ASCENSION EPISCOPAL SCHOOL

COVID-19 Correspondence

  • 7-30-20 / EMAIL / Updated Reopening Plan and SMP Details

    Dear SMP Students and Parents,

    After months of online learning in the spring, we are excited to welcome everyone back to the Sugar Mill Pond campus. While some things will be different and will require our continued flexibility, we are still Ascension, and we are working hard to give every student the best year possible. Please take some time to review the following information and respond as needed.

    Comprehensive Plan for Reopening
    Click Here for our Comprehensive Reopening Plan. This document contains updated general information shared previously and includes specific details on each campus.

    Schedules
    Schedules will go live on Monday, August 3, and will be available to view in Blackbaud.
    Click Here for a tutorial. On this day, Ms. Fournet will send an email with information about schedule change requests, school supplies, and more.

    Two Half-Days
    Our first TWO days of class, Monday, Aug. 10 (A-Day) and Tuesday, Aug. 11 (B-Day) will be half-days. Students will be dismissed at 12:00 p.m. Our first full day of school will be Wednesday, Aug. 12 (C Day). Please make this change on your calendars. We apologize for any inconvenience as we help our students ease into the 4-period block schedule.

    HyFlex Enrollment Form
    If your family has chosen to enroll in HyFlex Learning rather than attend in person on-campus learning, please complete this HyFlex Enrollment Form. To prepare our campuses and staff for accurate numbers, the deadline to complete this form for the start of school is Monday, August 3. Only one form needs to be completed per family.

    Summer Reading
    As a reminder, all students have been assigned summer reading. Students have an assignment for their English classes and also a faculty-sponsored Summer Reading Book Club book. Click here for Summer Reading information. If students have not yet signed up for a Summer Reading Book Club, they may do so here.

    New Student Orientation
    We welcome all eighth-graders and all new students in grades 9-12 to New Student Orientation on Friday, Aug. 7. Eighth graders will arrive at the gym at 1:30 p.m., and new 9th-12th graders will arrive at 2:15. All students will be temperature-screened and are required to wear a mask. Students will practice safe social distancing when at orientation.

    August Calendar Changes:
    Although our energy has been focused on preparing for the start of school, we are looking ahead at calendar events and beginning to make changes to maximize safety. We are updating our campus events one month in advance as guidelines and recommendations change. If you are concerned about a specific event’s status, log into Blackbaud and select Calendar to see the most updated information.
    • No LPSS busses will be running the week of August 10, however the Ascension morning and afternoon bus (SMP Bus) will still perform its normal route.
    • Back to School Dance and Senior Lock-in events are canceled.
    • 2021 Class Ring Ceremony for current seniors will be held outdoors at SMP campus on Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 7:30 p.m.
    Technology
    If you missed the scheduled laptop pickup or check-in days, please contact techsupport@ascensionbluegators.org to set up a time on Friday, August 7th.

    Reminders:
    • Beginning of school online forms are due Saturday, August 1. Log into Blackbaud to access the forms. Your completion of these forms on time allows us to better prepare for the start of school. Click Here for the tutorial.
    • Visit the Back to School Resource Board HERE for a one-stop-shop for all back to school To-Do’s and resources.
    I know this is a lot of information to share with you all at once. We are working hard to keep you informed as many decisions are made each day. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

    Chris Dardar
    SMP Director
    Ascension Episcopal School
    (337) 254 - 0814
    www.ascensionbluegators.org

    Ascension Episcopal School is committed to educational excellence in a Christian environment.

    For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
  • 7-30-20 / EMAIL/ Updated Reopening Plan and Downtown Details

    Dear Downtown Parents,

    Preparing for the start of this school year has been unlike any other, but one thing that remains the same is that Ascension is committed to providing an excellent experience for our students. Our faculty and staff are excited to welcome each child, and we are dedicated to creating a safe environment for your children to learn and grow. Please take some time to review the following information and respond as needed. Your prompt assistance and your patience in the process are greatly appreciated!

    Comprehensive Reopening Plan
    Click Here for our Comprehensive Reopening Plan. This document contains updated general information shared previously AND additional details about each campus.

    Teachers/Schedules
    On Monday, August 3, lower school teachers will be revealed and middle school schedules will go live on Blackbaud.
    Click Here for a tutorial. If you have any questions about Blackbaud, email Lisa Williams at techsupport@ascensionbluegators.org.

    HyFlex Enrollment Form
    If your family has chosen to enroll in HyFlex Learning rather than in-person, on-campus learning, please complete the HyFlex Enrollment Form. To prepare our campuses and staff for accurate numbers, the deadline to complete this form for the start of school is Monday, August 3. Only one form needs to be completed per family.

    August Calendar Changes
    Although our energy has been focused on preparing for the start of school, we are looking ahead at calendar events and beginning to make changes to maximize safety. We are updating our campus events one month in advance as guidelines and recommendations change. If you are concerned about a specific event’s status, log into Blackbaud, and select Calendar to see the most updated information.
    • DT Visiting Day will be adapted to maximize safety and minimize people other than students and faculty on campus. Because of this, we will NOT have Visiting Day in person on Friday, August 7th. Instead, teachers will send out a digital welcome via email.
    • In the past, students in grades 5-7 have picked up iPads during Visiting Day before the start of school. This year, students will be given their device on the first day of school—Monday, August 10th. Students will not use their device on this day as setup needs to be completed at home. Instructions for this process will be provided. iPads will be available for students in grades 1-4 on the first day of school.
    • No LPSS busses will be running the week of August 10, however, the Ascension morning and afternoon bus to SMP will still perform its normal route.
    Summer Reading
    All 1st-7th grade students have summer reading assignments. This information and summer reading books were distributed at the end of the school year and can be found on the Blackbaud Back to School Resource Board. If you are new to Ascension or did not receive copies of your grade level book selections and the summer reading guidelines, please contact Shelly Hebert in the school office as soon as possible at 337-233-9748 or shebert@ascensionbluegators.org. All books should be read before the first day of school. Your child’s teacher will provide detailed instructions for turning in forms and assignments and share AR testing plans during the first week of school.

    Reminders:
    • Beginning of school online forms are due Saturday, August 1. Log into Blackbaud to access the forms. Your completion of these forms on time allows us to better prepare for the start of school. Click Here for the tutorial.
    • Visit the Back to School Resource Board HERE for a one-stop-shop for all back to school To-Do’s and resources.
    Our school’s guiding scripture this year comes from Jeremiah 29:11, which happens to be one of my absolute favorite verses. In it, we are reminded that God has a plan for us that involves the promise of a future with hope. Pray with me as we begin this journey of our 2020-2021 school year, and let us walk in His good and perfect plan together!

    In His Grace,
    Liz Tremblay
    Downtown Campus Director
    Ascension Episcopal School
    (337) 233-9748, ext. 2
    www.ascensionbluegators.org

    Ascension Episcopal School is committed to educational excellence in a Christian environment.

    For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
  • 7-30-20 / EMAIL/ Updated Reopening Plan and River Ranch Details

    Dear River Ranch Families,

    We are so excited about the start of school. We have made plans, plans, and more plans and are eager to share the details finally. We feel safe, ready to greet our students, and confident with the start of the 2020-2021 school year!

    If you have not received your postcard with your child’s teacher, please email me at your earliest convenience. Our Blue Gators’ first ½ day of school is still scheduled for Thursday, August 13, with pick up at 11:30. There will be no Early Birds or After on this day. Early Birds and After Care will begin on our first full day, Friday, August 14. Please see the plan below for more information about changes to our daily schedule and routines, including snacks.

    Comprehensive Plan for Reopening
    Click Here for our Comprehensive Reopening Plan. This document contains updated general information shared previously AND additional details about each campus.

    HyFlex Enrollment Form
    If your family has chosen to enroll in our HyFlex Learning rather than attend in person, on-campus classes, please complete the HyFlex Enrollment Form. To prepare our campuses and staff for accurate numbers, the deadline to complete this form for the start of school is Monday, August 3. Only one form needs to be completed per family.

    August Calendar Changes
    Although our energy has been focused on preparing for the start of school, we are looking ahead at calendar events and beginning to make changes to maximize safety. We are updating our campus events one month in advance as guidelines and recommendations change. If you are concerned about a specific event’s status, log into Blackbaud, and select Calendar to see the most updated information.
    • PreK home visits are still occurring but with extra precautions. While remaining socially distant, teachers will visit with your child outside for “Porch Visits.” Please prepare your child that teachers will be wearing their shield during visits.
    • Kinderview on 8/10 and 8/11 will have a slightly different process this year. When you received your postcard in the mail from your child's teacher, you were given an appointment time. If the time is not convenient, please email your teacher. These are individual appointments, so arrive only at your specific time. Health screenings and classroom screenings will be completed individually.
    • PreK visiting day will be adapted to maximize safety and minimize adults on campus. Teachers will put together a virtual tour of their classroom and share with your family. Your child’s teacher will send more information at a later date.
    • Gator Greetings, an informational meeting about our campus, will be virtual this year, and a link to the Zoom meeting will be shared with you at a later date.
    Reminders
    • Beginning of school online forms are due Saturday, August 1. Log into Blackbaud to access the forms. Your completion of these forms on time allows us to better prepare for the start of school. Click Here for the tutorial.
    • Visit the Back to School Resource Board HERE for a one-stop-shop for all back to school To-Do’s and resources.
    Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns. We are looking forward to welcoming you and your children to our Ascension Family.

    Wishing you well,
    Julie C. Bourque
    River Ranch Campus Director
    Ascension Episcopal School
    (337) 984-6060
    www.ascensionbluegators.org

    Ascension Episcopal School is committed to educational excellence in a Christian environment.

    For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
  • 7-15-20 / EMAIL/HOS 2020-2021 Reopening Plan


    July 15, 2020

    Dear Ascension Family,

    It is hard to believe we are less than a month from the start of school. While we are excited to begin another year, honesty compels me to acknowledge the ongoing unusual circumstances in which we find ourselves. It is safe to say that each of us is experiencing elements of doubt, fear, and exhaustion due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have worked diligently to develop a return to campus plan that focuses on community safety and maximizes instructional time, and our faculty, staff, and administration are eager to see our students return to our campuses.

    Ascension will reopen for in-person school for grades PreK-12 the week of August 10 as planned. Because of our small class sizes and three separate campuses, we are able to adhere easily to Phase II guidelines. We are confident in delivering an excellent educational experience regardless of the phase we are in as a community. Of course, some things are going to look different, and each of us - faculty, parents, and students alike- will be required to be flexible and exhibit a positive attitude as we learn to navigate daily life under the plan. Ascension has proven to be a special community over the past few months, and I am confident our return to campus will demonstrate the strength of our school.

    Our COVID Response Team has been meeting and consulting with our team of medical professionals to create a plan for reopening safely. We are committed to making these changes as seamless as possible and are relying on your partnership to start school safely. Please know that your child’s Campus Director will provide more specific details in the coming weeks. I apologize in advance for the length of this email, but we have many important details to share.

    As long as we remain in Phase II or III, the following will be in place:

    Facility and Operations Modifications
    Many changes are being made across all three of our campuses to keep our community members safe:
    • Handwashing stations have been added on all campuses to provide adequate space for proper and frequent scheduled handwashing. In addition, all classrooms, offices, meeting rooms, and quarantine areas have been stocked with CDC approved hand sanitizer to be used when hand washing is not an option.
    • Campus Directors have established patterns for movement around campus to minimize contact and reduce interactions in hallways and common areas. When social distancing is not possible, physical barriers will be installed.
    • Water fountains will be turned off, and water bottle fillers will be available for students. Many thanks to the PTO for raising funds to provide these water bottle fillers for our campuses.
    • Sanitation measures will be taken to adequately clean our campus spaces throughout the day and at the close of each day.
    Health Screenings
    We are asking all parents and students to partner with us to promote the safest environment possible. Daily temperature checks with touchless thermometers and symptom monitoring will take place for anyone entering our campus. Designated quarantine areas on each campus have been established for students exhibiting symptoms and waiting to be picked up by parents.

    COVID Positive Cases and Exposure
    With the recommendation from our medical experts and in accordance with local and federal guidelines, our policy on COVID positive cases is as follows:
    • Any student with greater than 100.4 F body temperature will be sent home and required to see their doctor to be cleared to return to school.
    • COVID-positive students and faculty will be required to self-quarantine for 10 days and must be symptom-free without medication for 72 hours before returning to school.
    • Any student, faculty, or staff member who has DIRECT contact (15 minutes or longer and within 6 feet) with any positive individual will be required to notify the school and self-quarantine for 14 days.
    • More information on the exposure protocol and communication guidelines will be provided to you before the beginning of school.
    Limiting Outside Visitors
    To limit outside contact, parents will not be allowed to come onto campus, unless it is to check a student in or out or to conduct school business by appointment. If parents enter campus buildings for any reason, face coverings will be required.

    Face Coverings
    Students in grades 1 - 12 will be required to bring a mask or face covering to wear when moving around campus and when social distancing is not possible. Students on the River Ranch Campus will have the option to wear a face covering, but it will not be mandatory.

    Face coverings can be any shape, size, or design as long as they cover the student’s mouth and nose and are not deemed a distraction by the Campus Director. All faculty, staff, and visitors will be required to wear a face-covering (mask or shield) during the school day in accordance with the state guidelines. Campus Directors are working on faculty face-covering options that are developmentally appropriate for each campus.

    Daily Schedule Modifications
    Our goal is to maximize instructional time while providing the safest environment possible. All school start and ending times will remain the same. Recess and breaks are an important part of our students’ development and will be adjusted to limit exposure to other grade levels. Students will eat lunch in their classrooms on the River Ranch and Downtown Campuses and in designated areas on the Sugar Mill Pond Campus.

    Pre-K3 through 4th-grade students will remain with their class “family” throughout the day to minimize contact with other students and staff. Students in grades 5 through 12 will mix groups as needed based on schedules but will limit contact with other students during transitions. In addition, the Sugar Mill Pond Campus will transition to a four period 90-minute block daily schedule to reduce contact between students.

    Arrival and dismissal procedures on all campuses will be adjusted to eliminate students gathering in close proximity when entering and leaving campus.

    Enrichments and PE
    We will continue to provide Enrichments and PE throughout our daily curriculum structure on all three campuses while maintaining the guidelines of social distancing and other safety precautions. However, please note that Middle School students will not dress out for PE, so PE uniforms will not be needed while we are in Phase II or III.

    Athletics
    As a member of the LHSAA, we are following the guidelines they have set forth and will make decisions based on CDC recommendations. As of now, athletic workouts are allowed in Phase II and are continuing under our COVID-19 Workout Protocol. We have postponed the start of Middle School sports and will send updates regarding other sports as we have them.

    Large Group Gatherings and Field Trips
    Under Phase II, we will be limiting all group gatherings to under 25 in accordance with state guidelines. Chapel will be adjusted on each campus to deliver God’s word in a way that is safe and follows maximum size restrictions. Other large group gatherings will be postponed or held virtually as needed. No field trips will take place until considered safe by state health officials.

    Early Care and After Care
    Early Care and After Care will continue to operate on the River Ranch and Downtown Campuses. Students will be grouped into cohorts based on grade level and classroom teachers as campus space and personnel permits.

    Buses
    All buses will run at a limited capacity. Phase II dictates a maximum of 35 students per bus and Phase III allows for 54. Due to these limitations, we strongly encourage carpooling if possible. For those utilizing bus service, students will be assigned seats. Multiple trips may be necessary to accommodate any additional students, and sanitation measures will be taken after each trip. A bus rider enrollment form will be sent to families next week and more information shared with bus riding families as the start of school approaches.

    Excellence in Technology
    As an Apple Distinguished School, we have the resources, technology, and ability to continue providing educational excellence for every student in the event they are exposed to COVID and must quarantine. A plan for virtual learning will be implemented for these students to be able to continue their educational experience and prevent a lapse in instruction while unable to attend school. Additionally, should the Governor move the state back into “Stay at Home” orders, our teams will be ready to deliver a purposeful virtual learning experience with improved tools and content delivery.

    Continued Faculty Training
    Rest assured that our teachers will be appropriately trained and prepared during our summer CPE days to welcome your children back into the classrooms. Extra training and guidance will be provided to our faculty and staff to help address the social-emotional needs of our students as they return to school.

    Should you feel that your family is not ready to return in person in August, please contact your child’s Campus Director. As mentioned above, our back to school plan allows for virtual instruction if needed.

    Finally, I want to thank you for your patience and support throughout this season. You may not be able to rely on much in this time of uncertainty, but I hope you find reassurance in knowing that we remain committed to providing your child with a loving community and the best education possible.

    In Gratitude,

    Jeff Plunk
    Head of School
    Ascension Episcopal School
    337-233-9748, ext. 208
    jplunk@ascensionbluegators.org
  • 6-30-20 / EMAIL/ HOS Update: Planning Continues

    June 30, 2020

    Dear Ascension Community,

    I am writing today to touch base with you and assure you that our administrative team is continuing to work hard to ensure a safe return to our campuses this fall. Our goal is to bring our campus community back together and move forward safely, responsibly, and compassionately in pursuit of “educational excellence in a Christian environment” while prioritizing everyone’s health and safety.

    Thank you for completing our parent survey in June. We heard from most of you that returning to campus in August in-person and in a safe manner is extremely important, and we assure you that we feel the same. At this time, we are still not anticipating any changes to the school calendar or in-person content delivery, but we are working on detailed plans for contingencies in the event such changes are required. We will continue to develop the details of our plan as the situation evolves in the coming weeks, but we are preparing for a return that includes the complete “Ascension” experience in the safest manner possible.

    Ascension is well-equipped and structured to adhere to many of the current guidelines and best practices recommended to enhance the safety of our students and community. We do plan to strengthen many of our health and safety protocols, and we will enact an increased set of personal hygiene practices.

    We remain committed to communicating regularly about the ways Covid-19 might affect our operations. To ease any uncertainty, we will provide you with as much information as quickly as possible, and we ask that you keep in mind that flexibility and adaptability are key during this ever-changing global health crisis.

    Thank you for your ongoing support of Ascension!

    Jeff Plunk
    Head of School
    Ascension Episcopal School
    337-233-9748, ext. 208
    jplunk@ascensionbluegators.org

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