“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
In a fallen world where decay and contamination can give life to viruses such as COVID-19, we will experience heartaches, depression, and disappointments. Faith in Christ will not exempt us from these conditions. But faith in Christ will get us through it, and make us stronger! As you navigate these challenging days, I encourage you to take every opportunity to lean closer into Jesus. He himself suffered pain and loneliness in life, and He will comfort you! Jesus has overcome the world, and it is only in Him that we can find ultimate victory and deliverance.
One fallout from the school closure is the need to make up lost educational days. School officials in the U.S. and abroad are exploring the possibility of extending this school year and/or starting next year as early as July. Because our online lessons and assignments are part of—and essential to—completing the year-long curriculum, UCA will not need to extend the current school year nor start next school year early. Please inform your children with this fact, and encourage them to continue to work diligently with their online instruction because their labor is not in vain.
UCA is planning to start next school year with in-classroom instruction as originally planned for on August 12. Should the pandemic dictate a delay, we will open after Labor Day on September 9. Attached is a copy of the school calendar. Page 2 of the document contains key dates should we need to implement a “Delayed Start Calendar.” To further help you plan next year, UCA will offer a full refund of tuition should we not be able to open school for any reason at all.* While we may not be able to control the circumstances, we are committed to do all we can to help families plan and head into next school year with confidence.
*Please let me clarify what was meant. There is no reason at all to think that UCA will not be able to open school next year. The statement was meant to have the opposite effect: we are so confident that we will open and provide in-person schooling next year that we are guaranteeing a full refund should it fail to materialize (due to the coronavirus or anything else!). Our confidence in re-opening is such that we will fully guarantee families’ tuition investments. We want families to have full confidence and boldness to plan and invest the next academic year with us; you have nothing to lose and your tuition is fully guaranteed.
The staff and I are continuing to monitor the changing environment and exploring how we can best serve our school families. Some of these include looking for ways to offer childcare to UCA parents who are essential workers (starting May 18), conducting end-of-year activities (the week of May 26), and hosting as grand of a graduation ceremony (May 29) as the executive order will allow.
April 21, 2020
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6, 7 (NLT)
Dear UCA Families,
What a relief to hear and read that we may be toward the latter half of the coronavirus pandemic! The citizens of California have done well to comply with stringent mitigation measures, keeping our rate of infections and deaths down. We pray for wisdom and patience that we continue to act judiciously and not give the virus another opportunity to surge.
The stay-at-home order has been extended to May 15 in California. Given this restriction, the UCA administration believes it is best to continue with online instruction until May 22. However, as restrictions are eased and conditions permit, we plan to offer the following:
1. Starting on May 18, we plan to provide childcare to K-8 UCA students needing the service. Priority will be given to parents who are essential workers; other UCA families will be included based on availability of space and staffing. Essential workers include health care workers, emergency personnel, and first responders battling against this health crisis and those providing the vital services that we depend on daily, such as utilities and childcare providers. They also include employees from a wide range of businesses, such as grocery stores, gas stations, and hardware stores. This service is available for current UCA students only, and it is free during school hours; regular rates apply for before school and after school care. Sign-up and more information to follow.
2. During the week of May 26 (the last week of school), our teachers plan to host small end-of-year activities with their students. This will allow teachers and students to wrap up the school year and say goodbye to one another as we head into summer. Such activities would be in compliance with CDC guidelines (e.g. less than 10 students at a time) and participation would be optional to UCA families.
3. Our graduation is still planned for Friday, May 29, at 6:00 pm. In-person attendance will be limited to those permitted under the executive order, with priorities given to graduates and their immediate family members. All others can enjoy the ceremony via an online broadcast.
We are pleased to announce that all families will receive full credit for all servanthood hours required for the school year. This credit will be applied to your accounts automatically. Additionally, all families who have been negatively impacted financially should request a 25% tuition discount for the month of May. The discount will be provided to all UCA parents who have experienced lost or reduced pay because of the coronavirus. Please email Patricia Ornelas (patriciaornelas@UCAcademy.org) and notify her of your request for the May tuition discount.
This pandemic is showing just how financially inter-dependent we are with one another: if one link is broken, the whole financial ecosystem is compromised. If your family is not impacted financially, we rejoice with you! We also kindly ask that you continue to keep your full tuition commitment. This is because UCA has and will continue to keep our full financial commitments, including continuing to pay our employees, rent, and other financial obligations at 100%. We also have families who have reached out to us in need, and we have been faithful to provide assistance during this crisis. When all is said and done, UCA will take a sizable financial hit from this pandemic. But we feel it is important to keep our commitments to keep the financial ecosystem as stable as possible for all. We are grateful to do our part, and we are indebted to the many UCA families doing their part to keep our economy going.
Finally…we are hosting a drive-thru Parade and Produce Giveaway this Thursday!! ALFC has received a big donation of fresh produce from large corporations such as Costco, and Pastor Diego would like to bless UCA families with it! Families are invited to enter the campus via the White Oak entrance (nearest to the football field). Faculty and staff will be lining up (at least 6 ft apart!) along the driveway and throughout the campus to greet families as they drive through. Teachers will be wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Students and families with masks on may converse with teacher from their car. (We ask that families without masks on keep their car windows rolled up at all times.) At the drop-off circle, a staff member will place bag full of fresh produce for you to enjoy!
Parade & Produce Giveaway*
Thursday, April 23, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Enter via White Oak entrance (near football field)
*Note: This special giveaway is for UCA families only, on a first-come, first-served basis until supplies run out. If you know of others in need of food, please direct them to the ALFC Distribution Center (on 6th and Utica) during regular distribution hours on Tuesdays from 12pm-4pm and Saturdays from 10am-1pm.
April 2, 2020
“You, God, will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.” -Isaiah 26:3, 4
Dear UCA Families,
I am writing to give a note of encouragement and a brief school update. We are starting to hear reports of public schools closing for the remainder of the year. For safety and health reasons, UCA may have to do the same, but we feel that waiting until mid-April would provide time for the quarantine to work and better data to make the best decision possible. Therefore, we will continue to pray and plan on school re-opening in May. We will monitor the situation closely and make a final decision on April 21, if not sooner. UCA will only re-open if the governmental executive orders are lifted, and the health and safety of our students and staff are not at-risk unnecessarily.
It is important for UCA families to understand an essential difference between UCA online learning versus what public schools are offering. Public schools may assign work and lessons to keep students busy during the closure, but by law the assignments cannot count toward students’ required education. In contrast, the UCA online lessons and work assigned are part of—and essential to—completing the year-long curriculum. The work that is being assigned by UCA teachers is graded and will count toward the students’ earned education credits. For this reason, it is essential that students stay up with their workload. We are blessed that, as a private school, we can continue the education of our children so that when school resumes, there will not be a large gap in student learning. Please make sure that your children understand and continue to give their best efforts because the work they are doing contributes to their learning AND counts toward their grades and educational credits.
I want to invite all students and families to join our All-School Easter Chapel on Thursday, April 9, at 8:15 am. Join us online as we celebrate Easter and encourage one another! A link to the service will be sent out next week.
Finally, I will be hosting a UCA “Town Hall” Meeting this Friday, April 3, at 8:30 am. Please join me at this Zoom meeting for a time of fellowship, to hear the latest school news, and to share your questions, suggestions, or concerns over school matters. Check your email for instructions.
March 20, 2020
Dear UCA Parents,
As you have probably heard, residents of California are under an executive order to stay at home and practice social distancing in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus. This order applies to public and private schools. Many California school districts, including Chaffey, have announced that they will be closed until at least May 1. In compliance with the executive order, and in order to assist families and teachers with planning, the UCA campus will remain closed until May 1, and all instruction will be offered online. We will continue to monitor the situation, and It is our prayer and sincere hope that we will be able to re-open regular classes on Monday, May 4.
Our teachers and principals have done a remarkable job of transitioning our school to online instruction. We understand that some glitches will occur, primarily due to the unprecedented demand for bandwidth worldwide. Please be patient and work diligently with your children to ensure that they stay on task. Our goal is to keep pace with the scope and sequence of the year-long curriculum while providing some allowances inherent in an online learning platform. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher (or classroom aide) if he/she requires a more in-depth, one-on-one instruction.
Although the campus and school offices are physically closed, all of our teachers and staff are available to serve you and your children. UCA is committed to keeping all of our employees employed and paid through this crisis. Please do not hesitate to contact any of us via email. Within the confines of the executive order, we will find ways to provide tutoring, counseling, or any other services that UCA families may need. We also want to offer again our emergency childcare service. If you have urgent needs that cannot be met with alternative childcare plans, please complete the attached form and return to Debbie Acheson (dacheson@UCAcademy.org). We will be reviewing all requests and doing our best to meet your needs.
This crisis has presented many challenges and set-backs to every one of us. But with every crisis there are blessings too if we will open our hearts to accept them. How many times have we privately longed for rest, or a slower pace to life, or more time with family?!? Those silent longings are now available to us. The loss and set-backs are very real, but God’s grace is sufficient and we will make it through together! In the process, let’s make it our goal to enjoy two of the greatest gifts in the world: time and family.
Let’s be faithful in praying for healing and recovery for our county and our school. Please pray, too, that UCA can re-open in May. We desperately miss you and long to enjoy the fellowship of our school community again soon!
March 13, 2020 [3:00pm]
Dear UCA Families,
Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, UCA will be closed through Friday, April 3, with classes resuming on Monday, April 6, while we evaluate the appropriate path forward with regard to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. If we need to extend the closure through Easter vacation, that will be evaluated and communicated with you. Although no confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported in San Bernardino County, or on our campus, we are dealing with a public health crisis the magnitude of which none of us could have reasonably anticipated. We are all in uncharted waters as we work together to prevent the spread of the illness, and it has become clear that the appropriate path is to close schools to protect staff and students.
The following plans are in place beginning on Monday:
Monday is teacher in-service and further preparations are being finalized. Families who have signed up for their child to be in student care on Monday may still utilize that service.
Tuesday, March 17, final preparations by teachers being made.
Wednesday, March 18, through Friday, April 3, remote instruction is in place.
Wednesday, March 18, parents of elementary students can pick up work packets for that week between 8:00-10:00 am and again 1:30-3:30 pm.
Junior High and High School students will begin online/remote instruction beginning Wednesday, March 18. Students must be checking their school email and Canvas notifications for principal and teacher communication.
Support staff will be on campus to assist with any implementation needed for our remote learning program. Further information will be forthcoming on Tuesday.
Thank you for your patience and trust as we work together to proactively maintain a healthy and protective environment during these difficult times. We will continue to send out communication with any updates or changes as new information becomes available. In addition, we have a School Updates page on our website – https://ucacademy.org/about-us/school-updates/ – where we will post the most recent updates as well.
Once again, let’s continue to live joyfully in faith, and let’s exercise all the precautions we can to protect our health!
March 13, 2020 [8:00am]
Dear UCA Families,
Although the risk of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) remains low in San Bernardino County, the threat grows closer and closer to our community. UCA finds it critical to take increasing measures of precaution, and administration has elected to implement the safety practices below effective next week (starting Tuesday, March 17) and until further notice. The following guidelines will increase social distancing and limit our students’ contact with the outside community:
1. Field trips with large exposure to the outside community will be cancelled
2. School events (chapels, lunches, rallies, assemblies, etc.) will be limited to UCA students only
3. School gatherings over 250 people will be cancelled
4. Visitors and volunteers to the classrooms will be discontinued for the time being. Only critical volunteers will be allowed, and they will be required to follow the safety protocol of regular staff members.
5. School athletic contests will be postponed. Athletic practices will take place as usual so long as school is in session.
Reminder: UCA will be following the Chaffey Joint Union High School District (CJUHSD) schedule for school closure. If CJUHSD is closed, then UCA will likewise be closed because our school covers the same geographic area and faces the same threat as CJUHSD. We encourage families to have childcare arrangements in place in the event of a school closure. There will not be online instruction on the first day of the school closure. Our teachers will be using the first day of closure to make the final preparations to the online content. Links to videos and lessons will be provided starting with the second day of school closure and each school day thereafter.
UCA teachers have been in training and working with our Tech Team on providing remote student learning should we need to close school. In addition, we will be using a good portion of our teacher in-service day on Monday, March 16, to continue this training and planning.
We do understand there may be students or students with family members with existing medical conditions or compromised immune systems, and that may give you concern about your child’s school attendance at this time. If that is your situation, please contact your child’s principal. We want to work alongside you in implementing a plan that will provide for the educational needs of your child while allowing them to be at home even while UCA remains open.
We will continue to send out communication with any updates or changes as new information becomes available. In addition, we have a School Updates page on our website – https://ucacademy.org/about-us/school-updates/ – where we will post the most recent updates as well.
Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation as we make the best of these difficult situations. Each person and each family responds differently to emergencies. UCA will do our best to give all families as much latitude as possible to do what they feel is most appropriate for them.
Let’s continue to live joyfully in faith, and let’s exercise all the precautions we can to protect our health!
March 12, 2020
Dear UCA Parents,
I want to update you on UCA’s plan in the event of a school closure. UCA will be following the Chaffey Joint Union High School District (CJUHSD) schedule for school closure. If CJUHSD is closed, then UCA will likewise be closed because our school covers the same geographic area and faces the same threat as CJUHSD. There will not be online instruction on the first day of the school closure. Our teachers will be using the first day of closure to prepare and create online content. Links to videos and lessons will be provided starting with the second day of school closure and each school day thereafter. Should school closure become necessary, you will be informed through email and Parent Alert text. Therefore, it is important that your contact information is accurate in FACTS/RenWeb.
Administration is continuing to monitor the situation, and we will be putting into place more aggressive measures and communicating that information to you.
Thank you for continuing to walk confidently in faith while we all exercise appropriate precautions.
March 5, 2020
Dear UCA Families,
We know that the coronavirus is of great concern to you and your family. It is to us too. This is an update on how our school will continue to address the threat.
We are advising our Chinese students not to travel home during Easter Break. We do not believe that any of them will because of the governments’ travel restrictions. Those students (or family members) who travel to/from China will not be allowed to come to school until the 14-day incubation period has passed and they are free of symptoms. This policy has been in place since the outbreak, and we will continue to implement it for as long as it is necessary.
Our school is also preparing for a possible outbreak in the Inland Empire. In such situations, our school will likely follow the Chaffey Joint Union HS School District (CJUHSD) decision regarding quarantine/school closure. If we have to close school temporarily, all of our teachers will be recording their lessons and sending links home so that students can still continue with their studies. We recognize that nothing can replace the face-to-face interaction and life-on-life mentoring of a regular classroom. However, we must progress with our learning because we do not know how long the quarantine/closure will last, if it is imposed. In the last seven years, UCA has done a terrific job of advancing with available technology. Because of those investments and familiarity, we will be in position to continue with our instructions during such disruptions.
We continue to follow the CDC’s recommendations for fighting the coronavirus, including using hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes in classrooms. We are also training students and encouraging families to follow these health recommendations. Some of these recommendations include:
Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
Use “respiratory etiquette” – Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Stay home when sick. Students should be free from fever and vomiting for 24 hours before returning to school (no matter the cause of fever or vomiting).
Let me know if you have questions or suggestions on these important school matters. Thank you for continually praying for our students and our school!
Request for Child Care
We are offering childcare to K-8 UCA students beginning May 18. Priority will be given to parents who are essential workers; other UCA families will be included based on availability of space and staffing. Essential workers include health care workers, emergency personnel, and first responders battling against this health crisis and those providing the vital services that we depend on daily, such as utilities and childcare providers. They also include employees from a wide range of businesses, such as grocery stores, gas stations, and hardware stores.
This service is available for current UCA students only, and it is free during school hours; regular rates apply for before school and after school care. All forms should be sent to Josh Rasmussen, Student Care Supervisor, at jrasmussen@UCAcademy.org by next Wednesday, May 13.
All families who have been negatively impacted financially should request a 25% tuition discount for the month of May. The discount will be provided to all UCA parents who have experienced lost or reduced pay because of the coronavirus. Please email Patricia Ornelas (patriciaornelas@UCAcademy.org) and notify her of your request for the May tuition discount.