Campus Reopening

As we preparded to welcome back students on August 12, we surrounded ourselves with experts and key stakeholders who are guiding the campus reopening. Their good work reminds us that reopening the campus is not an event but a process.

Together we will provide answers to questions about what classes and other campus interactions might look like for next year. We will communicate with you about enhanced cleaning, classroom procedures, campus security, and health and wellness implementations. We will be proactive in anticipating and meeting the needs of our students, faculty, and staff each step of the way.

Along with weekly updates, we will be providing the Royal Reopening Guide. This publication will have three volumes over the course of the summer.

COVID Response Team

We are extremely grateful for all of the work that both the Medical Advisory Committee and the Reopening Task Force has done to prepare TFA for reopening. Their recommendations have assisted us in creating and shaping all of our Reopening Guides. As we now look toward the 2020-2021 school year, it is our pleasure to introduce those TFA community members and faculty/staff who are serving on our COVID Response Team.

Leadership

  • Nikki Kearn (Chair)
  • Sarah Donovan (Staff Lead)
  • Dr. Hank Miller
  • Dr. Whit Davis
  • Dr. Michael Middleton
  • Dr. Matthew Robinson (First Baptist of Orlando)
  • Dr. Steve Whitaker (Head of School)
  • Christina Richart (Communications)

 

Staff

  • Melissa Pifer (School Nurse)
  • Michele Fetterholf (COVID Response Assistant)

 

This team has the important task of creating a detailed plan outlining our response and tracing protocols as well as a clear communications plan. The chart below illustrates the scenarios released in Volume 3 of our Royal Reopening Guide. The COVID Response Team will use this chart to guide them as they plan for our tracing and response protocols.

Click here to read the latest message from our COVID Response Team (Oct. 2, 2020).

Click here to read An Important Statement from our COVID Response Team (Aug. 20, 2020).

Reopening Task Force

It is my pleasure to introduce those TFA community members and faculty/staff who are serving on both the Medical Advisory Committee and the Reopening Task Force. They are guiding the reopening process with great care and concern.

The Medical Advisory Committee includes Whitner S. Davis, MD | Emergency Medicine, Orlando Health; William Adamson, MD | Pediatric Surgeon, Nemours; John M Davidyock, MD | Associate Chief Medical Officer, Advent Health; Denise Serafin, MD | Pediatrician, Windermere Pediatrics; Wendy S. Quirino, MD | Obstetrics-Gynecology, Women’s Care Florida; Karim Alarakhia, MD | Anesthesiology, Orlando Health; Melissa Pifer, RN | School Nurse, TFA; Brian Rose | Assistant Head of School; Gissel Valois | Director of Strategic Initiatives

The Reopening Task Force includes Patti Keator, Nikki Kearn, Charles “Bill” Davidson, Sonya Dixon, Laura Eitel, Katherine Johnson, Jennifer Jackson, Shayne Grove, Rob Hensley, Scott Toenges, Karen Combs, Fran Williams, Gissel Valois, Sarah Donovan and Brian Rose (Co-Chairs), Steve D. Whitaker (Ex officio)

Strategic Communication

Athletics Update (August 20, 2020)

Tryouts for fall sports started on August 24. For more information on the start of Fall Sports, read our latest blog post here and follow TFA_Athletics on Twitter or Instagram.

Special Announcement (August 18, 2020)

Dear Royal Families,

I am delighted to announce that The First Academy will join five other independent schools in the Greater Orlando Area in the formation of The Citrus League, a competitive grouping for student-athletes in light of COVID-19.

The schools taking part in The Citrus League are Bishop Moore Catholic, Lake Highland Preparatory School, Montverde Academy, The First Academy, Trinity Preparatory School, and Windermere Preparatory School. The Citrus League schools will maintain their eligibility with the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA).

All schools in The Citrus League have all committed to the following core health and safety values:

  • Require all students (Grades 6-12) to wear a mask during the school day
  • Standardized daily screening procedures (temperature checks and COVID-19 questionnaire)
  • Facilitate competition only within The Citrus League to limit travel
  • Member schools will be paired with a different league opponent on a weekly rotation
  • Commit to uphold uniform event management protocols
  • Utilize the recommendations and guidance of The Citrus League Medical Task Force

We are blessed to be a part of such an elite league and look forward to beginning fall sports as soon as possible. Later this week, we will share information on tryout dates, fall sports season start dates, and other important information for you to note.

Thank you for your continued partnership and we look forward to sharing more with you in the coming days.

Have a wonderful evening.

Sincerely,

Will Cohen, Athletic Director

Fall Athletics Update (July 21, 2020)

TFA Families,

Since March, our Athletic Department has been working tirelessly to formulate a plan for our teams to begin official fall sports in conjunction with the opening of our school. In June, we began to offer voluntary workouts, which was a great step forward. Many of our student-athletes attended these open gyms or workouts and we got an opportunity to be together safely and in a structured environment.

As you may have heard, last night the Florida High School Athletic Association Board of Directors confirmed that schools may begin fall sports practices on the original date of Monday, July 27th. Throughout the last several weeks, I have been working with a group of outstanding local athletic directors to put together several different options as we work towards facilitating competition for our student-athletes this fall.

After careful consideration and discussion with other local private schools, we have made the decision to push back the tryout/start dates for each of our fall sports teams which includes Sideline Cheerleading, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Swimming and Diving, and Girls Volleyball. As you may have also seen, Orange County Public Schools made the same decision this morning.

However, we will continue our off-season conditioning program as we work towards the start of sports this fall. In the days ahead, our team will be communicating our plan for the fall sports season which will include information on start dates, restructured competition, safety protocols, and any other information you will need.

Please know that our focus is on the safety of our school community and we truly appreciate your patience and continued support of TFA Athletics. I look forward to giving you more information as soon as possible.

As always, if you have any questions at all, feel free to email me at willcohen@thefirstacademy.org.

Have a great night!

Will Cohen, Athletic Director

Learning Models

Students will re-engage in On-Campus Learning beginning August 12 as scheduled on the 2020-2021 school calendar. We will remain focused on current health department information, AAP, CDC recommendations, and updated public health guidelines as they are issued.

  • • Regular 5-day school week with the same 8:00 am start (Lower School), 7:50 am start (Middle/ Upper School) and 2:45 pm end times.
  • • School-based instruction in the classroom with enhanced social distancing and safety measures.

Hybrid Learning is designed to provide support for students and families who must be off-campus temporarily due to COVID-19 related concerns and will remain enrolled as a student at TFA. It will align as much as possible with On-Campus teaching and learning. This model applies to students with preexisting health conditions or for families who may not be comfortable sending their children to school at this time.

With Hybrid Learning we want to help students maintain a connection with classmates and teachers while at home. With Hybrid Learning as an option, teachers are offering two separate modes of education simultaneously – one in-person, the other online and through video-conferencing.

While Hybrid Learning is not identical to On-Campus Learning, TFA faculty and staff will provide highquality distance learning instruction to advance student academic progress and attend to the social and emotional well-being of the student until they are able to return to school.

Hybrid Learning may look different in each grade level/division:

  • • Students will participate from home with synchronous classroom instruction being delivered through video-conferencing technology
  • • Each classroom will have a daily schedule of instruction and students participating in Hybrid Learning will follow that same schedule at home
  • • Live Streamed lessons will include the core subjects of instruction as well as art and music
  • • Students will “join” their classes each day for different periods of instruction from home through video conferencing
  • • The teacher will monitor student progress through video conferencing as if the student were in the classroom
  • • Younger students will likely need parental support
  • • Parents will need to assist with accessing instructional materials from the school on a weekly basis and returning them for grading

 

Families may switch from On-Campus Learning to Hybrid Learning at any time throughout the school year, given their need is COVID-related, as defined by the School. The Hybrid Learning model will remain in place as long as COVID-19 continues to be a concern, as determined by The First Academy Leadership Team. If a family intends to begin the 2020-2021 school year through the Hybrid Learning option, they are advised to alert their respective principal in writing by August 1.

In the unlikely event that our local community experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases and an interruption of on-campus learning occurs, we will be prepared to shift to Remote Learning for all students immediately and effectively. With the implementation of technology platforms during on-campus learning, the goal is to make this transition for students and parents as seamless as possible. Remote Learning will be intentionally enhanced and will include many of the components of a traditional school day. All students will remain home and instruction will be delivered remotely through technology platforms (Zoom/SeeSaw/Google Classroom/Canvas) and a structured schedule for each grade level will be established.

Campus Visitors

Click here to stay updated with the latest information on The First Academy’s Health and Safety Guidelines.

Interested in an on-campus Personal Tour? Click here to schedule your tour and learn more about The First Academy.

COVID-19 Scenarios & Tracing

Click here to see our COVID-19 Scenarios chart, which explains the protocols in place in the event a student or staff member experiences symptoms or exposure to COVID-19. We remind our families, faculty, and staff to check their temperatures at home before arriving on campus as a part of their health and wellness commitment.

What is considered exposure or close contact?

Primary contact to COVID-19 occurs when you are within six feet of someone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19, for at least 15 minutes, when either person is not wearing a mask (one or none of the contacts are wearing a mask), and the infected person later tests positive for COVID-19. This can also apply to situations in which the infected person did not show any symptoms at the time of primary exposure, but it is much less likely. Close contact must have taken place within 48 hours. If both individuals were wearing face masks, it is not considered exposure.

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

What symptoms will send my child home from school or keep them from coming to school?

The leading symptoms for COVID-19 that will require a student to be immediately sent home or to keep your child home from school are one of the following symptoms:

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

And/or 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

What happens if there is no COVID-19 exposure but my child shows similar symptoms?

If there is no COVID-19 exposure, but a student exhibits symptoms of illness, and there is no risk – the student will go home and gain pediatrician clearance for whatever illness they may have and can not return until they are medically cleared accordingly. The 72 hours of no fever without medication rule still applies.

Does an Antibody test allow my child to return to school?

An antibody test does not give clearance for a student to return to school. The school will still follow the COVID-19 response scenarios outlined in the scenarios tab.

What happens if my child tested positive in the past 90 days?

If the student is exposed to COVID-19, we will still follow our outlined COVID-19 scenario chart. Neither an antibody test nor a past positive will have an effect on returning to school.

Frequently Asked Questions

In the sections below, you will find the most commonly asked questions and answers. For more detailed information, please read Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3 of the Royal Reopening Guide.

Q: How is TFA making decisions about reopening?

A: The reopening plan for our school has been designed with a phased approach that will allow us to hold steady, prepare for interruptions, or make changes to reflect new guidance. We will maintain flexibility as we continue to monitor CDC, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and health department guidelines and recommendations from TFA’s Reopening Task Force, and the Medical Advisory Committee.

The following 6 guiding principles reflect the standards, procedures, and protocols TFA is evaluating for the implementation of our reopening in the fall. Please keep in mind that these are subject to change depending on current CDC, AAP, and health department recommendations.

  1. Maintaining a Healthy Campus Environment
  2. Monitoring Illness
  3. Maintaining Physical Distancing (whenever possible)
  4. Promoting Daily Hygiene Routines
  5. Evaluating Restrictions
  6. Supporting Well-Being

Q: What measures will be taken to clean classrooms and campus buildings?

A: Facility team members will deep clean spaces after hours as well as wipe down door handles and hard surfaces during the day, students will partner with faculty/staff to prioritize regular cleaning practices for desks, equipment, writing utensils, and other classroom materials.

Q: How will classrooms be set up?

A: The following safety measures related to the classroom environment will be implemented during both Phase 2 and Phase 3:

  • Student desks and tables will be arranged with the maximum social distancing measures possible.
  • Student desks and tables will be arranged to reduce face-to-face positioning as much as possible.
  • Water fountains will not be accessible in the classroom. All students are encouraged to bring a water bottle to school each day.
  • Classroom materials and furniture have been minimized for more space and less surface contamination.
  • Students will use their own personal school supplies. There will be no shared supplies.
  • Movement by students within the classroom will be monitored to support social distancing measures.
  • Classrooms with restrooms will be monitored by faculty and enhanced disinfecting measures will be used throughout the school day.
  • Student and staff groupings will remain as static as possible (Lower School) – having the same group of children stay with the same classroom.
  • Students will be permitted to bring backpacks but we do ask that students only bring those items needed for school each day (lunch box, homework folder, water bottle).
  • Students will use only their own assigned iPads.

Q: Will you take students’ temperatures at school?

A: All students will be temperature checked at arrival and prior to dismissal. Any student with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be sent home. We are asking families to perform daily temperature checks of their children before coming to school for the day. If a student has a temperature of 100.4 °F or higher, they should stay home. In addition, all employees will also be required to check their temperatures daily to ensure the health and safety of our campus.

Q: How will the school plan for social distancing?

A: Understanding that schools, by design, are not conducive to physical distancing, TFA will adhere to guidelines in order to maintain a safe learning environment. According to the CDC, AAP, and the health department, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the virus. However, we understand for small children the rule of 6 feet distancing might be difficult to follow, so we will continually encourage and monitor good hygiene practices in the classrooms. When possible, classroom desks will be placed 6 feet apart.

Q: Will hand sanitizer be available?

A: Each classroom will be stocked with adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors including soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, tissues, and no-touch trash cans. Hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout the school. Students, faculty, and staff are required to use upon entering and exiting classrooms.

Q: Will students be required to wear face coverings?

A: Here is our Face Covering policy, which you can also read in Volume 3 of the Royal Reopening Guide.

LOWER SCHOOL

  • Students must wear face coverings when walking into the building from carline and when exiting the building to carline, to and from classes, and when unable to physically distance by 6 feet.
  • Students will not be required to wear face coverings in classrooms when appropriate physical distancing is possible, and when students are seated behind plexiglass desk shields. However, all students are welcome to wear face coverings in the classroom if they so choose. Students moving throughout the classroom must wear a face covering when they are not seated behind the plexiglass desk shield.
  • Students must wear face coverings outdoors unless physically distanced by 6 feet or involved in strenuous physical activities.
  • Students may remove face coverings while eating or drinking if they are stationary and distanced.
  • Employees are required to wear face coverings (masks or face shields) while on campus, unless in a private office and able to physically distance by 6 feet.

MIDDLE & UPPER SCHOOL

  • Students are required to wear face coverings indoors, while walking to and from classes, and outdoors unless physically distanced by 6 feet or involved in strenuous physical activities.
  • Students may remove face coverings while eating or drinking if they are stationary and distanced.
  • Employees are required to wear face coverings (masks or face shields) while on campus, unless in a private office and able to physically distance by 6 feet.

CHOOSING A FACE COVERING

The biggest priority in choosing a face covering for your student is comfort. No inappropriate messages, graphics, political statements, or themes are allowed on face coverings. The administration of each division has the authority to make decisions on the appropriateness of all face coverings.

If a child forgets, damages, or loses their mask, the school will be able to provide a disposable mask for the remainder of the school day.

Q: Will faculty, staff and visitors be required to wear face coverings?

A: Employees are required to wear face masks while on campus, unless in a private office and able to physically distance by 6 feet.

All campus visitors including vendors will be required to use face masks while in our buildings. For more information on health and safety guidelines for campus visitors please click here.

Q: What is the health screening process for faculty and staff?

A: All employees will also be required to check their temperatures daily to ensure the health and safety of our campus. They will be required to wear a face covering upon entering the buildings and whenever social distancing is not possible. Faculty and staff will also receive training during Pre-Planning regarding new safety procedures.

Q: How will the school accommodate a student with a pre-existing condition or health concern?

A: If a student/family should wish to remain enrolled at The First Academy, but does not feel comfortable with their student/s being on campus due to pre-existing health conditions or discomfort, Hybrid Learning will be available. This model will be individualized and may look different in each grade level/ division. Those interested in Hybrid Learning should reach out to their divisional principal. More information is available on Hybrid Learning in Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the Royal Reopening Guide.

Q: How do I know if I should keep my child home from school if they are not feeling well?

A: Families should refer to our COVID-19 Scenario Guide for further information.

Q: What happens if a student shows symptoms of COVID-19?

A: Families are asked to commit to keeping their child home if they are demonstrating any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.4 ℉ or higher (without medication)
  • Persistent cough
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Or two or more of the following symptoms:
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Chills
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

If a student develops symptoms while at school, he/she will be isolated in a safe location, 6 feet social distancing, and wear a mask. Parents will be notified to arrange for pick up.

The Lower School, Middle, and Upper School buildings will have designated places for sick students, and they will remain there until they are picked up by a parent or guardian.

For more information, click here.

Q: What happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19?

A: It will be important for the school to have knowledge if anyone has tested positive for COVID-19, resides with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and/or has come in direct contact within a 14-day period with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Tracing diagnosed cases within our school community will allow us to have a better understanding of the overall school-wide health condition, localized to campus, building, and classroom. Additional details can be found online here.

Q: If my child tests positive for COVID-19, when can he/she return to campus?

A: A student or staff member who tested positive may return to school when:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the date of the first positive test.

AND

  • Are symptom-free for at least 72 hours (no cough or shortness of breath).

AND

  • No fever for at least 72 hours (three full days of no fever) without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

Q: Would all classes again move to remote learning if there is a resurgence of the virus?

A: In the unlikely event that our local community experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases and an interruption of on-campus learning occurs, we will be prepared to shift to Remote Learning for all students immediately and effectively. With the implementation of technology platforms during on- campus learning, the goal is to make this transition for students and parents as seamless as possible.

  • Remote Learning will be intentionally enhanced and will include many of the components of a traditional school day
  • All students will remain home and instruction will be delivered remotely through technology platforms (Zoom/SeeSaw/Google Classroom/Canvas)
  • A structured schedule for each grade level will be established
  • Synchronous instruction will be delivered through video conferencing with your child’s teacher
  • Students will have daily opportunities to connect with one another remotely
  • Remote Learning school day would mirror closely the on-campus learning schedule with minor adjustments

Q: What are the different Phases?

A: The Phases discussed directly correlate with State & CDC Phases.

  • Phase 1: School building is closed based on a government directive and delivery model will shift to Remote Learning. Remote Learning will be intentionally enhanced and will more closely mirror a traditional school day should we need to return to Remote Learning.
  • Phase 2: School building is open to students with enhanced social distancing and safety measures and the delivery model will be On-Campus Learning or Hybrid Learning.
  • Phase 3: School building is open to students with social distancing and safety measures and the delivery model will be On-Campus Learning or Hybrid Learning.
  • Phase 4: School is open with normal routines and safety measures. The delivery model will be On-Campus Learning.

Q: How will Lower School arrival operate?

A: All Lower School students are required to be dropped off for school using the Lower School carline. In order to comply with the recommendation of limiting nonessential visitors on campus, parents walking students on campus or in the building will not be permitted during Phase 2 and Phase 3.

The following safety measures related to arrival will be implemented during both Phase 2 and Phase 3:

  • Families will have a designated arrival/dropoff side of the carline based on the grade level of the youngest sibling in the family:
    • KPrep through 1st Grade: right side of the carline closest to the school building
    • 2nd Grade-5th Grade: left side of the carline closest to the parking lot
  • All student temperatures will be checked using a non-touch thermometer at carline. Any student with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to come to school.
  • Morning Care for students arriving prior to 7:50am:
    • KPrep/TK/Kindergarten students will be safely escorted into the building
    • 1st-5th Grade students will proceed to the Natalie Thomas Gym and will be grouped by homeroom with social distancing measures
  • Entry Points:
    • KPrep/TK/Kindergarten students will enter the building using the side door closest to the parking lot
    • 1st-2nd Grade students will enter the building using the right door of the front lobby
    • 3rd-4th Grade students will enter the building using the left door of the front lobby
    • 5th Grade students will enter the building using the back side door closest to the Natalie Thomas Gym

Q: How will Lower School dismissal operate?

A: All students are required to be picked up from school using the Lower School carline. In order to comply with the recommendation of limiting nonessential visitors on campus, parents walking in the building for dismissal will not be permitted during Phase 2 and Phase 3.

The following safety measures related to dismissal will be implemented during both Phase 2 and Phase 3:

  • Families will have a designated pickup side of the carline based on the grade level of the youngest sibling in the family:
    • KPrep through 1st Grade: right side of the carline closest to the school building
    • 2nd Grade-5th Grade: left side of the carline closest to the parking lot
  • Exit Points:
    • KPrep/TK/Kindergarten students will exit the building using the side door closest to the parking lot
    • 1st-2nd Grade students will exit the building using the right door of the front lobby
    • 3rd-4th Grade students will exit the building using the left door of the front lobby
    • 5th Grade students will exit the building using the back side door closest to the Natalie Thomas Gym
  • Early student check-out will not be allowed after 2:20 pm unless previous arrangements have been made with the classroom teacher or the front desk receptionist.

Q: How will Middle & Upper School arrival operate?

A: Upon arrival all students, faculty, and staff will have their temperature checked by a touchless thermometer. Any students with a fever of 100.4 or higher will be asked to return home.

  • If a student has a temperature of 100.4 or higher on the first check, another thermometer will be used. If it reads 100.4 or higher using a second thermometer, then the student can wait in their car for 10 minutes to be re-checked. If a temperature of 100.4 or higher is detected for a third time, he/she will remain out of school for 3 days.
  • We will also be checking student temperatures when they leave campus to make sure they are sent home symptom-free.
  • Middle & Upper School students will enter and exit through the front lobby each day to make sure their temperature is checked upon arrival and dismissal.
  • If using the Upper School carline to drop off your child: Students will remain in the car until temperature and symptom checks are completed.
  • If parking in the student parking lot: Temperature/symptom checks will take place as students walk to the Upper School building in front of the Field House.
  • If dropping off in the Lower School carline because of a younger sibling: You will be checked before you exit the car. Enter the MS/US building using the Upper School Lobby.

Q: How will my child know where to go and in which direction once they come to the school building?

A: Students will be educated on facility movement expectations. Faculty/staff will be available and positioned to assist.

Q: Can I walk my Lower School child up to the lobby instead of using the car line for arrival or dismissal?

A: We ask parents to utilize the car line at all times unless your child has to be picked up outside of normal arrival and departure times. Parents will not be able to walk in to pick up at dismissal.

Q: Can I still carpool with family and/or neighbors and friends?

A: Carpooling is a personal preference. Any child with a fever of 100.4 will need to leave school directly from the carline with whoever is driving them.

Q: What if I need to pick up my child early?

A: For Lower School students, please notify your child’s teacher and kerryanncole@thefirstacademy.org prior to picking your child up. Notification should be made first thing in the morning unless an emergency arises. Students may not be checked out early beginning at 2:20pm without prior notification.

For Middle and Upper School students, to pick up or dismiss a student early from school email msattendance@thefirstacademy.org or usattendance@thefirstacademy.org. Parents should not come into the US Lobby to pick students up. Parents picking up will use the Upper School loop, pull up outside the lobby doors, and call 407-206-8630. Your child will be called out of class to meet you at your car. Students who drive themselves will be dismissed at the designated time according to the email sent by the parent. Students will come to the Upper School lobby to sign out and get a temperature check, then be dismissed to leave.

Q: What if I need to drop off an item for my student during the school day?

A: If a parent needs to drop something off to their child (lunch, athletic gear, etc.) during the school day, they are asked to follow their division’s process for picking up their child early.

Q: Can I visit my child’s classroom?

A: In Phase 2 and 3 visitors to the Lower, Middle and Upper School buildings will be limited. For more information on the Phases, please read our Royal Reopening Guide Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Q: How will Lower School After Care operate?

A: We will continue to offer After Care until 6:00pm. Students must be pre-registered each week to attend After Care. Because space may be limited, priority registration will be given to those students with Unlimited Use tickets. Drop-in use (without pre-registration) will not be guaranteed.

The following safety measures related to After Care will be implemented during both Phase 2 and Phase 3:

  • All students going to After Care will have their temperatures checked prior to leaving the homeroom class. Any student with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to go to After Care and will need to be picked up.
    Students will be grouped from different classes and grade levels for After Care but this will be minimized as much as possible.
  • Social distancing measures will be implemented in all After Care classrooms.
  • The same health and wellness measures used in the classroom will be used in After Care.
  • Parents will not be permitted in the building for pickup. All students will be escorted to the side door closest to the Lower School parking lot for pickup.

For more information on After Care, visit the Back to School Information section below.

Q: How will Middle & Upper School After Care operate?

A: We will continue to offer After Care until 6:00pm. Students must be pre-registered each week to attend After Care. Because space may be limited, priority registration will be given to those students with Unlimited Use tickets. Drop-in use (without pre-registration) will not be guaranteed.

The following safety measures related to After Care will be implemented during both Phase 2 and Phase 3:

  • All students going to After Care will have their temperatures checked prior to leaving 7th period class. Any student with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to go to After Care and will need to be picked up.
  • Students will be grouped from different classes and grade levels for After Care but this will be minimized as much as possible.
  • Social distancing measures will be implemented in all After Care classrooms.
  • The same health and wellness measures used in the classroom will be used in After Care.
  • Parents will not be permitted in the building for pickup. All students will be dismissed via the Upper School Lobby.

For more information on After Care, visit the Back to School Information section below.

Q: How will Middle & Upper School After Care operate?

A: We will continue to offer After Care until 6:00pm. Students must be pre-registered each week to attend After Care. Because space may be limited, priority registration will be given to those students with Unlimited Use tickets. Drop-in use (without pre-registration) will not be guaranteed.

The following safety measures related to After Care will be implemented during both Phase 2 and Phase 3:

  • All students going to After Care will have their temperatures checked prior to leaving 7th period class. Any student with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to go to After Care and will need to be picked up.
  • Students will be grouped from different classes and grade levels for After Care but this will be minimized as much as possible.
  • Social distancing measures will be implemented in all After Care classrooms.
  • The same health and wellness measures used in the classroom will be used in After Care.
  • Parents will not be permitted in the building for pickup. All students will be dismissed via the Upper School Lobby.

For more information on After Care, visit the Back to School Information section below.

Q: Are parents allowed on campus?

A: We are evaluating various levels of restrictions across our school campus. In order to control and monitor the environment under shifting health conditions, movement on and off school campuses will have to be reshaped: checking students in and out of school, volunteering, parent and student-led conferences, etc. There will be a strict protocol for any visitor entering campus regarding substitutes, tutors, college representatives, vendors, and any other external individuals visiting The First Academy.

Q: Where do I find division-specific information for my student?

A: For division-specific information including arrival & dismissal, recess, and more, please visit the links below.

Q: How will Lower School students move around campus?

A: Depending on the phase we are in (phase 2 or 3) will determine the protocols in place for students moving across campus to areas like the Library and Recess.

  • The special area teachers for art and music will come to the grade-level classroom.
  • PE classes will take place in the Natalie Thomas Gym, Cramer Family Field House, and on the Lower School field. Planned activities will take into account social distancing measures as well as limiting the sharing of equipment among students.

Q: How will Middle & Upper School students move around campus?

A: Because social distancing is challenging during class change times, students are encouraged to wear a face mask/covering. Hand sanitizer will be readily available in the hallways. Students are encouraged to maintain social distancing in the hall by not touching, hugging, or high fiving.

Q: Are there special protocols for restrooms?

A: The First Academy will post signs in highly visible locations that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs. Hand sanitizer stations will be placed outside all bathrooms. Students will use the hand sanitizer outside the restroom door before entering. After using the restroom, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can use your elbow to open the restroom door handle when exiting to avoid touching the door handle. Classrooms with restrooms will be monitored by faculty and enhanced disinfecting measures will be used throughout the school day

Q: How will lunch work for Lower School students?

A: The following safety measures related to the school lunch program will be implemented during Phase 2:

  • Lower School students will eat lunch in the classroom.
  • Students will still have access to purchase a school lunch and the lunch will be delivered to the classroom each day.
  • Only individual student snacks will be allowed in the classroom. Each student may bring his/her own snack from home. There will be no shared or group snacks.
  • Students will wash/sanitize their hands before and after eating lunch and snack.
  • Desks will be cleaned at the completion of lunch daily.

The following safety measures related to the school lunch program will be implemented during Phase 3:

  • Students will eat lunch in the Gather Space, Alumni Commons, and the Natalie Thomas Gym on either a staggered or rotating schedule.
  • Social distancing measures will be implemented.
  • Only individual student snacks will be allowed in the classroom. Each student may bring his/her own snack from home. There will be no shared or group snacks.
  • Students will wash/sanitize their hands before and after eating lunch and snack.

Q: How will lunch work for Middle & Upper School students?

A: Students may choose to eat in the Gather space, Natalie Thomas Gymnasium, and Alumni Commons. These areas will not be socially-distanced. When possible, students will be encouraged to practice social distancing measures.

For parents who want their student to eat in a designated socially distanced environment, there will be a specific classroom available. Parents should contact their divisional principal to discuss the socially distanced lunch option.

Q: Will Chapel be different this fall?

A: During Quarter 1 and 2, students will remain in their classrooms to watch the chapel presentation.

Q: Will students be allowed to go to the library?

A: The Boyd-Moline Library will not be open to students before or after school during Phase 2 or 3.

Accelerated Reader testing will be open for home-use and students may also test in class using their own assigned iPads.

Library staff will establish a streamlined book-checkout process for students and parents who would like to access reading material from the library and books will be delivered to the classroom.

The following safety measures related to the library will be implemented during Phase 2:

  • Students will not travel to the Boyd Moline Library for weekly storytime (KPrep-2nd Grade Only) and checkout.
  • The library staff will come directly to the classroom each week for storytime (KPrep-2nd Grade) or for a library skill lesson (3rd-5th Grade).

The following safety measures related to the library will be implemented during Phase 3:

  • Classes will resume weekly library visits but the scheduled time may be staggered and times may be amended to allow for safe travel in the hallways.
  • All students and faculty will use hand sanitizer before entering and exiting the library.
  • Social distancing measures will be implemented during weekly library visits.

Q: What is the plan for on-campus events, arts and athletics in the fall?

A: Many of our on-campus events have been modified, shifted to a virtual platform, or canceled for the first semester. Families can review the most up-to-date calendar for 2020-2021 HERE.

Our Athletics Team is working diligently to prepare for the fall sports season. As always, we must follow the guidelines provided by the FHSAA in regards to athletic practices, contests, etc. As more information is provided to us, we will share that with families. We will hold tryouts for fall sports this summer, and all of the information for those tryout sessions can be found HERE.

All first semester Fine Arts events will be virtual or modified. More information will be shared for each event as they near. Additionally, information for second-semester events will be distributed as soon as possible. We will continue to follow the guidelines as outlined by the CDC, AAP, and the Health Department.

Q: Will students be taking any field trips?

A: All on-campus and off-campus field trips will be scheduled for later in the school year (likely second semester) except for the Senior activities planned for the first three days of school.

Q: What will PE look like?

A: PE classes will take place in the Natalie Thomas Gym, Cramer Family Field House, and on the Lower School field. Planned activities will take into account social distancing measures as well as limiting the sharing of equipment among students.

Q: What does the Hybrid Learning schedule look like?

A: Students will participate from home with synchronous classroom instruction being delivered through video-conferencing technology.

  • Each classroom will have a daily schedule of instruction and students participating in Hybrid Learning will follow that same schedule at home.
  • Live Streamed lessons will include the core subjects of instruction as well as art and music (Lower School).
  • Students will “join” their classes each day for different periods of instruction remotely through video conferencing.
  • The teacher will monitor student progress through video conferencing as if the student were in the classroom.
  • Younger students will need parental support
  • Parents will need to assist with accessing instructional materials from the school on a weekly basis and returning them for grading

Q: Will there be an option for a student to start the school year with the on-campus option and move to the Hybrid Learning option?

A: If a student/family should wish to remain enrolled at The First Academy, but does not feel comfortable with their student/s being on campus due to pre-existing health conditions or discomfort, Hybrid Learning will be available. This model will be individualized and may look different in each grade level/ division. Those interested in Hybrid Learning should reach out to their divisional principal.

Back to School Information

In the sections below, you will find the most important information regarding Back to School. As more information becomes available, new sections will be added below.

The TFA Top 15 Parent-Student Handbook Items are designed to bolster the relationship between home, church, and school. These items do not define who is and who is not a Christ-follower. They are not a measure of one’s spiritual maturity. They are simply a set of principles that guide our partnership with parents in raising the next generation of Christian leaders. Please read these important highlights online here.

School Start & Dismissal Times

Start Time

Grades K4-5………………..Monday – Friday……………… 8:00 am

Grades 6-12…………………Monday – Friday……………… 7:50 am

Dismissal Time

Grades K4-12 Monday – Friday……………………………… 2:45 pm

Middle & Upper School Bell Schedule

More information regarding drop-off and dismissal procedures is included in the Royal Reopening Guide Volume 2.

Visit the Royal Store

Visit the Royal Store to get all of your Spirit Wear and TFA gear for the 20-21 school year. Order online anytime at theroyalstore.org.

First Week of School Hours

  • Monday, August 10 – 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Tuesday, August 11 – 9:00 AM – Noon
  • Wed. August 12 – Fri. August 14 – 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Regular Store Hours (starting August 18th)

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays – 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Uniforms & Dress Code

Our school uniform provider is Dennis Uniforms. They are located at 1101 North Keller Road, Orlando, FL.

 

Our Uniform Policy is as stated below:

  • Shorts/skirts must be no higher than 5 inches from the knee when standing.This is the same size as an index card.
  • Although Dennis Uniforms will remain our uniform vendor, students may purchase similar-style shorts/skirts/pants from other vendors to ensure fit follows the 5-inch rule.
  • All shorts/skirts/pants/jeans must be a solid color, plain front with no patches, rips, tears, holes, patches, studs, accessories, or extra pockets. Students in grades 6-12 may wear jeans five days a week.
  • Both Dennis collared shirts and approved TFA-branded collared shirts (sold at the Royal Store) will be allowed during the school week.T-shirts may only be worn on Fridays or approved “Spirit Wear” days.
  • Acceptable shorts/skirts/pants colors include khaki, gray, charcoal, shades of blue, and black.
  • For everyone’s safety, security, and building access, all students in grades 6-12 will be required to wear a lanyard and student ID. Students in grades 6-12 will be provided with a new lanyard and ID prox card at the beginning of the school year. Lanyard/student ID must be worn around your neck or clipped to the top of your shirt (NOT in a pocket or backpack). Additional information is available on the Technology webpage.

Below you will find the supply lists for 5-Day students. Note, supply lists are linked Google Docs that may be updated by teachers.

Lower School

Middle School 

Upper School

Supply lists for grades 9-12 vary with each course and teacher. Upper School teachers will have their supply lists available during Meet The Teacher.

The Classical School

The First Hope

ParentsWeb is now Family Portal

Family Portal is a private and secure website that allows you to see complete information specific to your student(s) such as Attendance, Daily Grades, Progress Reports, Lesson Plans, Homework, Discipline, Staff and School Directory, Teacher e-mail addresses, and other school information.

A link to the Family Portal login page may be found in the top, right corner of The First Academy website’s homepage.

For more information on using Family Portal by FACTS, click here.

Follow the links for the important information on the following topics to help make your family’s 2020-21 school year a success:

The After Care Program is available for students of all grade levels in K4-12. For more information and to register, click here.

Pricing Structure

Several pricing plans are available for the After School Program depending on the needs of the family and the frequency of use.

Unlimited Use

An unlimited use ticket qualifies participants to use the After School program any time it is open. The cost is $1,880 per year, which may be paid in full or by payments made in FACTS. The Unlimited Use ticket should be purchased online at the After School Program page.

Occasional Use

Occasional Use tickets may be purchased online (30 hours for $265 or 15 hours for $165). Minutes are deducted from the ticket as they are used. Tickets may be split among siblings of any grades and can be carried over from one year to the next. No refunds for unused hours will be given. Parents will be notified when a new ticket should be purchased. Tickets should be purchased online at the After School Program page.

Emergency Use

We provide emergency care for unforeseeable events. The charge is $15.00 per hour, or any portion thereof. These fees can be paid online prior to use or when you are billed for usage time.

Late charges apply for all payment plans. The charge is $10.00 per quarter-hour.

Schedule

Mondays – Fridays

Students have snack time, homework time, and free play inside and outside. Special on-campus activities are also scheduled throughout the year.

After School Care is closed on all official holidays, school holidays, and on Teacher Work Days. Please check TFA’s Annual Calendar for more information.

Annual Calendar

Click here for the 2020-2021 Annual Calendar.

A Partnership In Health & Wellness

The health and wellness of our students, families, and our school has always been a
partnership. As we enter the 2020-2021 school year, it is important that the bonds of this partnership are stronger than ever. In preparation for this school year, we are asking that ALL families complete and sign our Health & Wellness Pledge by Friday, August 7.

One parent must complete the pledge for all students. If your family has students in both TFA 5-day school as well as The Classical School and/or The First Hope, please complete both the TFA 5-day pledge as well as the pledge for The Classical School/The First Hope. In addition, per AAP recommendations, we encourage all students to have their health & wellness check-ups/physicals prior to the start of school.

TFA 5-Day Health & Wellness Pledge With Covid Waiver

The Classical School/The First Hope Health & Wellness Pledge With Covid Waiver

Important Info

  • We are Open! Schedule an on-campus or virtual Personal Tour online here
  • Calendar Updates: Stay up-to-date here
  • School Hours: 7:45am – 2:45pm
  • Royal Store Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9:00am – 3:00pm or order online here

Student Life Updates

For division-specific information including arrival & dismissal, recess, and more, please visit the links below.