Bradford Academy COVID-19 Updates
- School buildings closed for the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year.
- Remote learning is in session until May 29th, the last day of school.
- Teachers are continuing to provide educational services. Our goal is to prepare all our students to advance to the next grade successfully and be well prepared to continue learning!
Previous Updates and Communication
(Most recent at the top.)
Dear Parents, I trust you are anticipating the official start of summer. Who would have guessed this year would have ended like this!? We have all been challenged, but I can’t help thinking of the blessings we have also seen during this trial. Although it has been a blessing to slow down and spend more time with the family, it has also increased my appreciation for all the special moments we share at school. It has made me tremendously thankful for our Bradford community! I am very thankful for the many kind words and encouraging notes we have received these past weeks. I am very proud of our Bradford students who have achieved some very excellent work. I am especially proud of our seniors who have suffered with grace the loss of some of the most wonderful opportunities of the high school experience. While we have been very busy helping them wrap up their thesis and defense, planning for our first graduation, and responding to the ever changing nature of this crisis, they have remained faithful, diligent, and content. My greatest regret is not seeing the smiling faces of your children over these many weeks. Please be encouraged by the reality that your perseverance will have positive results in the life of your children. We all have been challenged in our homes and our workplaces to dig deep and learn more about our dependence on Christ our Lord. He orchestrates all things for the growth and sanctification of His people and it is to Him we turn to for our future comfort and hope. For that constant reality, I am most thankful! I miss seeing you and am looking forward to your greetings on Friday. Below you will find a rather lengthy statement of our current thoughts about the upcoming 2020/2021 school year. It begins with a general summary statement followed by a few more specific policy details. After reading it carefully, please feel free to reach out to us with any remaining questions. We will update you as the summer progresses. Thank you!
While we confess the ongoing uncertainty of this current situation, Bradford Academy is moving forward with plans, Lord willing, to safely open for in person delivery of educational services in the fall according to our published calendar. That is:
- 6th -12th (Downtown Campus) August 11th
- K-5th (Main Campus) August 12th
- Transitional Kindergarten (Main Campus) August 18th
We ask for your patience as we learn more about the changing situation and how it will unfold in the coming months. In God’s providence, we are uniquely able to serve children according to Health Department recommendations without making many drastic changes to our program. For example, we already are a low density school, we frequently enjoy class time out of doors, we have a large outdoor shelter, cleaning protocols have been taught for years to the children as part of our character development program, and we do not have large indoor common areas.
With some new protocols and the implementation of recommended best practices, we believe we will be well prepared to mitigate the risks of community spread of illness. We are monitoring the information coming out of the CDC and the NC DHHS. We have also been in touch personally with the Alamance County Health Department. We are committed to implementing the most up-to-date, research-based, and relevant recommendations as possible.
Historically, Bradford Academy has not experienced the spread of some common school related issues (such as lice, etc.); however, every year we do see the sharing of seasonal colds, and sometimes flu and stomach illness. That is to say, we can mitigate risks, but we cannot eliminate risk entirely. Kids share germs. That being said, we do not advocate moving ahead with reckless abandon, nor can we agree to cower in fear of all potential hazards. Healthy children and healthy low risk families may feel the liberty to act in a way that differs from those with high risk conditions. We understand. People are responding to this situation differently.
We will respect the decisions of individuals who may not choose to participate according to the school’s plans moving forward. We understand there are families who will suggest that plans are too strict while others will argue we are not being strict enough. We will do the best that we can and ask those who disagree to extend the same love and graciousness they would hope to receive from others (See Romans chapter 14). We understand that each family must prayerfully consider their own circumstances and risk tolerance. We love you and will seek to serve your family the best we can.
It is out of our love for God and the gospel of Jesus Christ that we are determined to move forward and continue making available our robust classical and Christian program. However, it is out of our love for our neighbor that we are being mindful of the potential risks. We may not all agree how to work this out practically but be assured that the executive team has read hundreds of articles and discussed the issues ad nauseum for these past twelve weeks. We are praying and trusting that the Lord will bless our good faith effort to chart a path forward. More details below.
Current Updated Policy and Protocol Details
We are developing a specific Covid-19 related policy manual for our teachers in conjunction with other classical and Christian schools and incorporating best practices from schools that are already opening up. This is a work in progress and will be used to provide guidance as we move forward.
- Although we are planning for increased operating expenses due to this situation, we are determined to maintain our current tuition schedule which is already one of the most competitive in the region.
- Please understand that Bradford Academy has always operated on a very lean budget in order to make this education available to our community.
- Your tuition is paying the salary of our team of wonderful teachers and they have invested more hours than usual during this crisis. They are committed to continue serving Christ through the ministry of classical and Christian education. We are committed to being a wise steward of all the resources God has entrusted to us. Thank you for your ongoing love and support.
- Continuous Enrollment Contract:
- Returning families have signed a continuous enrollment contract which contains an option to exit the contract with a $500 contract termination fee.
- Due to the present Covid-19 concerns and its economic impact, Bradford Academy will waive that fee if the school is notified in writing that a child will not be attending due to circumstances related to the pandemic (i.e. personal health concerns and/or mandated lockdown orders resulting in economic hardship, job loss, etc.).
- Tuition dollars will be reimbursed according to the current stated policy:
- 100% of paid tuition will be reimbursed if a child is withdrawn before the first day of school.
- Any tuition paid above 25% of the total will be reimbursed if a child is withdrawn during the 1st quarter and before the first day of the 2nd quarter.
- Any tuition paid above 50% of the total will be reimbursed if a child is withdrawn during the 2nd quarter and before the first day of the 3rd quarter.
- Any tuition paid above 75% of the total will be reimbursed if a child is withdrawn during the 3rd quarter and before the first day of the 4th quarter.
- No tuition will be reimbursed if a child attends any day of the fourth quarter.
- The New Family Contract Fee will be forfeited if the student is withdrawn. However, if we must go into mandatory lockdown and a new family chooses to withdraw and then to re-enroll later, the fee may be forwarded to the next year if the child is subsequently enrolled.
- Un-enrolling and Re-enrolling
- Please note, if your child is un-enrolled, you are forfeiting your child’s seat and will need to enroll in another school or register as a “home school” according to the state’s mandatory attendance laws.
- Additionally, if there is a waiting list or if we receive new applications, we cannot hold your child’s seat while other families are pursuing enrollment at Bradford Academy. If your child is unenrolled and then you seek to re-enroll, we will administer an academic screening to ensure that they have kept pace with our academic standards.
- Delivering Educational Services during future lockdown events:
- If the state is again put on mandatory lockdown or stay-at-home orders, we will continue delivering services remotely for all grades. (See special note for TK below.)
- Enrolled students will be expected to continue assignments, attend online meetings, and strive for excellence.
- For Transitional Kindergarten, we are considering modifications to the program that will accommodate the uncertain situation. Because of the hands-on and social nature of the TK program and the unique amount of teacher-child engagement required, remote learning is much more difficult. Therefore, if the state mandates that we cannot deliver in-person services, we will suspend the program and credit the families for days under state-mandated stay-at-home orders.
Risk Management Protocols
These protocols will be further developed over the next two months as we review the effectiveness of practices in other schools across the country and compare the situations in foreign locations that have already loosened restrictions.
- Symptomatic Students
- All symptomatic students should remain in isolation or quarantine. We will enforce NC DHHS regulations regarding students and staff who have direct contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases or have personally been diagnosed to have the virus. In these cases, we will help the child make up any missed work.
- Each classroom will be equipped with a thermometer to quickly address concerns.
- Parents will be encouraged to be extremely vigilant in adhering to the Bradford’s sickness protocols (i.e. keep your child at home for at least 24 hours medicine free from the last sign of a raised temperature or vomiting incident, have your child seen by a doctor if symptoms persist)
- Regularly be reminded that in this situation “Loving Your Neighbor” may mean staying at home.
- Both facilities are reviewing cleaning practices and products and will be on board to assist in maintaining the best environment to mitigate the transmission of disease. I have also met with a professional building management firm to discuss additional attention as necessary.
- Signage will be installed to remind students of health expectations (e.g. Hand washing, cough in elbow, etc.)
- More time will be set aside for instruction in proper health protocols.
- Some furniture will be removed to increase open space in the classroom.
- Furniture will be arranged to maximize distancing as space allows.
- Teachers will regularly do a sanitize walk though with CDC recommended hand cleaner.
- Teachers will perform ongoing disinfection of high touch areas with approved EPA cleansers.
- Class changes will be limited:
- PE will continue outdoors, weather permitting.
- Since many music classes are combined, and large choir practices are discouraged, all music classes in the lower school for the coming year will be self contained and taught by the classroom teacher. Singing outdoors while adequately spread out will be encouraged. Upper school music will pivot towards music appreciation, history and theory.
- Schedules will be adjusted to reduce common bathroom and playground use at the lower school.
- Upper school schedules will be constructed with the goal of reduced class changes.
- Since the usefulness (and practicality) of mandatory mask wearing is still being debated among experts and practitioners, we have not decided how we will proceed.
- In the meantime, it may be worth considering acquiring four to ten reusable and washable masks for each child. If it becomes a state mandated requirement in order to open and the expectation is to have all children wear them daily, we will additionally recommend the children change them at least once throughout the day.
- Bradford will respect and support decisions parents make for their own children as long as it is not disruptive or detrimental to the learning environment.
We know this situation has been challenging and will continue to be challenging in the days ahead. We covet your prayers as we prepare for a wonderful reunion and another great Bradford school year!
04/28/20 (sent at 5:56 PM) Dear Parents, It is with a very heavy heart that I have to announce that we will not be able to re-open the school building for this 2019/2020 school year. After reviewing the governor’s phased plan to “re-open” the state, we have come to believe that even in the best case scenario we would likely only be in Phase 2 by Memorial Day. Furthermore, we believe that the required “reduced capacity” and other restrictions still in place in Phase 2 would make normal operations practically impossible for those last few days of school.Given the nature of the fourth quarter with all its extra activities that are now cancelled, we have further decided to make Friday, May 29th the last day of school for remote learning. We understand that this puts a little more pressure on the Upper School students, but those teachers will be adjusting assignments and due dates accordingly. We will still complete report cards electronically for June 5th and you will have access to them through your Educate account. We will continue to provide educational services and still expect all our students to continue growing and learning. We understand there is a wide variety of circumstances and challenges among our families. Our teachers have the liberty to make specific accommodations for their individual students; however, we are counting on the strength of character of our Bradford students to continue striving and persevering during this difficult time. We are all tired. Press on, your child’s education is worth it! Our teachers will continue working full time to make your child’s experience the very best possible in the given circumstances. Thank-you for your perseverance in these difficult days. I have been constantly reminded of this quote from C.S. Lewis: “If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.” Be strengthened by the knowledge that God is in control of this and that He is wise, and good, and just, merciful, and Holy. I miss seeing you.
Dear Parents, Well, that changed quickly… If you saw my most recent email (sent at 3:30 today 03/27), PLEASE DISREGARD. I have to update it now. Governor Roy Cooper just announced a new “Stay At Home” executive order for the State of North Carolina. This order requires all families to stay at home except for essential services starting at 5PM on Monday. We have decided to make books and materials for our students available for pick-up on SUNDAY from 1PM to 5PM and MONDAY from 7 AM to noon. Please enter the MAIN CAMPUS parking lot as you would for drop off and pick up (driveway farthest from the building) and follow the cones through the carpool line and under the carport. You will not need to get out of your car. If you have your yellow card visible that should help. If you are already in an area with a stay at home order, leaving your home to pick up materials for remote learning is considered “essential”( see Section 2, Paragraph 17, “Educational institutions… for the purpose of facilitating remote learning”). However, we thought it best to get as much material into your hand before Monday at 5PM.
03/27/20 (sent at 3:30 PM) Dear Parents, I am continuing to pray for our Bradford family. We are completing our first week of remote learning, and I think it has gone well. Students who have been working hard should be commended! We appreciate all the feedback and have begun to adjust the workload and our delivery. Our teachers are working hard to continue the learning process. Our goal is to make sure our students lock in the essentials and continue to move towards being prepared for the next grade. Our TK-5th grade teachers are currently preparing packets of work for the weeks of April 6th to the 17th. (You already received work for March 30th to April 3rd before the break.) In order for you to get the new work, we will set up a drive through pick up on ———————-. The times open for pick-up are:
I trust you are safe and well. We will continue to send updates as we can. I’ve inserted some very useful and informative links below. Local Websites with links to helpful information: Burlington, Graham, Mebane (Scroll down to the Community Spotlight), Hillsborough. Useful information from the State government: General information regarding state services: https://www.nc211.org/, What businesses can do. and programs to help your business, Childcare help for critical workers? Help for restaurant workers: North Carolina Restaurant Workers Relief Act, Unemployment due to this crisis. Our Congressman Mark Walker has some useful information on his website: General Information & For small businesses. Also, don’t forget that this is the year for our NATIONAL CENSUS. It is important that everyone is counted, so be sure to submit your census form by April1st. More information?
03/24/20 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. Psalm 138:7 Dear Parents, Bradford Academy’s Board of Directors just concluded a meeting and voted to keep the school closed until Friday, April 17th because of the Health Departments continued recommendations for social distancing. This is the week after our scheduled Easter break. We understand that this situation has created significant challenges for our entire community, but we are certain that we can overcome. As that April date approaches, we will reassess the situation and make further decisions about the rest of the school year. Our goals right now are to continue to engage our students the best that we can using the various means available. We are very thankful that God has providentially put us in a time and place with technology that has allowed us to mitigate some of the negative effects of this situation. Your child’s education is precious, and so your teachers are working harder than ever to make sure the learning process continues. If you or your child have not made contact with a teacher, please do so immediately so they do not fall behind. We are sensitive to the variety of situations our families face and we will make adjustments as we move forward. I invite you to pass along constructive feedback to your child’s instructors and ideas that would benefit us all. We are in this together. I discovered yesterday that there is a wealth of information for citizens of North Carolina at NC211.org for responding to this crisis. We have several families who own restaurants in the area who have already begun to feel the effects of these closures. We can help to support them by getting take-out if you are able. The restaurants are: Sake, Stir King, Sakura, Tokyo Express (Hillsborough) and Reed’s Coffee. Be sure to call ahead as this situation is always evolving! Also, please let us know how we can pray for you. Romans 8:31-32 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Stay well, and stay in touch. Pray for our medical workers!
03/20/20 Dear Parents, I hope that in the midst of these troubled times, you have been able to enjoy some special activities with your family. As a reminder, we plan to remain closed for the upcoming week. I have asked all our teachers to be in touch with you by noon of Monday, March 23rd. They will give you further instructions and learning opportunities to continue the learning process next week. They are available to help. I am working on a Parent Resource webpage that should be available tomorrow. I’ll send that link as soon as I can. As you make plans for next week, please consider creating a structured environment for your children to help them continue learning. I think it is very important to create and hold to a written schedule… here are a couple sample ideas: Mommy Blog & Khan Academy . Note that both of these samples do not include time for personal and family prayer and bible reading which I believe is especially important. Stay well and watch for more updates in the days ahead. I’m praying for the Bradford community. Psalm 141:8 But my eyes are upon You, O GOD the Lord; in You I take refuge.
03/16/20 To our Bradford Community, As you have likely already anticipated, Bradford Academy will heed the counsel of our local health officials and heed the call to accommodate social distancing in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Bradford Academy will remain closed after our break for at least one week (March 23rd-27th) possibly more. We will send an update at the end of this week when we get more information and news. Our teachers will be working from home starting next Monday (March 23rd) and will send communications then. We hope you are able to enjoy a little bit of a break this week despite this unique and challenging situation. Continue to pray for each other.
03/12/20 Dear Parents, We are constantly monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. Unfortunately, there is so much misinformation that it has been hard to formulate an appropriate response strategy. For now, we are planning to continue classes as usual after the break. The local health department has not said anything about local school closings at this time. However, please recognize that this is a constantly changing situation. We are taking some proactive measures now that will help us respond quickly IF the concern escalates. Please read the attached PDF. A hard copy of this letter will be sent home today. In summary, we are sending books and worksheets home with the students tomorrow, BUT it is NOT HOMEWORK. The packets do not even need to be opened until given further instructions. Please return ALL materials on Monday, March 23rd if we resume school as scheduled. If the situation calls for school closings we just wanted to make sure our students have material to work on after the break. We will keep you updated. Continue to pray.