‘This Must Be The Message Rolling Forward’: Christian School Will Return To Pre-COVID Policies

"[W]e cannot allow the success of our mission to be contingent upon the ebb and flow of this virus."
Jonathan Kirn/gettyImages

An Alexandria, Virginia K-8 private Christian school that is the city’s first hybrid-model education program, with students meeting for classroom instruction and tutoring on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and completing schoolwork assignments at home on Mondays and Thursdays with their families, has taken a strong stand counter to the prevailing practices adopted at public schools across the nation, announcing they are returning to pre-COVID health policies.

Allison Morgan, the founder and head of The Classical Christian Conservatory of Alexandria (CCCA), posted a message to the school’s parents, asserting that the school would not tolerate “disruptive, rolling classroom shutdowns,” adding, “we cannot allow the success of our mission to be contingent upon the ebb and flow of this virus.”

Morgan’s message read:

Effective upon our return to school after Christmas break, CCCA will be reverting to our pre-COVID health policy. Cases of COVID will be treated as equivalent to all other illnesses for the purposes of school attendance.

I recognize that this change may come as a surprise to some after almost two years of intensive focus on COVID as a special case deserving of special attention. We currently possess all the mitigation tools necessary to reclaim our normal lives; please avail yourselves to those according to personal preference. All that remains is for us to choose to move forward.

And let me be clear: this is a conscious choice, made in the knowledge that COVID is not gone and that it will likely continue to make its presence felt at CCCA in the future. However, we cannot allow ourselves to forego the higher aims of a Christian, classical education indefinitely via disruptive, rolling classroom shutdowns and we cannot allow the success of our mission to be contingent upon the ebb and flow of this virus. Maximalist measurements intended to prevent transmission of COVID may or may not have been effective toward their stated ends, but they have unquestionably wreaked havoc across our society. CCCA is committed to modeling the balance of prudence and resilience that will be necessary to put the crisis phase of COVID behind us.

I understand that some of our families might have concerns with this policy change, and I want to emphasize that we are not throwing caution to the wind. Each CCCA family is obviously free to continue to address COVID issues as their conscience dictates; this is a change in our institutional approach only. We ask that every family adhere scrupulously to the health policy below for the remainder of the school year. We do intend to enforce it.

The school states of its educational philosophy:

CCCA aims to develop students who are marked by their virtue and their intellect. We desire to teach our students to love learning and delight in clear thinking. We wish to equip them to communicate powerfully, winsomely, and graciously with the written and spoken word. We also believe that a child’s own parent is uniquely empowered and called to instill virtue and wisdom.

The CDC’s summary of its current guidance for K-12 schools states in part:

  • Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority.
  • Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.
  • Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
  • In addition to universal indoor masking, CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as screening testing.

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