Is it safe to go to school? This is a question that many people are asking.
Nearly 3,000 parents and students have made the decision to go to a Seventh-day Adventist school in the Atlantic Union this year. Let’s look at the evidence:
• Parents are finding that it is important for students to have face-to-face interaction and instruction. They are choosing to have their children in the smaller, loving, Christ-centered schools. Most of the Atlantic Union schools are offering face-to-face and virtual instruction. They are following local safety guidelines.
• Many other parents want and are able to have their children at home. They receive virtual Adventist education from their local Adventist school over the Internet.
• Some parents find that their schedules allow for a mix of what is known as the “hybrid education model.” Their children are attending some days a week while doing virtual school on the other days.
Let us use two of our schools as an example:
Union Springs Academy (USA) is a boarding school located in the rural Finger Lakes region of Central New York on a 300-acre secluded campus. The surrounding area has maintained a low rate of positive COVID-19 cases. Similar things could be said for Pine Tree Academy in Maine, which has dorm homes and currently has a waiting list. All of our schools, from Bermuda to New York City and throughout New England, have gone through similar protocols, working with government, federal, state, and local health departments to ensure that our students are learning in a safe environment.
• Since school began in August, these schools have intended to isolate student and staff interaction with the public as much as possible.
• At USA, all students and staff are required to get a COVID-19 test and be retested as needed.
• The small-school settings, with spacious buildings and grounds, makes for easier management of precautionary separation protocols.
• Hand-sanitizing stations throughout the campus, daily temperature checks, required face coverings, along with physical distancing, are all utilized to keep the campuses safe.
• USA is following the lead of colleges, with no home leaves until dedicated leave times, thus reducing the risk of transmission outside of campus.
• Reopening plans were submitted to the local state education and health department and are posted on the school’s website.
It is time to have our students in the safest place that will also prepare them to finish delivering the three angels’ messages, while receiving an education to prepare them for college. Some of our schools have waiting lists, as community members are finding Adventist schools to be safe and nurturing schools. And they are a bargain!
As you and your family ponder this question, here are some more things to consider:
1. We have been told that it is our duty to educate our children with the love of God (Deuteronomy 6:7).
2. In our schools, students are experiencing the love of God through the highly-acclaimed “Encounter Bible” series delivered by a trained and certified teacher.
3. Students are being taught language arts, math, history, and STEM education in the context of Bible-influenced instruction and thoughtful discussions led by certified Adventist teachers.
Please check for your closest Adventist school at find.adventisteducation.org or atlantic-union.org/education/atlantic-union-schools.