BETHESDA'S COVID-19 RESPONSE:
Like other schools, Bethesda Christian Schools (BCS) was forced to quickly adapt in March to a different way of instruction by our teachers and learning by our students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having implemented occasional eLearning days in previous years, we were well-equipped to transition to a remote-learning model. This meant we did not have to extend Spring Break to prepare for the transition, which allowed us to fulfill our mission and provide the best educational value for our students and families.
While we benefitted from already having some infrastructure in place to support remote learning, the biggest reasons why we transitioned so well to sustained, teacher-driven eLearning are because of the care and commitment of our teachers and administration, the dedication and diligence of our students and the support of their families. It has been a total team effort, and we are so proud of each member of our team for their resilience and positive attitude during this time.
Click here to watch a video of one BCS family’s experience with distance learning.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does BCS handle remote learning?
Our teachers utilize a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Depending on the course or subject matter, some teachers find it more beneficial to meet with their students in a live, online environment where instantaneous interaction can still take place. Other times, recorded lessons, external videos and PowerPoint slides are utilized. These and other resources complement the textbooks and workbooks used by students. Regardless of delivery method, teachers offer virtual office hours via group or individual video conferencing, as well as being reachable by email, to help explain concepts to students who need further assistance.
What technology does BCS use for eLearning?
All students in grades 7–12 have a Microsoft Office 365 account with a corresponding “@ebethesda.org” email address, which is used only for internal, educational purposes. These accounts give students online access to Office software such as Word, PowerPoint, Teams, etc. Teachers provide a majority of online instruction and assignments through this platform, and students use these resources to do and submit their work. Other technology, such as Zoom, is also utilized for instruction.
Teachers in grades K–6 utilize Zoom, YouTube, class websites, email and other tools to complement student textbooks and workbooks in providing instruction and assignments. Teachers also use video conferencing to host individual or group help sessions and are also available via email to answer questions and provide assistance. Coursework is typically submitted to teachers via email.
How does BCS incorporate a Christian education in an eLearning environment?
While the method of learning may have temporarily changed, our mission remains: to provide an authentic, consistently excellent Christian education. This is done by remaining true to our four core values: being (1) rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ, (2) relational in cultivating genuine relationships, (3) rigorous in our academic curriculum, and (4) relevant in preparing for an ever-changing world. Even while done remotely, the Christian education offered by BCS involves teaching every course through the lens of a thoroughly biblical worldview.
Are tours still being offered to prospective families?
Yes, according to the state of Indiana, BCS is allowed to offer tours of the school, as it is deemed an essential service to operation. Local, state and federal guidelines regarding social distancing are practiced during tours. Our promotional videos available on our website also provide prospective families an excellent glimpse into all that BCS has to offer.
To schedule a tour please click here.
For inquiries about enrollment, please email our admissions director at email@example.com or call (317) 858-2823.
Will the school be open in August for in-person instruction?
We will adhere to the Indiana Department of Education orders as well as guidelines from federal, state and local health officials. Given the state of Indiana’s current plan of reopening in stages, we are moving forward with a plan to resume in-person instruction in August on our regularly scheduled first day of school (Aug. 6, 2020). We will follow recommended cleaning, sanitizing and social distancing guidelines by the Centers for Disease and Prevention Control (CDC) in order to limit as best as possible the exposure and spread of coronavirus on our campus.
Should federal, state or local officials dictate that schools cannot reopen as regularly scheduled, or must offer a combination of in-person and remote learning, we have begun developing contingencies and are confident our remote learning model will provide students with the best possible opportunity in this challenging environment to receive an excellent Christian education. Any changes to the regularly scheduled start date to the 2020-21 academic year will be communicated to families as soon as possible.
How are athletics and other extracurricular activities affected by the school’s facility closure?
As a member of the Indiana High School Athletics Association (IHSAA), BCS follows the IHSAA’s directives regarding school-sponsored athletics. The IHSAA’s current order cancelled all spring sports and has prevented any organized practices or camps through June 30. Beginning July 1, the IHSAA is currently prepared to allow practices and camps to resume. Under the assumption that the state of Indiana’s current plan of reopening in stages continues, BCS is moving forward with the intent of offering athletics in the fall. Any changes to that plan will be dictated by the IHSAA and communicated to families as soon as possible. All other extracurricular activities have also been postponed or cancelled in adherence to state guidelines. The Little Mermaid theatrical production has been rescheduled for July 17–19. More information can be found at http://www.bcs.fun.
What resources are available to help families cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning, and offer more information about plans moving forward?
There are several resources that provide information specific to the status of schools and athletics in the state of Indiana, health and safety guidelines, educational tools and ways to help individuals and families cope during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Indianan Department of Education: https://www.doe.in.gov/covid-19
- Indiana High School Athletics Association: https://ihsaa.org/Media/Media-Releases
- Centers for Disease and Prevention Control: https://cdc.gov/coronavirus
- Focus on the Family: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-time-during-the-coronavirus-quarantine/
- Parkside Bible Church family devotionals: https://parkside.org/devotionals
- Indy with Kids: https://indywithkids.com/resources-for-families-during-coronavirus-closures/
- IXL Learning: https://www.ixl.com/
- Kahn Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/
- Learning A–Z: https://www.learninga-z.com/
- Mr. Math Blog: http://www.mrmathblog.com/