August 9, 2020 Parent Letter

Dear Eagle Families,


The COVID-19 Committee has continued to meet frequently and work diligently to finalize the Academy’s operational plans for the upcoming school year. This is the 6th communication regarding our “Welcome Back Eagle Plan.” It is an essential one. It covers a good bit of practical instruction and guidance for our families and provides detail as to how the school intends to monitor and manage COVID-19 cases and events once we reopen campus on August 19. As a helpful reminder, the cumulative details of our “Welcome Back Eagle Plan” are available on the Academy’s website.


While the COVID-19 Committee’s planning work for the beginning of the school year is coming to a close, please be assured the Academy will continue to send out updates as the school year gets underway. We are in a very fluid environment with the novel coronavirus – the school’s leadership will continuously monitor its behavior within our school community and the surrounding area. We will adjust and respond accordingly and are committed to keeping you informed throughout the upcoming year.


As previously communicated, the operational start-up of the 2020-2021 academic year will be quite different from in years past. Unfortunately, some of the necessary changes will create some inconvenience for our staff and our Eagle families. We very much appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we get the new school year underway.


The specific topics addressed in this communication are:

  • Remote Learning Standards

  • Drop Off & Pick Up Procedures (w/ temperature and symptom checks)

  • Check-In & Check-Out Procedures

  • COVID-19 Case Management

  • Return to Campus Realities & Operational Flexibility

REMOTE LEARNING STANDARDS:


Students who are remote learning will meet with their classes and teachers but will do so online. Each class will be synchronous/live via video conferencing using the Google Meet platform. Students at home will meet virtually, in “real-time” with the teacher and class for direct teaching and then work in varying formats using various platforms such as Google Docs, Schoology, Khan Academy, No Red Ink, etc.


In all grades, each class will have classwork and homework expectations. All students, including remote learners, are expected to complete classwork and homework assignments and must submit their work on time unless excused, in writing, by a medical practitioner.


Important objectives the Academy established for this academic year include:

  • maximizing the similarity between on-campus and remote instruction,

  • reducing the course load for middle and upper students using a block schedule to reduce stress,

  • maintaining the educational goals, rigor, and instructional time per week in each class,

  • and providing equitable access to tutoring services for on-campus and remote instruction.

The roles and responsibilities of parents with remote learning students include:

  • defining the physical space for your child for remote learning,

  • beginning and ending each day with a check-in with your child,

  • ensuring that your child is present each day for their live class(es),

  • taking an active role in helping your child process their learning, and

  • establishing routines and expectations (including the use of a plan

The roles and responsibilities of remote learning students include:

  • identifying a quiet space for learning,

  • establishing a daily routine (7:40 start time lower; 8:15 start time middle/upper),

  • regularly monitoring email to check for announcements including each morning before beginning,

  • daily logging into Google Classroom and reviewing assignments

  • completing assignments with integrity and academic honesty, following the Academy’s Honor Code,

  • meeting timelines, commitments, and due dates,

  • complying with the Academy’s Acceptable Use Policy,

  • actively communicating with teachers and staff at the Academy should the need arise,

  • and fulfilling all Google Meet expectations.

DROP OFF & PICK UP PROCEDURES:


The Academy’s drop off and pick up procedures will be very similar to previous years.


Drop Off:

  • The right lane closest to the buildings will be used for Lower School. Drop off will occur from 7:15-7:40.

  • The left outer lane should be utilized exclusively for middle and upper school students. Drop off will occur from 7:15-8:10.

  • Pre-School / Kindergarten will drop off in the parking lot adjacent to and to the right of the Pre-School / Kindergarten building. Drop off will occur from 7:15-7:40.

  • NEW - parents will drive through the lot to the appropriate tent for student temperature & symptom check. (see attached)

  • NEW - parents must remain in the car and must wait until their child has cleared the check.

Pick Up:

  • The right lane closest to the building will be used to pick up your child.

  • The left outer lane should be utilized to pass once your child is safely in your car.

  • Lower school students will be permitted to wait in their classroom if they are waiting on their middle/upper school siblings.

Student Drivers:

  • Will drop off and wait for siblings to be temperature/symptom checked during morning carpool.

  • Must check-in for temperature/symptom screening at the Upper School tent.

  • Will park in Station 1-5 parking space, and call the front office to check-in after 8:15.

  • Will park in a designated, assigned parking lot.

DAILY TEMPERATURE & SYMPTOM CHECK PLAN:


A mandatory health screening process will occur each morning, and if necessary, throughout the school day. A simple symptom & exposure survey will be asked of every staff member, student, and campus visitor; (note - students & staff will complete a mobile device app before arrival on campus). Temperature checks of staff members, students, and campus visitors will be performed daily upon arrival. Students will receive a disposable armband each day upon successful completion of the screening process. Armbands are color-coded to the campus zone to which a student is assigned.


Below is a list of check-in and screening details:


Students will:

  • wash their hands regularly,

  • wear a face-covering during the screening process,

  • exit the car and walk to the appropriate (zone color) screening tent. (see attached)

Parents will:

  • complete the symptom screening questionnaire on the Academy’s Health Screening App before departing for school each morning (instructional memo to be distributed soon),

  • keep student(s) home if ill or displaying symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle/body aches, loss of taste or smell, headaches, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea,

  • keep student(s) home if anyone in their household or close contact has tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID-19,

  • remain in their car on campus until the temperature and symptom screening process is completed for their child.

  • If a child fails any portion of the temperature/symptom check screening, the parent or guardian will be asked to pull into a parking space to determine the appropriate response.

  • If a child experiences any of the above symptoms during the school day, we will isolate the student quickly, but they will need to be picked up from the Academy as promptly as possible.

  • If a child experiences any of the above symptoms, it is safer to stay home while learning remotely to protect others on campus.

CHECK-IN / CHECK-OUT PROCEDURES:


Effective 8/19, access to the Academy will be restricted to only Academy staff, administrators, students, and approved essential service providers who will be allowed on campus or inside buildings. Student Drivers who desire to check-in, and parents who desire to check-in or check-out their children outside of regular drop off or pick up times must do the following:

  • Park in the designated Stations 1-5 marked in front of the school.

  • Call the front office at (910) 897-5423 and indicate the marked Station number.

  • Remain in place; front office personnel will come to the vehicle.

COVID-19 CASE MANAGEMENT:


Primary Contacts & Response Plan


Any individual who is symptomatic or who tests positive for COVID-19 must immediately report that information to Marie Sutton in the front office (910.897.5423) and remain off-campus. If Marie is not available, then Tammy Moran can be reached at the same number.


The Head of School will work closely with front office personnel daily to monitor the status of symptomatic and COVID positive cases and ensure that excellent communication is ongoing with impacted families, students, and staff.


A student or staff member who exhibits symptoms, receives a positive test result, or who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 will not be allowed to return to campus until they are formally cleared to do so by the Head of School.


An exposure event is when an individual has been within 6 feet of an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more.


If a student or staff member exhibits symptoms during the school day, arrangements will be made to safely isolate in our conference room until they can be picked up or depart campus.


When the administration is aware of a COVID-19 diagnosis, affected families, cohorts, and/or staff will be notified.


Students who must stay home due to a potential exposure will immediately shift to the Academy’s remote learning platform.


Any decisions regarding the suspension of on-campus learning for those who are a member of an impacted cohort (a potential exposure) will be promptly communicated to families.


If on-campus learning is suspended for any reason, impacted students will participate in remote learning until classes resume.


Post-Illness / Exposure Return to School Plan


If a person who has been required to stay home has a negative COVID-19 test, they can return to school once there is no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines, and they have been symptom-free and felt well for three days.


If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a medical professional based on a test or their symptoms or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, they should not return to school until the answer is YES to the following three questions:

  • Has it been at least 14 days since the individual first had symptoms?

  • Has it been 3 days since the individual had a fever (without fever-reducing medicine)?

  • Has it been 3 days since the individual’s symptoms resolved, including cough and shortness of breath?

A person can return to school if they receive confirmation of an alternative diagnosis from a health care provider that would explain the COVID-19-like symptom(s), once there is no fever without using fever-reducing medicines, and they have felt well for 24 hours.


A person who tests positive for COVID-19 but has no symptoms can return to school after 14 days have passed since the positive test, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.


If a person is exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19, they must remain out of school for 14 days since the last day of exposure (unless they test positive, in which case exclusion criteria above would apply). They must complete the 14 days of quarantine, even if they test negative. Again, an exposure event is one where an individual has been within 6 feet of someone diagnosed with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more.


IMPORTANT NOTE – Please be mindful that ongoing exposure events (for example, in the home) will constantly restart the 14-day quarantine clock. Definitively halting the exposure as quickly as possible will help ensure the least amount of time in quarantine.


Attendance & Makeup Work


If a student or staff member is sick or they have been exposed to someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19, they should stay at home and immediately notify Marie Sutton in our front office.


Students who are required to stay home will be allowed to participate in remote learning and will be counted present each day.


Students who are unable to attend on-campus or remote learning due to illness will have one day per day absent to make up all assignments. For example, a student who is out for four days will have four days to make up work upon returning to class.


Students with extenuating circumstances such as illness expanding beyond two weeks will be addressed on a case by case basis by the Head of School and the Academic Affairs Committee.


RETURN TO CAMPUS REALITIES & OPERATIONAL FLEXIBILITY

As a reminder from a previous communication, we are working very hard to utilize our modest facility to foster social distancing on campus and keep it sanitized and clean. For example, we are clearing out non-essential furniture from classrooms to enable us to space out student desks as much as possible, and will we have a professional cleaning service perform nightly cleaning and disinfecting on campus after each school day, Even so, it is VERY IMPORTANT our families who will be returning their students to on-campus instruction do so with the full understanding of the health risks associated with COVID-19 and that 6 feet social distancing, particularly in our classrooms but throughout campus, will not be feasible in many instances.

As mentioned, the Academy’s leadership will carefully monitor COVID-19 activity on campus and our broader community. Our aim remains to offer full-time, on-campus learning throughout the school year, and we believe the plans made and measures taken over the summer will give us an excellent opportunity to do just that. However, if the cases on campus become too prevalent or they spike significantly in our geographic area, we may need to shift significant student groups, and even the entire Academy, to remote learning and instruction – certainly not a measure any of us would like to see taken, but we think it is essential that everyone be aware of this possibility.

On the other side of this issue, we also need to be calm, prepared, and not panic when initial COVID-19 cases emerge within the CFCA family or on campus. The probabilities that we will not have a case event on campus or not have to shift some individual students and specific cohorts to remote learning at some point during the year are low. While very significant risk mitigation measures have been adopted for on-campus learning, this is a challenging virus and the risks associated with it cannot be entirely eliminated – but we have an amazing and nimble staff, and we will be carefully monitoring the challenges as they emerge and adapting as needed as we go.

We are so grateful to our entire CFCA family. Your never wavering commitment and your extraordinary patience have been a true blessing through this challenging planning period, and the COVID-19 Committee simply cannot sufficiently express our appreciation to each of you for that grace.

There will likely be some additional communication over the next week or two as we transition from this planning period to welcoming students back on campus (e.g., instructions for the mobile app for symptom attestation), but today’s communication should largely be a capstone of the information our committee has been working over the summer to present to our dedicated staff, energetic students and supportive families.

We are a little early on this, but we would like to close by saying, “WELCOME BACK EAGLES!”


In His Service,


COVID-19 Committee


#RemoteLearner #RemoteInstruction #FeverCheck #COVID19 #SymptomCheck #CheckIn #CheckOut #MakeupWork #Pickup #Dropoff

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 138 Erwin Chapel Rd. Erwin NC 28339 - Phone (910)-897-5423 / Fax (910) 897-2150

Cape Fear Christian Academy admits students of any race, color, national, or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, or ethnic origin in the administration of its education policies, admissions policies, financial aid, athletic, or other school administered programs.

 

Cape Fear Christian Academy does not discriminate in its employment practices against any person because of race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, or handicap.  Employment at Cape Fear Christian Academy is condidtional on the proof of legal authority to work in the United States.  

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