Dear New and Returning Montverde Academy Families:
Greetings to you and yours as Montverde Academy begins to wind down the 2019-20 academic year. I am pleased to report that MVA is working diligently to create a comprehensive plan to return to the campus for the 2020-21 school year.
Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher, once said, “The only constant in life is change.” The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives in unimaginable ways, and we are all struggling to bring order to a very chaotic and unsettling situation, keeping safety our top priority. The end of this school year is very different as will be the beginning of the upcoming academic year. I compliment you as parents for managing the last few months of the year with grace and courage. I also appreciate the Montverde Academy staff for their efforts to ensure that distance learning standards are delivered, and exceeded virtual norms and accreditation standards. While none of us could have anticipated the circumstances with which we were forced to adapt, I am very proud of what we all have accomplished together.
Looking ahead to the 2020-21 academic year, I want to share some important information for planning purposes. We have assembled a COVID-19 Task Force which is developing a comprehensive return to school plan. While we are very much “in the weeds” of planning class schedules, social distancing, sanitizing protocols, quarantine possibilities, athletics, activities, etc., I felt it was important to release a few firm dates regarding the fall calendar.
For precautionary measures, we will start school next fall later than usual. The first day of classes next year will be Tuesday, September 8. To ensure that we have the safest environment possible, dormitories will open on Saturday, August 22 at 8:00 a.m. All boarding students MUST BE ON CAMPUS by Monday, August 24 at 9:00 p.m. Boarding students will have a 14-day observation period before classes commence, and all boarding students will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival. The Academy has structured a strategic partnership with Orlando Health who is assisting us with our return to school protocols and will join us on our journey through the reopening process. Comprehensive details of our return to school plan will be released by mid-June. Lower and Middle School Orientation dates will also be announced in the coming weeks.
- Boarding students will register during their on-campus observation period in August.
- New Upper School day students register Thursday, September 3 from 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
- IJGA Golf Academy students register Thursday, September 3 from 1:00-3:30 p.m.
- Returning Upper School day students register Friday, September 4 from 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
- Middle School students register Thursday, September 3 time is TBD
- Lower School students - registration details are pending
Because we are starting school later, the Thanksgiving vacation will be shortened. The break will begin Wednesday, November 25 at 12:00 p.m., and classes will resume on Monday, November 30. In order to meet accreditation standards, the academic year will be extended in keeping with moving the start of school and conclude by June 18. For seniors, Baccalaureate and Commencement will be held on Saturday June 5. A new academic calendar with changes will be included in our return to school plan released in June.
Our return to school plan assumes four (4) possible phases, depending on current CDC, State of Florida or Federal guidelines and mandates. Early phases, if applicable, will entail (among other protective measures), all students, faculty and staff to wear protective masks. In keeping with that expectation, we encourage all parents to secure their child a reusable mask that meet the following CDC specifications found on this link for reusable cloth masks. The Academy has placed orders for PPE and other related supplies necessary to carry out our return to school plan. We will have a modest supply of reusable masks for purchase in the Student Center, but encourage families to secure a mask while lead time is generous that appropriately fits your child.
I will keep you updated on the progress of our return to school plan, but please know that I have every confidence that our staff will deliver the educational excellence that you expect as parents and I expect as Headmaster. Although change can be an inconvenience, it can also bring tremendous opportunity, and I know that we will emerge from this stronger than ever. Stay safe!
Dr. Kasey C. Kesselring
Head of School