CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE

Response Information and Resources

Please continue to check this page to stay updated with BSBA's response to the Coronavirus, and be on the lookout for notifications through our BSBA App and RenWeb.

ln an abundance of caution, the state officials declared all schools within Florida would be closed until May 1, 2020.  Bell Shoals Academy will be observing this directive as well.  This would mean that at this time, normal school operations would resume on May 2, 2020 unless otherwise notified. However, we will continue virtual instruction until this date.  Please read the latest update below and continue to check your email and RenWeb for additional details.

UPDATES

April 18, 2020 at 8:00 pm Update #9

Dear BSBA Families,

As you likely heard this evening, Governor DeSantis, in consultation with the Florida Department of Education, has declared all schools would remain closed for the remainder of the school year.  Even though we won’t be returning to the academy building this semester, BSBA will continue partnering with our families to finish the year strong!  We look forward to maintaining our remote teaching, Zoom meetings, and our other virtual educational tools. We will continue to plan for a late summer 8th grade graduation and celebration, so stay tuned for more info to come!  Here are some items we can share with you at this time.

Yearbooks will still be distributed in late May and we will be sharing additional specifics soon.  While there will be no end of year exams, attendance, completing assignments and taking quizzes or tests are still an important part of completing the 4th quarter and being promoted. End of year awards will still be given, and lunchroom balances will roll over to your accounts.  Library books need to be returned to the drop box, and our used and new uniform sales will be held in early August.  Online/phone orders for uniforms will continue, with us updating our website and app frequently, so be sure to check in.  As soon as Sports Camps, VBS and church camps make decisions, we will of course let you know.  Finally, for those to whom this applies, we will honor any special prizes awarded for the Color Run that have not yet taken place. 

In closing, we want to maintain our posture of prayer for the safety and health of all our Academy family, as well as our loved ones.  Perhaps we are absent from them physically, but we want to continue lifting all up.  It is our prayer that we very soon will be able to celebrate the conclusion of this pandemic and that all can meet and greet one another personally!  You are loved and appreciated!

Your BSBA Administrative Team

April 3, 2020 at 6:00 pm Update #7

Dear BSBA Family and Staff,

As we wrap up our second week of our eLearning activities, I am impressed by our progress.  We are continuing to receive both supportive suggestions as well as superlatives from many within our school and those in our community who are hearing about our progress.  The partnership evident between home and school remains strong  I also am experiencing a significant amount of hope for our future.

Everyone knows of the depth and breadth of Covid-19’s impact on nearly every aspect of our collective lives.   These impacts bring challenge, concern, questions, perhaps even fear, and all if this is totally understandable.   However, it is possible you might not know of several items orchestrated by our Lord that are intertwined throughout the last 3 weeks.  Consider:

  • A water leak that happened 3 hours after school dismissal on the Friday prior to Spring Break that covered 8 classrooms– think about what we would be dealing with had it happened the previous day or even a week or more before.
  • 3 months ago, the church made a decision to conduct an upgrade and redesign of the ELC campus area, and now BSBC will be moving forward with the assistance of an insurance coverage claim.
  • With the shifting of the campus based instruction to a remote configuration, the workers have the time to complete the renovations prior to the resumption of school services.
  • These renovations will include new paint, flooring, cabinetry, and possibly even granite countertops!
  • The Academy has been addressing our fiscal position, embracing frugality, careful budgeting, and wise use of a strategic plan that has put us in a strong position for events such as this.
  • ELC and Academy staff have been turning in 12 hour days, running back and forth between school, home and other errands all to enhance and support your children.  Just yesterday, our ELC teachers were going through storage bags to find preschool The Resurrection Eggs (don’t worry if you don’t understand – you will!)
  • Our new Lead Pastor has a true love and support for all things Academy-based, and is involved in our issues consistently.
  • Next week we are looking to launch something we hope will be a continuing blessing to our families, so stay tuned.

Looking forward, I suggest our challenge is to base our paths, not on our sight but rather on God’s vision for The Academy.  I for one am working hard to see what this ‘New Normal’ consists of and I prayerfully ask you to join me in that endeavor.  

Finally, some updates for all.  Friday, April 10 and Monday, April 13 will be student holidays for the Easter season.

March 31, 2020 at 4:15 pm Update #6

Dear BSBA Families,

As you likely heard Monday evening, the Florida Department of Education has declared all schools would remain closed until at least May 1, 2020.  Rest assured this means that our online courses and offerings will continue uninterrupted as we move forward towards that date.  In a spirit of continuous improvement and responding to feedback, we also have been making several adjustments to our eLearning platforms resulting in an increase in live interactions, archiving of previous lessons for student viewing flexibility, and the streamlining of communications.   All of this has happened within our existing virtual structure with little to no down time due to platform or presentation tools.  I wanted to express my thanks to a tireless staff who is working diligently in finding any and every way to increase the authenticity of instruction during a historically challenging environment.  I have also heard from teachers who are amazed at the intentionality and commitment being shared from parents who are exercising wisdom and balance in their home environments.  It cannot be adequately expressed how powerful and blessed it is to have such a connection between academy and home, and all are to be commended.

While we are physically away from the building and instruction is happening virtually, other Academy business operations are continuing. The repairs to our eight classrooms in B Building and other areas on campus are underway. The timing of this water damage initially seemed unfortunate on top of the pandemic, but we can now see God’s hand all over this as we make the needed repairs and updates in these empty available spaces. Your Education Steering Committee and Administration team have also been meeting via Zoom, and praying over our staff and families. We know the Lord is at work and we continue to solicit feedback to enhance and streamline instruction and communication. It goes without saying that the staff so very much appreciates the intentionality and support we have witnessed throughout this season and the decades; I thank our Lord for such an attitude of partnership.  Please stay safe, and know God IS in control!

March 18, 2020 at 1:41 pm Update #5

Coronavirus Preparation and Update #5

Dear BSBA Family,

Continuing in an abundance of caution, Tuesday evening state officials declared all schools within Florida would be closed until April 15, 2020.  This represents only the latest in such adjustments to the state’s school calendar and Bell Shoals Academy will be observing this directive as well.  This would mean that at this time, all normal Academy operations are scheduled to resume on Thursday, April 16, 2020 unless otherwise notified.  With the recent swift and substantial adjustments from our state leadership, The Academy continues to adjust our plans for all of our students and families to continue our mission of integrating faith in learning, leading & serving.  To that end, here are some updates to assist you in your planning.

1. Current plan for  campus closure and restoration of campus operations  (this includes the Early Learning Center, Elementary and Middle school):

Campus closed: students will not be reporting to school until April 16, 2020

Instructional Delivery: students will receive continuity of instruction by way of Renweb.  Instructional staff will assign, receive, grade and post results for class and homework.

NOTE:  BSBA is will be closely monitoring the recommendations from federal, state and local officials.

The health and safety of our community is our number one priority.  As we have done throughout these days, we will inform you if the Academy needs to be closed beyond April 15th.  You can expect to find these updates through Renweb emails, the BSBA web page, and our mobile app.

2. Pick-up times for school supplies ( Jr.K-8th grades): 

School materials and supplies may be be picked up on the following days and times:        

  • Monday, March 23:  10:00-12:00 noon
  • Tuesday, March 24: 1:00 – 3:00 P.M.
  • Tuesday, March 24: 5:00 pm - 7:00 P.M.

Please come into the building through the SEC entrance. We will have a staff member at the Welcome Desk to let you into the building. Elementary books can be retrieved from the classrooms, middle school items from the lockers.

3. Daily classwork and assignments: grades Jr.K-8th will begin the week of March 23.

    We will soon be  launching  a very simple to use virtual program designed to expand and enhance our remote instruction. 

Renweb:  Our teachers will be posting assignments daily on Renweb.

**Parents - please help facilitate this home study for your child:

  1. Log onto Renweb each day with your child and look over the assignments the teacher posted for each class. (Click on each subject: Math, Science, Language Arts and History). 
  2. Set aside a quiet time and place for focused reading and study.
  3. Engage in an appropriate level of accountability with your child(ren)
  4. Be encouraging….your child can be successful and grow in responsibility!
  5. Email any questions you may have to the specific teacher(s) who have assigned the work

4. Beyond April 15th:

We anticipate the resumption of Academy services on April 16.  However, and as we have seen, we need to be aware of the possibility of future calendar changes.  At this time, we have now seen no less than 2 major school calendar changes, all in the focused intention of ‘flattening the curve’, or to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We will continue to monitor decisions that would pause services beyond April 15th. 

Our Lead Pastor Corey Abney recently shared the following with the Bell Shoals family.  I absolutely think it has a place in today’s update.

“Be a positive and reassuring voice in our community. I can assure you that we are not motivated by fear or compromise. We are, however, motivated by a strong commitment to loving our neighbors as ourselves, which means that we need to take preventative actions that will slow the spread of COVID-19 and expedite the recovery process. Your voice of encouragement and grace will provide a calming, unifying presence in our community that is desperately needed in these days of confusion and anxiety. Proverbs 25:11 says, "A word spoken at the right time is like gold apples in silver settings.” We have the hope of the gospel, the hope of a sovereign God who is in control of all things, and the hope of a loving Father who cares for his children. Let’s focus our energies on loving, encouraging, and communicating this hope with those around us.”

Let us all be such an encouragement and support with our families, neighbors, co-workers, and divine appointments we might encounter every day.  Encourage, show grace, speak a good word in a needed moment, and be reminded that God absolutely is in control of all things!  We too are focused on our theme for this year, which as you know is “Blessed”, and we count those blessings every day.  Thank you for being a big part of those blessings and you can expect additional updates as we continue to serve.  Stay safe and God bless.

March 13, 2020 at 9:00 pm Update #4

Coronavirus Preparation and Update #4 

Dear BSBA Family,

In an abundance of caution, this evening state officials declared all schools within Florida would be closed for two weeks.  Bell Shoals Academy will be observing this directive as well.  This would mean that at this time, normal school operations would resume on Monday, March 30, 2020 unless otherwise notified.  I have been in conference with Academy administration, BSBA IT support, and our Lead Pastor, Corey Abney.  All of us here at Bell Shoals are continuing our prayers and efforts to provide services and support to our students, staff, and families.  To that end, here are some items that hopefully will assist you as we move forward.

Our Early Learning Center staff is currently reviewing state guidelines and responsibilities.  We hope to post updates as to exercising all of the available options allowed and will be posting at a later date those clarifications.

The Academy has developed a plan to provide continuity of educational services and those details will be forthcoming.  As mentioned in a previous update, we essentially seek to consider the week of March 23rd the same as a Pre-Arranged Absence, where teachers provide classwork to students consistent with what the attending students have.  Due dates are also shared.  We will be using our school-home communication platform called RENWEB for these services and reminders as to how to access that vehicle will be sent to you as well.  You can also find both this memo and all previous ones on our webpage (bsbacademy.com)

Finally, please know how much we are honored to work with you and your child(ren).  We take our duties and mission most seriously and appreciate your partnership in the same.  We also are focused on our theme for this year, which as you know is “Blessed”, and we count those blessings every day.  Thank you for being a big part of those blessings and you can expect additional updates throughout next week.  Stay safe and God bless.

March 13, 2020 at 3:00 pm Update #3

Coronavirus Preparation and Update #3

Dear BSBA Family,

Upon our return to school on Monday, March 23, 2020, we will be working on a procedure to review any individuals who, based on the below directions, might need to comply with the listed protocols.  

Dear BSBA Family,

We continue to be thankful for your patience and assistance with the current health focus we all are perusing.  Earlier today, we received information from the Florida Departments of Education (FLDOE) & Health (FLDOH), as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding updated travel guidelines.  I have also included the actual email update from the FLDOE’s office of School Choice which advises among other things private schools such as The Academy:

  1. Japan has now been added to the sites that would be subject to the Level 3 self-isolation protocols.
  2. As of today, travel and activity guidelines are as follows:
    1. Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who go on foreign travel, to any country, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return (Level 3 protocol)
    2. Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who go on a cruise, anywhere, must self-isolate for 14 days upon returnLevel 2 protocol)
    3. There should be no mass gatherings, which are defined by the CDC as “1,000-25,000 people, but the practical application is any gathering that would strain local resources.” We leave it to your discretion for events with less than 1,000 people.
    4. If a student/faculty/staff has been exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19, and that student/faculty/staff has been in a classroom, we still recommend that you NOT close the school/college/program, but we do recommend that you clear the classroom and take necessary steps to sanitize the room.

NOTE:  Upon our return to school on Monday, March 23, 2020, we will be working on a procedure to review any individuals who, based on the above directions, might need to comply with the listed protocols.  

Please remember that the above represents recently confirmed information, something we will continue to ensure you have.  However, with the speed and scope of these updates, coupled with the beginning of Spring Break, we will likely taper off our Academy daily notifications until later next week.  Local media will of course continue to provide up-to-date information.  Until then, we all are joining in prayer for you and yours, focusing on strong personal hygiene, and claiming the Lord’s protection (Psalm 91).

March 12th, 2020 at 3:00pm Update #2

Coronavirus Preparation and Update #2

Dear BSBA Family,

Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we all navigate these current waters of health related issues.  Please know we are focused and very intentional regarding our efforts to serve, protect, and provide for students and staff. As we enter our annual Spring Break, please review and consider the FLDOH travel guidelines mentioned below (these are current as of 8:15 A.M. on 3.12.2020):

  1. Regarding international trips involving travel by airplane, unless you travel to or from China, Iran, Italy or South Korea, you will not be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days.  This means at this point, families traveling to any other locations will not be required to engage in self-isolation unless presenting with feeling sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.  In such a case, consult your health provider for any recommended examination and possible responses.
  2. Regarding field trips, at this time, The Academy is following the Florida Department of Education (and Health) recommendations which currently allow for In/Out of state field trips on charter buses, school buses or private vehicles.  All BSBA field trips on our existing schedule are good to go.

We also know this is a rapidly evolving event and we want to be ready for some of those possible changes.  We have a plan in place that will allow for distance instruction.  This plan looks very much like a Pre-Arranged Absence and will be provided on a case-by-case basis.

Please know that Bell Shoals Baptist Academy will advise if there are any changes to normal Academy hours or activities, and we will of course notify all of our families and staff directly.  We will also continue in a state of prayer for the protection of our Academy, families, and community.  We invite you to join us in that effort.

March 10, 2020 at 3:00 pm Update #1

Coronavirus Preparation and Update #1

March 10, 2020 3:00 P.M.

In a continuing effort to ensure the continuity of services within The Academy, we will be sharing information that is intended to both compliment current media content as well as share preparations we will be taking.  Attached is a Fact Sheet for day to day guidance for your children and The Academy.  It represents the direction in which we are working to address the Coronavirus and its potential impact on all.

Recently, the Florida Department of Health issued new Center for Disease Control instructions related to those who have already traveled internationally which I have posted below.  If your Spring Break plans have you engaging in international travel, please follow these guidelines:

UPDATE REGARDING INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL: Department of Health COVID-19 Update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2020 

Contact:
Communications Office

(850) 245-4111

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Health is responding to COVID-19. In an effort to keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware about the status of the virus, the Department is issuing regular updates as information becomes available.  The Department will be sending this press release update every morning, seven days per week.

International Travel Advisory

The Florida Department of Health is advising all individuals who have traveled internationally to follow the new CDC guidelines, summarized below:

  • Level 3:Mandatory 14-day self-isolation and practice social distancing upon return to the United States. Social distancing includes avoiding going out in public and close personal interactions. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your county health department or health care provider.
  • Level 2 and Cruises:Monitor your health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your county health department or health care provider.
  • For more information regarding current CDC travel advisories related to COVID-19, visit:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

 

Again, we will be working to keep you informed of Academy efforts and actions to assist in the continuing of our daily activities.  Praying for continued safety for our students, staff, and families, we remain…

 

Bell Shoals Administrative Team

 

Additional Resources:

cdc - covid19

prevention steps

coronavirus symptoms

social distancing

early learning resources

family resources

government COVID response and resources