The Kingdom Kids Response to the COVID-19 Crisis
During the 2019-2020 School Year.
The 2019-20 school year did not end as I expected when I accepted the position to move from teacher to director at Kingdom Kids Christian School just over a year ago. I love all of our students and families as well as our wonderful staff. I had to make difficult and almost impossible decisions. I leaned heavily on God and prayed for wisdom, clarity and that if I was not making a wise decision, my team or the leadership of Journey Church, who were also praying for and encouraging us, would see that and help us change course. I did not want to make these disappointing decisions, but in light of the COVID-19 crisis, they were necessary. I am presenting the timeline for families who are enrolled for the new year in September 2020 or those who are considering our school. As it is June 6, 2020, today, this will hopefully help while we wait for more information from OSPI and our state government and time, to see what requirements/restrictions we will have.
The staff of Kingdom Kids as well as the staff and leadership of Journey Church are all praying with me for wisdom and guidance and that patience word too as we make plans for the fall.
March 10, 2020: I met with the Journey Church Deacon Board to discuss plans if there was a school closure. They approved options.
March 11, 2020: Governor Inslee mandated that groups of more than 250 people could not meet. There were rumors that schools would be closed.
March 12, 2020: Governor Inslee mandated that all public and private K-12 schools in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties had to close until April 24, 2020.
March 12, 2020: A letter was sent to current families informing them that Kingdom Kids Christian Schools would close physically, until April 24, 2020. A private Facebook Group was created for current year families/caregivers to join where we would begin providing online education and put together packets with crafts and worksheets for students to complete at home.
March 16, 2020: The staff and I took a day off to get our family plans together, to pray and put together individual ideas.
March 17, 2020: We had an all-staff meeting where we prayed together and made plans to provide the highest-level digital content for our students and their families. Our plans were:
Melanie Arntsen (Director) would provide a video every morning at 9:30 AM that would greet students, pray and read a story or add other relevant content. On Thursday mornings, the content would extend to include our chapel songs, lesson and puppet (Peter the purple parrot).
Mrs. Graham (Pre-K Teacher) and Miss Reagan (Pre-K Aide) would create a Circle Time lesson to be posted every morning at 10:00 AM.
Mrs. LaFontaine (Pre-K Teacher) would create a Science/Social Studies lesson to be posted each class day at 12:30 PM after children viewed the Cincinnati Zoo live animal of the day.
Mrs. Arndt (3's Teacher) and Mrs. Alvis (3's Aide) would take turns posting a book reading to be posted Tuesday-Thursday by 11:00 AM.
Mrs. Williams (3's/4's Teacher) and Mrs. Zeitler (3's/4's Aide) would post a video with some age appropriate exercise every day by 11:30 AM.
Mrs. Eskew (Half-Day Kindergarten Teacher) would create and post educational videos corresponding to her lessons for her students throughout each day.
Kendra Anderson (Journey Church Children's Minister) would provide additional videos and KKCS students/parents would be encouraged to join the Journey Children Facebook group to take advantage of her Journey Children videos too.
Every Thursday, Melanie Arntsen (Director) would moderate a 30-minute classroom Zoom session for all five classes. These began March 26, 2020 and ended on April 23, 2020.
March 18, 2020: First day of posting online videos to the Facebook Group. Staff also began preparing several weeks of hands-on learning for parents to pick up at the school.
March 23, 2020: Governor Inslee mandated the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order for two weeks.
April 1, 2020: After a lot of prayer, consideration and counsel from the Journey Church Deacon Board, Mrs. Melanie sent a letter to families offering a 50% discount off tuition for April.
April 2, 2020: Governor Inslee and the State Superintendent of Schools announced that schools would not return to the classroom this year.
April 7, 2020: Melanie Arntsen (Director) sent a letter to families informing them that our school year would end on Thursday, April 30, 2020 instead of May 21, 2020. There would be no bill for their final tuition payment.
April 30, 2020: In lieu of our traditional graduation ceremony, Mrs. Melanie created a video that had each child represented and being awarded their certificates. We also held our first ever Graduation Car Parade! 60 out of 64 students participated and it was a fun celebration. We had personalized tote bags ready with each child's memory book and any other end of the year items they would normally receive. A member of our own Federal Way Police Department even showed up to celebrate with us.
May 2020: Staff members took turns coming to the school to organize and clean classrooms and close up for the summer. Mrs. Melanie closes out 2019-20 and continues gathering information from colleagues and online resources to make recommendations to the Journey Church Leadership Team for several scenarios for the 2020-21 school year.
June 5, 2020: Melanie Arntsen (Director) sends update to incoming families.