COVID-19 News and Updates

List of 20 news stories.

  • Head of School Update 08.28.20

    Dear Holy Comforter Families,
     
    As we approach the end of August we have much to be proud of and grateful for in regards to opening our campus safely and securely for our children, as well as introducing Adaptable Learning to our online families. We continue to welcome our students each day to a healthy, happy and safe campus. These victories are surely something to celebrate at this time. 

    This week I sat on several calls with the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and heads of school across the southeast. We discussed the challenges of these times, situations we are all facing in our school communities, and we shared insights and solutions. The purpose of this letter is to remain proactive and transparent with you in our efforts to continue to keep our school safe. 
     
    September is coming and after-school programs and sports are beginning to come back to life. College students are back in town and schools are opening up across our area. Though it is refreshing to welcome a bit of normalcy for our city and community, I ask you to continue taking a cautious approach in the months ahead. From birthday parties to social gatherings, activities and more, it is imperative that we all work together for the safety of each other. We can only remain open on campus if we all do our part to remain safe and responsible off campus. 
    Read More
  • Severe Weather Procedures

    Thank you for a wonderful start to the school year. We’ve made it through the first full week of school, hail storms and all!

    Looking towards next week, we are monitoring the storms that may be headed our way. We will notify you through email and text if there are any changes to our school schedule in regard to the weather. In addition, you can always find information on our alerts page at www.hces.org/alert

    Thank you for your patience during Tuesday afternoon's weather pick-up. We have developed a new “severe weather” pick-up map that will be used when lightning, hail or other severe conditions are present. Please take a look at the map, as there is a new flow for traffic to relieve the stress on Fleischmann Road. If there is severe weather, all pick-up will be moved to the front of the school for our students' safety. You will notice every car will be asked to turn right (following the white arrows) no matter which grade level you are picking up in order to help with the congestion on Fleischmann. Similar to Tuesday, we will alert you through email and text as soon as we know there will be a change in pick-up. 
     

    As always, thank you for your patience, understanding and help these first few weeks as we adjust to new procedures and systems. We are grateful you are part of the HCES community. 
    Read More
  • FLIK Lunch Order Reminders

    We hope you are enjoying your FLIK lunches each day and we are so appreciative of your participation in the FLIK program!
     
    Please be reminded, lunch orders are due by 10:00am THE SCHOOL DAY BEFORE. For Monday orders, the orders need to be made by 10:00am Friday (tomorrow).
     
    As we adjusted to a new schedule and procedures, FLIK offered a grace period for late lunch orders. Starting Monday, they are unable to fulfill orders placed after 10:00am the school day prior. 
     
    You can save time by ordering for next week now. Click here to view menus and place your order. www.hces.org/flik
    Read More
  • 1st Day Reminders

    Dear Families, 
     
    We are thrilled to welcome you back to school tomorrow, both on campus and virtually! A few reminders for the first day of school. 
     
    As outlined in our Return to School plan, below are the safety precautions we ask each family to follow every day before dropping children off at school. 
    • Temperature check: If your child has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, they should remain home. 

    • By dropping children off at school each morning, parents are verifying the answer is “no” to the following 3 questions. If the answer is”yes” to any of the questions, children should remain home.
    1. Does your child(ren) have a sore throat, new uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (for students with chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline), diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain, new onset of severe headache, especially with a fever?

    2. Has your child(ren) had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with a person confirmed COVID-19?

    3. Has your child(ren) traveled to or lived in an area where the local, Tribal, territorial, or state health department is reporting large numbers of COVID-19 cases?
    First Day Drop-off

    PK3-5th grade families: Please bring your children to the exterior doors of the classroom - maps are located in the colonnade to help you find your student's room. Teachers will be ready to welcome students. For the safety of the teachers and students, parents are asked to say their goodbyes outside and not enter the classrooms. In addition, please practice safe social distancing and refrain from congregating and visiting during this time.  
     
    Middle school students registered for Alpha will report to the STEM building if arriving on campus before 7:45. If arriving at 7:45 or after, middle school students should report to the Commons.
     
    First Day Pick-up
     
    Please have your Family ID Car Tag clearly displayed in the front window. Parents will be asked to remain in their car during the dismissal process so that social distancing guidelines may be observed. If you need additional car tags, please call the front office. 
     
    For more Important Back to School information, please click here to read the Student Handbook Addendum.
     
    Thank you for being such a special part of our school community. We look forward to a wonderful year ahead! See you tomorrow, Crusaders!
    Read More
  • Return to School Update

    Members of our administrative team (Brenda Hagen, Amy Vernon, Michele Proctor, Ryan Snowden and myself) pre-recorded a Zoom chat sharing more about classroom setup, procedures and the measures being put in place to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff. In the Zoom video, we take you into a classroom in each division to explain and show the changes being made. You may watch the recording here
     
    Some of the changes you will see include: installed UVGI lighting (air disinfection application) in each air handler that will help reduce the risk of spreading the virus, one way traffic flow, social distancing, face shields for teachers, partitions, sanitizing stations and more. In addition, we're exploring additional engineering controls and we will keep you informed as we move forward. 
     
    We look forward to seeing you next week and please be in touch with any questions. 
     
    Sincerely, 
     
    Peter Klekamp, Head of School
     
    Amy Vernon, Head of Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
    Brenda Hagen, Head of Lower School (1st - 5th Grade)
     
    Michele Proctor, Director of Early Learning (PK3 - K)
     
    Read More
  • Adaptable Learning - As of July 30th

    Dear Families,
     
    Please see below for additional information regarding our Adaptable Learning (AL) program. If you are choosing Adaptable Learning, remember to email your division head by August 1st at 9am. 
     
    Adaptable Learning as of July 30th
    Read More
  • Return to School Plan

    Dear Families,
     
    A friendly reminder to read through the Return to School Plan to review the options for the upcoming year.
     
     
    We've updated the mask and fever free policy in order to follow local and CDC guidelines.
     
    If you are choosing the Adapatable Learning Plan (at home/virtual), you must submit a request to your respective Division Head(s) in writing by August 1 at 9:00am. 
     
    Remember, this does not lock you into a learning plan for an entire semester but will let us know is a decision on how you will start the year. If your family's needs change and you decide to switch learning plans you will submit your request to change plans in writing to the appropriate division head. 
     
    We understand that these are incredibly challenging times and the decision to participate in Adaptable Learning or On-Campus Learning is not an easy one. We are here for any questions you may have, so please reach out to us. 

    Thank you for your support, your understanding, and prayers during this time. We will continue to keep the focus on what is in the best interest of our children, our families, our teachers and staff. 
      
    Sincerely,
     
    Peter Klekamp, Head of School
    Amy Vernon, Head of Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
    Brenda Hagen, Head of Lower School (1st - 5th Grade)
     
    Michele Proctor, Director of Early Learning (PK3 - K)
    Read More
  • Coffee with Klekamp: Return to School Plan

    Dear Families, 
     
    Thank you to those who were able to join us on yesterday's "Coffee with Klekamp" zoom chat. If you were not able to attend, you can find the recording here. We covered a variety of topics in regards to our "Return to School Plan" and answered questions submitted by you all - our families. 
     
    We will continue to offer opportunities to connect in the weeks ahead as we prepare to welcome our school family back on August 12th. We will be publishing another list of frequently asked questions and plan to host additional zoom chats. In addition, we are making improvements to our classrooms and campus to encourage and promote physical distancing.
     
    In the meantime, our administration is here to answer any questions you may have. Be on the lookout for our back to school mailing next week which includes great information for the year ahead. 
     
    Thank you for being a part of our school community and please be in touch with any of us. 
     
    Sincerely, 
     
    Peter Klekamp, Head of School
     
    Amy Vernon, Head of Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
    Brenda Hagen, Head of Lower School (1st - 5th Grade)
     
    Michele Proctor, Director of Early Learning (PK3 - K)
     
    Read More
  • Return to School Plan

    Dear Families,
     
    As promised, we want to share our Return to School Plan with you as we look forward to an exciting, yet different, 2020-2021 school year. Please take the opportunity to read through all of the information with the understanding that this is our plan as of July 9, 2020. Additionally, a hard copy will be mailed to you as part of our annual July mailing with everything you will need to know about the start of the school year. 
     
    I invite you to a zoom "Coffee with Klekamp" next Wednesday, July 15 at 12:00pm where we will answer questions and share plans for the year ahead. If you would like to be added to the list, please email vculpepper@hces.org. The zoom link will be shared 30 minutes prior to the meeting.   
     
    As always, please be in touch with any questions or concerns. I hope you make the best of this summer with your family and look forward to seeing you in August!
     
    My best,
     
    Peter Klekamp
    Head of School 
    Read More
  • June Update

    We hope this message finds you well and enjoying the start of summer with your family. 
     
    As previously communicated, we will be reaching out periodically throughout the summer to share up-to-date information as it pertains to the start of school in August. See below for a few updates about what is happening around campus.
    • At this time, our administration and staff are back on campus and the main office is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. We are busily preparing for the start of school in August and our plan at this time is to be on campus. However, we are still developing and planning for the three potential "back to school" scenarios that we shared in May in case the situation changes throughout the summer. Click here to review the re-entry scenarios.
    • Campus buildings are undergoing the summer deep clean in preparation for August. 
    • The uniform exchange closet is open and families are welcome to come to drop-off and shop the store. 
    • Camp Crusader is opening on Monday, June 15th to serve our HCES families. Camp Director Mr. Bentley, Mr. Klekamp, Mrs. Hagen and Nurse Zorn met with camp families to review and explain the new safety protocol and measures being taken to ensure a safe camp experience for all attending. All camp counselors have attended mandatory trainings to prepare for this year's summer camp. You may read more about Camp Crusader and changes, here.
    • With the upgrade of our current situation to "Phase II", we are excited to be able to move forward with our plans for sports camps beginning next week. Coach Snowden has opened next week's Baseball and Softball camp for 2nd - 5th grade students. If you have questions or if you are interested in attending camp, please contact Ryan Snowden at rsnowden@hces.org.
    • Our Re-entryTask Force continues to meet and develop plans and protocols for the fall. Meetings have included our accreditation agencies - the Florida Council of Independent Schools, Southern Association of Independent Schools - as well as administration, healthcare members and human resource experts. More definitive information will be available later in the summer as the situation evolves and as more information and updated public health guidelines are issued.
    • Our 2019-2020 Middle School Opening Night students will be back on campus later this month for a week-long "camp" culminating in their long-awaited performance of High School Musical Jr. While the in-person performance will likely be limited to parents only, there are plans to share the musical by video to our HCES community. 
    • Middle School families can expect to see information emailed in the next couple of weeks about choosing electives for this coming school year. 
    • The summer mailing to all families will be sent on July 20th. We have extended the date so that we may provide the most up to date and current information at that time. 
    • Our admissions office is open and Nena Martinez is hosting both in-person and virtual tours and zoom chats for families interested in HCES. Although some grade levels are full, if you know of someone interested in learning more, please have them contact Nena at nmartinez@hces.org
    Thank you for being such a special part of our HCES community. During this time, flexibility and transparency are of the utmost importance to our school and we want to encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Our number one priority is to provide a strong and safe community for our entire family and we look forward to being back together. 
    Read More
  • Summer Camp 2020

    At this time, summer camp is FULL. Please contact Mr. Bentley, jbentley@hces.org if you have any questions.

    We are pleased to announce that we will be offering summer camp this year. However, there are several changes which include delaying our start date to Monday, June 15th and reducing the number of weeks available to six instead of eight. Our plan is to train our camp staff prior to this date in order to ensure that safety procedures are in place. We will be limiting camp offerings to only Holy Comforter families this year and limiting spaces available so that social distancing practices can be part of our everyday program to ensure the safety of our students and counselors. We have reduced the number of campers per counselor ratio to 9:1 and will be mapping out our physical campus in the coming weeks. Regretfully, we are unable to offer our preschool summer camp this year (available to 3 and 4 year olds) due to space restrictions and the ability to maintain social distancing. We sincerely apologize for this change. The camp will be open to rising Kindergarten through rising 5th grade families.  
    Read More
  • Fall Re-entry Scenarios

    Dear Families,
     
    We are incredibly thankful for your support, positivity and partnership during these times. We are truly so fortunate to have our HCES community, every day, but especially over these past few months. 
     
    As we look ahead we want to make you aware that we have established a re-entry task force committee that is working diligently to develop a strategy for the fall that allows for flexibility, transparency and prioritizes the health and safety of our community.
     
    We are currently preparing to welcome students back to campus in the fall of 2020, however, we recognize that with the uncertainty of COVID-19, there is the potential for changes. Our administration has developed three different re-entry approaches based on the given circumstances conveyed to us by the CDC and local health experts. Please know that these are overviews of the potential scenarios and all detailed information will be developed by the Re-entry Task Force over the summer months as we learn more. 
    Read More
  • Coffee with Klekamp Survey Recap

    We are so grateful you took the time to offer your feedback on our recent remote learning survey. We were overwhelmed with the positive feedback as we have reviewed the responses. However, we know there is always room to improve and we will continue to look through your suggestions moving forward to expand and improve upon our program. 
     
    We want to share with you a special pre-recorded edition of Coffee with Klekamp. Mrs. Hagen, Mrs. Proctor, Mrs. Vernon, Mrs. Culpepper, and I gathered via Zoom yesterday for a conversation reflecting on the results from the survey and looking towards the end of the school year. We hope you will take the time to watch. 
     
    As always, thank you for being part of our school community, and please reach out if we can be of help in any way. 
      
    Read More
  • Crusader Field Week 2020

    On Your Mark...Get Set...Play! Get Ready Crusaders, next week is Crusader Field Week! Throughout the week of May 11-14, choose from 18 different at-home challenges to compete in. Attached is the Presentation with directions, scorecard, challenge instructions and demonstration videos. Make sure to post videos of your Field Week to social media and tag @holycomforterschool and #CrusaderFieldWeek!  Good luck and have fun!!!
     
     
    Read More
  • Lower School End of Year Information

    May 2020 Lower School Information
    Schedule for Distribution of Personal Supplies/Return of Textbooks, Library Books, etc.

    May 11th - 14th
    PK3 - May 11th 9:00 - 10:00
    PK4 - May 12tth 10:30 - 11:30
    K - May 13th 9:00 - 10:00
    1st -  May 11th   Cureton (noon - 1:00)   Jewell (1:00 - 2:00)   Viana (2:00 - 3:00)
    2nd - May 12th   Bonell (noon - 1:00)   Carpenter (1:00 - 2:00)   Cavanah (2:00 - 3:00)
    3rd - May 13th   Cowart (noon - 1:00)   DeGuire (1:00 - 2:00)   Spicer (2:00 - 3:00)
    4th - May 14th   Cruse (9:00 - 10:00)   Perkins (10:00 - 11:00)   Wells (11:00 - 12:00)
    5th - May 14th   Blickenderfer (noon - 1:00)   Curtis (1:00 - 2:00)   Russell (2:00 - 3:00)

    **Summer Homework Packets, 20/21 Supply Lists, Class Photos, and Father/Daughter Dance Photos will be included in the bag with personal supplies. 

    End-of-Year Awards’ Programs
    4th Grade - May 20th at 9:00 a.m. via Zoom 
    5th Grade - May 20th at 11:00 a.m. via Zoom
     
    Yearbooks will be available this summer or early fall.
     
    Last Day of School - May 21st

    5th Grade Celebration - July 30th @ 10:00 Location TBD
     
    Read More
  • Middle School End of Year Information

    Monday, May 11
    Live-stream Middle School Chapel Service, 10:30 AM (link will be emailed that morning)

    Friday, May 15, & Monday/Tuesday, May 18 &19
    8th-grade pick up/drop off on campus

    8th-grade families will be offered individual time slots to come to campus to pick up personal items as well as drop off textbooks and other school-issued materials (6th and 7th-grade siblings may also pick up and drop off items during this time.)

    Mrs. Culpepper will be on campus to take individual pictures of 8th-graders as well as a family picture (if desired). In addition, we will be asking each student to share a favorite HC memory or two!

    Attire:  For photo purposes, 8th graders should wear their HC uniform or Baccalaureate 
    attire:           
    Boys - Khaki colored slacks or khaki-colored dress shorts and a white collared shirt. 
    Girls -  Khaki skirt or slacks with a white blouse/top, or white knee-length dress

    The sign-up and more specific details regarding pick-up and drop-off procedures will be communicated in a separate email.

    Tuesday, May 19
    7th-grade pick up/drop off on campus, 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM 
    7th graders may come to campus to pick up personal items as well as drop off textbooks and other school-issued materials. TARGET classes will be given specific time frames; students and parents are asked to pull through the front circle driveway and remain in their vehicles. Specific TARGET time frames and pick-up/drop-off procedures will be communicated in a separate email.

    Wednesday, May 20
    6th-grade pick up/drop off on campus, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    6th graders may come to campus to pick up personal items as well as drop off textbooks and other school-issued materials. TARGET classes will be given specific time frames; students and parents are asked to pull through the front circle driveway and remain in their vehicles.
    Specific TARGET time frames and pick-up/drop-off procedures will be communicated in a separate email.

    Thursday, May 21
    9 AM  Middle School Virtual Recognition Ceremony 
    All students and parents are invited to attend our online ceremony. Parents who have a student receiving recognition will be notified prior to the ceremony. 

    (TENTATIVE) Thursday, July 30
    Class of 2020 Graduation & Reception (evening)
    Read More
  • We invite you to take a Virtual Prayer Walk of the Campus of Holy Comforter Episcopal School

    Let us pray to the Lord, who is our refuge and stronghold. 
    For the health and well-being of our nation, that all who are fearful and anxious may be at peace and free from worry: Lord, hear us, Lord, graciously hear us. 
    For the isolated and housebound, that we may be alert to their needs, and care for them in their vulnerability: Lord, hear us, Lord, graciously hear us. 

    For our homes and families, our schools and young people, especially Holy Comforter School...

    Read More
  • Kindness During Distance Learning

    Last week, Mrs. McCann, our Lower School Guidance Counselor extended an activity to our students. The task was to choose at least one thing to help someone else: a chore, letter to someone in need, etc. She asked that they send a picture of them in action and the stories were heartwarming. From dishes to yard work, making the bed and helping family, our students went above and beyond! We hope this brightens your day.
    Read More
  • A Prayer from Mother Beth

    Dear Families:  Please know that I continue to pray for each of you along with my prayers for the Students, Teachers, Staff and Administration at Holy Comforter Episcopal School.  May God bless you and keep you.  May He turn his face towards you and give you peace.  In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. + Amen
     
    Keep us, good Lord,
    under the shadow of your mercy
    in this time of uncertainty and distress.
    Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
    and lift up all who are brought low;
    that we may rejoice in your comfort
    knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
    in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    Amen.
     
    Also, click here for a PDF of prayers for use with children during this time of COVID19.  These prayers have been collected by the Church of England through prayerspacesinschools.com which explains some different word usage (eg. plasters instead of bandaids) and provides tangible actions and reminders for those children who might be experiencing some fear or anxiety at this time. 
     
    Love and peace to each of you, Mother Beth 
    Read More
  • Remote Learning Day One is in the Books!

    Thank you to our families, students and most importantly our teachers for making Day 1 a success! if you have any questions, please remember to reach out to your child's teacher. We are all in this together. 

    Remote Learning Information
     
    Early Learning (PK3, PK4 and Kindergarten)
     
    In preparation for the possibility of school closure, preschool and kindergarten students brought home workbooks and other materials the Friday before Spring Break so they can continue learning from home. 
     
    The class schedule and lessons for each day will be posted by 9am on your child’s homeroom page which can be accessed by logging in to the school website. Parents and students will find a plan with clear expectations about learning from core subjects as well as special area classes. PK4 will be using Seesaw to share daily lessons.
     
    Please direct all classwork questions to your child’s teacher via email. Teachers will be available to provide answers and guidance during normal school hours, Monday through Friday, 8:15 - 2:45. You can expect a reply within an hour during this time unless notified otherwise. If you send an email outside this time, a response will be sent by 9:15am the next morning.
    Read More
Archive
Lord Jesus Christ, you taught us to love our neighbor, and to care for those in need as if we were caring for you. In this time of anxiety, give us strength to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick, and to assure the isolated of our love, and your love, for your name’s sake. Amen
 

Safety Protocols

  • Air Purification Systems placed in each classroom across campus which circulates and cleans the air multiple times per hour
  • UVGI Lights installed on air handlers to destroy virus particles
  • Electrostatic sprayer to disinfect every student desk and table at the end of each day, this includes the media center. The disinfectant kills covid and other germs in about 4 minutes and can be used on food surfaces meaning it's not toxic.
  • Hand Sanitizer Stations installed across campus
  • Self-reported temperature checks daily
  • Sanitizing of desks and frequently touched services multiple times per day, and after each student use in Middle School 
  • Individual supply kits for each student
  • Frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing
  • Masks required inside for all 1st - 8th grade students, optional and encouraged for PK3 - kindergarten

Contact Us

List of 8 items.

CDC Guidelines and Helpful Information

Health experts tell us that many of the same precautions that we take for cold and flu season are applicable to COVID-19. Therefore, the most important thing that you can do, as parents, right now is to stay informed and follow these simple steps that are similar to the types of steps that you would take in dealing with cold and flu season each year:
  • Encourage your family to engage in regular hand-washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Encourage all in your family to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. (current recommendation is to use a tissue or your elbow, not your hands when covering your nose and mouth). 
  • Also, avoid sharing food and drinks with others, including those who seem well at the moment. 
  • Please keep your child at home if he or she has a fever. Please do not send the student back to school until he or she has been fever-free (with no fever-reducing medication) for 24 hours. 
I know that all of the news lately has been alarming, but the most important thing that we can do right now is to remain calm, inform ourselves with facts, and take collective steps to prepare ourselves should the conditions warrant. Please also remember that our children take their emotional cues from us. Let's work together to monitor our children's engagement in this topic and help them understand what they may be hearing or understanding to avoid anxiety. Being prepared is not a cause for panic or stress. 
 
As always, the health, safety, and well-being of our school community remain our top priority. 
 
For your information, here are some important links that may be helpful to you and your family:
 
 

Air Purification Equipment

    • Air Scrubbers

Back to School Procedures