It is with deep gratitude that we open this letter. Gratitude first to God for His gentle and ever-present care for each of us. And then gratitude for the bond we share through the community that is Koinonia Home School Group (KHSG).
Next, we want to say thank you. Thank you for your good questions and patience as we’ve listened, discussed, and prayed about options that might allow us to have in-person classes this fall. Meeting in person has always been our goal, working within the guidelines of our governing authorities while providing a safe, secure, and comfortable learning environment.
The current executive orders issued by our Governor, as well as other practical concerns, have resulted in West Cannon Baptist Church and Rockford Reformed Church suspending our ability to rent their facilities at this time. While disappointing, we do understand and support their decisions. We also remain hopeful that as restrictions lessen we may be allowed to hold classes at West Cannon. Here is an excerpt from an email sent by West Cannon’s Elder Board:
“…Our hope is that this decision is not interpreted as though we do not want these ministries to use our facilities—because we do. When the governor’s orders are amended to allow more people in the building, we will readdress building usage.”
After receiving these decisions, our Administrative staff investigated several other venues that might allow in-person classes. We have an agreement with Orchard View Church of God (OVCG) located at 2777 Leffingwell Ave NE, Grand Rapids, 49525. This church is smaller than WCBC, but it does have room to host in-person classes if we split Koinonia.
As a result, here is the plan for how we will start the fall semester beginning September 14:
· We will meet in-person.
· Preschool, Phonic and KK classes will occur in-person on Thursday.
· Middle and High School classes scheduled for Monday will meet in-person on Monday.
· HS Thursday classes will meet in-person on Thursday at Orchard View Church of God with the exception of Chemistry and Physics. Mrs. Ertle will email regarding the location of these classes. HS Drama will meet in-person at Orchard View Church of God
· Masks will be worn indoors. Unless medically unable. Please send a note, which we will file, stating your student cannot wear a mask.
· We will screen (questionnaire and temperature check) students/ tutors weekly prior to entering the church.
· We will limit parents in the building to only those serving in volunteer roles.
· Each family will sign a waiver for the year in September.
· Final date for dropping classes for a 100% refund is Monday, August 24th
We are grateful to Orchard View Church of God for their willingness to allow us to utilize their facility during this time.
Regarding safety during this pandemic, when in-person classes are held we will implement specific procedures and practices. Details on our COVID safety procedures are included in the document titled “Koinonia Homeschool Group Covid-19 Guidelines” which is attached to this email.
Recently an article was published on The Gospel Coalition website (click here to read). It was about the difficult decisions parents are facing regarding their children’s education in this time of COVID. Perhaps this quote from the article will be of comfort: “God isn’t waiting to see if you make the wrong decision,” she told me. “He’s waiting for you to trust him with the decision you make.”
As you prayerfully consider your homeschooling options for the coming year, know that we are praying for you. We share in your anxieties, concerns, frustrations, and disappointments. Yet, we do trust God to meet us in these challenging moments and bring us His peace.
Grace and Peace.
The Koinonia Board of Directors
Dear Koinonia families,
So many of you began the homeschooling journey with the simple desire to use the freedom within Michigan to educate your children for their future and to shepherd their heart for eternity. Now many new families are also choosing to home educate. They want to influence their children’s lives and fear what is playing out in the public setting. In each case, families desire the freedom to choose what best fits them.
We know that you have questions about Koinonia education in the fall. We wish we had answers and a detailed plan of what will happen, but the basic fact is that we simply do not know yet. Things are changing rapidly. Just when we get a grasp on data, or feel trends are moving in a certain direction, the goal posts shift and new executive orders are issued.
Koinonia’s goal has always been to meet in class, but how this will look is yet to be determined. The board continues to collaborate and will release a plan for the coming year on August 17th. The drop date for a full refund on classes has been pushed back to August 21st allowing families to prayerfully decide what is the best educational plan for their children.
Continual change makes developing a plan difficult and at times frustrating. There are many scenarios administration and the board must consider. Please pray for us as we prayerfully consider the direction God is leading Koinonia.
Seeking God’s direction,
The Board of Directors and Staff of Koinonia appreciate your patience and flexibility as we think creatively about supporting families in their desire to homeschool while complying with governmental regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In regard to the start of the 2020-21 school year, below is our current plan as of July 1, 2020. This plan is subject to change as we abide by governmental requirements.
We hope this generalized plan assists you with making a decision about Koinonia classes this coming school year. We will update this plan and provide more detail as we get closer to the beginning of the school year. We consider it a privilege to partner with you in your child’s education.
~ The Board of Directors and Staff of Koinonia