Ooltewah Adventist School is enacting the following procedures and precautions during the spread of COVID-19. OAKS will continue to service our students and community through excellence despite closing our facilities for the health of our students, staff, and community. To follow updates on OAKS’ response to COVID-19, please view our Facebook page.
Principal’s Official Statement
Closing school is not an easy decision. Please know that the leadership team at OAKS is guided by professionals in the medical field and by the Georgia-Cumberland Conference. Our school board has discussed the ramifications of such a decision. We are guided by an abundance of caution, and have been advised that it is best to separate large groups of people as much as possible. The days missed will not need to be made up in May. In a time where we are forced into an online format the question may be asked “why should I stay enrolled at OAKS?” The answer is simple. You are part of our family. We run a great academic program and that will not change with the format. The teachers love and support the individual needs of your child and have taken a personal interest in their salvation. One parent recently wrote to me “…the benefit is not simply a great teacher but more importantly a teacher that actually cares for not only my child, but my child’s salvation. Moving to distance learning at OAKS does not change the fact that the teachers at OAKS as well as the supporting staff actually care for my child, but also pray for her and likely even her family.” Thank you for your continued commitment to OAKS.
The following information is the result of countless people meeting to decide upon the best course of action for our school. I want to thank our leadership team and our teachers for so bravely working through the many challenges this situation has created. In many things we do not have much choice. But in some very important things we do have choices. Please know that the value of Adventist education is still very high. The teachers at OAKS know and love your student. They have journeyed with them all school year and they can help them finish the school year well. The school family can remain intact with some effort.
Currently all GCC are encouraged to follow the opening dates published by each county. At this time Hamilton County has published an opening date of April 27. OAKS will plan to open at that time unless the governor asks for schools to stay closed longer. OAKS will move into an online format for education starting this Friday, March 27.
There are several things to keep in mind as we move forward:
1. Online learning is not the same as in person. It is not appropriate to expect students to sit in front of a computer for the same length of time as a school day. There will be offline work to be done. You (as the parent) need to facilitate the offline work, as well as guide the student during the online classes. Teachers will be available for direct tutoring and support for each student. The sessions will be recorded and available on the website for later viewing if needed.
2. Students can participate in classes with a laptop, tablet, or cell phone. Audio is required and video will enhance the learning experience. If you do not have the necessary technology please let your classroom teacher know what your needs are and they will help set you up with something in the meantime. Teachers will email you the link for each class session.
3. Students can wear casual clothing, but no tank tops please and shirts need to have appropriate messages. Students will be instructed in online classroom etiquette and will held accountable for appropriate behavior online.
4. Work done on paper will not be returned to school. All finished work must be scanned or a picture taken and sent to the teacher for grading. Work may be submitted through email, text, or Google Classroom (for certain classrooms).
5. Please watch for an email from your classroom teacher with details about a first online meeting this Friday, March 27. Teachers will each decide what materials need to be picked up or mailed. Each teacher will handle the Zoom invitations for regular classroom meetings. Teachers will also be available during non-meeting times for tutoring and questions that student may have, typically between the hours of 8:00-3:00 or by appointment.
6. Please enter this experience with a sense of adventure and a dedication to communicating with your classroom teachers. Your feedback will help us to make the necessary changes to run the program smoothly.
7. Pray for our students and staff during this time. We are part of a very supportive community. Prayer is moving mountains.
Feel free to email me with questions or comments. The future holds many great things if we work together.