines that public schools do. However, CCS does keep a close relationship with MWISD:
“I openly communicate with John Kuhn. We are communicating about this situation. He runs a totally different organization, but we are both in education . . . Our philosophy is that we have a good relationship with MWISD. We’re in it together to make Mineral Wells better.”
Within the last six weeks, the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC) and the Texas Private School Association have worked with the Texas governor’s office to separate COVID mandates and guidelines between the public and private schools. After many weeks, the governor’s office agreed. The latest TEA guidelines (announced 7/7/2020) are for public schools. A statement regarding private schools states that private schools should create their own guidelines for the upcoming school year. However, CCS has been encouraged by the Texas Private School Association to take note of the local public schools’ decisions as they create their own guidelines.
“As we are looking at the different ideas that are out there for school that will happen in the Fall, we are going to be creating our own guidelines as instructed by the governor . . . We are going to have a lot more liberty and a lot more wiggle-room when it comes to the guidelines in comparison to what the public schools are going to be doing. We are going to have a lot more freedom with it.”
Currently, CCS shall continue to create and review their guidelines and policies regarding COVID-19. However, Jefferson is able to report a few guidelines for CCS this Fall:
- Daily disinfection of the entire CCS campus will occur.
- Handwashing will be required regularly.
- A decision regarding masks has not yet been made at this time. However, masks will be allowed to be worn by anyone on campus.
Furthermore, Jefferson reports: “My intention is to be more closely tied with the city of Mineral Wells . . . We have investigated our building to understand our occupancy and what it would look like for each classroom. We are well underneath our numbers.”
For families in Mineral Wells that are reviewing their options for the upcoming school year, it is important to note that Community Christian School is experienced in providing education in a variety of ways including homeschooling, on-campus learning, distance-learning, and online programs:
“Our homeschooling program is ran by live teachers with live classes. For instance, every class period, the students will ‘Zoom’ in and it will be like they are joining a live class. We also will have some hybrid options. We say ‘hybrid’ because students will need to come to the building to perform testing. We have been doing homeschooling for a long time.”
Although CCS will continue to deliberate regarding further guidelines for COVID, the school is prepared for the upcoming school year with a variety of options for students and their families.
“We have seven weeks until school starts and my biggest experience in this pandemic is that things change week to week. Seven weeks is a long time and, when we get to August, then we will make determinations . . . On August 7th, we are going to announce our actual policies and procedures regarding COVID. That will give our parents three weeks before school starts.”
Jefferson’s final statement regarding the upcoming school year was this:
“We’re a little school, but when you have a spirit of excellence and you involve the parents in education, you’re going to have a great school. We’re not perfect by any means, but we have a great school.”
The most recent announcement from Community Christian School can be found on their Facebook page:
Further information regarding Community Christian School can be found at: http://www.ccsmw.org/
- W. Douglas Jefferson, Community Christian School.
Former Co-Founder | June 2020-Nov 2020 | Graduate of Texas Christian University with a background in medical anthropology, psychology, and creative writing. Passionate about writing novels. Loved the Mineral Wells community and all that it had offered her and her family.