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UPDATED - June 25, 2020 - Summer Fun COVID Policy Changes

On June 24, 2020, a mandate was issued by the mayor of New Braunfels in response to the spike in COVID-19 cases in our county. This new mandate (which can be found at https://www.nbtexas.org/DocumentCenter/View/18610/Emergency-Order-Face-Covering) requires that all people 10 years or older shall wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in a public place where it is difficult to keep six feet away from other people or working in areas that involve close proximity with other people or co-workers.

To comply with this mandate, NBCA implemented the following guidelines for Summer Fun:

  • All Summer Fun workers will be required to have a mask with them to wear when they are not able to distance themselves six feet from campers. This adjustment will be at the Program Directors’ discretion as to which areas require masks and which provide enough physical distancing.
  • Campers will not be required to wear masks unless they are over 10 years of age, though the CDC does recommend masks to be worn for people 2 years or older.

We feel that these responses are reasonable and, ultimately, honor the Lord as a Christian community moving forward. Please know we continue to implement COVID policies, extra cleanings, and hand sanitation throughout the day to keep our community safe and healthy. We appreciate your prayers. 


UPDATED - June 25, 2020 - Summer Strength and Conditioning COVID Policy Changes

In response to the mayor's mandate for the City of New Braunfels, NBCA athletics Department is implementing the following expectations.

We will require all HS athletes to wear a mask, bandana, or a face covering while they are in the weight room. MS athletes will not be in the weight room, nor will they be using any equipment. We will only train the MS-aged athletes in the gym and outside where we can control the physical distance requirement of 6ft. All athletes are welcome to wear a mask at any time. We ask for everyone's patience as we work through this unprecedented time. Our primary goal is to provide the safest environment for our students that we can. We believe we will be doing so, and we will be in compliance with our local government with this new policy. The policy will go into effect starting Monday, June 29.

If you have any questions, feel free contact Athletic Director Josh Wood at jwood@nbcatx.org.

Let's be the city on a hill, the light in the darkness, and the salt of the earth as a school. Let's display the love of Jesus to our community as a school. Let's use athletics as a mechanism to do so.


March 24, 2020

Dear Students, Parents, and Staff

We are doing our best to keep you informed during this rapidly evolving situation involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as we prioritize the health and safety of our community and the ongoing continuity of our academic mission. I had said yesterday I was hoping to not be e-mailing daily, but, unfortunately, things continue to evolve and change rapidly. As of this evening, there are now 715 reported cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the State of Texas involving 65 counties, including the 4 cases confirmed in Comal County. Based on investigation by the Department of Health, there are no cases which have any known contact with our school community.

Comal ISD announced the cancellation of school through April 24. As previously announced, NBCA will adhere to the same measures taken by Comal ISD regarding school closures during this time. Therefore, NBCA will not plan to return to school until Monday, April 27.

Earlier today, in line with the announcements made by Dallas, Harris, Tarrant, Collin, Bexar, and Travis counties, New Braunfels Mayor Barron Casteel announced a Stay at Home and Work Safe order that will begin at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25. NBCA will follow the biblical model of submission to our authorities and comply with this order.

The orders state that all individuals currently living within the City of New Braunfels are ordered to stay at their place of residence to prevent and slow down community spread of COVID-19. All persons may leave their residences only for essential activities, essential governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses and must continue to practice social distancing (at least six feet from others) when they are outside their residence. Outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, running, or riding a bicycle, with proper social distancing, is allowed. With this order, grocery stores, restaurants serving to-go meals, banks, pharmacies, healthcare offices, civil offices and other "essential" services will all remain open.

Here are some important things you need to know about how these actions affect the NBCA:

  • We are shifting to all staff remaining at home. All NBCA buildings will close tomorrow. After tomorrow, teachers will all be transitioning to offering all lessons from home only.
  • The childcare we have offered to our elementary families with two working parents will no longer be continued.
  • We understand some employees may have to return to campus periodically to complete essential parts of their work or to support business continuity. These staff members will be contacted individually by school administrators. All teachers should gather any materials they may need from the school tomorrow to take home with them. Continuing education is considered an "essential" aspect of society, and, while school faculty are being asked to work entirely from home, we also recognize that some may need to come to the school very briefly for a specific reason. Please contact your school administrator before coming to campus.
  • Please continue to strengthen your personal health protection, including social distancing practices, and follow the instructions of federal, state and local officials. If you are sick, please stay home and follow CDC guidance for what to do next.

We recognize that this situation changes each day, and we appreciate your understanding and adherence to these important directions. We ask that our school community prepare for continued disruption and teleworking procedures at least through April 24. We will continue to share information and updates by email, the NBCA app, social media and on our website at www.nbcatx.org.

Thank you, again, and I continue to lift up prayers for our entire Wildcat Family.

Sincerely,

Shannon Marek

Board President and Head of School


March 17, 2020

Although there are still no known cases of COVID-19 in Comal County, there are multiple people now quarantined awaiting testing results which can take 2-4 days depending on the lab.  THe VAST majority of tests run are coming back negative, but I just want to reiterate the importance of remaining vigilant in our efforts to reduce exposure.  Our staff continues to work hard to ensure that we continue functioning as a school despite our contact limitations.  I can tell you personally that this staff has so much love for our kids!  Their passion for what they do and finding ways to continue doing it is truly inspiring.  I am so incredibly thankful for their devotion and the leadership of our amazing Administrative Team!  God is clearly at work, even in this...

Distance Learning

Distance learning begins on Monday, March 23!  We are pleased to be able to continue to provide an excellent education to your children through online learning.  Teachers are preparing to present lessons that can be viewed live and will be recorded for later review.  Parents and students will receive detailed information about how to log in to Webex by the end of the week and will be notified when the system is active for students.

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March 16, 2020

Dear Wildcats,

I am sure you are inundated with news and often overwhelming stories in the news currently. It is amazing how rapidly recommendations are changing, even to the point that CDC issued another recommendation yesterday within hours of my previous update. However, one thing that never changes is God and His love for us. “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6). What a joy it is to be able to turn to Him and read His Word and bask in His love! My pastor gave an encouraging message (via video) this past Sunday and I would love to share with you a summary which I think is a great message for all of us right now.

Christians are responsible for trusting in God for our ultimate safety and protection, while also taking necessary precautions to protect ourselves and those around us. As God’s people we have a tremendous opportunity to respond in an attractive way to those around us – we are not to be marked by panic, but peace. We know a different love, and as such, we live a different way. Below you will see a breakdown of the biblical principles informing how God’s people are called to respond.

  • Trust – God is the ultimate source of safety and protection (Psalm 127:1). We are meant to live in a way reflecting our ultimate trust and dependence is in God (Philippians 1:21; James 1:2-3; Romans 8:28).
  • Vigilance – We are to remain watchful and take the necessary precautions to care for ourselves and others (Proverbs 22:3). This care is especially true for those who are at higher risk from COVID-19, the elderly and immune compromised (John 13:34).
  • Service – Often times fear makes us selfish. During this time, we are obviously called to care for our needs and the needs of our loved ones. However, we have an opportunity to show a nonbelieving world the difference in our love—by not just looking out for our interests, but also for the interests of others. Be ready and willing to serve sacrificially (Philippians 2:3).
  • Wisdom – This is a constantly evolving situation. As such, we must be ready to adjust as needed. Today’s plans may not be right for tomorrow’s problems, and we as a body must be ready to adapt as needed (James 1:5; Proverbs 16:9).
  • Grace – Respect the differing convictions of how individuals, families, and churches will respond. Fight the drift to give way to sinful panic, as well as the sin of cavalier indifference. Extend grace towards all as the world navigates this situation (Romans 14).

Regarding NEW INFORMATION, here are today's updates:

  • As of today, NBCA is still closed only through Friday, March 20. We will continue to follow Comal ISD for school closures. As a physician, I will tell you it will be surprising if we are able to return to school next week. I would recommend going ahead and planning for at least another week off and hopefully I'm wrong.
  • IF we return to school prior to March 25, we will have a full school day on Wednesday, March 25 and not have a half day as previously planned.
  • High School Exam Exemptions – Absences related to COVID-19 will not count against students who would otherwise be eligible to exempt final exams. (If a student is ineligible due to previous absences in the third quarter, tardies, or grades, they will not be allowed to exempt exams.)
  • Our IT team is feverishly working on network solutions to in-class learning. Teachers are being trained on the platforms this week so that we can roll out those plans the following week if necessary.
  • Currently, we are not planning on extending the school year if additional time is taken off due to COVID-19. We will move to online learning platforms and work diligently to educate our students and are considering all creative options. Needless to say, this remains fluid but as it stands currently, we are working to keep the last day of school as May 22.

NBCA Cancellations (in response to current CDC guidelines):

  • We are extremely saddened to announce that the Easter program on March 31 has been cancelled.
  • ACSI Speech Meet on March 28 has been cancelled.
  • All TAPPS competitions (including athletic, fine arts, and academic competitions) have been cancelled through April 12.
  • 8th grade Washington DC trip (April 6-10) has been cancelled.
  • Run with Purpose on April 25 has been postponed.

Events in May remain on the calendar as previously scheduled for now.

We will continue to update as information becomes available, and I continue to ask all of you for your prayers. Although there are no cases reported in Comal county yet, we will continue to remain vigilant and seek God's wisdom regarding our next steps during these unusual times.

Shannon Marek
Board President and Head of School
830-629-1821

911114C0

“Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.” 1 Timothy 6:12


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March 15, 2020

Dear Wildcat Families,

Before I go into anything else, I want to thank you all for your patience and flexibility. There are so many things we don’t know yet, and recommendations are changing daily. I am grateful for your prayers and encourage you to continue to pray for those most affected by the current situation.

As you can well imagine, a great deal of work is going on behind the scenes at NBCA. Administrators are receiving daily updates from several sources within the field of education and are collaborating with other Christian schools in the area to ensure we are making the best possible decisions for your children. School leaders will meet Monday and Tuesday, and all school staff will meet on Wednesday. Maintenance staff and our professional cleaning crew will continue their extra measures to clean and disinfect both campuses.

We have put together some FAQs for families. If you have questions that are not answered below, please email your principal.

  • When will NBCA resume classes?
    NBCA will continue to follow measures taken by Comal County for school closures. As of today, we anticipate classes resuming on Monday, March 23.
  • Will we start distance learning?
    We are polishing our plan for distance learning in the event it becomes necessary. However, we are waiting to see how long schools will be closed. We will share a vast amount of information with you if distance learning comes to pass. Daniel Pearson, Zach Webb, and Justin Jordan have been working feverishly behind the scenes, and we greatly appreciate their efforts.
  • Is the campus closed to students?
    Yes, it is closed to students. Students may not come on campus. There will be no team practices and no school meetings of any sort for students until school resumes. Students may not use the gym or fields until school resumes.
  • Is the campus closed to visitors?
    Yes, it is closed to visitors. All facility rentals, including churches, have been cancelled until school resumes. All campus tours and "shadow days" will be rescheduled once school resumes.
  • What if my child left something on campus that we need to retrieve?
    Please contact your principal to schedule a time to pick it up. (Please note that the deck at the secondary campus is being rebuilt and may be closed off. Mrs. Vickery will give you instructions on how to enter the building when you schedule the pick-up appointment.)
  • How do I contact the school if the offices are closed?
    Email is the best way to get in touch with school personnel right now. All school email addresses are first initial and last name @nbcatx.org. A list of personnel can be found on the school website (nbcatx.org), the school app (search for “NBCA” in the App Store), and on the RenWeb app (under “School”, then “Directory”, then “School” again).
  • What about report cards?
    Report cards were scheduled for distribution on Tuesday. However, distribution will be delayed to allow teachers extra time to enter grades following this unexpected school closure. We will let you know when report cards are ready.
  • What about the Easter program, the 8th grade DC trip, testing, Run With Purpose, prom, and all the other upcoming events?
    We will make decisions about each event as we get closer to the event and will notify you as soon as possible.
  • What about families who traveled during spring break?
    If the family traveled within the U.S., there are no special restrictions. If the family traveled out of the country, we are asking them to notify School Nurse Keri Benson at kbenson@nbcatx.org . If the family went to a high-risk country, they will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days as recommended by the CDC.
  • What if someone in my family becomes ill?
    Follow the advice of medical professionals and the CDC. Please notify Nurse Benson at kbenson@nbcatx.org if someone in your family tests positive for COVID-19.
  • What if school resumes, but I am not comfortable sending my child to school?
    Please contact your principal.
  • What if this causes my child to accumulate too many absences?
    NBCA is prepared to be appropriately flexible and work with students depending on their individual circumstances.
  • What do I need to do?
    - Pray.
    - Contact Nurse Benson if you recently traveled out of the country or test positive for COVID-19.
    - Check your email for daily updates from NBCA.

We will continue to update everyone as more information becomes available in this very fluid situation. While we are hoping this is a temporary situation, we are also being diligent and trying to establish a long term plan as well.

Sincerely,

Shannon Marek
Board President and Head of School
830-629-1821

911114C0

“Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.” 1 Timothy 6:12

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March 13, 2020 To Our Wildcat Family,

We at New Braunfels Christian Academy are ever committed to our mission in providing a safe, academically-excellent, and Christ-centered education for your students.

NBCA has continued to monitor, assess, and plan with local health organizations, our accrediting body (ACSI), the CDC, and the US Department of Education to develop action plans and campus priorities in responding to the COVID-19 developments. We have been preparing for this for weeks and “we must stay the course.”

We have decided to extend spring break and close school March 16-20, following the measures taken by Comal ISD.
At this point, there are no members of our staff or school families who have reported any exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, we are asking families to follow the Metropolitan Health and CDC guidelines if you have traveled recently, in the links below.

In light of the most recent developments of the COVID-19 situation, NBCA will take the following actions to ensure the health and safety of our school community.
  1. We will extend spring break and close school March 16-20 so that faculty and staff can continue developing our plans in preparing for distance learning.
  2. At this time, we are planning to resume classes on March 23.We will initiate our distance learning plan beginning March 23 in the event of an extended school closure.
  3. All school events, rehearsals, competitions, school trips, etc., will be suspended for the week of March 16-20. Information about student activities when students return to school will be forthcoming.
  4. Classes and other scheduled events will resume Monday, March 23, unless an extended closure is deemed necessary as we follow developments.
  5. We will continue our current plan for campus-wide elevated sanitizing, disinfecting, and extensive hygiene measures for teachers and students. While your students are away, our cleaning service has been and will continue to implement extra measures to disinfect both campuses.
  6. We will prioritize taking care of our students as they return to school to warmly address their emotional and spiritual needs during this time of uncertainty. We encourage teachers and parents to create a positive, securing, calm response to COVID-19. See the links below on guidance for family talks.
  7. We encourage you to communicate with your primary care physician and NBCA school nurse Keri Benson (kbenson@nbcatx.org) with any family health updates. In particular, if anyone in your family tests positive for COVID-19 during this closure, please contact her immediately.

Let me assure you, NBCA is making this decision in the best interest of your children, family, staff, and community and with much counsel, prayer, and deliberation.

Finally, and most importantly, we should all be praying for a hedge of protection around all of the children in all of the schools around our area. We should not be fearful or anxious. We should be cautious and safety oriented. We believe this plan maximizes the potential safety for your children. Children should sense a calm confidence in their parents and teachers as we work together to protect our campus from infectious illness. God is good in every situation, and, in every situation, God will bring about good in our lives. Ultimately, we are dependent upon the Lord for His protection over our kids every day of their lives. Let’s live and pray in this manner.

Most questions that will arise in the minds of parents will be addressed in the forthcoming emails you will receive from our offices next week. You can also visit our website at nbcatx.org for the most recent updates from our school in response to the COVID-19 developments.

IMPORTANT LINKS ABOUT COVID-19
(Click each to go to their website)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
San Antonio Health Department
Washington State Department of Health
ADDITIONAL LINKS THAT MAY BE HELPFUL
(Click each to go to their website)
How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus
Talking to Children About COVID-19
Memorial Hermann - Talking to Kids about COVID-19
12 Resources for COVID-19 Anxiety