Emergency Information & Updates

Updated March 30, 2020 - FLEX Fridays

In light of the current situation, educators across the nation have come together to share best practices, ideas, and resources to help our students succeed in distance learning. Thanks to Oconee County Schools in Georgia, Beaufort Academy is borrowing an idea that will give students a healthy balance of school work and personal time. Starting this Friday, April 3 and going forth during the school closure, Fridays will be a FLEX Friday. BA students will be assigned academic work Monday through Thursday with Friday set as a flexible day.  There will not be additional work assigned Monday through Thursday to accommodate for Friday’s work.  So, get ready for some time designed to help our students catch up, work on an art project, read a great book, enjoy the outdoors, or relax!

 

FLEX Fridays are meant for the following:

Fun
This needs no explanation!

Leisure Learning
Parents and students will have additional opportunities to spend time in nature, go on a virtual field trip, work on an art project, or read . . . whatever interests you and your child.

Emotional Time and Connections
Spend quality time with your immediate family members.  This could be an excellent time to have discussions about the wonders of being together and how much you appreciate one another. 

EXtra Learning and Support
Use this time to catch up on your school work, and make additional connections with teachers for any needed support.

 

We hope that this will make your time together as a family more enjoyable.



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

 

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.

 

Upcoming Events
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.  

Distance Learning

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.

Technology Devices
If you have pressing technology device needs in your home please e-mail
cbennett@beaufortacademy.org 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.

 

Social Distancing
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 cbennett@beaufortacademy.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:
    3/8/20
    3/6/20

  • Virtual Screening from the comfort of your home is available via MUSC Health
    PROMO CODE: COVID19

In line with CDC guidance, DHEC is not recommending that schools proactively close, or cancel public events at this time.  DHEC will monitor absentee rates in schools and businesses as well as reports of illness in the community to determine if or when closures may be recommended. DHEC is also providing updated recommendations to schools, day care facilities, colleges, universities, and organizers of large events. DHEC will continue to be in communication with state agencies and community partners. That updated information is publicly available at DHEC online. 

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. 

In the event a school closure decision is made at the last minute, we will use our emergency alert system via ParentSquare (text, email, voicemail) to share the latest information. Please update your family’s emergency contact information in Praxi and ParentSquare, in case we need to contact you with an urgent school message. You can also submit new information to Claire Bennett at cbennett@beaufortacademy.org.
 
As part of this preparation, we ask every family to fill out this short Technology Survey  This will help us assess our community’s readiness as well as assist with specific needs of individual students. We do not want a lack of access to expertise, internet, or devices to preclude any family from participating in any distance learning plan.

 

 

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.

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.