The safety, success, and spirituality of our students is always at the forefront of our minds as we continue to address the ever-changing needs of the upcoming school year. Due to the continued rise in COVID-19 cases in our community, the Board of Directors has approved the following changes to our calendar and starting dates. We are praying earnestly for each of you, and we ask that you continue to pray for our administration, faculty, and staff as we all strive to make decisions that are in the best interest of our students.
The 2020-21 Mars Hill Bible School calendar year will begin on August 17 in a traditional, in-person learning format. A virtual option will also be offered (see below). All teachers and classes are prepared and equipped to convert to virtual learning should a mandated state closure occur.
Classes will begin with staggered attendance on Monday, August 17 and Tuesday, August 18. Monday and Tuesday will be half-days ending at 11:45 a.m.
Elementary students/parents will be informed by your teacher of the day which you should attend.
Fifth through eleventh grade students with names ending in A-L will attend on Monday, August 17 (blended family siblings with multiple last names may attend on the same day).
Fifth through eleventh grade students with names ending in M-Z will attend on Tuesday, August 18.
All seniors will attend on Monday, August 17.
All classes will meet on Wednesday, August 19. The 2020-21 calendar will be adjusted to make up these days.
Orientation Sessions and Schedule Pickups
Parents will be contacted individually by your child's classroom teacher regarding orientation and/or meeting information.
Middle and High School Orientations - Friday, August 14
Fifth Grade Students and Parents - Meet at 9 a.m. in auditorium (social distancing will be implemented). Fifth grade teachers will be present to answer questions.
Sixth Grade Students and Parents- Meet at 10 a.m. in auditorium (social distancing will be implemented). Sixth grade teachers will be present to answer questions.
Seventh and Eighth Grade - Schedules will be emailed to you.
Freshmen - Freshman Orientation will be from 11-11:30 a.m. in the auditorium (social distancing will be implemented).
New Students - New Student Orientation will be from 11:30 a.m.- 12 noon in the auditorium (social distancing will be implemented). Parents are invited.
High School Information -
Schedules will be emailed.
NO lockers will be assigned. If a student wants a locker, one will be assigned to you on the first day of class.
Parking information will be sent at a later time.
Back-to-School Prayer Session
Our annual school-wide back-to-school prayer session will be held virtually via the MHBS Facebook page on Thursday, August 13 at 7 p.m. Please join us for this important time of requesting God's blessings and protection over each of our students, faculty, and staff.
Virtual Learning Option
MHBS is offering a virtual option for any of our students who have existing health concerns and/or whose parents deem that face-to-face education is not in the best interest of their child at this time.
Our elementary students will receive instruction using the SeeSaw platform. Live sessions will be taught via Zoom. Middle and high school students will receive instruction using Google Classroom. Live sessions will be taught via Google Meet.
It is imperative that you have the resources for your child to complete his/her classwork each day. This will include a reliable internet provider, a dedicated device (desktop, laptop, or iPad), and any needed software. If you do not have access to a device, you may request to check out a school-issued iPad.
Your child will be expected to sign on each day as some assignments, videos, etc. will only be available on the day the items are covered in the regular classroom setting. Virtual students will be held to the same grading and schedule as those who are in the traditional classroom setting. Attendance will be taken each day.
Student, Faculty, and Staff Wellness
Temperature checks will be conducted for all students by faculty/staff each morning. No students will be permitted to enter the building with a temperature of 100.0 or above. (For more information, see the Guidelines to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19).
Social distancing will be in effect. To minimize contact between classes, elementary students will remain with their individual classes for the entirety of the school day. Chapel, lunch, and encore classes will all be conducted within the individual classrooms (or outdoors when appropriate). Middle and high school classes, classrooms, and lunch/chapel periods will be adapted to promote social distancing. Outdoor play and activity will be encouraged whenever possible. We are planning innovative ways to make this as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for our students.
Enhanced sanitization measures will be implemented across campus. These include the employment of a fulltime sanitizer and the utilization of nightly sanitizing foggers. Rigorous handwashing and sanitizing practices for students will also be modeled and encouraged.
Per Alabama's current state mandate, masks will be required for all teachers/staff and students in grades 2-12 through August 31.
To maintain a healthy environment, no visitors (including parents) will be permitted in campus buildings during school hours. This includes chapel and lunch periods. No deliveries to students, by parents or businesses, will be permitted (this includes lunch deliveries).
Whenever possible, use of shared objects and items will be avoided. When use of shared items is required, items will be disinfected after each use.
All water fountains will be turned off, so students are encouraged to bring a water bottle to utilize throughout the day.
Our school nurse, Brittany Durham, RN, will continue to oversee and monitor our health services for faculty, staff, and students. Services will also be provided for staff development and student prevention education.
In addition to the nurse’s office for regular medical needs, an “Isolation Area” will serve as a supplemental space for individuals needing to be removed from the school population.
Under the guidance of Mrs. Durham, the Alabama Department of Public Health, and the CDC, MHBS has developed Guidelines to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19. These are our current guidelines for individual students and staff members in an effort to help you determine your next steps if you or your child is exposed to or tests positive for COVID-19. These guidelines are based on current CDC and Alabama Department of Public Health best practices. As new recommendations and guidelines are being released regularly, our expectation is that these practices will continue to evolve rapidly as the rate of infection, community hospitalization rates, and even the virus itself changes. The Guidelines to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 are available by clicking here.
In situations that involve classes or extracurricular student gatherings, the school nurse will acquire the necessary information and consult with the school’s point of contact at the Alabama Department of Public Health. A decision will then be made based on their best practices and recommendations. This procedure is intended to take into account the circumstances of the situation while also limiting the possibility of a campus outbreak. We are utilizing every resource available to us to make the best possible decisions to protect the health of each of our students.
Plans for cafeteria services will look different during the upcoming school year, but lunch will continue to be offered each day. We will share those plans with you as soon as they are finalized.
Field trips will not be permitted during the fall semester. This policy will be updated as the situation demands.
The ALSDE and the AHSAA are permitting athletic practices and games to move forward as scheduled. Student athletes are currently on campus preparing for their seasons. All coaches utilize screening protocols including, but not limited to, temperature checks and symptom checks. More information regarding game admissions, concessions, etc. will be provided as it becomes available to us.
We all feel the anxiety and pressure that comes with beginning a school year in the midst of so many unprecedented challenges. Still, we remember that "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging" (Psalm 46:1-2). There has likely never been a school season more prayer-soaked than this one, and He has the power to make this year one of extraordinary growth. We are going forward in faith, believing that He will do just that.
If we can assist you and your family in any way, please reach out to us. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.