COVID-19 Information and Updates

This page provides consistently updated information and updates for campus news related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please check back regularly for updates.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The White House recommend that no large gatherings of 10 or more people take place to slow the spead of COVID-19. Montverde Academy has closed campus and shifted to virtual academia as of March 23 and will continue through the end of this school year. The COVID-19 situation remains very fluid, so we will continue to closely monitor the issue and respond to the advice of local, state and federal health and governmental agencies, adjusting our plans as needed.

May 12

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!
Sincerely,
 
Dr. Kasey C. Kesselring
Head of School

CONTACTS

Each division dean and assistant dean will be responsible for overseeing academic delivery in collaboration with instructors. Delivery or content concerns may be first addressed with the instructor and the with a division dean or assistant dean as needed.

Upper School:

Middle School:


Lower School:


SCHOOL COUNSELORS
For students who experience anxiety and may benefit from the assistance of a counselor, a virtual conversation may be scheduled, by contacting the division's counselor:

Upper School:

Lower/Middle School
:
COLLEGE COUNSELING
College placement counselors will be available virtually to continue providing assistance for seniors.
For boarding students who remain on the campus, resident faculty supervision, meals and appropriate activities will continue. Questions concerning residential life can be directed to:              

PREVENTION

Recommended steps to prevent the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19 and the flu from the CDC are:
  1. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  3. Avoid exposure to others who are ill.
  4. Stay home when you are ill.
  5. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Throw away the tissue immediately and wash your hands.
  6. Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects that are frequently touched at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
  7. Annual flu vaccinations for everyone six months and older (recommended by the CDC).
Check out this informative video to see how germs spread:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5-dI74zxPg

Resources

The following external resources provide the most current, accurate information about COVID-19:

Frequently Asked Questions

Health and Wellness

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: What are the symptons of the current coronavirus (COVID-19 )?

    The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
     
    Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. 
  • Q: How is the virus spread among humans?

    People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets also land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. Therefore, it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick. The CDC recommends as much as 6 feet. It is possible to catch the virus from someone even before they have symptoms, but little is known about this aspect of the virus at this time.
  • Q: Does the clinical presentation of COVID-19 differ in children compared to adults?

    Limited reports of children with COVID-19 in China have described cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea) have been reported in at least one child with COVID-19. These limited reports suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms, and though severe complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon. See more information on CDC Clinical Guidance for COVID-19.
  • Q: Are there any treatments available for children with COVID-19?

    There are currently no antiviral drugs recommended or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19. Clinical management includes prompt implementation of recommended infection prevention and control measures in healthcare settings and supportive management of complications. See more information on CDC Clinical Guidance for COVID-19.
     
    Children and their family members should engage in usual preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory infections, including covering coughs, cleaning hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and staying up to date on vaccinations, including influenza. 
     
    Additional information on prevention measures can be found here (Prevention for 2019 Novel Coronavirus).

  • Q: Are children more susceptible to COVID-19 than the general public? How can infecction be prevented?

    No, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible. In fact, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported from China have occurred in adults. Infections in children have been reported, including in very young children. From limited information published from past Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreaks, infection among children was relatively uncommon.
     
    For information on risk, please see current risk assessment. Children should engage in usual preventive actions to avoid infection, including cleaning hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoiding people who are sick, and staying up to date on vaccinations, including influenza vaccine. Additional information on prevention measures can be found here (Prevention for 2019 Novel Coronavirus).
  • Q: Are children at an increased risk for severe illness, morbiditiy or mortality from COVID-19 infection compared with adults?

    There have been very few reports of the clinical outcomes for children with COVID-19 to date. Limited reports from China suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 may present with mild symptoms and though severe complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon. However, as with other respiratory illnesses, certain populations of children may be at increased risk of severe infection, such as children with underlying health conditions.
  • Q: Can the virus spread from contact with with infected surfaces or objects?

    It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
     
    If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

Academics

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: How should we prepare for virtual classes?

    Students and families will receive more information from their division dean to outline the daily routine and requirements for virtual instruction.
  • Q: What about courses that are difficult to replicate remotely?

    Courses that have a significant hands-on or in-person element (e.g. ceramics, instrumental ensembles and lab sciences) will receive special attention. Teachers will provide alternative assignments related to the subject matter during the period of remote learning.
  • Q: What about extracurricular activities in athletics, arts and other areas?

    We very much look forward to resuming these activities when school reopens. We will work with peer schools to adjust competition schedules as needed in athletics, and coaches, ensemble directors and other faculty members will communicate more with affected students when we have specific information to share.