Back when the schools closed in March, we never thought that they would have to remain closed into the fall. Scientists and medical experts suggested otherwise, but here at the Club we like to be optimistic. Sadly, the experts were right and the level of COVID-19 in our community means that it is not safe to reopen our California schools in a traditional format. On the Nevada side, the small size of both Zephyr Cove and Whitell means that they can accommodate social distancing and we are delighted for those members who will get to return to school on the 31st.
For our California members, the first six weeks, at least, will be distanced learning with school work completed 100% online. Back in March when the Club was forced to close our doors, the town was pretty much closed too. Hotels were closed, casinos, the resorts, government offices and many others. While that placed a huge financial strain on our families, all but essential workers were, for the greater part, able to be at home with their children. That is not the case this fall. While South Lake has seen a large spike in cases, the relatively low incidence of COVID in other parts of the County is currently keeping us off the Governor’s watchlist. Even when we do go on the watchlist, our hotels, casinos, outside dining and many other businesses will remain open. This means that many parents will not be able to stay home with their children and is why the staff and Board Members of the Club felt it was so important that we continue to stay open for full days this fall. While social distancing will only enable us to accomodate a limited number of members, will we be prioritising the children of essential workers and those parents and guardians who would lose their income if they are unable to be present at their place of work.
Another issue we heard from our members and the community was that students in the two-way immersion program at Bijou were unable to practice their listening/comprehension and speaking in Spanish. The Club is a huge fan of the TWI program, seeing the benefits to our members and the community as a whole that cross-culturalism and bi-lingualism bring, and want to do our part to support the students enrolled in that program. Which is why we are also running a Spanish Language Club this fall. Many of our Bijou staff are returning to their positions at LTUSD and only available in the afternoon. So the Spanish Language Club will be an afternoon program and hopefully located in the City Rec. Center. We are SO grateful to the City staff for suggesting the use of their premises and are keeping our fingers crossed that the City Council approves our use of the facility at their September 8th meeting.
As we do not know if we will reach phase 4 and a return to traditional, full time school this academic year, we have suspended all after-school memberships. Families who had signed-up for the after-school program are being offered three choices: a full refund of any payment/deposit made, a credit, or to donate their payment to the Club. All enrolled 2020-21 after school members are asked to reach out to email@example.com their choice.
Our expectation is that the Club will be open, in some format, for full days for at least the remainder of 2020 and probably into 2021. Keeping staff on full time is placing a huge additional burden on the Club’s already depleted resources and is why we have had to implement a daily fee for the Fall Program. But we have done our best to keep it as low as possible and scholarships are available. Donations to the Club will be used to offset the gap between fees and expenses and to fund our scholarships. More information can be found at www.bgclt.org/donate
We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from parents, staff, community members, local Foundations and businesses as we navigate this crazy year. We could not stay open without their support and also without our incredible staff. They have worked tirelessly, bravely and selflessly this summer to provide a fun, safe and educational place for our members to be, and their courage and determination to put the needs of the community first will carry them through this fall.
For a full explanation of Phase 1 Please Click Here —