We promised to keep you informed on the progression of developments for the 2020-2021 school year as we plan in accordance with the challenges of COVID-19. Governor DeSantis and the Department of Education recently released a document providing several safety considerations for opening schools this fall. The governor has stated his desire is to have students on campus at the start of school in August with as much of a regular schedule as possible, however many of the details and decisions have been left to the local schools.
We want to assure you that we have been heavily involved in planning for the fall semester for many weeks. The strategy for the development of our plans was to obtain feedback from all those directly involved in the educational process (students, parents, faculty, staff, and administrators).
*We conducted surveys of parents, students, and teachers that was available to all.
*We received feedback from the surveys at close to a 50% participation rate.
*We conducted round table discussions with two groups. These groups met together twice for a total of four meetings over a two-week period.
*We are constantly reviewing information and data from outside sources, including the Florida Department of Education and organizations related to them, the CDC, accrediting organizations, and other schools similar to Highlands.
Currently, armed with this material and feedback, we are bringing the thoughts and ideas together and moving toward potential plans.
First and foremost is planning the most effective way to keep HCA students and employees healthy and safe. We are exploring the best disinfection and cleaning methods to meet and exceed the guidelines of the CDC and local health organizations, while still maintaining a proper daily school schedule that allows for the continuation of multi-faceted student growth.
Please be in prayer for us as we lay the foundation for educational excellence during this unprecedented time. You can rest assured that our plans will always revolve around the health and safety of your children, even as new guidelines are provided and handed down to us. Our goal is to follow the governor’s recommendations to be fully operational and back on campus in August, with proper cleaning and health practices in place. These plans include backup contingencies that may become necessary if either a total digital/online program from home or a hybrid scenario is deemed necessary.
In the meantime, I know these are anxious times for the entire community, especially for parents and teachers preparing for the fall semester. We will continue to update you as details and additional information becomes available. Our thoughts and prayers are with each of our Highlands families.