St. Philip’s Episcopal Community COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

A Message from our Head of School (May 22, 2020)

Click here to read – A message from our Head of School

A Message from our Chaplain (May 18, 2020)

Click here to read – A Message from our Chaplain

A Message from our Chaplain (May 11, 2020)

Click here to read – A Message from our Chaplain

A Message from our SHA President (May 10, 2020

Click here to read – A Message from our SHA President

A Message from our Chaplain (May 4, 2020)

Click here to read – A Message from our Chaplain.

A Message from our Head of School (May 3, 2020)

Click here to read – A Message from our Head of School

Join us for a Health and Wellness Town Hall (May 1, 2020)

Click here to join us for a Health and Wellness Town Hall

A Message from our Director of Technology (April 30, 2020)

Click here to read a message from our Director of Technology

A Message from our Chaplain (April 27, 2020)

Click here to read a Message from our Chaplain

A Message from our Chief Financial Officer (April 26, 2020)

Click here to read a message from our Chief Financial Officer.

A Message from our School Nurse ( April 23, 2020)

Click here to read A Message from our School Nurse

A Message from our Chaplain (April 20, 2020)

Click here to read – A Message from our Chaplain

A Message from our Head of School (April 19, 2020)

Click here to read a message from our Head of School

A Message from our Head of School (April 15, 2020)

Dear St. Philip’s Families,

St. Philip’s Episcopal School was founded during a time of uncertainty, not unlike this one. At the end of World War II, Episcopal families in Coral Gables were banding together and driving to Coconut Grove to be spiritually fed at the one Episcopal Church in the area. Due to the premium price of gasoline and rationing, this weekly Sunday trip for families was not sustainable. Therefore, the parish agreed to send a priest from Coconut Grove to Coral Gables, and soon St. Philip’s Episcopal Church was born. Ten years later, Marian Krutulis approached the Rector and Vestry and suggested the founding of a school focused on early childhood education. That was 67 years ago, and St. Philip’s Episcopal School has never looked back.

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and School weathered the storms after the Second World War and several national crises that have occurred in the years since. This was done by pulling together as a community. This time will be no different. 

As we begin to look to next school year, I want to let you know that St. Philip’s is standing with you and is committed to ensuring that your child’s early educational years are not interrupted by our current crisis. I encourage you to reach out directly to me or to our Chief Financial Officer, Renee Castillo, if you have financial concerns regarding the 2020 – 2021 school year. Additionally, if you would like to change the payment plan you selected when you signed your child’s contract, we can assist with that as well (and will certainly waive the fee that such a change would normally incur). And while billing for next school year will not occur until June 1st, it is important that you feel free to reach out to us now if you have questions about your options. 

Next school year might seem like a lifetime away, but it will be upon us in a matter of months. Our community will emerge stronger and more connected than before. Bearing that in mind, know that we are here to listen and to provide guidance in any way that we can. 

In service,

Dr. Jasmine B. Harris

Head of School

A Message from the School Chaplain ( April 14, 2020)

The angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.  He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said.” — Matthew 28:5-7

Dear Members of the St. Philip’s Community,

May the season of Easter, that now begins, fill your hearts and homes with hope and joy!

We could have never imagined we would celebrate Easter without being able to attend church. Easter Sunday is for sure the most amazing service of the year. The extraordinary music, with trumpets and cymbals; the altar filled with the best flower arrangements we can imagine; a liturgy that makes us feel glorious joy; and people–hundreds of people– that fill the church with their most beautiful spring-colored outfits.

Let us then remember that the first Easter Sunday was a quiet and solemn morning. The disciples were all locked up in the upstairs room where they had celebrated Passover, the Last Supper, and they were afraid of being arrested. The women went to visit the tomb and found it empty. I wonder about the silence of that morning. I wonder how the women were feeling and how their feelings must have been very far from celebratory.  This Easter Sunday I embraced the silence. In the quiet of our days, with just the members of our household by our side, is where the joy of Easter resided.

This past week, I asked the students to share one highlight of these weeks of social distancing, and without fail the answer was, “I am grateful for spending time with my family.” What is happening these days is frightening and unsettling, but let us not allow fear to steal from us the goodness of time with our families. I pray we didn’t miss out on the opportunity of rejoicing in the quiet of Easter morning with the hope and joy it brings.  

Here is the chapel for this week. Our Chapel leader is Student Council Chaplain, Ryan Eichhorn. Join him in prayer and together let us continue to pray for the world to heal, for our community to be safe and healthy, and for us to be together again soon.

Happy Easter,

Mrs. Blanca Famadas

Chaplain

A Message from the School Nurse (April 8, 2020)

Dear St. Philip’s Families,
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As we near four full weeks of social distancing, I would like to share with you some kid-friendly resources that help answer children’s questions about the COVID-19 virus.
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New York Times Podcast: A Kids’ Guide to Coronavirus
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I hope all of you find these links useful, and I will continue to send more resources in the coming weeks.
As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have.
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Sincerely,
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Stephanie Begert, BSN, RN
School Nurse

A Message from our Head of School (April 7, 2020)

Greetings Members of the St. Philip’s Community, 

The uncertainty of our return date is a constant thought for us all. To continue to support remote learning, we want to ensure that students have all materials needed for instruction. The Governor’s Executive Order declared school an essential activity. Therefore, picking up instructional materials is permissible. Over the next few days, in addition to providing virtual instruction, your child/children’s teachers will organize and label each student’s items. 

On Monday, April 13th, we will be offering curbside pickup for your child’s instructional materials.  A member of our Facilities Team will bring a cart with your child/children’s items in a bag and place the cart near your vehicle. Placing items directly into a vehicle or trunk will not be permitted. Please remain in your vehicle and allow us time to deliver the items and return to six feet of social distance before you retrieve the items. It would be extremely helpful if you would write your child’s last name on a piece of paper and place it on your car’s dashboard so that our team can identify you easily while keeping their distance. If another family has asked you to retrieve items for their children, please make a sign with their last name on it as well.

Families with multiple students will be able to collect items for all of their children at the scheduled time for the oldest child. For everyone’s safety and well-being, we ask that you adhere to the schedule outlined below, which will help expedite the process. During your scheduled time, we ask that you form a carpool line (from east to west) beginning at the entrance assigned to your class below (Stone Cross Entrance or the Fountain Entrance).

Pick-up Schedule:

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. – 5th Grade  (Fountain Entrance)
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – 4th Grade  (Fountain Entrance)
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – 3rd Grade  (Fountain Entrance)
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – 2nd Grade (Fountain Entrance)
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – 1st Grade  (Fountain Entrance)
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Kindergarten (Stone Cross Entrance)
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. –  PreK4 (Stone Cross Entrance)
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. –  PreK3 (Stone Cross Entrance)

If the scheduled time does not work for you, please email Mr. Greene directly, and he will assist you with other arrangements.

Our current focus is on instructional materials. If the quarantine is not lifted before the scheduled end of the School year, we will provide a final opportunity for you to retrieve additional belongings. And while my fingers are crossed that this is not the case, we will be prepared. 

Additionally, we are continuing to follow the School calendar. To that end, the Easter Break will begin this Thursday at 12 noon. Remote learning will resume on Tuesday, April 14th, in the morning. While this is not the Easter weekend any of us had in mind, I am encouraging our entire faculty and staff to unplug from their professional duties and connect with their loved ones. I am going to attempt to follow suit. There are many things going on in the world at this time, but I am looking forward to using this break to refocus on my spiritual purpose. It is now more critical than ever. My prayers are with you all. 

Respectfully, 

Dr. Jasmine B. Harris
Head of School

A Message from the School Counselor (April 6, 2020)

Dear St. Philip’s Families,

I hope you all are doing well and staying healthy. Life has surprised us with some new challenges. While these challenges can be stressful, some may find it helpful during this time to relax, reconnect with family and enjoy this beautiful weather. I’m looking forward to seeing your children’s beautiful faces and bright smiles soon.

Today marks the second week of remote learning. While this will be a different experience for us all, it is important that we remain aware of what is most meaningful to us. Allow yourself gratitude, joy, and peace; sometimes the most difficult challenges in life come with a silver lining. Enjoy being with your family, practice mindfulness, and have fun. 

I am reachable by phone at 305.244.3590 or via email at mrobbins@saintphilips.net. Please reach out to me if you need any emotional support. I’m here for you.

 

Best regards,

Molli Robbins, LCSW

School Counselor

A Message from the School Chaplain (April 3, 2020)

Greetings Members of the St. Philip’s Community,

How wonderful is it that we have completed our first week of remote learning? May I say how grateful I am for technology!

In the midst of these quiet days, familiar faces and voices on my computer screen are rays of sunshine. I am so happy we have started our remote learning and look forward to visiting with all of you in the coming weeks. I would like to add that as I enjoy this moment, I find myself thankful for Mr. Diaz and his Tech Team who make all this possible. I am sure that like me, many of you have reached out to them for assistance.  We are most certainly blessed to have them.

Next week, we will resume Chapel time. Going forward, the Student Council officers and advisors will send you a video each week. This will allow you and your family to begin the week with prayer, as is our tradition. This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week, the holiest of times in our Christian tradition. Monday Chapel will be the readings of the Stations of the Cross. The video will have the images of the Stations of the Cross and the prayers to help you actively participate.  

As we journey through this new normal, please know that I pray for you every day. I pray that each of you is healthy, safe and hopeful, and for the day when we are together again.

I am available via email, or Google Hangouts. Here is the schedule of my office hours:

Mondays: 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. 

Tuesdays: 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Wednesdays: 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Thursdays: 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Fridays: 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.

We are in this together, do not hesitate to contact me.

Blessings to all you,

Mrs. Blanca Famadas

Chaplain  

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your
steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night.” 
Psalm 92:1-2 

A Message from our Head of School (April 2, 2020)

Greetings Members of the St. Philip’s Community,
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I continue to pray for the health and well-being of each of you. I am writing to update you on the status of our campus closure. Yesterday, Governor DeSantis issued an Executive Order which extends the closure of all schools, public and private, through April 30, 2020. While this is not the news I was hoping to share with you at this point, I am confident that we will continue to work together to ensure our students remain academically engaged and learning remotely during this time.
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Please continue to follow the daily emails sent by your child’s teachers regarding class assignments. Additionally, be on the lookout from communication from the Leadership Team as we strive to keep our community informed and connected. Previous missives regarding COVID-19 can be found on our website.
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If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me.
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Best regards,

Dr. Jasmine B. Harris, EdD
Head of School

We Love Connecting With You! (April 1, 2020)

Launch of Remote Learning (March 31, 2020)

Greetings Members of the St. Philip’s Community,

I pray that my note finds you and your loved ones safe and well. Yesterday marked the official launch of remote learning for our students, and I am proud of the commitment, collaboration, and ingenuity demonstrated by our faculty and staff to make the day a success. At the moment, our teachers continue to participate in webinars, research independently, and work across grade levels to provide the best virtual experiences for our students. Their hard work and dedication is deeply appreciated and is a testament to how much we all love and miss our students. 

To say that I miss our students is an understatement. There is no substitute for hugs from our kids and the joy that ensues from seeing their smiling faces. I often tell my 5th-graders that spending time with them is the best part of my day—and, that is the truth. Our students are intellectually curious, courageous, and encouraging. Most importantly, they are resilient and kind.

As we all strive to adjust to the challenges of social distancing, I ask us to consider three points as we continue educating our children in this academic partnership:

  1. Read with your children. Find books, magazines, and articles that you can read and discuss as a family. Literacy is the cornerstone of all academic success. 
  2. Discuss current events in an age-appropriate manner. Remind children that other events are happening in the world in addition to our current pandemic.
  3. Remember the Arts. Be intentional in seeking new art mediums and genres to present to students at this time. Listen to music that is culturally different than your own, or explore a new art form as a family. 

I am confident that our community will continue down a path toward growth and excellence despite our current challenges. I miss you all and look forward to reuniting with you soon.

Sincerely, 

Orlando Greene
Interim Assistant Head of School

A Message from our School Nurse (March 29, 20202)

Dear St. Philip’s Families, 

I hope you all have been able to stay healthy and safe.  

I am writing to share the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how we can all do our part in limiting the spread of this disease in our community. We encourage all families to follow the National Guidelines regarding social distancing and the importance of avoiding all unnecessary travel. 

While we currently have no reported cases of Coronavirus in the Church or School, we want to ensure that the lines of communication are open. To that end, please let us know of any suspected or confirmed (positive or presumptive positive) cases of COVID-19 in your household by informing our Head of School via email, Dr. Jasmine B. Harris. 

For your reference, I am including a link to the GLOBAL LEVEL 2 TRAVEL ADVISORY and information applicable to the State of Florida and our community regarding travel.  

  • If anyone in your household travels, please ensure that you monitor your health and practice social distancing for 14 days after returning. 
  • Please be sure you are symptom-free for 14 days after the arrival date of any travels prior to returning to campus. Proof of being symptom-free for 14 days will be required from your child’s physician prior to returning to school. This includes travel within the United States.
  • Anyone who has recently traveled from the New York Tri-State area (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York) should self-quarantine in their home for 14 days. This mandate was put into place on March 24th by Governor DeSantis. Self-quarantine should also be practiced when returning from a country with a Level 3 travel advisory. 

I encourage you to continue to follow the CDC and local government recommendations and updates. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email me. I hope to see you all soon.  

Sincerely, 

Stephanie Begert, BSN, RN

School Nurse

A Video Message from our Head of School (March 27, 2020)

A Message from our Head of School (March 27, 2020)

Dear St. Philip’s Families,

I recently shared with the faculty and staff that for weeks, I had been excited about being able to drive down to the beach during Spring Break, and dig my toes into the sand. I was planning on waking without an alarm (although my body wakes up before 5:30 a.m. regardless), working out twice a day, and getting caught up on some of the fiction books gathering dust on my nightstand. Needless to say, not one of those things came to fruition. 

On the contrary, I spent this week providing support to our faculty, staff, and Leadership Team as we prepare to implement remote learning. I have watched with pride as our teachers have taken the master schedule, which takes months to prepare, and transformed it into a virtual reality for our students in a matter of days. What we are learning from our peer schools in Miami, and schools around the country, is that we must be open to change and flexibility throughout the entirety of this new instructional method. 

As we embark on this new path of distance learning together, I would like to respond to some questions which have been raised and provide a few tips.

Questions you may have about preparing for remote learning:

Q. How will parents and students receive information specific to their class.
A. Each evening, beginning on Sunday of each week, the teachers will send an email with classwork and the schedule for the  following day. The first email will be sent on Sunday, March 29th.

Q. When can parents and students talk with teachers one-on-one?
A. All teachers will have daily office hours with available sign-up times. Next week you will receive a link to schedule a virtual parent conferences.

Q. Is it mandatory for all students to participate in the virtual learning plan?
A. It is not mandatory for students to participate in virtual learning; however, students are required to submit and complete their assignments.

Q. Are students required to wear their school uniforms while participating in virtual learning?
A. Getting dressed “for school” sets the tone for the day. Students are strongly encouraged to wear their school uniform (shirt and shorts/skorts) when participating in remote learning with teachers and classmates. However, students will not be penalized if they are not in uniform.

Q. Will 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders be tested and receive grades over the coming weeks?
A. At this time, assignments are being graded using a pass/fail system.

Q. Will the School closure affect grade promotions?
A. Any parent whose child was in jeopardy of non-promotion would have been contacted prior to the School closure

Q. How does the School closure affect ERB’s, if at all?
A. We do not know at this time. Considering that all other major tests (SAT, ACT, AP Exams) have been canceled or rescheduled, ERB testing this year is not likely to take place. We continue to wait on information from the Educational Records Bureau.

Q. How will the School closure impact summer break?  Will time need to be made up?
A. At this point, the answer is no. As long as we can provide instruction, remotely or in person, through the scheduled last day of school (this differs by grade), we will meet the minimum state guidelines of 170 days of instruction per school year.

Q. What should the children in PreK3 – 3rd grade focus on before their virtual learning program launches on April 6th?
A. Students should continue to focus on the work that was provided by their teacher until further notice. Parents will be receiving an email from their child’s teacher regarding the next steps in remote learning no later than Sunday, March 29th.

Q. What can parents do to help?
A. During this time of transition, parents can support their children and the faculty by remaining patient, and being flexible and understanding.

Q. Who should parents email for tech support, if needed?
A. The entire Tech Team is available to support you and your family. Please send all tech support questions to tech@saintphilips.net, and one of our team members will respond as soon as possible.

We are a school, and next week will be full of learning–not only for our students, but for our teachers, parents, and Leadership Team. I look forward to being on this journey together.

Warmly,

Dr. Jasmine B. Harris, EdD
Head of School

A Message from our Board of Trustees (March 26,2020)

March 26, 2020
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Good morning, wonderful St. Philip’s community. The Board of Trustees is working closely with our Head of School, Dr. Harris, to ensure that we move forward deliberately, purposefully, and with great conviction and strength. We are meeting together regularly to support our leadership, our faculty, our staff, and you the community, especially your beloved children. We do so with God‘s guidance and with our mission as our framework.
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We have composed a group of questions (FAQ’s) and corresponding answers that we believe will be helpful to you as we go forward.
  • How long will remote learning continue? We will continue remote learning as long as the School is closed. Currently, the plan is to re-open on Monday, April 20th. This date may change depending upon recommendations for the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and local, state, and federal government mandates.
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  • What should parents do to assist their children with remote learning? Distance learning is new for us all. The teachers will be in regular communication with parents regarding expectations before each day begins. One of the most important things for parents to keep in mind is that remote learning activities will vary depending on the age of the student. Some students will need less assistance and some will need more. Later this week, our Interim Assistant Head of School, Orlando Greene, will share information with parents about ways to support their children during this time.
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  • How will students be assessed and/or readiness for promotion to the next grade be determined? The goal will be moving to a pass/fail system during this time, and assessments will be limited over the next few weeks. Any conversations regarding promotion would have already occurred before this point.
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  • What if we are unable to reopen on April 20th? St. Philip’s, along with the rest of the world, is following the changes brought on by COVID-19 daily. Our faculty and staff is committed to providing instruction, whether in person or remotely, through the end of the school year. Our concern for the health, safety, and well-being of our students, teachers, and families remains of the utmost importance, and will guide the next steps as this crisis continues to evolve.
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  • Have plans been made for end-of-the-year activities? At this time, we are discussing all end-of-year activities and are waiting to see how the next few weeks unfold before official decisions are made.
  • Will the school year be extended? At this point, the answer is no. As long as we are able to provide instruction, remotely or in person, we will meet the minimum state guidelines of 170 days of instruction per school year.
  • Will the campus open any time before April 20th? To minimize exposure to the virus, the campus will remain closed for the next few weeks. Faculty and staff will report on Thursday, April 16th, assuming we are permitted to reopen. The campus will be open to families on Monday, April 20th.
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  • Is St. Philip’s Episcopal School in alignment with what other schools are doing? While our Head of School is in daily contact with heads in Miami, throughout the state, and across the country, it is critical that we keep our unique community in mind. We serve a very specific age group in regards to virtual learning. It is incumbent upon us to be considerate of how much screen time we are asking of our youngest learners, and to ensure that the lessons and activities are developmentally appropriate for students in PreK3 – 5th grade. We are in sync with the recommendations of the National Association of Independent Schools and the Florida Council of Independent Schools.
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  • How do we speak to our children about the current crisis? Our School Counselor, Molli Robbins, and our Chaplain, Blanca Famadas, have both sent out tips for talking with students about what can feel like a scary topic. Their missives have also contained links to helpful resources during this time. Additionally, Mrs. Robbins has made herself available via office hours to guide parents in these conversations.
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  • Are all employees—part-time and full-time being compensated during this time? Yes.
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  • What is being done on campus to ensure that the classrooms and Church are virus-free? The campus has been deep-cleaned, sanitized, and fogged twice since we closed on March 13th. One cleaning occurred immediately after we closed and the second cleaning occurred after we opened the campus for teachers to come in and pick up supplies. Special attention was given to student seats and desks, the restrooms, and commonly touched surfaces, i.e. doorknobs, cabinet handles, and shared electronic devices.

Please be assured of our commitment, corporately and individually, to serving our children. Additionally, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to any of us personally.

With peace and and confidence in the One whom we serve,

Dr. Philip Floyd, MD
Board Chair

Dr. Jasmine B. Harris
Head of School

A Message from our Interim Head of School and Director of Technology & Facilities (March 25, 2020)

March 25, 2020

Greetings St. Philip’s Families, 

We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s video, highlighting how much we all truly miss our students and coming together as a community. We continue to pray that you are safe and doing well during this time of change and social distancing. 

As we collectively adjust during this period, Mr. Greene and I would like to share some of the things our teachers are working on this week in preparation for our March 30th return. Although we are technically on Spring Break, our faculty and staff are collaborating around the clock to provide our students with an academic experience that remains consistent with St. Philip’s academic goals and standards of excellence. In preparation for continued remote learning, our teachers are working on the following items to be initiated March 30th and fully implemented by April 6th across all grade levels:

  1. Preparing consistent daily and weekly communication that outlines daily lesson plans and objectives
  2. Reviewing schedules to identify the best large-group and small-group meeting times
  3. Incorporating special-area teachers into weekly instruction
  4. Ensuring all lessons remain developmentally appropriate despite increased technology usage 
  5. Testing (and in some cases upgrading) their home internet bandwidth to ensure connectivity and sustainability

As we embark on the journey of virtual learning, (click here to read A Message from our Director of Technology & Facilities) we would like to give you some tips that can help you keep your children safe online. As online usage increases, so do challenges surrounding the Internet. Below are some tips that we ask you to review in preparation for the virtual learning reality that we are now forced to live. As always, Mr. Greene, myself, and the entire St. Philip’s Tech Team are here to help you in any way we can. If you have any questions or need any tech assistance, please do not hesitate to email the team at tech@saintphilips.net.


Here are some steps to help protect children online.

1. Start the chat

It is not possible to be at your child’s side every second of the day, so it is important to talk with them about online safety issues to help develop their critical thinking and ability to make good choices. It is also good to let them know they can come to you for help if they have any concerns. You may feel they know more about the latest technology than you do, but you have more life experience to guide them.

  • Take the opportunity to set some boundaries around when and where they can use devices like tablets, smart TVs and gaming consoles, to help limit potential tech tantrums — you could even fill in an Early Years Family Tech Agreement.
  • While you are all at home more, it is a great time to jointly view and play with your kids, so you can understand what they are doing and experiencing online.
  • Research the games, apps, social media and platforms they are using. Check sites like common sense media for tips about talking with your child about tricky personal subjects they may “stumble” onto online. 
  • Learn how to protect their information and report inappropriate content or conduct.

2. Use parental controls and safe search options

Parental controls can help block your child from accessing specific websites, apps or functions. They can also monitor your child’s use of connected devices and set time limits. But beware! You cannot always rely on them — they should be used in combination with other online safety strategies.

  • Parental controls are available on most tablets, smartphones, computers, TVs, and gaming consoles.
  • You can also download family safety controls or buy robust filters out of the box. 
  • You can set up child-friendly search engines, or select safe search settings on digital devices, to help prevent your child from stumbling across inappropriate sites and content.

3. Check smart toy settings

It is surprising how many toys or devices can connect online these days, from drones and smart teddies to tablets and wearables. While they can be both entertaining and educational, they can reveal your child’s personal details and location — and allow other people to contact them without you knowing. You can help keep them stay safe by:

  • Setting strong passwords
  • Turning off location settings
  • Limiting the amount of personal information shared

4. Look out for unwanted contact and grooming

Unwanted contact is any communication that makes your child feel uncomfortable or unsafe, even if they initially welcomed the contact. It can come from a stranger, an online ‘friend’ or even someone they actually know. At worst, it can involve ‘grooming’ — building a relationship with the child in order to abuse them.

You can help by:

  • Making sure their accounts are private — including chat functions on games
  • Encouraging them to delete requests from strangers and any contacts they do not know or have met in person
  • Reporting and blocking anyone suspicious on a website or service
  • Remembering that if someone online becomes aggressive or threatening you should contact your local police

Thank you for your unwavering commitment and support of our faculty and staff. Click here to review our previous communication regarding COVID-19 and the School closure. Additionally, please be on the lookout for a letter from Mr. Greene this Friday regarding academic expectations for the weeks to come. Stay safe!

Respectfully, 

Orlando Greene
Interim Assistant Head of School

Edward Diaz
Director of Technology & Facilities            

A Video Message from our Faculty & Staff (March 24, 2020)

A Message from our School Counselor (March 23, 2020)

Dear Parents,

 

I hope you are all doing well in this time of uncertainty.

I have compiled some information to help you to talk to your children about COVID-19, remain calm, and manage stress and anxiety. There are also some fun activities to do with your children. 

I am reachable by phone 305.244.3590, or email mrobbins@saintphilips.net. I can also set up a video session by FaceTime, or Doxy.me. I am flexible and will make myself available to you with complete confidentiality. 

Below are some tips for discussing Coronavirus with your children:

Keep calm.

These trying times can be very overwhelming and stressful for everyone, including kids. They pick up on everything from the adult conversations around them to the information they encounter on social media and from peers, so it’s important to be a good role model. Remember that panic only creates more panic. If you are afraid, it’s important that you work through your anxiety so that you do not further escalate your child’s worries. Kids do not learn well when they are feeling stressed.

Listen and be supportive.

Being a good listener is key. Let them raise and share their own concerns. Reflect on and validate their feelings. It’s okay to say, “I’m feeling a little worried too, but we will take care of ourselves and get through this.” It’s important to meet children where they are and to answer their questions and to address their concerns. Help children communicate their feelings and remind them that it’s okay to feel sad, mad, afraid, or confused.

Be honest and accurate.

Information is useful, but too much information can have the reverse effect. Talking about the facts that we know helps to relieve anxiety. And, most importantly, be honest and accurate but not gloomy. Be careful not to give them too much information. Provide them with enough to satisfy their curiosity for the moment. This should be an ongoing conversation, not a one-time thing.

Emphasize safety.

Reassure your children that they are safe. Doctors, and scientists across the country and the world are working on finding a vaccine and ways to treat patients with COVID-19. They are doing everything possible to keep us safe. Focus on all the other caring adults around them who are working to protect us.

Encourage healthy habits.

Many of the things we practice as adults—such as eating healthy, mindfulness activities, and getting plenty of sleep—are important to do at home, not only during school closures but every day. Give kids instructions on how to stay safe and healthy and regularly review and model basic hygiene and health practices for protection.

Limit social media.

Your kids might be scared of things they’ve heard or seen on television or social media. Monitor and limit their social media and screen time to prevent children from becoming oversaturated with frightening and/or inaccurate messages.

Enjoy quality time together.

Above all, engage in enjoyable activities together. Some activities to do at home as a family include: reading books together, doing puzzles, building forts, going for walks, painting, playing with Legos. Simply put, spend time together actively interacting with your children. While this is a scary time, the time that you spend with them could very well be remembered as one of their best childhood memories. And, above all, remember to always give children choices whenever possible.

Adapted from Bonnie Rubenstein, University of Rochester school of Education.

In addition, here are some trustworthy resources you may use to talk to children about Coronavirus:

https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/

Managing stress and anxiety

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html 

Meditation Apps to download

  • Calm App
  • Stop, Breathe and Think Kids

Keeping Normalcy and Structure

https://www.nurturelife.com/blog/create-sense-normalcy-kids-coronavirus/ 

Fun Mindfulness Activities

https://www.kidsyogastories.com/kids-yoga-poses/

https://biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/5-fun-mindfulness-as/

 

Best regards,

Molli Robbins, LCSW

School Counselor

A Message from our Technology Director (March 22, 2020)

Dear St. Philip’s Families,
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On Monday, March 30th, virtual activities, and assignments will increase for 4th and 5th grade. Subsequently, on April 6th, virtual assignments will increase for PreK3 – 3rd grade. Please review the information below in preparation for this ramp-up.
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As we continue to progress through these unprecedented times, I want to thank you all for the support and patience you have demonstrated during this first week of this unexpected school closure. I am especially humbled by the efforts being put forth by our teachers who continue to educate our students via a virtual environment. I have really enjoyed seeing some of the amazing work being done via our Seesaw application as well as hearing some great stories from you. With that said, we are working on more ways to educate our students virtually since the School closure will be longer than we originally expected. One tool we are planning on implementing is that of Google Meet.
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Effective Monday, March 30th, students in the 4th and 5th grade will connect via Google Meet with their teachers every school day for a “morning check-in”. During this check-in time, students will have the opportunity to ask their teachers any questions they might have about assignments, as well as learn about what is expected of them on that day. This is a great opportunity for our students to also experience a sense of community as they will be able to communicate and visit with one another during the check-in. As our students and faculty become more accustomed to the virtual environment, more subject-area teachers like Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies will begin to connect with their students via Google Meet. The virtual world will also be extended to our special area teachers who will be emailing students assignments, exercise videos, and in some classes, invitations to participate in virtual hangouts as well.
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Students in the 4th and 5th grade will receive email invites to attend these virtual meetings. We encourage you to remind them to check emails regularly throughout the school day so that they do not miss any important information. Our teachers will copy you on their communications as well.
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For PreK3 through 3rd grade, we will be implementing the “morning check-in” starting the week of Monday, April 6th. While we know that students in this age group do not necessarily have their own devices nor a St. Philip’s email address, an invitation for their “morning check-in” will be emailed to the parent/guardian email on record.
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Below are some questions you might have about virtual learning for early learners.
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What can I expect during the check-in for lower school?
Teachers will connect with students to read stories, interact, and create a sense of community with classmates.
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How long will this check-in last?
As we have learned from numerous studies, it is never a good idea to have students in this age group in front of a device for too long of a period. This is why we have scheduled these check-ins to be no longer than 15-20 minutes. The goal here is for our students to feel like they are starting a day of learning, even though they are at home.
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What do I need for my son/daughter to connect for the check-in?
Any Internet-connected device will work. All you need to do is use the link in the email you will receive from your teachers to join the meeting. Below is a screenshot of what you can expect to see when you visit the link. Click on the Join Now button and await your teacher to begin the check-in.
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Here are some best practices for when logging into Google Meet:
  • Go to a quiet room.
  • Make sure the room is well lit, preferably lights should be facing you and not behind you, if possible.
  • Make sure the room has good internet connectivity.
Can I expect other virtual classroom experiences for my son/daughter?
Yes. As we have been doing this past week, you can expect your son/daughter to continue to receive interactive lessons, tutorials, and videos to keep your child learning throughout the day.
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As always, the tech team and I are here to support our students in any way possible. If you have any questions or need assistance with any application, please do not hesitate to email us at tech@saintphilips.net.
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Click here to access our previous communications and responses to COVID-19.
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Regards,
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Edward Diaz
Director of Technology & Facilities

A Video Message from Our Head of School (March, 21, 2020)

A Message from our Board Chair (March 20, 2020)

Dear St. Philip’s Families,
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We are all experiencing an unprecedented global matter; our world ground to a halt within a matter of days. As we have continued to focus on the wellbeing of our children and adults, we are mindful of many around the world who are directly impacted by this challenging virus.
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Dr. Harris and our team of amazing administrators and faculty recognize that the decision to extend school closure through mid-April has lead to many questions. For some of these questions, we already have answers. Other questions may take some time to resolve, so please be patient and follow the almost daily communiques from the School.
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As you know, in less than 48 hours, our teachers produced lessons and activities to provide two weeks of instruction.  We are being kept abreast of the situation by regular email communication, and our leadership is working around the clock to follow this ever-moving target.
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We all know this decision has led to a wide range of emotions for those in our community, including disappointment. All of us here at St. Philip’s share that disappointment. The absence of this time together on campus, and the milestones that come with it, is truly a loss. That said, I have no doubt that we will navigate this unique experience with St. Philip’s characteristic strength, grace, and compassion.
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Now more than ever, let us be reminded that we are a community of Christian faith. We ask that you have faith in our faculty and staff, faith in our school’s leadership, and faith in your children as they demonstrate what they are capable of doing. Let us also take this opportunity to focus on God’s goodness in our lives and on His profound provision for each of us; let’s continue to pray for our leadership – globally, nationally, locally; let’s lift up those who are directly affected by this unexpected illness.
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I am reminded of a powerful and reassuring scripture from Romans 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
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As we move forward together in the coming week, with God’s ever-present help, please be respectful of faculty, staff, and administration; they desperately need a Spring Break as much as we do.
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Finally, being confident in God and His good work in us, let us continue to support one another and our precious St. Philip’s community through love, patience, and prayer.
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Peace,
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Philip
Philip D. Floyd, MD
Board Chair
St. Philip’s Episcopal School

A Message from our Chaplain (March 19, 2020)

Dear St. Philip’s Families,

I trust that when you receive this email, you find yourselves doing well, in good spirits, and discovering new and creative ways of keeping your children calm and entertained. As we follow the recommendation from our leaders and health officials to practice social distancing, we may find ourselves concerned trying to understand the new normal that is upon us. Children will also feel things are different, especially because they are not at school and their outings are limited. Here are some tips and websites that may be of assistance:
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  1. Keeping the conversation flowing is essential. Know how your children feel and what they understand about what is happening. Answer their questions with age-appropriate information. Be honest. It is okay to say we don’t have the answer right now.
  2. Share specific things that, as a family and individually, they can do and have control over, such as hand-washing.
  3. Stay connected with family and friends through Facetime or Skype. Knowing everyone is doing well and seeing them will mean a lot to children.
  4. Stay positive and make your time together fun. Go back to basic board games, play in the backyard, and make daily family time.
  5. Have a structured routine at home for schoolwork and playtime. Creating a plan for the day will give the day normalcy.
  6. As part of the day, set a time for prayer. When you gather for a meal, say a prayer of gratitude and a prayer for the world to heal. In the midst of all that is happening, our faith will be a source of reassurance and strength.
Below are a few links you can access for more information:
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Most of all, know we are all in this together. I hold you in my prayers and thoughts. I am here to support you in any way I can. Feel free to send me an email if you would like to schedule some time to talk.
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Warmly,
Blanca Famadas
Chaplain and Sacred Studies Teacher

A Message from the Head of School (March 18, 2020)

Dear St. Philip’s Families,

As you may be aware, Governor DeSantis has mandated an extended school closure of all K – 12 public schools in the state through April 15th. While we may be disappointed, we are not surprised.
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Victims of COVID-19 now have names and faces. Many of us have friends, family members, or neighbors who have been directly impacted. Families are sharing stories of ill loved ones and those who have succumbed to the virus. We must find a way to minimize the loss of more lives. At St. Philip’s, we will do our part. We, too, will extend our school closure until at least Friday, April 17th, with remote learning still in place. We are hopeful that our campus will re-open its doors on Monday, April 20th.
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Our teachers will spend the remainder of this week participating in additional training to provide more virtual instruction. We understand the need for our students to see one another, to see their teachers’ smiling faces, and to participate as part of a greater community. To that end, we will be implementing a virtual program with a daily check-in period. This will begin on Monday, March 30th and will coincide with the work and schedules teachers have already sent home for that week. Additional lessons are being planned for the extended closure.
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Next week is Spring Break. There will be no school work required. While I am certain this will not be the break many of us had in mind, I encourage us all to use that time to reconnect with family and friends. One of the benefits of social distancing is that we are “forced” to spend more time with those we love the most. This is a gift in disguise. Because as long as we have our health, we can flatten this curve together.

Respectfully,

Jasmine B. Harris, EdD
Head of School

A Message from the School Nurse (March 17, 2020)

March 17, 2020
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As we enter our week of distance learning, we are reminded that we are all living through a new reality that is changing by the day. Our goal is to try and maintain as much normalcy in our students’ lives. We also recognize that social distancing will be our greatest tool against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and toward ensuring our community is able to return to life as usual. The effectiveness of the School closures is based on the premise that children stay home with their families and limit outside contacts. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible. We expect families to follow these guidelines and remind you that this is not a vacation.
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At this time, we do not know if students will return to school on March 30th. Last week, our students received 10-days worth of distance learning materials. We recognize that Spring Break is scheduled for next week, and students are not expected to complete assignments during that time. This means all students have the resources to keep them actively learning for the next three calendar weeks. As more details become available this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our local government, we will plan for and make decisions on further closure accordingly.
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Travel Update: 
As of this past weekend, the CDC updated their travel advisories. There is now a global level 2 travel advisory in place, which means that any travel (whether it’s your child or someone in the household) while we are away from campus will be under the 14-day rule to stay home from school. This includes travel within the United States. As a reminder, these are the guidelines regarding the CDC travel advisories:
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  • Warning Level 3:  You are required to keep your child home from school for 14 days from the return date.
  • Warning Level 2:  You are strongly requested to keep your child home from school for 14 days from the return date.
  • Warning Level 1:  We encourage your child to stay home from school for 14 days from the return date.
Latest CDC Guidelines:
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  • Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
  • Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Avoid eating or drinking at restaurants, bars and food courts – use drive-thru, pickup or delivery services instead.
  • Avoid all unnecessary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
  • Do not visit nursing homes, retirement homes or long-care facilities.
  • Continue to practice good hygiene practices.
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If you do decide to travel during our time away from school, please inform me of your plans along with your return date so that we can plan accordingly upon our return to school. Updates are coming almost daily. As we continue to learn more about the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it will impact our school community, we will send updates as needed. We hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy, and we pray that we will all be back at school soon so that our students can return to their daily routines.
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Sincerely,
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Stephanie Begert, BSN, RN
School Nurse

A Message from the Interim Assistant Head of School (March 16, 2020)

Greetings St. Philip’s Families,

 

Thank you for your patience and flexibility during the expeditious closure of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and School. As educators, it is our number one priority to provide your child with an exceptional academic experience in a safe environment. The rapid spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has challenged schools across the nation to reimagine the educational experience for students while simultaneously striving to mitigate the range and impact of Coronavirus.

To ensure learning continues during the School closure, our teachers sent home materials for all of our students on Friday, March 13th. The work each student received is developmentally appropriate and addresses the needs of our learners who range in age from three to eleven-years-old.

We are aware of a number of requests for students to participate in a teacher-led interactive online learning experience. As the School’s academic leader, I assure you that we are examining ways to integrate more comprehensive remote learning opportunities for all of our learners. We have provided students with 10 days of remote learning activities. Five days now, followed by Spring Break, then five more days just in case we need them.

If we find ourselves in a situation where we need to continue remote learning after Spring Break, we will have virtual check-in times for each grade once a day. In the interim, we ask that each student use the resources provided for the next five days, and then make the best of the week of Spring Break as a family. We will communicate any updates via email in the days to come. Stay safe and healthy.

Best regards,

Orlando Greene
Interim Assistant Head of School 
Liaison to the Board of Trustees
5th-Grade Social Studies Teacher 

A Message from the Head of School (March 13, 2020)

March 13, 2020
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Greetings St. Philip’s Families,
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We have made the difficult decision to close school at 3:15 p.m. today. We expect to remain closed through Sunday, March 29th. Depending on the information we receive from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), or Miami-Dade County, that date may change. We do not make this decision lightly, as we know it will have a significant impact on our families. As of the writing of this letter, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in our immediate area. However, we believe that given what we know about this virus, we would be taking this action in the near future. Our choice is to be proactive.
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As an Episcopal school characterized by a strong sense of community, we have an obligation to prioritize the needs of our students, their families, and our faculty and staff. Moving to remote learning will allow us to provide greater protection for students, faculty, and staff, and we are confident that we can provide appropriate alternative learning experiences. Today, students will bring home activities which will keep them engaged and on par for continued learning despite our campus closure. They will have two weeks of materials to encourage on-going instruction. Before the end of the school day, the classroom teachers will email you directly regarding the materials in your child’s bag.
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Students will also leave for the day with their personal belongings in tow. This will provide us with an opportunity for an even deeper cleaning and sanitization of the campus during the closing. As mentioned in our previous communication, during Spring Break the School will undergo a deep cleaning, which includes an antibacterial fogger, detailed cleaning of interior and exterior surface areas, and sanitization of all high and low-frequency areas on our campus.
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Today is a gift. We have heard from your children and they have begged us not to close, citing missed time with their friends and simply “wanting” to be at school. We, as faculty and staff, feel the same. But we know these are extraordinary times, and it is up to all of us to be proactive to protect the most vulnerable among us. The social distancing measures recommended by our health authorities include keeping children home as much as possible during school closures and not having them gather in groups. While the virus does not affect children as severely, they are capable of spreading it to more vulnerable populations. We encourage our families to follow these practices while our school remains closed. Please continue to monitor the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and School website for additional information. Please join me in prayer as we face this unprecedented reality together.
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In service,
Jasmine B. Harris, EdD
Head of School

A Message from the Head of School (March 12, 2020)

March 12, 2020
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Dear St. Philip’s Families,
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As the global situation surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to rapidly evolve, we remain alert and are following guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Florida Department of Health. We remind all of you to continue to use these resources when seeking the latest updates on the Coronavirus. We are also receiving guidance from the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to form responsible and educated decisions concerning all continued and future school procedures and protocols.
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School Closure Preparedness and Remote Learning
The early childhood experience is very unique. While structure and socialization with peers are integral parts of the learning process for our youngest learners, we recognize the importance for learning to continue in the event of a school closure. Our faculty is in the process of preparing a full 10-day lesson plan that students can complete remotely. Each plan will be developmentally appropriate for that grade level. Our early childhood team (PreK3, PreK4, and Kindergarten) has created a plan full of activities for our early learners to keep them curious and engaged while away from school. Our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-grade teachers are developing a plan to ensure that key instructional areas are supported during the School closure. Students in the 4th and 5th-grade will be able to leverage the power of technology to complete assignments via different platforms such as Google Classroom, Google Hangout, Pearson Math, and Accelerated Reader. In the event of a school closing, the teachers will communicate this information to parents directly.
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Additional Safety Measures
In an overabundance of caution, beginning next week, we will only offer disposable plates, cups, and utensils for our snack and lunch program. This will provide relief for kitchen staff to help assist in serving our students during lunch. These efforts will help minimize the number of people touching our serving utensils in hopes of minimizing the spread of germs.
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Upcoming School Trips and Events
We are reviewing all planned school trips, including local field trips, Field Day, and other events. The administration will be in touch accordingly, and each of these activities is being evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
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Upcoming Travel
We recognize that many of you continue to make travel plans for the upcoming Spring Break. We strongly recommend that families adhere to the CDC Travel Guidelines listed below and not travel to locations with CDC or U.S. Department of State Level 2 or 3 alerts or higher.
  • Warning Level 3: You are required to keep your child home from school for 14 days from the return date.
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  • Warning Level 2: You are strongly requested to keep your child home from school for 14 days from the return date.
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  • Warning Level 1: We encourage your child to stay home from school for 14 days from the return date.
In all cases, these absences will be excused and we will make every effort to keep your child up to date on their school work.
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Illness Prevention
We would like to remind families about our latest procedures regarding illness:
  • As stated in last Friday’s communication, we ask that if your child is showing any signs of illness, no matter how mild, please keep your child home.
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  • As per St. Philip’s protocol, any child with a persistent cough, and/or noticeable congestion should stay home.
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Children with a fever must stay home until they are symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. If your child’s doctor has seen and cleared him/her to be at school, please submit a clearance note signed by the physician.
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We have asked faculty and staff to follow these same guidelines. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter as we work together to keep our school community healthy.
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St. Philip’s Episcopal School will post all pertinent COVID-19 information as it relates to our community on our website. In the event of a school closure, we will also use I.R.I.S. to communicate any further necessary information to our community.
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Even as we focus considerable time and attention on planning and preparation, we caution against panic. Meanwhile, at St. Philip’s, our teachers are greeting your children daily with a smile, students are happy, and they are learning.
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Respectfully,

Jasmine B. Harris, EdD
Head of School

A Message from the Head of School (March 6, 2020)

March 6, 2020
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Dear St. Philip’s Families,
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We are writing to inform you that we are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 Virus (Coronavirus) and are following the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.
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We would like to inform you of some additional precautionary measures we are taking to ensure the health of our students, faculty, staff, and families:
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  1. We have instituted mid-day cleanings of all restrooms, along with more frequent cleanings of commonly touched surfaces, such as door handles, telephones, desks, and shared electronic devices.
  2. Surface cleaners have been purchased for all classrooms and offices for use by faculty and staff throughout the day.
  3. We have instituted additional hand sanitizing stations to encourage hand washing.
  4. The nurse has reviewed proper handwashing techniques with each class this week.
  5. We will thoroughly disinfect the campus weekly, with the use of a fogger, and will complete a deep cleaning of the campus over spring break.
  6. In an overabundance of caution, the School will not offer the chalice during Eucharist.
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We remind you to be extra vigilant of illness and flu-like symptoms. The COVID-19 virus is characterized by fever, cough, and shortness of breath. We ask that if your child is showing any signs of illness, no matter how mild, please keep your child home. As per St. Philip’s protocol, any child with a persistent cough, and/or noticeable congestion should stay home. Children with a fever must stay home until he/she is symptom free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications. We are asking the same of our staff.
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As with any respiratory illness, we remind you to take the precautionary steps for yourself and your children used routinely to prevent the spread of illness:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for hands that are not visibly soiled.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Remain at home when you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing and nose when sneezing with a tissue, and then dispose of the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Disinfect objects and surfaces you touch often.
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As we continue to monitor news about the spread of the Coronavirus, our top priority remains the safety and well-being of all our community members. We know that many of you have made plans, or are in the process of making plans, to travel to various destinations this spring. We are applying the following requirements not only to students and their families but also to our employees’ personal travel plans, as per CDC guidelines.
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If you are planning to travel this spring to or through areas of the world affected by the coronavirus, as identified by CDC travel advisories, please ensure that you are symptom-free for 14 days before returning to campus. Additionally, if you will be spending time with someone who has been to or through affected areas, please observe the same 14-day protocol. Proof of being symptom free for 14 days will be required from your physician prior to returning to school.
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Please let Stephanie Begert, the School Nurse, know of your travel plans in advance so she can assist with any questions or concerns you may have. The US State Department also lists all travel advisories, by country affected, with the specifics of each advisory level. As of today, these are the current advisory levels from the CDC:
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  • Warning Level 3: You are required to keep your child home from school for 14 days from the return date
  • Includes China, Korea, Iran and Italy
  • Warning Level 2: You are strongly requested to keep your child home from school for 14 days from the return date.
  • Includes Japan
  • Warning Level 1: Please practice usual precautions.
  • Includes Hong Kong
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In all cases, these absences will be excused and we will make every effort to keep your child up to date on their school work.
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Travel advisories and restrictions are changing daily due to the spread of the virus, so please keep apprised of the latest details as the date of your travel approaches. Also, be aware that travel to certain parts of the world is likely to become even more challenging in the weeks ahead.
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Sincerely,
Jasmine B. Harris, EdD
Head of School

A Message from our School Nurse (February 28, 2020)

February 28, 2020

Dear St. Philip’s Families,

The health and safety of your children are always our highest priority. For this reason, we are monitoring the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus (COVID-19). This is an evolving situation, and we will follow the latest CDC updates for guidance on the most effective and sensible prevention measures.

The CDC has emphasized that there are no reported cases of the coronavirus in the state of Florida. 

As with any respiratory illness, and given that it is also flu season, we remind you to take the precautionary steps used routinely to prevent the spread of illness:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for hands that are not visibly soiled.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Remain at home when you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing and nose when sneezing with a tissue, and then dispose of the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Disinfect objects and surfaces you touch often.

To stay informed and receive the most up-to-date information, please refer to the websites from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization below:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

We will continue to actively monitor the CDC’s updates and make any adjustments to our day-to-day school procedures as needed. Any update that will directly affect our community will be communicated accordingly.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Begert, BSN, RN
School Nurse