Delmarva Christian Schools will reopen for in-person instruction in August, Head of Schools Matt Kwiatkowski stated in a letter sent to parents July 10.
“We greatly appreciate your awareness that as COVID conditions change, and new information is disseminated, we are able to revise and detail our approach to this coming fall semester,” Kwiatkowski wrote.
Delmarva Christian’s website stated the high school will open Tuesday, Aug. 18, for new students and Wednesday, Aug. 19, for all students. The Milton campus, which houses prekindergarten through eighth grade, opens Wednesday, Aug. 26.
The website also stated that the district has launched new tuition ranges “making DCS more accessible to more families.”
Delmarva Christian Director of Marketing Susan Gum said families interested in applying to the school can simultaneously apply for the accessible tuition program. Gum said a third party will evaluate the family’s financial information and determine if they are eligible for a tuition discount of up to 50 percent.
Kwiatkowski’s announcement preceded Gov. John Carney and Department of Education Secretary Susan Bunting’s July 14 statement that a decision would be made in early August regarding whether public and charter schools will physically reopen, continue with remote learning or create a hybrid approach for the start of the 2020-21 school year.
The state also released guidance on opening schools July 15 under three scenarios: if minimal community spread exists in Delaware (and school buildings reopen), if minimal-to-moderate community spread exists in Delaware (situation dependent) and if significant community spread exists in Delaware (and school buildings remain closed).
DOE spokesperson Alison May said the department’s guidance for reopening is for public schools.
“We encourage private/Catholic schools to follow them,” she stated.
Gum said Delmarva Christian will follow all state recommendations, including social distancing and sanitization protocols.
“Face coverings must be worn when entering the building,” she said. “We’ve reconfigured classrooms by making areas that weren’t classrooms, such as the library, into classrooms so we can move desks apart.”
Gum said class schedules will be staggered so that students aren’t released into the hallways at the same time, and that teachers of art and other special subjects will come to student classrooms, rather than have students travel to them. Desks are all facing one direction, Gum said, and group tables have been removed. Visitors will be restricted, parent/teacher conferences will be held virtually, and lunch will occur in classrooms.
“Through God’s grace, we have been positioned well to be flexible,” she said. “Of course if the governor says absolutely not [to open physically], we will abide by the law.”
Not including students at the school’s early learning center, Gum said, roughly 430 to 450 students attend prekindergarten through 12th grade at the school’s campuses in Milton and Georgetown.