Photo Credit: Mei Lamison/Achona Online
The Academy will close Monday, Mar 16, through Friday, Apr 17 due to the outbreak of COVID-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus. Virtual school days will be conducted Wednesday through Friday.
Today Bishop Parkes directed that all Catholic school and Early Childhood center buildings be closed for the next week. In an email sent to all parents, the Academy wrote, “As a Catholic school, we will follow the Bishop’s instruction. The Academy administration has set additional guidelines. We will continue to meet regularly and update you with any changes.”
In an abundance of caution for students, employees & vulnerable populations, @BishopParkes has directed that all Catholic school & Early Childhood Center buildings closed to students from Mon, March 16 through Fri, March 20. Full info: https://t.co/4Dotfe3jPt. #courageouslyliving pic.twitter.com/0zvBzMVA5S
— Diocese of St. Pete (@DioStPete) March 13, 2020
The email also detailed plans regarding academic expectations, extracurriculars, and other school events. The high school information included in the email is listed below.
On Monday, Mar 16, faculty will proceed with the scheduled in-service and curriculum preparation.
On Tuesday, Mar 17, faculty will work remotely, finalizing their virtual curriculum.
On Wednesday, Mar 18, virtual instruction will commence. Virtual learning is considered a school day and attendance is expected.
High school students were informed during Convocation this morning that they will be expected to log on to Google Meet during their regularly scheduled class times.
Events and Extracurriculars:
Effective Monday, all extracurricular activities are postponed, including athletics and performing arts. Games and practices will continue through Sunday.
All field trips are canceled through Apr 17.
Prom is postponed.
Black & White By the Bay is canceled.
Travel and Spring Break Updates:
Currently, anyone who travels anywhere out of the country or on a cruise must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 or have contact with a confirmed case, you may be directed to self-isolate by the health department.
Planned dates for Easter vacation (April 9-17) may be impacted.
IMPORTANT Spring Break Travel information:
New state rule: After traveling out of USA OR going on a cruise, ALL MUST ISOLATE 14 days before returning to school. For latest updates: https://t.co/w5lm7zZxdg pic.twitter.com/E20sx9IZoH
— Hillsborough Schools (@HillsboroughSch) March 13, 2020
COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus that emerged in China in December 2019. Common symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath. In severe cases, it can lead to death.
Currently, there are 125,000 cases of the virus globally, with 1,875 of them in the United States. There have been 51 confirmed cases of the virus in the state of Florida. Both Hillsborough and Pasco county have issued local states of emergency.
According to the World Health Organization, prevention of infectious spread includes frequent hand washing, covering of the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms, and limited travel and social contact.
UPDATE Mar 16 5:00 p.m.
The Academy will extend its closure through the following week, reopening on Monday, Mar 30. Virtual instruction will still commence on Wednesday, Mar 18.
Wednesday will be a late-start Day 1. Thursday will be a Day 2 and Friday will be a Day 3. Students will attend class each day at scheduled times using Google Meet. Attendance will be taken during each class period.
The campus will be accessible Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. if any student needs access a classroom or locker. More information regarding online learning and other closure related information is located on Veracross.
UPDATE Mar 18 2:00 p.m.
The Academy will continue virtual learning through Wednesday, Apr 8, and take the regularly scheduled Easter/Spring Break Thursday, Apr 9, through Friday, Apr 17. The school hopes to return to campus Monday, Apr 20.
All events during this time are cancelled.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.