For the past few months, the School Board, Administration, Teachers, Staff, and various Task Forces have met to determine the best practices to reopen the school. Those groups have included school personnel, officials, experts, and stakeholders. We believe that a reasonable and safe approach has been obtained that will allow us to begin school on the regularly scheduled date of August 12 with students on campus full time. In addition to this plan, we will still follow the Reopening Plan that was communicated on June 22, 2020 with these additions to protocol and more specific guidelines. The plan in its entirety has been emailed to current families. It has taken into account the best interest of our students while balancing the best interest of the broader community, including their families, and our faculty and staff. As conditions change, we will be proactive in anticipating and meeting the needs of our students, faculty, and staff each step of the way. We look forward to welcoming our community back to campus very soon.
Dear Providence Community,
We are feverishly working to prepare for the return to school in August 2020.
We know many of you are anxious about our return and many are ready to get back to business as usual. There is no method of completely satisfying both of these groups at the same time. Hence, the decisions that follow are made with professional input from our accrediting bodies, best practices gleaned from conversations with other private schools, and guidelines as listed in the FLDOE (Florida Department of Education) reopening of schools guidance. There are two months before students return to the Providence campus. As you have witnessed, recommendations change constantly and are fluid at this point, which could cause multiple changes over the next two months.
The following items are possibilities of how we will open up in the fall. Remember, nothing is written in stone and things are continually changing. Therefore, please be mindful this is our hope for how we return to school on August 12. As a reminder, we are currently running summer camps and sports with some restrictions and at this time we have had no issues with our summer campers.
We believe that for our safe return to school in August, we all must see the vision for our return and partner together to achieve that goal. It is important to remember, K-12 grade schools were not built for social distancing. With the current setup of our classrooms, the social distancing recommendations of six feet are difficult to achieve. We must work together to ensure all student’s safety. A vital part of our school community safety is for parents to keep children home who are symptomatic of any illness. No child should ever be given fever-reducing medication and sent to school. We do not desire to be on a two-week lockdown due to an outbreak because someone did not take a child’s temperature before arriving at school.
Please teach your children the following guidelines to help keep them safe:
- When possible, practice social distancing. The younger the student the more difficult this step becomes.
- Take your temperature at home before coming to school each day. Please do a health check at home.
- Avoid hugs and handshakes.
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and/or use hand sanitizer.
- Consider wearing a face mask or face cloth to prevent the spread of germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow, tissue or hands. Then dispose of the tissue and wash your hands.
- If you feel sick, stay at home.
Providence School will do our best to practice the following to ensure everyone’s safety:
- We will clean and disinfect high touch surface areas throughout the school day.
- We have provided every classroom with hand sanitizing dispensers to keep our students and employees safe. We have added hand sanitizers at every entry and exit door.
- We will encourage employees who feel sick to stay home.
- We will do our best to avoid hugs and handshakes.
- Once the school day starts, we will have a single entry point to the school. We will limit traffic into the school to avoid exposure.
- Providence is hiring a nurse to help direct our response to Covid-19 and other health-related issues.
- Providence is rewriting our attendance policies allowing for students to attend school virtually when they do not feel well. There will be an addendum to the Handbook.
- Providence is structuring the school day so that we will allow live virtual instruction for when a student who does not feel well can stay home and still receive instruction.
- Parents and other visitors will not be able to enter the building to drop off students. We will have staff to assist our little ones transition to class.
- LS Cohorts- students will be grouped to limit exposure to others who may have an illness.
- Maximizing social distancing to the extent possible
- Classroom- we are removing additional furniture to distance the desks and students as much as possible.
- Dining hall- we are reconfiguring the space and adding seating
- Providence will educate all employees to look for and understand the symptoms of Covid-19. Many eyes are better for the health of all of us.
Please watch the video presentation above to fully understand our plans moving forward.
As always, this is a reminder that this is a living document. A living document is updated as data changes and understanding improves. Eventually, we will return to normal, or we will learn a new normal. Whatever happens, the Providence School Board, Administration, and Faculty desire you to know that we are partnering with you now more than ever to: keep your child safe, give them confidence in times of trouble by knowing their Savior who has not been surprised by the Covid-19 situation, continue to be a Boldly Christian School, and continue to provide an Unquestionably Academic education where your child learns to analyze information and think critically.
Providence School Administration
Please read the latest update for the reopening of school.
Students will re-engage in On-Campus Learning beginning August 12 as scheduled on the 2020-2021 school calendar. We will remain focused on current health department information, AAP, CDC recommendations, and updated public health guidelines as they are issued.
- School-based instruction in the classroom with enhanced social distancing and safety measures.
- Increased use of digital technology platforms including Canvas in grades K-12.
(Pending Virtual Learning Option Enrollment Numbers)
Beginning in 2020-2021, Providence School will offer virtual learning for students in K-5. Families will pay full tuition for this option. Students who choose this option will be fully virtual with an assigned virtual teacher. SELECTIONS FOR VIRTUAL LEARNING MUST BE SENT TO YOUR PRINCIPAL IN WRITING BY MONDAY, JULY 27, 2020 and this will determine if we are able to offer this option. You will be notified by your principal if this option is available once selections are made and numbers of students are determined.
If a family wants to return to school as a brick and mortar student, this must be done through re-enrollment for the following school year. If a family would like to return to school during the current year, they may do so pending seat availability in that specific grade level at the beginning of a grading period.
Students in Grades 6-12 may participate in remote learning, but are still considered a brick and mortar student, having a “seat” in the classroom and grade level. Instruction have been sent out to families through the FACTS portal.
In the unlikely event that our local community experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases and an interruption of on-campus learning occurs, we will be prepared to shift to Virtual Learning for all students immediately and effectively. With the implementation of technology platforms during on-campus learning, the goal is to make this transition for students and parents as seamless as possible. Virtual Learning will be intentionally enhanced and will include many of the components of a traditional school day. All students, K-12, will remain home and instruction will be delivered remotely through technology platforms including Canvas, a learning management platform, and a schedule for each grade level will be established.
Health & Safety Guidelines
The health and safety of our school community is our highest priority as we return to school. We believe that a reasonable and safe approach includes, but is not limited to, the following guidelines. We ask that parents partner with us to help their children understand these policies and procedures for the upcoming school year.
All students, faculty, and staff must self-screen, with the help of parents or a caregiver, when appropriate, before leaving home each day, for the following symptoms. A person should not come to school under any circumstances if he/she displays any one of the following:
- A body temperature of 100.4° or higher any time in the previous 24 hours
- New Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Loss of taste or smell
Or have the following:
- Body ache
- Sore throat
- Runny nose or congestion
In order to ensure a safe school community, the Providence School Board has approved the hiring two school nurses for the 2020-2021 school year. This will allow us to have one on campus at all times while students are in school. The school nurses will provide school nursing services, collaborate with school administration on health and safety policies and procedures, and provide nursing services to students on campus. The School Nurses will be the main point of contact for student illnesses, both COVID-19 related and otherwise.
Hand washing and sanitizing are among the most effective ways to control viral spread. Students will have regular access to soap and water and alcohol-based hand sanitizers. All classrooms and common spaces have been equipped with hand sanitizer stations. Students will be expected to wash their hands or sanitize before and after lunch, before and after recess, and after using the restroom. Proper hand washing procedures and reminders will be provided by the staff. Signs will be posted around the buildings to encourage hand hygiene.
As a school, we are continuously reviewing information from local, state, and federal officials, along with our accrediting bodies, and we fully recognize that there are multiple recommendations. Providence School will follow City of Jacksonville mandates regarding face coverings.
Students will be able to use water fountains to refill water bottles, but not drink directly from water fountains. We will be adding more water filling stations soon to retrofit fountains that do not have them. Therefore, students will need to bring water bottles daily to drink anything not purchased in the dining hall during lunch times or to drink water from snack time/concessions. Please label their water bottles.
All visitors must have face coverings and will be screened prior to entering the building. Current families must utilize the car line for arrival and dismissal. Carline procedures will be found in the Back to School Guide found in the FACTS Family Portal and on the website before school begins. Due to the need for increased supervision in the classrooms and inside the building
(because of social distancing protocols), during arrival parents will not be allowed to park and let their child out of the car in any of the parking lots.
Although the primary method of coronavirus transmission is through respiratory means, clean surfaces and environments play an important role as well.
Daily cleaning and sanitizing by the school’s housekeeping staff will take place with safe disinfectants labeled for use against SARS-CoV-2, cleaning high-touch surfaces like door handles, desks, and shared materials. All classrooms and common spaces will have access to cleaning supplies. Classroom desks will be disinfected between each cohort of students.
Interior doors will be propped open during class changes, and whenever else it is practical to avoid significant touching by multiple people. The HVAC systems in each building will be set to draw in fresh outside air rather than using recycled air. This action may result in warmer classrooms.
We recognize athletics and some performing arts activities present unique challenges, and we are working through these details. Our decision to resume athletics will be informed by both the FHSAA and our school protocols. Communication will be sent to all current parents as soon as decisions are made.
As of June 22, this video is an overview of our hope for how we return to school on August 12. We believe that for our safe return to school in August, we all must see the vision for our return and partner together to achieve that goal.