LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington Christian Academy (LCA) began in-person classes in Lexington Wednesday morning; only two percent of the 1158 enrolled students began the year online.
LCA moved all classes online on March 16 and finished the spring semester virtually. In order to keep up with the changing health recommendations, the school formed a COVID-19 response team.
"We have been working again intensely with a very, very profound plan. We have a COVID response team that meets two or three times a week and the whole purpose of that team is to follow the latest CDC state and local guidelines and to make sure that we have a seamless plan for re entry," explained LCA Head of School Dr. Scott Wells.
Students are required to wear masks all day and have their temperature taken before they enter the building. Students are also expected to monitor their symptoms and convert to virtual learning if they develop any.
"Bottom line, if any of our students are diagnosed with COVID, the first thing we do is we contact families about that," said Wells. "And we follow the guidelines from the Lexington Fayette County Health Department so they basically come in and tell us and advise us on what to do."
To accommodate the two percent of students beginning online, the school placed iPads in the center of each classroom to stream the class to students at home.
"We call it synchronous opt-in, and so should that [students develop symptoms] happen, we are ready and prepared for all students to do that," Wells said. "But again, our goals, and prayers is that does not happen."
LCA replaced water fountains with water bottle filling stations, spread desks out, created a one-way traffic system throughout the building, staggered period release times and added a UV and pinpoint ionization filtration system to clean the air before it comes back into the building.
"In addition to having the cleanest environment as far as hard surfaces, we're also cleaning that area to make sure that it's as pure and clean as it can be as it comes back into those learning spaces," LCA Director of Operations Seth Robinson explained. "And we're excited because that won't just help with COVID, but that'll also help us we get into the cold and flu season, stomach bugs those things that we deal with in a school environment every year. We'll be reaping that benefit year after year moving forward."
Robinson also noted that LCA has a plan for the lunchroom
"More tables, spread those tables out and less kids per table, and still recognize it six foot distancing to make sure we're socially distance even when we're eating," Robinson said. "But being able to open this space up even more, add additional tables and spread everybody out. We've added the plexiglass shields to our serving areas to make sure that everybody's safe in the food handling process with gloves and masks as well so wonderful opportunity to really be able to maximize the space that we had available to us."
Robinson and Wells both expressed they feel students benefit greatly by learning in-person.
Wells said, "We follow the Governor closely and we always are closely listening to what he says," Wells said. "However, we know that our families and our clientele want to be back at school and we will not have them back if we weren't ready."