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 have recommended that no large gatherings of 50 or more people take place for the next 15 days to slow the spead of the disease. Montverde Academy is acting accordingly, closing campus and shifting to a virtual academia delivery of classes commencing on Monday, March 23. The COVID-19 situation remains very fluid, so we will continue closely monitor the issue and act proportionately in response to future changes and/or in response to the advice of local, state and federal health and governmental agencies, adjusting our plans or extending the period of remote learning as needed.

March 19

Dear Students and Families,
 
I hope you are all enjoying spring break as much as possible. I wanted to take a virtual moment to share my appreciation for how our faculty, staff, administration, students, and families have responded to the challenges that the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has presented to our community and the world. We recognize the disruption to normalcy is enormous, but the health and safety at Montverde Academy and the broader communities is our top priority, and the measures we have taken have demonstrated that commitment.
 
We look forward to embarking on a new path of virtual learning beginning the morning of Monday, March 23. Though we would prefer to be in classrooms on campus, many students will experience virtual learning at the college level, so this will provide a learning experience for us all.
 
Every division will be sharing with families and students details about how virtual learning will roll out on Monday, so I encourage you to check email to prepare. Here is information from the Lower School, Middle School and Upper School. I recommend that students prepare an environment conducive to learning and distraction-free, as classes will continue our tradition of challenging academics. Virtual classes will require the same amount of attention necessary in a classroom setting, if not more. Our teachers will be using a vast variety of resources to conduct classes and interact with students to ensure learning at the highest level continues.
 
We have created a page on the website that provides updates and information, so please visit that resource if you have questions or need to contact the Academy. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and keep you apprised of any changes as decisions are made based on the recommendations of local, state and federal government entities. Thank you for your flexibility, attention and patience in this unprecedented time.

Sincerely,
 
Dr. Kasey C. Kesselring
Head of School

March 19 (2)

On Monday March 23, 2020, we will embark on a virtual learning journey that our faculty has been very eager to launch and busily preparing for.
 
As a general housekeeping matter, please be advised that all recorded content created and delivered as part of our virtual learning commencing March 23 is deemed proprietary and available only to our Montverde Academy community. Please respect the academic integrity of our faculty and the privacy of your fellow classmates by avoiding sharing virtual lessons on any social media venues or personal websites. Please remember that our social media policy and student handbook apply to the sharing of electronic content including faculty videos and virtual lessons. Please do not post or share videos or screen shots of videos which include images of faculty or students. 
 
Thanking you in advance, and look forward to seeing you online very soon! In the meantime, be safe and be healthy!

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:              

March 16

Dear Students and Families,
 
I am writing to update you on plans for the opening of school following the conclusion of the spring vacation in light of the evolving reality of COVID-19. We continue to closely monitor the situation with the goal of prioritizing health and safety for all in our community.
 
Given the uncertain trajectory of the virus and our desire to support public health efforts to contain its spread, we have decided to delay the opening of school following spring vacation until Tuesday, April 14 and instead resume the delivery of virtual academia commencing on Monday, March 23. Meanwhile, all healthy, asymptomatic faculty members will continue to work as planned on March 23, and commence with virtual learning options through at least Friday, April 10. 

Depending on the teacher and course, remote learning will include some combination of synchronous online teaching and learning via videoconferencing tools, asynchronous instruction through Canvas or other course management systems, and individual homework or other assignments that students complete on their own. More specific information about individual academic work will be available on March 23, and teachers will of course make thoughtful decisions about what approach makes most sense for each course they teach given the transition to remote learning as well as consideration for students who may be on different time zones. 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.
 
We provisionally plan to commence our normal program on Tuesday, April 14 and hope to open campus for boarding students who did not remain on the campus on Saturday, April 11. However, the COVID-19 situation remains very fluid, so we will cont­­­­inue to pay close attention and act proportionately in response to future changes and/or in response to the advice of local, state, and federal health and governmental agencies, adjusting our plans or extending the period of remote learning as needed. We will certainly continue to keep you updated between now and then with any modifications or other helpful information.
 
In addition to suspending all on-campus activities until April 12, we have suspended all school-sponsored travel and events on campus until at least that date. We hope these modifications to our operating procedures will safeguard our community and contribute to public health efforts.
 
We recognize that these steps represent a disruption to the normal program and student experience we offer at Montverde Academy, but we believe this course of action is important to mitigate risk and prioritize health and safety, both within the Academy community and in the many communities that we are all a part. We trust that by working together and being flexible in the midst of difficult and unexpected circumstances, we are demonstrating our commitment to our mission and values that bind us together even as we remain geographically dispersed. We look forward to returning to the normal routines of school life as soon as it is prudent to do so, and we remain grateful for your flexibility, support and understanding as we navigate complex circumstances in the best interest of health and wellness for all.

Sincerely,
 
Dr. Kasey C. Kesselring
Head of School

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).

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.