2021-22 COVID Protocols

In September, the Orange County Department of Health updated its COVID guidelines for schools. It is recommended that The First Academy, along with all local schools, follow their guidance. After consulting with representatives from both the Florida Department of Health and Orange County Department of Health TFA’s COVID Response Guide has been updated accordingly.

Below outlines the health and safety protocols that will be implemented this school year. Should state or local mandates change, we will reevaluate our protocols.

For all COVID-related questions and needs, please contact Melissa Pifer, school nurse, at clinic@thefirstacademy.org.


The school will not require students or employees to be vaccinated.


For the 2021–2022 school year, The First Academy will operate in a mask optional environment. The school will offer in-person learning and not a hybrid learning option. For those families who choose or do not choose for their children to wear a mask to school, we will care for them and assist you in every way possible.

Parents of students in Lower School who wish to have their student wear a mask while at school should communicate this expectation to their child’s teacher.

Parents of Middle and Upper School students should let their child know their expectations with the responsibility belonging to the student.

Social Distancing

The classrooms are set up to minimize close contact with maximized space between the individual student desks and pods. Seating charts and assigned seating have been implemented to help mitigate close contact exposure. Faculty and staff will work to maintain a six-foot distance from students and colleagues.

Other Measures

The school will continue to employ cleaning crews across campus to wipe down commonly touched surfaces throughout each school day. We will continue to encourage students to wash their hands regularly as well as provide hand sanitizing dispensers across the campus. We will continue to operate our HVAC systems to provide continuous airflow throughout our classrooms.


If an employee or student is not feeling well or is showing any symptoms such as fever, loss of taste or smell, cough, or shortness of breath, please stay home and do not enter the campus. Please contact Melissa Pifer, school nurse, at clinic@thefirstacademy.org.

Below are COVID-19-like symptoms to monitor.

Leading Symptoms-one of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.4 ℉ or higher (without medication)
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Persistent cough

Secondary Symptoms- two or more of the following symptoms:

  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

Close Contacts

What constitutes close primary contact to COVID-19?

Primary close contact to COVID-19 occurs when you are within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hr period. This can also apply to situations in which the infected person did or did not show any symptoms at the time of primary contact, but it is much less likely. Close contact must have taken place within 48 hours.

Secondary contact (contact to a potential exposed individual) is not considered exposure to COVID-19.


When a positive case is reported on campus, communication will be made to the close contact individuals and parents. There will be a regular update of positive cases reported on campus in the Royal Weekly Update.

You can view the COVID Dashboard at this link to learn more about the COVID-19 activity on campus.

Isolation & Quarantine

Click HERE to review TFA’s updated COVID Response Guide per recommendations from the Orange County Department of Health for schools. It outlines in detail the COVID protocols for isolation and quarantine cases.

Please contact Melissa Pifer, school nurse, at clinic@thefirstacademy.org to report, and for next steps with, COVID symptoms, close contact, and/or a positive COVID case. The school will work with students and families on a case-by-case basis for continued learning during isolation and quarantine periods.

  • Plan of Salvation

    Admit: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Pray: Lord, I admit that I am a sinner in need of a Savior.

    Believe: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

    Call: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Pray: Lord, I believe that Jesus died and shed His blood for my sins. I believe this in my heart and not just my head. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

    Pray: Lord, I call upon You to save me from my sins. I confess and repent of my sins. I know that Your Son, Jesus paid my debt on the cross—a debt I could never pay despite all my good works—and I thankfully accept Your gift of eternal life in Heaven that His death makes possible.