COVID-19

At Christian Academy of Knoxville, we believe in-person learning with a Christian teacher with a small class size is the very best learning environment for our students. It is our goal to have classes in person as long as it is safe to do so. We plan to begin the 2020-2021 school year in-person, on-campus with our level 2 precautions (see below, page 2).

However, there may be times when it is necessary to go to distance learning for safety reasons. We will not be making those decisions lightly. In those times, while we know in-person is the ultimate goal, we also rest easy in the knowledge that we have the technology, experience, and ability to deliver our high-quality CAK education at a safe distance. 

Please watch the roundtable discussion below which features Head of School Rich Fulford, Board member Lynn Nichols, MD (Pulmonologist), Board member Neal Peters (DPM Surface Care, Sanitization specialist), Board member Janet McLean (retired CAK teacher), and CAK Senior Anna Nichols discussing the Fall 2020 plan.

Roundtable Discussion

Before coming to Campus:

If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, do not come onto our campus. Instead, remain home and contact us know: 
  • Are you or anyone in your household currently awaiting the results of COVID-19 testing? 
  • Have you or anyone in your household been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19? 
  • Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat? 
  • Have you had a new loss of taste or smell? 
  • Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours? 
  • Have you had a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above within the last 48 hours?

Back to School Guide

Download this Back to School Guide to learn how CAK will be responding to COVID-19 during the fall of 2020.

FAQs for our Community

List of 14 frequently asked questions.

  • What are CAK's plans for the start of school this year?

    CAK intends to hold on-campus classes this fall. CAK has been working closely with the Knox County Health Department (KCHD) and other private schools on best practices to safely return to campus.

    Being a private school, we are blessed to value small class sizes which makes it much more feasible to social distance while in person. We have developed three different scenarios, detailed below, for in-person learning.

    We also do have a fourth plan for moving to a distance learning model. We are calling these Level 1-4. As of Friday, July 17, we plan to open school on August 11 under the Level 2 plan.
  • What are the levels of precautions are you taking?

    As of Friday, July 17, we plan to open school on August 11 under the Level 2 plan (see below).
     
    LEVEL 1 - NO CASES IN OUR SCHOOL OR COMMUNITY
    Under this scenario, we would operate as we normally have in the past. As always, classrooms have hand sanitizer and students are encouraged to use it.
     
    LEVEL 2 - MINIMAL CASES IN OUR SCHOOL OR COMMUNITY
    Social distancing measures - Maintain 6’ of social distancing whenever possible. Employ measures to limit the congregation of students upon entry/dismissal, at lunch, at recess, and at other times. Floors may be marked with social distancing stickers in high traffic areas, and we will have entry and exit doors. Class changes are permitted, but masks must be worn during class change. Desks in classrooms will be properly social distanced, fabric sofas and other materials that cannot be easily disinfected will be removed.
     
    Arrival - Temperature checks will occur daily upon arrival. Masks are required at arrival and dismissal times. Measures will be put into place to discourage the congregation and encourage social distancing.
    Lunch - There will be no self-service lines, SAGE staff will directly serve students, and many items will be pre-wrapped for easy grab and go. We will take action to create smaller groups for socially distancing purposes. These groups will look different for each grade-level. 

    Mask Policy - For students in 1st grade and up, masks are required when social distancing is not possible (in the hallways, arrival and dismissal, etc). For students in preschool to pre-1st grade, masks are strongly recommended for times when proper social distancing cannot be achieved. We recommend a gaiter-style of mask for easy up and easy down.

    PE / Recess
    - We will rotate PE/recess through in smaller groups to allow for social distancing. Students will not be required to dress out. No contact activities in PE. Students will wash hands before and after PE / recess. Playground and gym equipment will be sanitized.

    Music - Still allowable with social distancing measures (masks required, humming instead of singing as warranted)

    Extracurriculars - Allowable under principal discretion

    Athletics - CAK’s athletics will follow the TSSAA guidelines
    Visitors - Guests will be limited and must be approved by administration. Visitors must pass a COVID-19 screening and wear a mask when social distancing is not possible.
     
    Additional Cleaning - An additional professional custodian will be on staff during the day to clean high-touch surfaces. We will also employ an additional deep cleaning.
     
    Chapel - Chapel will be virtual when social distancing is not possible.
     
    Field Trips - No off-campus field trips allowed
     
    Water Fountains - Water fountains will be closed. Students are encouraged to bring water bottles, and we will have refilling stations available.
     
    CAK Special Events - Follow KCHD guidelines
     
    LEVEL 3 - MODERATE CASES IN OUR SCHOOL OR COMMUNITY
    The level 3 plan at CAK will follow the same measures as the level 2 plan with the following differences:
     
    At-risk students/employees - CAK will seek to work with individual teachers, students, and staff on a case by case basis and accommodate as appropriate to ensure progress continues
     
    CAK Special Events - Continue to follow KCHD guidelines
     
    Guests/visitors - Only essential guests allowed at administration approval
     
    Additional cleaning - Daily deep cleaning of buildings
     
    LEVEL 4 - SUBSTANTIAL CASES IN OUR SCHOOL OR COMMUNITY
    Move to CAK’s Distance Learning Plan with the goal of returning to full, on-campus instruction as soon as Health authorities determine it is safe to do so. This level can be accomplished at the campus, building, or classroom level. 
  • How will CAK decide to move between these plans?

    The administration has the discretion to adjust the plans at any time. CAK is constantly evaluating best practices and making a decision based on the latest guidance of our government, health care officials, as well as data such as our absentee rate, the number of active COVID-19 cases in our community, and whether or not we have had any positive COVID-19 cases at CAK itself.
  • How can I know that my student is safe? 

    CAK is committed to providing the safest environment possible. The school has a certified nurse on staff, and we monitor the latest data from our local, state and national authorities. In addition, CAK participates in national and regional workshops to define and understand best practices. Being a Christian school, CAK recognizes that each student is a unique gift from God. As your educational partner, we know that each family will need to evaluate the needs of their student(s). We can walk with you in offering the safest possible school environment and welcome personal discussions about your student(s); We intend to give you the best information possible as you make the decisions about sending your student back to school and the precautions we are taking to minimize the health risks to your child.
  • What should I do if my child is sick?

    As we continue to partner with you, our parents, we ask that you also monitor your child’s health at home. We understand that this is a unique school year, and as such we have made a commitment to look at the attendance policy on a case by case basis. We do not want anyone coming to school sick, and we will work with parents as a partner on this.

    If your student answers "yes" to any of these questions, please remain home and contact your school building receptionist to let us know: 
    • Are you or anyone in your household currently awaiting the results of COVID-19 testing? 
    • Have you or anyone in your household been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19? 
    • Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat? 
    • Have you had a new loss of taste or smell? 
    • Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours? 
    • Have you had a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above within the last 48 hours?
    Absentee Policy: A student may return to school once they have been symptom-free and fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications for 72 hours or once they receive a negative test for COVID-19.
  • What will happen if my child begins to show symptoms while on campus? 

    Please know that our top two priorities are safety and health privacy. We will not share your name or your child’s name or other identifying information with the community at large. 

    If a student or employee begins to show signs of COVID-19 while at school, we have a separate space for them to wait, away from other students/staff, until they are able to be picked up from school. We ask that you speak to your health care provider, and if your child is COVID-19 positive, we ask that you let us know so that we can begin the process of contact tracing, which keeps everyone safe. 

    We also will notify the Knox County Health Department of any COVID-19 positive individuals, and everyone in close contact will need to do a self-quarantine for 14 days (unless otherwise advised by the Knox County Health Department) during which time that classroom will move to our distance learning model.
  • What calendar changes should I be aware of? 

    Back to School Picnic (August 6) - No picnic, but we will have Meet the Teacher / Walk Through Night. Look for information from your building principal in your email inbox soon. 

    Warrior Wednesdays - First Quarter
    There are two changes to Warrior Wednesdays as we begin the school year. These changes are only temporary. 

    First, Governor Lee has extended the state of emergency in Tennessee through August 29. To honor our government officials as well as to allow for a day of deep cleaning each week, CAK’s administration has decided that two Wednesdays in August (8/19, 8/26) will be designated as distance learning days. This will also allow for our more than 100 new students to acclimate to the distance learning platform in the event that we have to move to full distance learning at some point during the academic year. 

    Second, we plan to be back on campus in person for Wednesdays starting in September. However, there will be no late start during the first quarter of school (September 2nd until October 7th). We are doing this to limit the congregation of multiple students in our Warrior Wednesday early care program which will allow for proper social distancing measures. 

    CALENDAR CHANGES FOR THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR: 

    August 6 - Meet the Teacher / Walk Through Night 
    August 10 - 6th and 9th Grade Orientation 
    August 11 - First Day of School, Early Dismissal 
    August 12 - First Full Day of School, No Late Start 
    August 19 - CAK Distance Learning Model 
    August 26 - CAK Distance Learning Model 
    September 2 - In-Person School, No Late Start 
    September 9 - In-Person School, No Late Start 
    September 16 - In-Person School, No Late Start 
    September 23 - In-Person School, No Late Start 
    September 30 - In-Person School, No Late Start 
    October 7 - In-Person School, No Late Start 
  • Will CAK offer a Distance Learning option for parents? 

    At this time, CAK plans to provide on-campus instruction for all students at all grade levels. The American Association of Pediatrics and other children’s health advocate groups believe that on-campus, in-person learning is best for students academically as well as socially. We concur.

    If the situation becomes such that it is not healthy for students to learn on campus, we believe that it will be best to provide virtual instruction to all students. With the investments made in technology and training over the past few years, CAK is positioned very well to move to distance learning (off-campus) very quickly. We do not plan to offer both options simultaneously. 

    Please be aware that we can use CAK’s Distance Learning for one building or even one classroom, as warranted. This will ensure the proper balance of safety and socialization for our students. 
  • If the government directs schools to remain closed, will CAK move to distance learning this year? 

    We will continue to consider government and other health agency guidance when making decisions for learning. As good citizens and Christians, we believe that we are to follow Romans 13:1-2 and “Obey the government.” Certainly, we will consider the flexibility of the guidelines and make decisions in the best interests of CAK but we do not intend to act outside of the laws of the land.
  • What if I am not comfortable sending my child back? 

    First, we would like the opportunity to speak with you to discuss any concerns you may have. However, if you truly are not comfortable with in-person learning, CAK does offer a homeschool umbrella. CAK’s Homeschool is recognized as one of the best Homeschool programs in East Tennessee.

    Keep in mind, this is not the same as distance learning. CAK’s Homeschool is a parent-driven learning experience, and we ask that you commit to this program for the academic year. If you are interested in learning more about CAK’s Homeschool as an alternative for your child, please let us know.
  • What makes CAK’s Distance Learning Model unique?

    CAK is experienced in moving to distance learning. We were the first school in the area to make the decision to do so in the Spring of 2020, and our students did not miss a single day of learning. As a 1:1 iPad school, our teachers are experienced in balancing hands-on learning with technology, and it is a seamless transition when we move to distance learning. Your child will have his or her own teachers there with them, every step of the way, building relationships and learning new material in a Christ-centered environment.
     
  • If CAK moves to distance learning, will my tuition remain the same? 

    As we did in the spring of 2020 when we moved to distance learning, we will consider the services that are not provided during distance learning and seek to refund the difference as appropriate.
  • What should I do prior to visiting the campus? 

    Campus Visitors
    Any outside visitors to CAK’s campus (such as mail carriers, vendors, etc) will be limited to specific areas and will be required to answer a series of screening questions prior to coming onto campus. These include affirming that they are symptom-free and have not been exposed to COVID-19 prior to being allowed on campus.

    Parent Volunteers
    Parents are a vital part of our community, and our mission is to partner with you. Parents are welcome to volunteer on campus. Please know that you will be asked to complete a series of screening questions as well as a daily temperature screening prior to coming onto campus and you must have administration's approval.
     
    Guidelines for ALL visitors: 
     
    Bring a cloth face mask. These will not be worn the entire time, but you will need to wear it when we cannot maintain 6' of separation. We have plenty of hand sanitizer available and encourage frequent hand washing. 
     
    EACH time you come to campus, please answer the following questions. If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, please remain home and contact us to let us know: 
    • Are you or anyone in your household currently awaiting the results of COVID-19 testing? 
    • Have you or anyone in your household been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19? 
    • Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat? 
    • Have you had a new loss of taste or smell? 
    • Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours? 
    • Have you had a fever above 100.4° Fahrenheit within the last 48 hours? 
  • How will CAK communicate with parents? 

    At CAK, we use several communications channels — social media, website, digital updates, and on-campus signage — to keep you informed throughout the summer and upon returning to school. During the 2020-2021 academic year, you will continue to receive the weekly all-campus e-newsletter, Inside CAK Today, on Thursdays as well as an email from your building principal on Fridays. In addition, for the very latest information on our response to COVID-19, please check our COVID-19 information page which can be found on our website under the “academics” section. If you have questions, you can always reach out to communications@cakmail.org
Knoxville's premier preschool to 12th grade private, college preparatory, Christian school located in Knox County, Tennessee.