INSIDE PERSPECTIVE

 
 
 
 
 

Dear HHCA Family, 

Together, we have navigated through a myriad of circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This season has presented unprecedented challenges for all schools and organizations.

MARCH 2020:

HHCA abruptly transitioned to online school for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

 

AUGUST 2020:

With carefully designed measures in place, HHCA opened school in-person on August 4th and was blessed to stay open for the remainder of the year. HHCA faculty and staff, school leadership, and our students and families partnered together to push forward in the face of challenges that the new environment presented. We relied on vision and creativity, allowing full programming in academics, fine arts, and athletics throughout the year.  

 

AUGUST 2021:

In the midst of an ongoing pandemic, HHCA began another school year committed to providing an excellent experience where students would be:

  • together in community
  • safe and healthy physically
  • provided with an environment where they can thrive spiritually, emotionally and academically

 

THE ONGOING PANDEMIC
As we navigate through the Delta variant of COVID-19 there is already news of the Mu variant...and perhaps even others that may follow. It seems that the “ongoing pandemic” has officially been set in motion. As the COVID-19 pandemic becomes more and more politicized, it has literally divided our country, our family, and our friends. The media is so divided that it is difficult to know what is true at this point. 

OUR COMMON GROUND
With this background, and a “boots-on-the-ground” perspective from inside HHCA, my goal is to cut through all of the divisiveness and find a common ground we can all agree upon--the universal love for our childrenour greatest asset and our future

THREE REALITIES, EQUALLY IMPORTANT
By addressing the three topics below, I hope to convey how each of them directly impacts the generation we are raising arm-in-arm.  While the first is constantly in front of us due to divided media coverage, the other two are receiving minimal discussion because they are either unseen or viewed as “down-the-road," and therefore not imminent concerns.

_______________________________
 

PHYSICAL HEALTH

The 2020-2021 school year version of COVID-19 seemed to have little impact on students. That is not to say students were not testing positive, but rather that the majority of schools that opened did not see the spread that was feared. This school year’s version of COVID-19 has presented higher spread rates among students. We have carefully designed protocols in place because the physical health of our students has been and will continue to be a top priority.  Equally significant, however, is the emotional and academic health of our children.

EMOTIONAL HEALTH

Over the last ten years, there has been a documented rise in teenage mental health issues such as depression, self-harm, suicide, increased school shootings, and so on. The use of phones and social media has been connected to many of these issues over the same time period. Compounding the already challenging problem is that separation and isolation resulting from COVID-19 may lead to an increase of these issues. What if having students only in school online or in isolation due to quarantine and alone in front of a screen all day, is exacerbating the problem that already exists?  

Students were created in the image of God to be relational beings. 
To isolate them and keep them apart is counter-nature.

ACADEMIC HEALTH

Academic impacts related to COVID-19 are also coming to light. Many students are unable to grow academically without the opportunity to learn in person. Even with the opportunity to attend school in person, measures such as spacing students as far away as possible from one another or enforcing universal masking for students and teachers can have a significant impact on the overall academic environment. HHCA is committed to providing students a safe environment where they can grow and thrive in their academic pursuits.

_______________________________

 

The reason I mention all three of these impacts is because there has been little discussion about the consequences of the latter two. 

The lack of consideration for the long-term consequences of the emotional and academic health of students impacted by this pandemic is like watching a storm on the horizon of the ocean rolling towards the shore. 

At some point, schools will have to think beyond the immediate physical impact of this seemingly endless pandemic. Inevitably, the emotional and academic impacts must be acknowledged and addressed.

While Social Emotional Learning (SEL) instruction and initiatives have grown more prevalent in schools, there is a limit to its effectiveness if not rooted in a proper understanding of the relational nature of students being made in the image of God.

HHCA is committed to creating a community in which students can thrive in their physical health as well as in their emotional and spiritual growth and academic pursuits. In a short visit to campus or a school-sponsored event, one can quickly feel that our students have a renewed sense of pride in their school. The overwhelming need for community is evident in our students' daily interactions now more than ever.

My prayer for HHCA is that we will continue to move forward with boldness and wisdom, with the whole nature of our students at the forefront of all that we do. 

Thank you for your partnership as we walk through this school year together.  May God be glorified in and through HHCA!

Doug Langhals, Head of Schoool
HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
 
 
https://view.flodesk.com/emails/61491741838cea45901084d2 Source: EDUCATING THROUGH A PANDEMIC
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