COVID-19 Press Releases & Guidance
Updated August 26, 2021
"Year Two Plan 2021-2022, A Plan for a Responsible Reopening at Beaufort Academy"
In order to provide the safest learning environment for our students and staff, we must focus all efforts on remaining open in a face-to-face learning setting. Therefore, a few additional protocols will be activated. We are fortunate enough to have the size and style of our BA campus, which has granted us the ability to execute the following precautions. Please understand that these precautions will change depending on the data and COVID-19 situation in our community. The present situation is considered fluid and will be handled based on the most reliable information and guidelines.
Please review the attached guideline "Year Two Plan 2021-2022, A Plan for a Responsible Reopening at Beaufort Academy." This guideline provides details on how the school will conduct safety measures in the following areas: Facility Sanitation, Face Mask Policy, Healthy Hygiene Practices, Monitoring, New Daily Practices, Physical Distancing, Communication, After School Activities, Athletics, Lab Precautions and Live Online Instruction.
We encourage you to review the attached guideline with your family to help with the transition on campus. Please reiterate to your children how important it is to follow these guidelines for the safety of all. Healthy students will allow us to not only provide an open campus, but also maintain the most “normal” experience possible. Thank you for your support.
KEY ADDITIONS & TAKEAWAYS:
- Face masks will be REQUIRED indoor school facilities (classroom and non-classroom settings), outdoors when in close group settings or within six feet of others, and on buses or other school transportation. Mask use is not required for certain activities, such as eating, drinking, or when alone in an office.
Students and faculty must provide their own face mask and will be asked to bring them home each day to clean and return to school the next day. Masks must be appropriate for school; flag prints, wording, political or offensive commentaries are not allowed.
Children under the age 2, or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance should not wear a mask. Preschool parents may elect for their preschool child to forgo a face covering for their student, however, the parent must sign the mask waiverindicating their choice on ParentSquare.
- All students will have their temperatures taken before entering their first class each morning and before lunch. This task will be performed by the classroom teacher utilizing an Infrared “Non-Contact” Thermometer. Students registering a temperature of 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) or above will immediately be sent to nurse’s office. Parents will be notified to arrange immediate pick up of the child.
- Grades Pre-K2 through 7 will continue the practice of separating grade levels in a classroom setting. This ensures that if an outbreak of COVID-19 should occur, it will only affect that specific grade level.
- Reasonable physical distancing will be practiced in the classroom and throughout the campus:
- All students will enter and exit classrooms through exterior entrances where available. This will avoid crowded Students may arrive on campus as early as 7:30am.
- Classrooms will be scheduled and organized to promote physical
- Hallways will only be open for restroom access and scheduled locker
- Attendance is limited to students and essential faculty and staff.
- Handshaking, high-fives, and hugging are not
- Please DO NOT send your child to school if . . .
- If the student has taken any fever reducing medications in the last 24 hours.
- He or she is showing any symptoms of illness: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, chills, headache, muscle or body aches, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
- Any member of the household has ANY symptoms of COVID-19.
- If the student or anyone in your family experienced or has been exposed to anyone that has experienced any of the following symptoms in the past 14 days: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, chills, headache, muscle or body aches, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
- If the student or anyone in your family had close contact with or cared for someone with a known or suspected case of COVID-19, experienced any of the above symptoms, or with an individual who has been quarantined for suspected exposure in the last 14 days.
- If the student or any member of your household traveled outside of the United States, or been in close contact with someone who has.
- The guidelines for athletic participation and games will again follow the guidelines of SCISA. In addition, it is important to remind parents, students, and coaches that students who are quarantined or not learning on-campus will not be permitted to practice and/or participate in extracurricular activities or athletics. Contact William Howell at email@example.com with further questions.
- Communication: The Beaufort Academy nurse will follow specific DHEC guidelines when a potential COVID-19 case arises on campus. Working alongside DHEC, case investigation and contact tracing are critical strategies to identify and isolate cases to reduce transmission. Rest assured if your student has been in close contact of a potential case, the school nurse will contact parents immediately with further instruction on quarantine and testing. To protect the privacy and safety of all families, please note you will only be notified if a case affects your student or family directly. If you have additional questions, please contact Becky Bekemeyer, School Nurse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated August 25, 2021 - Mask Mandate
As promised, a commitment to the health and well-being of Beaufort Academy’s students, faculty, staff and families shall be Beaufort Academy’s guiding principle when making decisions for the school year. Based on the increase of COVID-19 trends in our school and community, we are reflecting on our current practices and procedures. In order to provide the safest learning environment for our students and staff, we must focus all efforts on remaining open in a face-to-face learning setting. After much consultation and review, the Beaufort Academy campus will revert to several of our previous protocols and procedures, including the wearing of masks on campus starting immediately.
At this time, face coverings will be REQUIRED in the following campus areas:
- Indoor school facilities (classroom and non-classroom settings)
- Outdoors when in close group settings or within six feet of others
- On buses or other school transportation
*Mask use is not required for certain activities, such as eating, drinking, or when alone in an office. Children under the age 2, or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance should not wear a mask.
Preschool teachers and staff will be required to wear face masks. Parents may elect for their preschool child to forgo a face covering for their student, however, the parent must sign the mask waiver indicating their choice on ParentSquare. This is for preschool students only. Contact Carol Ann Richards with further questions.
Additional protocols will be put into place and an updated COVID-19 plan will be shared with families as it becomes available. For the latest information, please visit our BA website (www.BeaufortAcademy.org) under the “Discover BA” tab --> “COVID-19 Guidance & Communication” page. Notifications will also be sent via ParentSquare.
Daily protocol will be an adjustment, but cooperation is expected from all who are on campus. It will take a team effort to keep our campus safe. We appreciate your commitment and your flexibility as we navigate through this together. Please feel free to contact your Divisional Director with questions or concerns.
Updated August 5, 2021 - Updates for the new school year 2021-2022
We are just days away from the start of the 2021-2022 school year! On behalf of the Beaufort Academy faculty and staff, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new and returning families. We are excited to get back into the daily routine of serving our students and families.
First, I would like to share our top priorities during the first few weeks of school. Obviously, faculty and student safety is our top priority. We also appreciate that choice is a strong theme in our community. Keeping that theme in mind, we have established the following operational procedures:
- As recommended by SCISA, all students are required to have a facemask on hand in case a need arises. Please see below for further facemask details.
- Specific to Preschool and Lower School (Grades Pre K2 - 5th)
We understand that Lower School and Preschool students are better served participating in an onsite instruction model and that childcare is a major consideration when younger students participate in online learning; therefore, it is the school’s objective to avoid online learning whenever possible. This means that the Lower School will continue the practice of keeping grade levels (PreK-5th) separated from one another. This ensures that if an outbreak of COVID-19 should occur, it will only affect that specific grade level.
In step with the theme of CHOICE, Preschool and Lower School parents have the option to have their students wear facemasks during the day. Although Beaufort Academy recommends that all students wear masks, we respect your family’s decision. However, if circumstances should change based on COVID-19 data, our policy will be revisited.
- Specific to Middle School (Grades 6th & 7th)
Middle School students will also be separated throughout the day, meaning students will not mix with other grade levels. As with the Lower School, Middle School parents have the right to select if their children wear facemasks during school hours. Please note that Middle School students may forgo wearing a face mask while on campus; however, teachers have the right to require students to wear face mask during his/her class. These particular situations will be communicated to parents and students through Division Directors. Again, Beaufort Academy recommends that all students wear masks – at least for the first few weeks of school. However, if circumstances should change based on COVID-19 data, our policy will be revisited.
- Specific to Upper School (Grades 8th – 12th)
Since the Upper School students are mixed and matched through electives, it is an unreasonable expectation to separate by grade levels. In this case, the same procedures of tracing will be utilized. Should a COVID-19 case be identified, the school nurse will conduct the process, and students will be quarantined according to DHEC/CDC guidelines.
Although it is not a requirement for Upper School students to wear a facemask outdoors, they must remember that a teacher has the right to require them to do so in his/her class for a variety of health-related reasons. Please ensure that your teenager has a facemask on the first day of school in case the situation arises. Parents/guardians are encouraged to take every step to ensure their teenagers are most protected from the COVID-19 virus. As with last year, the more we can place a safe zone around the school, the more of a chance students will remain on campus for instruction and the normal activities of school. However, if circumstances should change based on COVID-19 data, our policy will be revisited.
- The guidelines for athletic participation and games will again follow the guidelines of SCISA.
- Beaufort Academy will not offer online learning until circumstances merit. For example, should a grade level require quarantining, live online instruction will be activated. This would also be true of Upper School students being required to be quarantined. Parents may request online learning for reasons related to verified health issues. This can be addressed with your Division Director.
- In addition, it is important to remind parents, students, and coaches that students who are quarantined or not learning on-campus will not be permitted to practice and/or participate in extracurricular activities or athletics.
- In order to provide a safe in-person reopening, our administration team has reinstated the COVID-19 Campus Protocol This guideline provides details on how the school will conduct safety measures in the following areas: Facility Sanitation, Healthy Hygiene Practices, New Daily Practices, Physical Distancing, Monitoring, After School Activities, Athletics, and Lab Precautions. We encourage you to review the attached guideline with your family. Please reiterate to your children how important it is to follow these guidelines for the safety of all.
- We are also asking parents to review and submit a COVID-19 release form and mask waiver understanding the assumption of risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please review carefully and digitally submit your response through ParentSquare by August 15, 2021. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.
Updated August 20, 2020 - A Revision Made in Regards to Face Shields & Gaiters
As promised, Beaufort Academy is keeping up with changes on dealing with COVID-19 and modifying our plan to best accommodate the changes recommended by DHEC, CDC, and other governing agencies.
Below are two areas that have changed and will be implemented on the Beaufort Academy campus.
- DHEC has removed the provision of using face shields to supplement cloth face masks. Therefore, Beaufort Academy will adjust its face shield policy as follows:
Students may forgo wearing a face shield while on campus; however, teachers have the right to require students to wear face shields during his/her class. Please note, wearing cloth face coverings is still mandatory at all times, with or without a face shield.
If a teacher is requiring face shields, there will be a class set of face shields in the classroom. Those teachers will also ensure that face shields are disinfected before and after each new class. This process will accomplish two main objectives. First, it will provide teachers with high risk conditions to practice an extra precaution. Secondly, it will allow teachers that select to forgo the face shields that option. Students may still select to wear the face shields in addition to their face mask in all classes. Those students who will not be utilizing the shields should return them to the main office as soon as possible. Those shields will be cleaned and packaged as class sets for teachers.
- Secondly, it has now been determined that face gaiters do not provide adequate protection from COVID-19. Therefore, beginning Monday, August 24, 2020, all students will be required to wear an appropriate face mask while on campus. For those students who purchased a gaiter from the Blue and White Booster Club, face masks have been ordered to replace the gaiter at no cost. It may take a few weeks for the masks to be delivered, so parents are requested to provide a mask for their student until delivery. We apologize for the inconvenience.
As always, our main objective is the health and well-being of our students and staff. We appreciate your commitment and your flexibility as we navigate through this time together. Please feel free to contact our administration team with questions or concerns.
Updated August 7, 2020 - Keeping our Students and Campus Healthy
After months of planning and preparing, the start of school is just five days away. Teachers are on campus preparing to use new technology which will allow them to teach their classes both in person and remotely. Staff members are working diligently to make sure that details of the reopening plan are in place and operable. Since the first week of classes will serve as the first run through of the plan, we are expecting to learn and adjust as needed. However, we also expect a controlled and productive first week.
Since the release of the plan in June, there has been one significant addition. Through the generous support of Amazing Event Rentals, two outdoor tented café areas are being created to accommodate student lunches and outdoor classes. These spaces will allow for social distancing and offer our students a more relaxing lunch break. For classes that do not need access to technology, teachers may select to reserve the outdoor space when it is not used for lunches.
As a reminder, the wearing of a cloth face covering will be required and applicable until guidelines are changed by the CDC and Health Department(s). Students and faculty must provide their own face covering,
In addition to a mandatory cloth face covering, students and staff will be required to wear a plastic face z-shield for further protection. Beaufort Academy will supply plastic face shields for all students and staff on the first day of school, and families are expected to bring them home each day to sanitize and return to school the next day. Daily protocol will be an adjustment, but cooperation is expected from all who are on campus.
Beyond properly executing the campus reopening plan, perhaps the most important part of maintaining a COVID-19 virus free school environment is what happens at home. It will be critical for parents to help control their students’ possible exposure while not at school. The best way to avoid exposure at school is to not bring it to campus in the first place. I realize I cannot control the decisions made within the family. However, I do strongly suggest that for the next few months the entire Beaufort Academy Family make safety its top priority. Continue to practice safe social distancing by avoiding large groups, practice hand-washing, and wear a face covering. Please reiterate to your children how important it is to follow these guidelines for the safety of all. Granted, there will be some unpopular sacrifices (avoiding social gatherings, wearing a mask in public, etc.). However, if we are to stay open for on-campus instruction, those sacrifices must be made. Remember, sacrifices made today give us a better chance of remaining open.
With that said, let me express how excited I am for school to reopen. For educators, our joy revolves around the laughter of children, the “Aha” moments of students and the knowledge that we have made a positive difference in their lives. We pledge to you that we will do everything possible to provide the safest, most effective environment possible.
Updated July 17, 2020 - BA is prepared to kick-off the new school year on 8/12/20
With the consideration of all students, faculty, and staff, Beaufort Academy upholds its decision to reopen on-campus instruction on Wednesday, August 12, 2020. We are fortunate enough to have the size and style of our BA campus, which has granted us the ability to adhere to all recommendations from DHEC, CDC, and SCISA regarding the reopening of school. Recommendations are ever changing and given on a daily basis, but rest assured that our plans will meet or exceed DHEC suggested requirements for the safety of all on campus. Linked below you will find two documents providing the most recent guidelines from DHEC for schools and child care facilities regarding the management of suspected and confirmed cases.
Daily protocol will be an adjustment, but cooperation is expected from all who are on campus. It will take a team effort to keep our campus safe. Please continue to practice safe social distancing by avoiding large groups, practice hand-washing, and wear a face covering. Please reiterate to your children how important it is to follow these guidelines for the safety of all.
We understand that some families may not be ready to re-enter campus as early as August 12. As a service to our families, Beaufort Academy will offer voluntary at-home live instruction that will allow students in grades K-12 to experience a BA education from home. With new technology in the classroom, students will be able to follow their schedule and join their classmates virtually during their scheduled class. This online platform will continue on Google Classroom although expectations and requirements will be the same as on-campus peers.
It is important to remember; however, this live option must be requested by a parent/guardian of the student and an online request form (linked here) must be submitted and digitally signed by the parent/guardian by Friday, July 24, 2020. If a family chooses to rejoin the on-campus setting, a decision to return to at-home instruction must be appealed to the Head of School before returning to campus.
To help administration plan efficiently, it is important for families to communicate their plans. We are asking all parents to submit the attached RSVP if your student is returning to campus on August 12.
An updated copy of our reopening plan will be shared in the next week, but here are a few additions and takeaways:
- The wearing of a cloth face covering will be required and applicable until guidelines are changed by the CDC and Health Department(s). Students and faculty must provide their own face covering, and will be asked to bring them home each day to clean and return to school the next day. Face coverings can be purchased through BA, online through Lands’ End, or through a vendor of your choice. Coverings must be appropriate for school; flag prints, wording, political or offensive commentaries are not allowed. Gaiters and cloth face masks are recommended. Below are a few mask tips:
- Have your child practice wearing masks at home. It’s important to start this process before school starts.
- For our younger students, consider attaching a lanyard to the strap of the mask. (This will help students not lose their mask or drop on the ground.)
- Make sure that your child knows why it’s being recommended that they wear a mask, which is basically to keep themselves and others safe.
- It will become a new normal. It’s very possible that your kid might fight wearing a mask when they’re out with you, but may be much more open to it in a school setting or simply if it’s something they see their friends doing.
- Make sure masks are comfortable. It might take a bit of trial and error to find a mask your child will actually tolerate, in the same way that it can take some trial and error to find comfortable shoes.
- In addition to a mandatory cloth face covering, students and staff will be required to wear a plastic face shield for further protection. Beaufort Academy will supply plastic face shields for all students and staff, but families are expected to bring them home each day to sanitize and return to school the next day. Face shields will be used instead of individual desk partitions.
We will update families with more information as it becomes available. For the latest information, please visit our BA website (www.BeaufortAcademy.org) under the “Campus Life” tab --> “Emergency Information & Updates” page. Notifications will also be sent via ParentSquare.
We appreciate your commitment and your flexibility as we navigate through this together. Please feel free to contact your divisional director with questions or concerns. We look forward to starting a healthy new school year on August 12!
Updated June 26, 2020 - A Plan for a Responsible Reopening at Beaufort Academy
Above all, a commitment to the health and well-being of Beaufort Academy’s students, faculty, staff and families shall be our guiding principle when making decisions for the upcoming school year. After much consultation and planning, it has been determined that Beaufort Academy will open August 12, 2020 for on-campus instruction.
In order to provide a safe in-person reopening, our administration team has created a guideline "Envisioning a New Normal: A Plan for a Responsible Reopening at Beaufort Academy." This guideline provides details on how the school will conduct safety measures in the following areas: Facility Sanitation, Healthy Hygiene Practices, New Daily Practices, Physical Distancing, Monitoring, After School Activities, Athletics, and Lab Precautions. This plan also describes the optional home (live) online instruction platform for families who are not prepared to return to campus in August. We encourage you to review the guideline with your family located in the right tab.
To ensure sound and careful decision-making, our reopening plan is based on current guidelines and recommendations from the CDC, DHEC, SCISA, and local and state Health Organizations. In response to the aforementioned resources, we will continue to evaluate any needs and adjustments to our protocols and families will be notified as soon as possible. For the latest information, please visit our BA website (www.BeaufortAcademy.org) under the “Campus Life” tab --> “Emergency Information & Updates” page. Notifications will also be sent via ParentSquare.
Beaufort Academy is looking forward to serving our students and providing the most effective and safe educational experience possible. In order to support the goal of reopening the campus on schedule, we encourage BA Families to adhere to a plan at home that promotes personal health and safety measures. Please review with your young person the importance of such measures as social distancing, hand washing and other protective practices. Healthy students will allow us to not only provide an open campus, but also maintain the most “normal” experience possible.
We appreciate your commitment and your flexibility as we navigate through this together. Please feel free to contact your divisional director with questions or concerns. We look forward to starting a healthy new school year.
Updated April 24, 2020 - Update from the Head of School
First, let me say that I hope you and your family are safe and healthy. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as together we navigate the constantly changing circumstances involving COVID-19. I am extremely appreciative of our students, parents, teachers and staff for their positivity, flexibility and resilience during these trying times. Finally, a big shout out to all of the doctors, nurses, healthcare employees, first responders, and our local and state leaders for all they are doing to keep us safe and healthy.
As you may know, Governor McMaster has determined that South Carolina schools will not re-open this school year. Although we are sad at the prospect of not seeing our students, this announcement does allow us to provide more accurate information. Thus, Beaufort Academy will complete the school year utilizing the current online learning platform. Seniors’ last instruction day will be May 14, 2020. The last day of instruction for all other students will be May 21, 2020. There will be no finals week; however, teachers may select to evaluate the latest materials covered on or before the last day of instruction. For students who are taking AP classes, please refer to the updated AP exam schedule linked here. Graduation has been postponed until June 13, 2020. Further details on graduation and other activities will be forthcoming.
As we start planning for next school year, it will be prudent to anticipate both a live start and a virtual start. Although many of the problems with virtual learning have been addressed, there are still improvements to be made. Families are encouraged to send concerns or suggestions for improving the platform to our school directors: Preschool/Lower School: Carol Ann Richards and Middle and Upper School: Amy Melville.
While walking the school campus earlier today, the reality of why Beaufort Academy is such a special place was so clear. In my mind, I could hear the joyful voices of our students. Their laughter seemed to echo throughout the campus. I couldn’t help but smile as I imagined children running and playing; our middle school students playing football at break and the upper school students blessing us with their dreams and aspirations. So many wonderful moments in every day. As I headed back to the office, I whispered to myself, “This sure is a great place – when the students are here.”
Thank you for trusting us with your most valuable contribution to this world – your children.
Updated April 22, 2020 - School Closure Extended to End of School Year
In accordance with Governor Henry McMaster and South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman’s state mandate, all schools in South Carolina will remain closed for the rest of the school year. We will continue our distance learning curriculum to ensure we stay on track academically. The last day of instruction for grades PK-2 through 11 will be Thursday, May 21. The last day of instruction for the 12th grade will be Thursday, May 14. For students who are taking AP classes, please refer to the updated AP exam schedule linked here.
The health and safety of our BA community is of utmost importance, and we will continue to monitor state officials as they provide future recommendations on rescheduling end of the year events, graduation ceremonies, and summer camp. It is very important to us as a school to honor our senior class, and to do so in the safest manner possible. We will share updates as decisions are made.
Lastly, I would like to thank our students, parents, and staff for making the best of distance learning. Our families were faced with a new “norm” that changed the way we learn, the way we teach, and the way we parent. We are proud of our BA family for adjusting so well. It is a trying time for all, but our school pride and family support shines through. Together, we are BA proud and BA strong!
We look forward to finishing the school year strong. GO EAGLES!
Stay well, and as always please let us know how we can help as we journey together.
Updated March 24, 2020 - School Closure Extended to April 30
In accordance with Governor Henry McMaster and South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman’s state mandate, all schools in South Carolina will extend closure until April 30. In today’s release, McMaster states “We understand that the prospect of schools remaining closed for an extended period of time places stress and strain on parents and children. Rest assured, if there is any way to safely open our schools earlier, we will do that, but schools must remain closed to protect the health and safety of South Carolinians.”
The health and safety of our BA community is of utmost importance, and we will continue to monitor state officials as they provide future recommendations on when to re-open school. We will continue our distance learning curriculum to ensure we stay on track with our planned academic calendar. Distance learning will be put on pause while we take our “Spring Break” from April 10-19, and will continue to be in session on Monday, April 20 until the return of school.
Out of care and caution, we strongly advise you and your students to practice social distancing by limiting the amount of people in a group, and staying at least 6 feet apart. We also advise you not to travel (either domestically or internationally) and to follow the recommended U.S. State Department and CDC guidance on COVID-19. If you must travel, please contact the school so we are aware. This is a critical step in assisting our local health agencies.
We would love to see our students in (distance learning) action, so please share your photos and videos, and email them to Lisa Gallagher. We thank you for your ongoing support, and uplifting feedback during this time. It is a trying time for all, but our school pride and family support shines through. Together, we are BA proud and BA strong! Stay well, and as always please let us know how we can help as we journey together.
Updated March 23, 2020 - A Note from the Head of School
As we enter week two of online learning, I want to thank you for bonding together as we deal with a new normal. We understand that the first week of online learning has been a learning experience for all of us. However, your patience and “get it done” tenacity will make this next week even more effective.
Parents of high school students, please discuss with your young person the importance of completing the online assignments. It is important to remember that high school courses are credit bearing and are required for graduation. As a school, we have some flexibility on how the credits are earned (in class, online, etc.) but if students are not completing distance learning requirements, they will not earn credit for their class. Seniors in particular should be in encouraged to stay on task.
In the near future, decisions will be made regarding students returning to school. Those decisions will be guided by several criteria. First, we will follow the directives of local, state and federal government. Secondly, we will adhere to the guidance of organizations such as the CDC and local medical personnel. Finally, we shall always consider what is in the best interest of our students and families. Please continue to be patient as we gather the necessary information to make informed, rational decisions.
Uncertain times require unparalleled cooperation and flexibility. As we continue on this journey, please know that Beaufort Academy is working diligently to support the educational needs of your children. Together, we shall rise above the turmoil. Together, we shall serve the needs of our BA Family.
Updated March 19, 2020 - Distance Learning Reminders
We officially survived the first day of distance learning! Diving into a full-scale online learning platform requires everyone to be nimble and open-minded. There is a learning curve for all involved so we want to thank you for your patience and commitment in making this platform successful. We are able to count these days of distance learning towards SCISA requirements as long as we follow a structured online learning curriculum. Our future schedule will be based on SCISA and government decisions.
In the past few days, our teachers have adapted their scheduled lessons in order for students to receive the same quality of learning at home. Again, we ask for your patience as our teachers and administration work diligently to prepare and practice their best strategies for distance learning. With the help of Google Classroom, Zoom, ParentSquare, and other educational resources paired with dedicated teachers, we are incredibly confident in the days and weeks ahead.
While campus is closed, it is business as usual through Google Classroom. Teachers are still teaching, and students are expected to participate and complete lessons. In an effort to keep their school day as “normal” as possible, teachers will be posting at-home assignments, resources, and due dates during regularly scheduled class time (A&B schedules) or on meeting days. This is to prevent students from feeling overwhelmed with multiple assignments. Teachers are encouraged to do live classroom lessons (via ZOOM) which will require students to log on at a specific time for instructions. Teachers will post times, links, etc. in Google Classroom if they are going to utilize this option.
Teachers will be your main point of contact for class assignments, grades, and expectations. At this point, students should have accepted an invite to each class via Google Classroom. If a student has not joined a class, please contact each of their teachers. Once they have joined each class, students are required to check their BA emails and Google Classroom for updates. All work will be communicated through student emails, and parents (guardians) will be updated weekly. If you have questions about Guardian/Parent access in Google Classroom, click here. If you have any questions concerning assignments, please contact your teacher directly. Teachers are available during normal school hours, and happy to help.
The time your child spends each day on school work will vary according to age, but a rough estimate is 1-3 hours a day for LS, and 4-5 hours a day for MS & US. It is vital that you carve out time for your children/teenagers to complete school work every day. Reestablishing a daily routine will go a long way over the next few weeks. We suggest designating a “work” space for school work, where distractions are limited (no cell phones, TV, music, pets, etc.) Students should sit at a desk or table, ideally in an area that can remain set up with devices and materials.
Refer to the “Distance Learning – A Guide for Families” for more detailed expectations and information.
Thank you for all you do to support BA and our children’s education. As always, please reach out to our faculty and staff with questions or concerns.
Updated March 17, 2020 - Google Classroom Instructions
- Lower School Google Classroom Instructions (K-4)
- Middle & Upper School Google Classroom Instructions (5-12)
Updated March 16, 2020 - Upcoming Events, Wifi Service, & Social Distancing
Governor Henry McMaster has closed all schools in the state of South Carolina until March 31. Therefore, Beaufort Academy will follow the direction of the state, and extend the closure until the end of March. The safety, health, and well-being of our students and staff is our highest priority. We understand you may have questions and concerns, so our staff is committed to addressing them in a timely manner. We encourage you to email us, call us, or message us via ParentSquare. All pertinent information will be communicated through ParentSquare. Please become more familiar with ParentSquare by updating your app, contact information, and notification settings. Public information can also be found on the BA website www.BeaufortAcademy.org under the “Campus Life” tab --> “Emergency Information & Updates” page.
At this time, all school events are postponed until further notice. We will try our best to reschedule before the school year ends, but with the uncertainty of the situation, we are on stand-by. All fees will be transferred to the new date, and if the event cannot be rescheduled, a refund will be issued. The following events and activities are postponed: SCISA athletics, SCISA events & tournaments, after-school programs, field trips, clubs & committee meetings, spirit nights, Horton Scholarship Presentation, Emerging Leader Scholarship Presentation, St. Patrick’s Day Cupcake Fundraiser (orders will transfer to new date), Lower School Talent Show, Father Daughter Dance (corsage orders will transfer to new date), Mother Son Kickin’ Chicken Kickball Game (orders will transfer to new date), Prom Promise, Prom (corsage orders will transfer to new date), Spanish Honor Society Induction, Lowco All Star Basketball Showcase, Duke Symphony Orchestra & Blue Notes Concert, The Great Helicopter Egg Drop (cancelled), Preschool Hoedown, and the 7th & 8th Grade Dance.
Starting Wednesday, BA will move to a distance learning online platform via Google Classroom. We would like to keep your school day as “normal” as possible with assignments given out during scheduled class hours. Teacher virtual office hours will be shared so you and your children will have the opportunity to clarify any questions. This will be an important part of your child’s learning plan, so please encourage him/her to complete the lessons in a timely manner. We ask for your patience as our K-12 teachers and administration work diligently to prepare and practice their best strategies for distance learning.
In order to help parents in assisting their student(s) with the online platform, additional communication will be forwarded with instructions, expectations, requirements, and resources on how to use the platform within the next 24 hours. We understand technical issues may occur, and families will have to share devices, so please know we are here every step of the way. To prepare for distance learning, students are encouraged to visit campus today to gather classroom supplies, books, technology, and reading materials. Campus will be open today until 5pm.
If you have pressing technology device needs in your home please e-mail email@example.com immediately. If you have internet access issues, please consider calling Hargray, as they have joined the pledge with the Federal Communications Commission to “Keep Americans Connected.”
Free Internet Services
Hargray is partnering with school systems across the southeast to ensure students have the necessary Internet connectivity to continue their studies during school closings caused by the coronavirus. As of March 16, 2020, Hargray will offer free Internet services across its service territory for 60 days to ALL NEW households with students in grades K – 12 and/or college who do not already have a Hargray Internet subscription. Hargray will also offer discounted upgrades to existing families with students to ensure they also have the necessary speeds to accommodate higher Internet usage during this time. To learn more about this program, and to enroll, please visit www.hargray.com/freeinternet or call Hargray at (800) 556-7453. While the program is focused on students who are impacted by school closings associated with COVID-19, Hargray is also committed to helping extend Beaufort educational program throughout the year. After the 60 days, Hargray will offer discounted options to qualifying households.
As a community we must come together and practice social distancing that inhibits the spread of the virus. Please place the well-being of your family and the greater community as your top priority. We strongly encourage everyone to avoid personal travel, group gatherings, sleepovers, play dates, athletic events, and concerts. This is a great time to encourage your children to get outside and play.
Thank you for your understanding and support, and as always please reach out to our faculty and staff with questions or concerns.
Updated March 15, 2020 - School Closure Notice
As we have shared earlier, Beaufort Academy’s guiding principle is to remain committed to the health and well-being of our community’s students, faculty, staff and families. There is nothing in the mission of our school more important than protecting our students, and staff. Now that COVID-19 cases have been identified in Beaufort County, it is imperative we react in the most logical and recommended manner possible.
Therefore, Beaufort Academy will not be in session for the next two weeks starting Monday, March 16, 2020. This includes all extra-curricular programs, and athletics. The school’s administrative team will continue to monitor the progression of COVID-19’s affect on the Beaufort County Community. Based on those results, a decision will be made to either continue the school closing or lift it. We will make determinations week to week beyond that point based on conditions of the medical landscape. We know that this situation will require us to be both flexible and focused as we make and communicate important, timely decisions. For the latest updates please visit our BA website (www.BeaufortAcademy.org) under the “Campus Life” tab --> “Emergency Information & Updates” page. Notifications will also be sent via ParentSquare.
While school is closed, we will move to a distance learning platform. This will be an important part of your child’s learning plan, so please encourage him/her to complete the lessons in a timely manner. In order to help parents in assisting their student(s) with the online platform, additional communication will be forwarded with instructions and resources on how to use the platform within the next 24-48 hours. If you have pressing technology needs in your home that would hinder online access, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
To prepare for distance learning, teachers and students are encouraged to visit campus today or tomorrow to gather classroom supplies, books, technology, and reading materials. Campus will be open today, Sunday, March 15 now until 5pm, and tomorrow Monday, March 16 from 9:30am-5pm.
While there are no known or suspected cases in our school, we take these measures for the greater collective good of the community, helping to "flatten the curve" of newly diagnosed cases likely to burden the healthcare system. It is a meaningful lesson for our children to see us working together and making personal sacrifices to help protect our world. My hope for all of us is that, despite these extraordinary circumstances, we do not lose sight of the abundant love and joy that surrounds us daily. Let us continue to share these gifts with one another from afar. Beaufort Academy values the opportunity to serve your family, so please let us know how we can help as we journey together.
Updated March 10, 2020
- South Carolina Office of the Governor Press Releases:
- Virtual Screening from the comfort of your home is available via MUSC Health
PROMO CODE: COVID19
We are continually evaluating information as it becomes available to better inform our decisions about proactive school closure and event cancellation and will continue to take direction from CDC and DHEC regarding community health.
Updated March 5, 2020
As the nation monitors the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Beaufort Academy is focused on potential impacts to our students, faculty and staff. This correspondence is to update you on how we are responding to a possible outbreak and the guiding principles for making decisions regarding the education and care of our students.
Above all, a commitment to the health and well-being of our community’s students, faculty, staff and families shall be our guiding principle. To that end and to ensure sound and careful decision-making, we are monitoring global and local health organizations, the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA), the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), as well as regional, state and national advisors. This includes travel notices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Additionally, we have activated Beaufort Academy’s Emergency Management Team to ensure we are informed and ready for potential scenarios. The team includes Becky Bekemeyer (Nurse & Team Leader), Lisa Gallagher (Communication), Amy Melville (Upper/Middle School Director), Carol Ann Richards (Lower/Preschool Director), Juliet Harvey (Facilities), Claire Bennett (Data Specialist), Julie Jones (CFO), and Gina Reilly (Technology). This team will continue to monitor the situation as it may progress.
Beaufort Academy continues its standard hygiene and cleaning protocol. In response to the aforementioned resources, we will continue to evaluate any needs and adjustments to our protocols. We are adding supplemental measures such as placement of hand-sanitizing stations in classrooms, and will focus our cleaning protocol on frequently utilized surfaces such as doors, door handles, desks, chairs, etc. The school nurse will demonstrate proper hand-washing techniques to students.
In addition, we are monitoring the following:
- We are evaluating our existing options for remote and/or virtual learning should it become necessary for a school closure.
- We are carefully reviewing the status of any planned field trips and are continually referring to local and national health authorities to ensure each trip makes sense.
- We are considering upcoming community events where large groups will gather and will closely examine any potential changes.
We ask for your help reinforcing the following practices with students during school and at home:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Sneeze or cough into your elbows.
- Do not shake hands or use fist bumps.
- Do not share cups or water bottles.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
We ask that all Beaufort Academy families follow these guidelines:
- Anyone who is not feeling well or who has symptoms of any illness, please stay home. Please do not allow your child to attend school or come to campus if he/she is ill. Students must be fever-free for at least 24 hours prior to coming back to school.
- Please report any illness that your child experiences, including those over Spring Break, to our nurses’ office with a phone call (843) 524-3393 ext. 206.
- Remain abreast of and abide by travel and CDC protocols and recommendations regarding travel and health maintenance.
- Anyone who is not feeling well or who has symptoms of any illness, please stay home. Please do not allow your child to attend school or come to campus if he/she is ill. Students must be fever-free for at least 24 hours prior to coming back to school.
As with any difficult situation, or breaking news story, we encourage you to call upon us for support. The following resources are meant to be helpful as you converse with your children and collaborate with us for clear, thoughtful and supportive conversations. We appreciate the complexity of this situation and the individual experiences you bring to this topic. A follow up communication will be sent out before Spring Break. We are committed to a shared goal of doing our very best to partner with you during this time.
- Interactive Map (Tracking the virus)
- (CDC) Situation Summary
- (CDC) Prevention and Treatment
- (CDC) Travelers' Health
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- NAIS resources for independent schools and the Coronavirus
- How to talk to children about difficult news
- Explaining the News to Our Kids
- DHEC Care Line
1 (855) 472-3432
- MUSC Health
- Virtual Screening from the comfort of your home is available via MUSC Health
PROMO CODE: COVID19
- Free Internet Services
Enroll online at
Call Hargray at (800) 556-7453
- SC Governor Press Releases