Tuesday, August 11, 2020 / by Jenny Carroll
Contributed by Deena Thomas
(BASTROP) As the start of school approaches in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Greg Abbott recently granted local school boards power to make final decisions for start dates and method of instruction for the 2020-2021 school year. While public school boards wrestle with the means to ensure student safety and health amid large student populations, private schools in the Bastrop County area work with smaller student populations, making on-campus learning, while following all CDC recommendations, a viable option.
Bastrop ISD students will begin with online instruction from Aug. 18-Sept. 8. All parents were requested to complete a form choosing onsite or online instruction for their students by August 9 so that appropriate plans could be made to serve all students beyond Sept. 8.
Smithville ISD students will begin instruction on August 24. Students will be served based on preference as noted in an instructional programming form completed by parents by August 9. Families may make changes in on-campus versus online instructional preference within the first three weeks of instruction and at every nine-week grading period thereafter.
Elgin ISD students will begin online instruction August 24 with a projected on-campus learning option beginning Sept. 21.
The Bastrop area also offers a number of private school options, many of which are accepting students for their 2020-2021 school year. Alternatives to the public school option in the Bastrop area include the following:
Calvary Episcopal School fosters the development of the whole child in a Christian environment, models respect for others and encourages a love of learning through a sense of joy and wonder in all God’s works.
Start Date: August 24 with on-campus learning and an option for online instruction upon request
Serves: PreK3 – Sixth Grades
Curriculum: Accredited by the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools
Calvary Episcopal School administrators and school board have worked this spring with the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and in collaboration the Health Advisory Collaborative, led by Dr. Douglas Monroe of Memorial Herman Houston, to develop a school re-entry plan that focuses on COVID-19 risk mitigation.? Bathrooms have been renovated to include touchless faucets. In addition to all CDC guidelines for on-campus learning, Calvary Episcopal School is committed to ensuring efficient air ventilation within their buildings as recommended by the Health Advisory Collaborative. Additionally, the head of school will monitor each Friday the Travis County COVID-19 risk chart. As long as the risk chart stays above red, on-campus learning will take place for the next instructional week.
Average Enrollment: 130 students
Campus Location: 603 Spring Street Bastrop
Contact Info: 512-321-1610
Head of School: Catherine Bohot
Calvary serves a diverse population of students of all faiths and races. There is a process in place for those requesting tuition assistance.
Through Calvary’s academic, athletic, and artistic experiences, their students learn to take responsibility and work together, to take risks, to explore new approaches, and to strive for their best even when the challenge seems daunting. Children are growing up in an interconnected world and Calvary Episcopal School embraces the strength that comes from a community that is inclusive and diverse, and in which all children feel valued, respected, and passionate about learning.
Calvary students begin each day with chapel. Currently, the school is exploring plans for future growth and expansion of grade levels.
CORNERSTONE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
Cornerstone is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2005. The original aim of Cornerstone was to provide a Bible-based educational environment to the Bastrop community. For over a decade, Cornerstone High School did just that. However, after seeing a bigger need for a Christian education at younger grades, Cornerstone restructured its organization in 2019.
Cornerstone offers a low student ratio with spacious classrooms easily facilitating social distancing. CDC guidelines will be followed including daily student wellness checks at the outside drop off area.
Start Date: August 17 with on-campus learning
Serves: 18 Months to Third Grade
Curriculum: Montessori with five key learning areas: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, and Culture. Culture includes the following studies:
Geography (Solar System, earth layers, continents, landforms)
Botany (classification, ecology, physiology of plants)
Zoology (physiology of animals, classification)
History (timelines, using a calendar)
Cornerstone lets the child lead their education at a pace in which they feel comfortable. It is about the journey, not the destination.
Campus Location: 125 Lower Red Rock Road
Contact Info: 512-581-1636
Head of School: Vance Ray
Director: Hannah Ray
Vision: Cornerstone Christian Academy’s goal is to foster a vibrant, faith-based toddler through twelfth-grade community that helps parents teach and equip their children with the knowledge and resources their children need in order to go live excellent and meaningful lives that positively impact Bastrop, its surrounding communities, and the world.
GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN SCHOOL
Good Shepherd Lutheran School was begun by Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, here in Bastrop as an extension of their Little Sheep Learning Center that serves infants through PreK ages.
Throughout the past months of the COVID pandemic, Little Sheep Learning Center has remained open serving children without COVID incident. It is this plan that will guide the school’s on-campus safety and health plan. In addition to following all CDC guidelines, the school has contracted with a cleaning service which will provide weekly anti-viral static disinfectant throughout its facility. All students and faculty will be provided masks and shields as well.
Start Date: August 17 with on-campus learning and an on-line learning option upon request
Serves: K-Third Grade
Curriculum: Currently seeking accreditation with an internationally recognized platform; utilizes Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publisher which is Texas Essential Knowledge Skill (TEKS) aligned and weekly Mast Math and Science Technology
Campus Location: 202 Tx-71W Bastrop
Contact Info: 512-988-1778
Head of School: Alysa Johnson
Good Shepherd Lutheran School is dedicated to providing a premier academic and religious education for all children. The distinguished educational environment will inspire children to become passionate life-long learners.
ROSANKY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
Rosanky Christian Academy has a twenty-year commitment to educating students from the Bastrop area utilizing a Christian-based curriculum. Meeting all CDC guidelines and because of their low student ratio, on-campus learning during this pandemic is possible at Rosanky Christian Academy.
Start Date: September 1 with on-campus learning
Serves: PreK3 – Twelfth Grade
Curriculum: Accelerated Christian Education used for over 40 years by 7,000 schools and 7,000 homeschoolers
Average Enrollment: 100 students
Campus Location: 2160 Farm to Market 535 Rosanky
Contact Info: 512-360-3109
Administrator: Pastor John Abraham
Principal: Sarah Voigt
Rosanky Christian Academy students experience an individually paced, content-mastery learning model facilitated by grade-level teachers in a small classroom setting.