Tuesday, March 31, 2020 Communication:
An important message from Head of School, Allyn Williams:
Good morning Orangewood Families,
As we enter week two of remote learning, school leaders and I would like to say thank you. Orangewood students, families, faculty, and staff are adjusting extremely well to this very different learning model. The team and I appreciate your kindness, questions, and ongoing connection. The Orangewood community is resilient.
Drawing from national guidance to continue social distancing efforts and yesterday’s FDOE directive for all Florida public schools to extend their closure periods, Orangewood’s campuses will remain closed through April 30.
Like you, we are eager to return to campus. Until then, our faculty will continue to deliver remote student instruction in meaningful and helpful ways. As an independent school, we will continue to issue course credit for remote instruction, and do not plan to extend our school year into summer months.
As a Christian body, we will observe our currently scheduled Easter Break.
If you have questions or needs, please let us know; we are here to serve you. Trusting this season will strengthen us, and draw us closer to Him.
Comfort and peace
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 Communication:
An important message from Head of School, Allyn Williams:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit – Romans 15:13
On behalf of the School Committee, leadership team, faculty, and staff, I am grateful for the supportive notes so many of you are sending us each day. As we navigate this season of uncertainty together, it is encouraging to know you are regularly praying for us, the Orangewood community, and our great city. We, too, are praying for you. Please know that our principals and their teachers are approaching this unprecedented situation positively and opportunistically by collaborating with one another about not only our own creative teaching, learning, and discipleship ideas but also those we are gleaning from our colleagues from other schools.
Yesterday, Governor DeSantis announced that all public schools campuses will remain closed through mid-April. As we have historically aligned our school’s emergency response plans with Orange and Seminole County Public Schools, Orangewood’s campuses will remain closed through April 15. School leadership and I pray that we can have students return to campus prior to April 15. As more develops, we will share it with you.
Led by our principals and faculty, Orangewood will employ a remote learning plan starting next week, March 23-27. Using a variety of tools, Orangewood’s plan will allow teachers to deliver meaningful learning experiences to students until our campuses reopen. Orangewood Christian believes deeply in the value of direct instruction from excellent teachers, and our intention is to maintain our learning goals and objectives in a way which helps students learn while off-campus. The transition to remote instruction will require patience, cooperation, and open communication.
This week, principals and teachers will send an email to their respective families and students outlining the details of their divisions remote learning plan.
Our plans are developing, and we will continue to provide additional information, as available. During this time, our administration, faculty, and staff seek to remain flexible and supportive of our student body. The safety of our community remains our top priority. As always, please let your principal or me know if you have any questions as we are here to serve you.
Trusting this season will strengthen us further, and us in Him.
Comfort and Peace
Friday, March 13, 2020 Communication:
An important message from Head of School, Allyn Williams:
Drawing from the CDC’s guidance, the Florida Department of Education announced today all Florida state schools will close for one additional week following Spring Break. Like Orange and Seminole County Schools, our school will observe Spring Break March 16th-20th, and suspend on-campus operations March 23rd-27th.
For the week of the 23rd and under the direction of our principals, teachers will provide students and families with a remote learning plan. The details of the learning plan, by grade, will be shared next week.
All athletic events, fine arts, and extra-curricular activities will be suspended from March 16th-27th.
As of now, students will return Monday, March 30th.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your principal or me.
Praying for you and our community.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020 Communication:
While we pray that this does not occur, please know we are taking proactive steps to protect our students, faculty, and staff. Over the past several days we have fielded questions from many parents concerned about what we are doing to prepare in the event of an outbreak of the new Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 / Covid-19) on our campus. While we certainly hope that this does not occur, please rest assured we are doing everything within our power to protect our students, faculty and staff.
While our school employs standards based daily cleaning and disinfection year round to create a safe and healthy environment for learning for our students, we have developed specific protocols and action plans for times of high concern. To that end, we have implemented several changes to mitigate outbreak risk and reduce and control the spread of any outbreak on campus, should one occur.
- We have increased the frequency of our daily cleaning and disinfection practices to ensure the cleanest and safest environment for all students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus. We have reinforced proper cleaning and disinfection operating procedures with staff responsible for cleaning our facilities and will continue to monitor for areas of improvement.
- We continue to use EPA-certified disinfectants and cleaning products that are safe for people and the environment and that are tough on pathogens. Specific to coronavirus, we are utilizing disinfectants that meet the EPA's Emerging Pathogen criteria for usage.
- We have recently reminded and instructed students and staff on proper handwashing techniques and have created processes to increase the number of times per day that students and staff practice proper hand hygiene. Proper handwashing remains the number one defense against the spread of pathogens and infection prevention in the community setting.
- OCS is being proactive by initiating enhanced cleaning methods in classrooms, and other common areas on campus, including lunch areas and playgrounds. Clorox wipes are being provided to staff to clean surfaces that are touched regularly by our students including counter tops, desks, door knobs, keyboards and playground equipment.
- Finally, we continue to work to identify potential improvements to our processes for cleaning and disinfection, evaluate products that can help create a cleaner and safer environment for learning and build proactive communication with our students, staff and parents during this time of high concern.
Do you have future travel plans? As we approach spring break, please check the CDC’s online traveler’s health notices, https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel, for the latest guidance for each country. If you are feeling ill before you travel, it is best to stay at home.
IMPORTANT: Any member of the OCS community who has traveled to or from China, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea or other areas designated by the CDC as a Level 3 within the past 14 days, must self-identify prior to returning to campus. If you have traveled to any of these countries, DO NOT return to campus. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and travel information and await further instructions.
We are encouraging all faculty, staff, and students to stay home if they are sick. This will help individuals work toward getting better and not spreading any illness. We urge you to please continue to follow CDC prevention guidance and be diligent about hand washing and practicing good hygiene.
All absences for illness will be marked excused and our faculty will work with individual students to excuse any missed classwork and homework. All larger benchmark assignments (such as projects or exams) will need to be made up following our handbook guidelines which states students have one day to make up work for each full day absent.
We understand that many of you are worried about the health and safety of your children while on our campus. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, remain in close communication over the coming weeks and refine and deploy protocols and practices that provide the safest possible learning environment for your children. Please don't hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns.
The next update will be released on or before Sunday March 22nd prior to our return to campus from Spring Break.
· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease 2019
· U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Travel Advisory
· Johns Hopkins University CSSE: Coronavirus Global Cases Tracker
· U.S. Department of State: Travel Advisory Map
· World Health Organization: Daily Coronavirus Situation Reports
Monday, March 2, 2020 Communication:
As the severity of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak has increased in the US, and now 2 presumptive cases in Florida over the last 24 hours, OCS is taking the threat seriously and is committed to keeping our community safe and informed. The health and well-being of our students, staff, and community are a top priority.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing daily updates and recommendations. Please click the following link to stay updated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
While this is a serious public health situation, the CDC continues to believe the immediate risk to the general public remains low at this time. Yet, in today’s connected world, outbreaks of diseases are always a concern. As with seasonal flu and strep infections, there are precautions we can all take to remain as healthy as possible.
What is the Coronavirus?
- A virus that causes diseases of varying severities, ranging from the common cold to serious respiratory disease
How does it spread?
- Between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet)
- Cough or sneeze droplets
- Touching your eyes, nose, or face with hands after touching an object containing the virus
What are the symptoms?
- Shortness of breath
- Severe Illness
How do you protect yourself?
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, scrub thoroughly under nails and between fingers, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
It is important to keep children home from school when they are ill. If you child has any of the following symptoms please keep them home from school: temperature, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash not yet diagnosed by a physician, red or pink itchy eye, and/or drainage from eye, and any contagious illness such as chickenpox, strep throat or flu.
If you have any questions about the Coronavirus or when to keep you child home from school, please contact the school offices for assistance and guidance. We are dedicated to ensuring proper protocols are in place to protect our students and staff.
The Novel Coronavirus is a rapidly evolving situation that we are following closely and will continue to update you as information is shared with us.