2020-2021 School Year FAQ's
This page exists to serve as a central resource for what we know about school operations, events, and activities during this time.
Page updated 8/1/20
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.
Learn more about our reopening plan.
The challenges presented by COVID-19 are truly unprecedented, but at Ascension, we remain committed to the health and safety of our students while continuing to promote educational excellence in a Christian environment.
Our Administration will continue to monitor the guidelines of our government and health officials, and we will update this page as necessary based on their recommendations.
If you have a question that isn't addressed below, please reach out to the appropriate campus director or administrator. Please check this page regularly for school updates. We will continue to update this page as decisions are made and communicated with our families.
Head of School
My child has a temperature. Should I keep them home?
We are asking all parents to check their child's temperature each morning. If your child has a temperature greater than their normal body temperature, we ask that you consider keeping them home to be cautious. If your child is running a fever (a temperature greater than 100.4), your child will not be allowed to enter the school building. Temperature checks will be done each morning as students are arriving and mid-day as needed to assure they remain fever-free.
What happens if a child or faculty member tests positive for COVID?
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 24 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 day.
What modifications are being made on campus to prevent the spread of COVID?Ascension administration has compiled all of this information into a Comprehensive Reopening Plan. If you still have lingering questions, please reach out to us at email@example.com. As guidelines change, we will continue to add and adjust our Comprehensive Reopening Plan. This document will display edits in real-time.
Will Early Birds and After Care still be open?
Early Care and After Care will continue to operate on the River Ranch and Downtown Campuses as we begin school in August. Students will be grouped into cohorts based on grade level and classroom teachers as campus space and personnel permits. After Care and Early Care are requiring preregistration at this time due to COVID-19 protocol. Please contact your child's Campus Director for more information.
Will my child still be able to ride the bus to or from school?
Yes. 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 was sent to families through Blackbaud. For more information, please contact your child's Campus Director.
Will students be required to wear masks?
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. Optional Ascension masks will be available in the Gator Shack in the coming weeks. 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.
I'm concerned my child won't be ready academically for the new school year.
Please be assured that our teachers know they may need to “start the year from a different place” and include some additional remediation if necessary due to Distance Learning in the spring. Our lower school, middle school, and high school teachers have provided summer reading and other assignments as necessary for our students to help keep up a good pace in the summer. You can visit the following pages on our website for more information: DT summer assignments and SMP summer assignments. Also, reading to your child for at least 15 minutes a day or having older children read each day can also help with the summer slide.
What about Athletics? Are we following LHSAA?
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.
What are the first half days of school going to look like?
We are all excited to see your child on their first day of school! This year, teachers will instruct students on new classroom and campus routines, cleaning protocols, and ease any worries or fears they may have. These days are also a time to build community as students and teachers haven’t seen each other since March. Please send your child with a backpack, water bottle, and mask (DT and SMP only). Students will not each lunch on campus this day. There is no after care offered on half days.
The following information is also listed on our school calendar:
8/10 LS (1-4) 7:30 am - 12:00pm
MS (5-7) 7:30 am - 12:15 pm
If you have both an LS and MS student, please arrive at the 12:15 pickup time.
Sugar Mill Pond Campus:
8/10 8:00am - 12:25pm
8/11 8:00am - 12:25pm
River Ranch Campus:
8/13 8:30am - 11:30am
Will my child still have 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.
Will there be changes to my child's schedule?
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.
Will we be doing distance learning again?
We will be starting the school year in-person. 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.
What about field trips and group gatherings ?
Under Phase II, we will be limiting all group gatherings to under 25 in accordance with state guidelines. 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. Eucharist services across all three campuses are canceled at this time. Chapel services are adapted to follow safety guidelines set forth by the CDC.
What about Junior Ring Ceremony for 2021 graduates?To accommodate more than fifty people, the Class of 2021's Ring Ceremony will now be an outdoor, evening event occurring at 7:30 pm at the Sugar Mill Pond Campus on Tuesday, August 18. If you have any questions about Junior Ring Ceremony, please contact Beth Acevedo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What will happen to our school field trips from 2019-2020?
The majority of our school field trips from last school year were canceled and will not be rescheduled to maximize academic time. The only trip that will be rescheduled is the 8th grade Boston trip, which will take place during the 2020-2021 school year. All money from school trips has been refunded as of mid-June. If you have questions about a refund, please reach out to our business office at email@example.com.
When will extracurricular activities resume?
Some extracurricular activities have already resumed with safety measures and social distancing rules. Our Athletic Trainer and coaches have undergone specific training on cleaning protocol and other safety precautions surrounding athletics. We are practicing social distancing with small group workouts and other safety precautions as we begin to bring our high school athletes on campus for practices this summer. Any questions regarding summer workout protocol can be directed to Athletic Director Eric Mouton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I find the latest information about events in August?
Please check our school calendar for the most up to date information about if events are canceled or postponed. An event marked “adapted” will still occur but with modifications. Specific details about adapted events will be updated on the calendar event and communicated as the event approaches.
The following events in August have been postponed or canceled:
RR New Family Social - Canceled
Visiting Day (RR, DT) - Adapted to virtual
Meet the Blue Gators - Postponed
SMP Back to School Dance - Canceled
Senior Lock-in - Canceled
All School Convocation - Adapted to virtual
Big Sis Lil Sis - Postponed
SMP Student Leadership Summit- Postponed
SMP Bro B Q - Postponed
Eucharists - Canceled
RR, DT, and SMP Parent Orientations - Adapted to virtual
Will I be able to attend chapel with my child?
Unfortunately, parents will not be able to attend chapel in-person on campus while we are in Phase II and III. Chapel will be adjusted on each campus to deliver God’s word in a way that is safe and follows maximum size restrictions. Chapel service on the Downtown and Sugar Mill Pond campuses will be live-streamed to allow students to watch virtually from their classrooms. Parents will have the ability to log into the live-stream to participate in chapel. A link will be shared with parents and included in Blackbaud.
Will SMP students need to complete service hours?
Students entering 10th -12th grade for the 2020-2021 school year were responsible for only 7 hours for the 2019-2020 school year, reducing their total number of service hours required to graduate from 60 to 52. More information about requirements for other grade levels will be shared with students at the start of the new school year.
Students may turn in service hours by emailing a scanned or photographed copy of the Community Service form to Stephanie Fournet at email@example.com. Forms need not be signed by the supervising adult as long as a current telephone number for that adult is listed on the form. Any questions about service hours should be directed to Ms. Fournet. We hope students will consider an act of kindness in their community, such as mowing a neighbor’s lawn or doing a trash cleanup along their street. During this unique time, we hope our students will continue to be servant leaders throughout the summer.
Health & Wellness
How can I help my child through this?
You are not in this alone. Our school counselor, Caitlin Neal-Jones, is available to connect with students and parents via email or Google Meet. You can contact Ms. Neal-Jones at firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health has established a mental health hotline for Louisiana residents. The Keep Calm Through COVID crisis phone line provides trained counselors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This service is available to the public at no charge. Keep Calm Through COVID can be reached at 1-866-310-7977. This line is for counseling only and all calls are confidential.
These resources may also be helpful in talking with your child.
Where can I go for assistance if my child has learning difficulties?
Our Academic Support Team is ready to help your child as needed. All students can visit our Student Services website at www.academicsupportcenter.org or parents may reach out to Nicole Lobello at email@example.com should you need additional assistance or resources.
How will new students be tested or evaluated for admission?
In-person screening of PreK3 - K students will be administered at a later date; however new families will receive a survey to complete about their child. In-person screenings are not needed for a family to be accepted into our preschool program. Admissions testing for all other grades is being conducted on campus by appointment.
Is Ascension accepting new students for 2020-2021?
We are accepting new students for 2020-21. If you have any questions about admissions or touring, please contact our Director of Admissions, Camille Renard at firstname.lastname@example.org.