COVID-19 Safety Response

As we continue working diligently to keep Bethany a safe place for students, faculty, and staff during COVID-19, we appreciate the options our facility offers us for adapting to these new needs. We are analyzing our building to determine typical patterns of interaction and taking steps to make our school safer for students and staff. Here you will find documents and resources outlining our safety approach and more detailed information about specific topics in the drop down menus below. Previous communication from Head of School Tim Lehman is also available here.
If your student has tested positive for COVID-19 or been in close contact with someone else who has tested positive, please fill out this form to communicate with administrators. Hank or KP will be in touch after you submit your response. Thank you for helping keep our community safe and healthy.

Due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19, Bethany Christian has worked diligently with the Elkhart County Health department to maintain athletic and extracurricular events. In order to continue these events, we will adhere to the following guidelines. We trust you share our desire for our athletes to be able to complete their seasons, and for spectators to continue to be permitted to attend and appreciate your cooperation.

 

High School Basketball

  • Capacity
    • Home Fans
      • Each player will have 4 tickets to distribute. Fans will present a ticket at the gate and pay $5 per ticket.
      • Home fans will enter the NW gate and sit in the NW bleachers.
    • Bethany Students and Staff
      • Free admission - must sign in. Bethany students will sit in the SW bleachers (not behind the team bench).
    • Visiting Fans - a total of 30
      • 30 tickets will be sent to the visiting Athletic Director to distribute. Fans will present a ticket at the gate and pay $5 per ticket.
      • Visiting fans will enter the NW gate and sit in the NE bleachers.
  • Masks REQUIRED to be worn at all times inside the facility
  • Please maintain social distancing (6 ft) between family units
  • No concessions will be sold, and food is not allowed inside the gym
 
Middle School Basketball
  • Capacity
    • Visiting Fans: No visiting spectators will be allowed - essential game personnel only (coaches, players, managers, scorer, bus driver)
    • Home Fans: Parents and Grandparents only
    • Bethany Students and Staff: No students and staff allowed
  • Masks REQUIRED to be worn at all times inside the facility
  • Please maintain social distancing (6 ft) between family units
  • No concessions will be sold, and food is not allowed inside the gym

We ask that all families continuously self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.

  • See the attached sheets in the resource section above that detail symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you are sick.
  • Please contact the Bethany office (574-534-2567) if your student will be absent.
  • Students who are not feeling well in the morning, for any reason, are expected to stay home for the entire school day and may not come to campus for activities.
  • If your student has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or is exhibiting symptoms, please see a health care provider and follow their guidance. Stay home for the recommended recovery time and notify the Bethany office.
  • An undiagnosed student exhibiting typical COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever of 100 degrees or more) should stay home for 10 days from onset of symptoms or until receiving a diagnosis. If your student has symptoms or a fever, they must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and have a doctor's note releasing them to come back to school.
  • If your student has symptoms or a fever, and tests negative for COVID-19, they may return to school once they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • If your child has been tested and you are waiting for test results, please keep your child at home until the results are received. Then follow listed guidelines.
  • If anyone in the home of a Bethany student has been tested and is awaiting results, the student will quarantine until the results are received and then follow guidelines based on the result.
  • If a student becomes ill while at school, parents will be contacted and the student sent home. If a high school student is unable to drive home on their own, they will be cared for in the school infirmary until they can be picked up.
  • If a student is quarantined at home, distance learning for all their classes will be implemented to the extent that the student is able to work. Class recordings and/or assignments may be accessed through each teacher’s Google Classroom.

If there is a diagnosed case of COVID-19 amongst students, faculty, or staff, school administration will follow guidance of the Elkhart County Health Department to determine next steps.

  • Bethany has three Learning Platforms (traditional, hybrid and eLearning) designed to allow students to transition seamlessly from one to another as situations change.
  • Because lower school (4/5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12) students remain separated throughout the day, diagnosed cases in one level may not necessarily affect other levels, providing more options for continued in-person instruction.
  • Families will be notified utilizing our school communication system (email, text and phone) with necessary information.

Bethany is utilizing the most updated and best information possible to inform our decisions related to student safety and school operation.

  • Elkhart County Health Department (ECHD)
  • Indiana State Department of Heath (ISDH)
  • Indiana Department of Education (IDOE)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Per Elkhart County requirements and recommendations from the CDC, IDOE and other health organizations, Bethany will require all students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear a face covering while on Bethany Christian property or in school vehicles.


  • Face coverings can include face masks or face shields. We recommend that students try different options to find the one that is most comfortable for them.
  • Face coverings can be removed during lunch while students eat (social distancing will be maintained within the cafeteria).
  • Face coverings may be removed with permission if the situation warrants.  These could include outdoor classes, PE or times when students are uniquely socially distanced.

Several changes have been made in our cafeteria to abide by COVID-19 related food service safety guidelines. Many of these changes may be temporary, and we hope at some point in the year to return to a more normal meal service style. We will follow careful disinfecting and social distancing procedures in both our meal service and table arrangements.  We believe children will be able to enjoy their lunch period while still following the safety procedures laid out by the National School Lunch Program and our local health department.  Some of the changes include:


  • The cafeteria has been reconfigured to increase the distance between students.
  • Students will sit in the same assigned seats in the cafeteria.
  • Additional lunch shifts have been added to the day to further spread out students.
  • Sanitation stations will be located throughout the cafeteria to be utilized before and after eating.
  • All tables will be disinfected after each lunch shift.
  • Students wanting water with lunch will need to bring a water bottle.he normal water station will not be available.  Touchless water bottle fill stations are being installed at school drinking fountains.
  • Plexiglass has been installed around the cafeteria checkout area.
  • A touchless barcode system utilizing student ID’s will be used by students at checkout.
  • Because of current regulations about disinfecting high-touch surfaces, microwaves will not be available.

All Bethany classrooms are being reconfigured to abide by social distancing recommendations.  Classrooms with tables, desks or a combination will be organized to provide a safer learning environment.

  • Grades 4 and 5 will have double classroom space available to them. A portion of the common wall has been removed to connect two classrooms for each grade.
  • All unnecessary items (i.e. couches) are being removed from each classroom to maximize space.
  • All student seating will follow current social distancing recommendations.
  • Students will sit in the same assigned seats in each classroom.
  • Students and teachers will wear face coverings while in school.
  • There will be a sanitation station for use upon entering all classrooms.
  • Classroom cleaning kits are available in each classroom.
  • All classrooms will be disinfected each evening.

Bethany is well-situated to provide spacious and clean restrooms for all students, faculty, and staff.  Our goal is to distribute usage evenly throughout the three main restroom areas and to remind students of expected hygienic practices.

  • Touchless water bottle fillers have been installed at numerous drinking fountain locations throughout the school.  Other water fountains are turned off.
  • Lower school (grades 4,5), middle school (grades 6-8), and high school (grades 9-12) will each have an assigned restroom located closest to core classrooms limiting interactions between grade levels.  Students will only use the restrooms assigned to their grade level.
  • Restrooms have CDC-designed signage prominently displayed to reinforce good expected hygienic practices.
  • All students will be instructed and frequently reminded of proper bathroom and water fountain etiquette.
  • Restrooms and water bottle filler stations will be disinfected each evening and kept clean throughout the day.
  • Additional hand sanitizing stations are located at the exit of each restroom.
  • Students using the restroom during class time will be tracked to reduce interactions.

We are very fortunate to have spacious hallways that allow us to create a safer and more organized flow of student traffic between periods.

  • Hallways are marked with “lanes” to help keep traffic flowing while limiting close interaction.
  • To reduce the number of students in the hallway at one time, passing periods will be staggered.
  • Lockers are no longer assigned by grade level, but in an alternating pattern across grade levels. This in conjunction with dual passing periods will help keep the number of students visiting their lockers lower and physically distanced between periods.
  • Grades 4 and 5 do not have assigned lockers, but have space for personal items within their double classroom space.

We will minimize the number of guests (including parents) on campus and work to ensure that all those who enter do not pose a detectable health risk.

  • All visitors, guests and parents will call the Bethany office (sign posted out front) when requesting entrance.  Individuals will be verbally screened and have their temperature taken before entering.
  • All visitation dates and times will be tracked.
  • A drop-off / pick-up system has been implemented in the main office glass entryway for the exchange of items between parents and students.

 Bethany students will be screened before entering the school.  In order to maintain social distancing, students will wait in designated areas for school to begin.


  • Students may arrive between 7:15-7:45am (8:15-8:45am on Mondays).
  • Students in grades 4-8 will enter at the MS gym, students in grades 9-12 will enter at the HS gym (families with students from different grades can enter at either location).
  • Cars dropping off students will not leave until children have been screened and cleared to enter the school.
    • Cones will mark where cars should wait until the screening is complete for their carload.
    • Students will exit cars for screening one carload at a time.
  • Two adults will be stationed at each entrance to greet and screen students prior to entrance into the school.
    • Students will be screened verbally and temperatures will be taken.
    • Students with a 100 degree or above temperature will not be admitted.
  • Students in grades 4-8 will be able to visit lockers and then proceed promptly to the following locations:
    • Playground
    • MS gym at designated seating (no bball, vb, etc.)
    • First period classrooms beginning at 7:35am (grades 6-8)
  • Students in grades 9-12 will be able to visit lockers and then proceed promptly to the following locations:
    • Library at designated seating (seniors)
    • HS gym at designated seating (no bball, vb, etc.)
    • First period classrooms beginning at 7:35 am
  • Students will be dismissed from waiting locations for first period classes at staggered times to keep hall traffic to a minimum.

Students not involved in after school activities will leave school in a timely manner. To minimize traffic flow, students will be dismissed at staggered times:


  • Grades 4-5 will be dismissed at 3:10pm, grades 6-8 will be dismissed at 3:20pm, and grades 9-12 will be dismissed at 3:30pm. Parents picking up students are encouraged to get students at the earliest time possible.
  • Parents picking up students in grades 4-5 should park in the gravel parking lot on the north side of the building.
  • Parents picking up students in grades 6-8 should use the circle drive (north lot traffic flow) on the north side of the building as in past years.
  • Parents picking up students in grades 9-12 should park in the south parking lot.
  • All students not involved in after school activities should be picked up by 3:20 pm (grades 4-5), 3:30 pm (grades 6-8) and 3:40 pm (grades 9-12). Younger students waiting for older siblings or parents after these times will wait in designated areas where appropriate social distancing will be followed.

Spaces will be available for all students where appropriate social distancing can be followed. Additional lunch shifts have been created to reduce student numbers in the cafeteria and during recess/lunch break.


  • Students in grades 4-8 will have outdoor recess in multiple locations to reduce student numbers (multiple gyms will be utilized during inclement weather).
  • Students in grades 9-12 will have multiple lunch break locations available including indoor and outdoor options.

School transportation used for before/after school busing, athletics, field trips and other school activities will be carefully managed for safety.


  • All drivers and students will wear face coverings.
  • Vehicles will be disinfected after each use.
  • All school vehicles will be limited to half capacity. 
    • Students will sit in designated seats.
    • Seats being utilized will be staggered to ensure maximum social distancing.
  • School field trips will be carefully scheduled so enough vehicles are available (i.e. MS Wilderness Experience will have grades going on different dates so enough seating is available on school vehicles).
  • Parents will drive on select dates to help with transportation for away athletic events.  Teams will be organized into groups of 2-3 players where families of that group will help transport the players. These groups will be kept throughout the season helping to minimize close contact with additional people.  Parents in the group can rotate driving.
  • Any adult who drives students for a school activity must complete the BCS Volunteer Agreement and Driver Agreement, which can be found in the Family Resources section above.

The main office has been reorganized to provide a safe working environment and spaces for students needing medical attention.

  • Plexiglass has been installed around the office reception areas for the safety of our staff, students and visitors.
  • The office area has been reorganized to lessen traffic, increasing social distancing through multiple office spaces.
  • The office infirmary is now dedicated specifically for students showing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • A separate infirmary has been set up in the office to deal with typical student injuries or medical concerns not related to COVID-19.

Bethany is very fortunate to have quick access to medical professionals.

  • A school nurse is employed by Bethany for treatment of student athletes and is available on-call throughout the school day.
  • A current Bethany teacher is also a licensed physician who is able to provide assistance when needed.

A thorough disinfection of targeted areas will take place on a daily basis in addition to our normal facility cleaning.

  • Additional personnel will deal with specific disinfecting processes on a daily basis.
  • Additional equipment has been purchased to specifically aid in the disinfecting of the school.
  • Cleaning supplies will be available throughout the day for all classrooms and common areas.