What is the Wednesday Study Hall and why is it a thing?

While looking at the reopening schedule for schools in our area, we saw a pattern that some of our major public schools all have Wednesday marked as a “Remote Learning Day”. In other words, students will be tasked with working online from home. Because students cannot attend school in-person that day, every Wednesday from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM starting Wednesday, September 2nd, we are offering students in Middle and High School can instead come to the church for a good working environment. Here are some reasons why we believe this will be beneficial...
  1. Students can come to the church to use the WiFi for schoolwork
There are teens who either do not have WiFi in their homes or their WiFi connection is very poor and unstable. This could be a tremendous help for some families/teens.
  1. Students can have a comfortable place to study
There are teens in our community who find school to be their “safe space”. In other words, their life at home is troublesome, and having a safe place to go could be tremendously helpful.
  1. Students can see and talk to friends
The sad reality with the COVID-19 pandemic is that many teens will not have the opportunity to interact with others their age. High schools in the area are dividing their classes by last names, meaning best friends who have last names at the opposite ends of the alphabet will not be able to see each other in school. Having a day like this where they can be together could be very helpful. This could also allow home school students to interact with others in a learning environment.
  1. Students can ask questions about their schoolwork 
Although teachers are available online to help, many teens would appreciate having someone to help them in-person. If a volunteer who is helping does not know the answer, as mentioned before, the student can always ask their teacher online.

Some Potential Questions

  1. What time?
The time frame will be from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM. A student does not need to be there the whole time, they can come from 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM, etc. whatever the student needs.
  1. When would this start, will it be available every Wednesday?
Our first Wednesday Study Hall is on September 2nd. It will be available every Wednesday unless it is during a holiday break (Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Years, etc.) or if there is a cancelation due to poor weather (snow).
  1. How many students can attend?
The maximum number of students we could host at a safe distance is 80. If there are more than 80 students interested in coming, we will institute a sign-up sheet on a “First Come, First Serve” basis.
  1. Why only Wednesday?
While looking at school reopening plans, most schools in the area have Wednesday designated as a “Remote Learning Day” where no students go into school, but rather work online. The church hosts other groups throughout the week, and Wednesday is the best available day.
  1. What COVID-19 Precautions would be made?
We will follow the church’s guidelines: A face covering must be worn when moving throughout the building, and can only be removed when seated at a 6-foot distance from others. Sanitizer stations will be readily available. Before and after the arrival of students, tables and chairs will be sanitized. If a student does not adhere to the guidelines, he or she may be asked to leave.
  1. What if someone who was in attendance tests positive?
First, we HIGHLY ENCOURAGE anyone who has even the slightest of symptoms to NOT attend. If the student has been around someone who has tested positive they will be asked to not attend for 2 weeks. If someone tests positive, everyone who was in attendance will be informed, and those who were in a near proximity to the individual will also be informed of that (there are cameras in the gym to review and see who was close to whom). In order to return, the individual must be fully recovered from all symptoms and have a doctor's note approving their return.
  1. Where is the Wednesday Study Hall held in the church?
The gymnasium. Tables/chairs will be set up throughout the gym and some on the stage if needed. One student will sit on each end of an 8-foot table. There are not enough power outlets/extension cords for everyone, but they will be available for teens to plug in their laptops, tablets, etc. if their electronic device is at a very low battery. The only entrance/exit that will be used is the side entrance connected to the gym foyer. This is to avoid crossing with Growing Tree Preschool in the children’s area.
  1. What’s the plan for transportation?
Students will be asked to provide their own means of transportation.
  1. What’s the plan for lunches/food?
If a student plans to be in attendance for a longer period of time, they will be asked to bring their own lunch/snacks. There is not a set “lunch period” so the student may eat their lunch whenever he or she so chooses.
10. What’s the plan for volunteers?
There would be at least 2 volunteers other than Pastor Brady present throughout the day. One volunteer from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM, and another volunteer from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM, allowing there to be at least 3 leaders during the presumably “peak” time (10:00 AM - 1:00 PM). All volunteers must go through the standard CAPP (Child Abuse Prevention Policy) procedure at Five Forks.
  1. What will the volunteers do?
The volunteers will make sure the teens are staying in the correct location of the building, sign-in/check-out students as they arrive/depart, ensure all COVID-19 related precautions are being kept, and to keep work areas sanitized. They can also help answer any questions a teen has related to their school work, and encourage teens to focus on their work.
  1. What can the students do if they need a short break?
At 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 2:00 PM I will lead a 15-minute activity, typically outside in the courtyard, where the students can enjoy a quick break from their schoolwork and spend time connecting with other students.
  1. Consent Form
Upon drop-off, a parent/legal guardian will sign their name and also write who is picking up the child. If they are unaware at the time, they must call and inform the church before the child can be picked up. There is also an online consent form that must be filled out by a parent/legal guardian prior to a student being able to enter the gym. Click the link below to fill out an online form…
  1. Is there a great enough internet capacity to host 50-75 students in our gym?
Our “tech guy” responded to this question by saying, “Absolutely. There are three access points within range of the gym, and in regards to the actual fiber uplink we have plenty.”

Example of what a normal day would look like for a students

  • Prior to arrival: All students will be asked to bring a mask, and a water bottle.  In addition, they should make sure their electronic device is fully charged.  A parent/legal guardian MUST complete a consent form prior to the student being allowed to enter the gymnasium (This can be completed at the church if you do not have the technological means of doing so at home).
  • Click here to fill out the consent form... https://forms.gle/MP2Gdp9wvxftTUiJ7
  • Arrive at the church and follow signage that loops around a majority of the parking lot and will lead to the drop-off area at the side entrance, near the gym.
  • With masks on, the student and their parent/legal guardian will enter the church and the parent/legal guardian will sign them in.
  • After helping the student to sign-in, one of the adult leaders will direct the student to an open seat, starting with the back of the gym.
  • Once seated at a 6-foot distance from others, the student can remove their mask and begin doing their schoolwork. If at any point the student has someone within 6-feet of them, (go to the bathroom, ask a question to a fellow student or adult, etc.) he/she must wear a mask.
  • A student is encouraged to bring a lunch meal/snack to have with them at their seat and can eat it whenever he/she so chooses.
  • At 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 2:00 PM there will be a 15-minute activity break, which will typically be outside (weather permitting). A mask will not be required while outside if 6-foot distance is being maintained. A student may choose to continue working if they do not want to take the break.
  • A student can be dropped off as early as 8:00 AM and stay as late as 3:00 PM, they can be at the church for either the full 7 hours, or just 1-2 hours, whichever is most preferable/needed for the student.
  • Adult volunteers will be present, ensuring students are working. If a student has completed their work (with proof) they are permitted to talk to other students who have completed their work, or can sit with another student to help him/her with their work if they have questions (a mask will need to be worn during this time).
  • When departing a student will exit the same door they entered in, taking all of their belongings with them. An adult volunteer will sanitize the area the student was working at so an arriving student can work there later. At the end of the day, all tables and chairs will be cleaned and sanitized.