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.
Tim M. Anderson, Ph.D.
Head of School
Lower School Principal
Dr. Amy McGlohorn
Middle School Principal
High School Principal