COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Wednesday was the first day back in class for one Columbus private school.
And, as you would expect, the morning started with prayer on Calvary Christian School’s Old Moon Road campus.
“Father, I want to be so bold as to pray that this be an awesome year for each one of our students, the new Knights who have joined us.”
That was Calvary Christian Headmaster Jim Koan.
After doing a combination of online and in-seat learning since March of 2020, all 720 or so of Calvary’s students are back in the classroom.
It’s near-record enrollment for the 45-year-old school.
And when it comes to masks and vaccines, the school is leaving that decision up to the parents.
“One of the things that we felt was very important was to communicate to our parents that we trust them to make the decisions that are best for their kids in terms of their health,” Koan said. “Therefore, we are giving parents the option to require their kids to wear masks or not wear masks. And when we announced that last week to our families, it has been almost universal support for that decision.”
One parent welcomed that choice.
“I feel that it ought to be a parental choice and everybody’s choice whether they wear a mask or they don’t. Your health is your business,” said Jammie Holloway, a Calvary Christian School parent with two children in the school. “And I am proud that Calvary has taken a stand allowing parents and students to choose for themselves. And if you want to wear a mask, please do. You are encouraged to do so. But if you don’t, don’t it’s OK.”
But at the high school level, it will likely fall on the students. And one senior knows how he will handle it.
“I definitely respect those people who do wear masks,” said Andrew McGinnis, “And I will wear a mask if somebody asks me to. And I have no problem wearing a mask. Outside right now, I feel we are all pretty well distanced. If we are in a room together, that might change.”
Koan tells News 3 that he has had little to no pushback on the policy.
“And when we announced that last week to our families, it has been almost universal support for that decision,” he said.
This decision comes as many area public school districts, including Muscogee County, Phenix City, and Russell County are requiring masks. Masks are optional for Harris County students but required for faculty, staff, and visitors.