THE SCHOOLS OF MCKEEL ACADEMY

REOPENING PLANS FOR 2020-2021

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The Schools of McKeel Academy announces two options for reopening.

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COVID-19 UPDATES

  • July 3
    The Schools of McKeel Academy announces two options for reopening

    We are happy to announce our school reopening plans. We will offer two options for students K-12, McKeel Traditional and McKeel Virtual, with both to begin on Thursday, August 6, 2020. Information surrounding our PreK program is still in review with governing authorities; information to follow soon.

    TSMA is committed to executing mitigation protocols that are feasibly enforceable across each of our campuses as we work to ensure the overall health and safety of our entire school community. We believe that providing a traditional learning path along with a virtual learning path provides you with a choice that may best suit your needs during these most challenging of times, without compromising the premier and innovative education you have come to know, expect and trust with TSMA. Primary contacts should look for an email on July 3 to register their student(s) by July 10. Decisions to participate in McKeel Traditional or McKeel Virtual may be made on a semester basis.

    Whether your selection is to return traditionally or virtually, we very much look forward to welcoming everyone back in August and wish each of you good health now and in the future.

    • Learn more about McKeel Traditional

      This model represents a return to the designated school campus where students will interact daily with their teacher(s) and classmates. The school day will follow the standard bell times and standard schedule that includes all core classes and other subject areas. In short, it represents a return to the traditional school environment – with several significant changes involving enhanced health and safety precautions. The goal is to create an environment that provides an opportunity for students to return to the traditional school experience, while providing effective safeguards to protect the health and safety of students and staff.

      Attendance - In person attendance is important and conducive to learning. TSMA will work with families whose student may contract COVID-19 and will develop a comprehensive care plan for returning to school.

      Learn more about our guiding principles by tapping a heading below.

      • Bus Transportation

        Face coverings can be an important mitigation tool for individuals and families when not able to maintain social distancing for activities such as riding a bus. TSMA highly recommends students wear a face covering/mask while riding a school bus.

        TSMA will disinfect school busses between routes and at the end of each school day.

      • Arrival/Dismissal

        Hand sanitizer stations will be set up at the entrance of each campus for students to sanitize their hands before they enter the campus. To decrease congregating in one location students will be encouraged to practice social distancing. Individual schools will have a plan to space students out.

        MAC Preschool parents are the only parents allowed to walk up to the campus to drop off and pick up their Preschool student and siblings of the Preschool student.

      • Food Service/Cafeteria

        TSMA cafeteria seating will resume at 50% capacity. The remaining 50% of students being served during their designated lunchtime will eat in their classroom or utilize outdoor space. The individual campuses will share school specific plans. TSMA will enhance the cleaning of surfaces between service times. TSMA will prohibit foodsharing activities.

      • Health & Safety Measures

        Health Screenings - Health screenings will be conducted regularly for individuals on TSMA property. Parents/guardians should conduct their own screenings at home each morning before the school day and must keep their child home if ill. All staff will perform a symptom self screen prior to leaving for work and will stay home if ill. Temperature checks are not mandated and therefore will not be conducted on or by TSMA staff or students as an initial screening method. Instead, wellness check questions will be used for staff and students. Wellness check questions:

        • Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
        • Have you had a fever (100.4° or higher) or felt feverish in the last 72 hours?
        • Are you experiencing any new respiratory symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath?
        • Are you experiencing any new muscle aches or chills?
        • Have you experienced any new change in your sense of taste or smell?

        Sick Individuals - Sick individuals will be refused entry into schools or buildings to reduce the risk of contamination. Employees presenting with sickness, symptoms or answering yes to any of the screening questions shall not be permitted to enter facilities. Parent/guardians presenting with sickness symptoms shall be denied entry into facilities. Students who show symptoms of sickness shall immediately be placed in a predetermined isolation area until they can be taken home.

        Should the school receive confirmation that a person infected with COVID-19 was in a school building, the school will contact the health department immediately and follow their guidance.

        Face Coverings - TSMA highly recommends the usage of face coverings. Students and staff should always have a mask with them in case their use is required (transported in a school vehicle, if an individual becomes symptomatic, before and after school, and during class changes.)

        Directional Traffic Flow - Directional hallway traffic will be implemented whenever possible.

        Classrooms - When feasible, classrooms will be arranged so that all desks face the same direction. Students will not share supplies. Supplies should be kept in an individual student container.

        Cleaning - TSMA will educate stakeholders on COVID cleaning standards through posted signage, videos and comprehensive training on best methods to protect students, families and staff. Education campaigns will include methods, frequency of cleaning, classroom protocols, and staff efforts to reduce risk, hand washing/sanitizing and physical distancing expectations.

        Cleaning protocols and chemical handling are intended for employee use only and will be provided to all facilities. Cleaning/disinfecting will take place on all high touch areas throughout each school day.

        Hand sanitizer will be made available in all schools, facilities and busses. Since proper hand sanitizing will disinfect germs present on a dispenser, touch-less sanitizer dispensers should not be necessary. The presence of sanitizer shall be prioritized over the dispenser type.

        Good Hygiene Practices -

        • Hand Washing (at least 20 seconds)
        • Cover coughs and sneezes with a flexed elbow or tissue (wash hands afterwards)
        • Stay home when ill
        • Teach and model creating space and avoiding unnecessary touching
        • Avoid touching face, eyes, mouth, or nose
        • Do not share water bottles or food with others
        • Use hand sanitizer upon entry and exiting classroom
        • Face coverings - How to properly fit, wear, and handle a mask
        • Encourage students to create appropriate hand signals to replace shaking hands, hugging, or giving high fives

        Drinking fountains will be sanitized daily but staff and students are encouraged to bring their own water bottle to minimize the use and touching of water fountains. Water bottles must be labeled with student name.

        Visitors - TSMA will minimize and/or eliminate the need for people to be in the school building other than necessary stakeholders. Lunch visitors are prohibited until further notice.

        Recess - Recess times will be staggered and teachers will encourage games that limit physical contact. High touch areas on playground equipment will disinfected between the uses of each class.

        Physical Education Class - Students will disinfect their hands coming in and out of PE class. PE equipment will be disinfected frequently and teachers will limit equipment when possible.

        MAT students will not be required to dress out as a means to minimize time in the locker room.

        Lockers - MAT students will not utilize lockers located in hallways.

      • EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES/MEETINGS

        Sports - TSMA will seek guidance from the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA), the CDC and local health department as it relates to sports activities.

        Field Trips - Student travel will be handled on a case-by-case basis. TSMA will seek guidance from the CDC and the local health department guidelines for travel.

        Meetings - Meetings and gatherings shall be conducted electronically whenever possible.

        Student Functions - Student functions shall follow CDC and health department guidance. No school functions shall be scheduled or held without approval of the Director of Schools in conjunction with the regulatory agencies.

        Cat Care - TSMA is currently gathering information for our before and after school program and will provide that information in the upcoming weeks.

    • Learn more about McKeel Virtual

      This full time virtual school experience is ideal for students who wish to have more control over their learning path and pace and for whom a flexible daily schedule is important. In this learning model, students often work on assignments during hours that work best for the student. The student maintains contact with their McKeel teacher(s) using web-based class sessions, email, and phone calls. Students MUST participate in all required state assessments and meet the deadlines for assignments. Attendance will be taken weekly.


    NOTE: TSMA reopening plans and guiding principles have been prepared in consultation and coordination with the Florida Department of Health, Florida Department of Education, Florida Charter Schools Consortium and the CDC by members of our McKeel task force, which includes the director of schools, assistant directors, principals and department heads. Further note, guidelines that steer the school reopen plan are subject to revision and change at any time amidst the evolving nature of the pandemic. Click here to view the full TSMA reopening plan and guiding principles.

  • May 14
    The Schools of McKeel Academy thanks you

    The Schools of McKeel Academy thanks you, our students and families for your partnership, flexibility and adaptability as we embarked upon distance learning during this last quarter of school. As we close out the school year please continue to stay connected and frequently visit your respective school websites and social media platforms for information surrounding end of school year activities, graduation details, new student enrollment information and much more. Amidst these times of uncertainty we know you have questions about the face of education and the safety of your children returning to school. We are working hard to devise plans and will share information in the coming months in anticipation of returning to school in August. We wish you and your families a safe and healthy summer. See you soon!

    View the 2020-2021 School Calendar
  • April 18
    Distance learning for the remainder of the school year

    The Schools of McKeel Academy will continue with distance learning for the remainder of the school year in accordance with today’s announcement from Governor DeSantis. Please continue to visit mckeelcommunity.com & our social media platforms for further updates.

  • April 9
    Lunch Distribution Service Changes

    Available to all students of The Schools of McKeel Academy (TSMA), Polk County Public School (PCPS) lunch distribution service and sites will be implementing changes beginning Monday, April 13. Click here to learn more.

  • Older Updates
    Older Updates

    We have compiled a list of our older updates into an archive. They can be viewed by clicking the View Archive button below.

Distance Learning @ McKeel

Continue reading for information regarding Distance Support, tips on Distance Learning, Canvas & Zoom, and Internet Service options.

Distance Support

With Distance Learning comes the need for Distance Support. To best serve our students and families, we're launching a new support portal as a single point of entry for all of your Distance Learning support needs.

McKeel Devices is your destination for help with broken iPads, Apps, and your Wildcat Accounts. Our support teams are ready to help you!

Parents, you may sign-in with the same account that you use to access your child's grades and can report issues on their behalf. A member of the appropriate support team will respond to you about the issue in a timely manner, so keep an eye on your email in case additional information is needed.

Students may also report and handle their own issues by signing-in with their McKeel account.

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Distance Learning tips for our students and families

Please view the included documents for tips geared towards both students & families. Additional information on Canvas & Zoom is also available.

Internet Service Options

Comcast is offering free access to its Xfinity Wi-Fi hot spots for everyone, including non-subscribers, for the next 60 days. It is also providing unlimited data to its customers for no extra charge and is not disconnecting internet service or charging late fees for customers who say they can't pay their bills. The company is also offering 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service to qualifying low-income households. The service is normally $9.95/month.

Comcast has two dedicated phone numbers: (855) 846-8376 for English and (855) 765-6995 for Spanish. To view the Comcast "Get Two Months of Internet Free" flyer displayed on the Broward County Schools website, click here. This information is relevant to families throughout Florida.

AT&T is also providing free access to its public Wi-Fi hot spots. Consumer home internet wireline customers and fixed wireless internet customers will also receive unlimited data. AT&T will continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through the Access from AT&T program.

Charter Communications, the parent company of Spectrum, is offering free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to families with K-12 students or college students who do not already have a Spectrum subscription. The company is also waiving its installation fees for new subscribers and will open Wi-Fi hotspots across the county for public use. To enroll, call (844) 488-8395.

If none of the above Internet Service Providers is in your area, please email craigblack@mckeelschools.com for additional support.

The provided information does not serve as an endorsement from The Schools of McKeel Academy, Inc.

Wellness & Self Care

  • Our Message

    Daily Quarantine Questions

    We understand this can be a period that offers adversity, creates stress, generates loss of perspective and/or depletes one’s personal strength.

    Asking ourselves what result we want to create (given the current events) helps us to re-create a larger perspective, reduce our stress, increase our energy and find meaning in what is important to us.

    Questions to reflect on and ask ourselves daily during unsettling times:

    • What am I Grateful for today?
    • Who am I Checking In On or Connecting With today?
    • What expectations of "normal" am I Letting Go Of today?
    • How am I Getting Outside today?
    • How am I Moving My Body today?
    • What Beauty am I either creating, cultivating or inviting in today?
    • What Opportunities am I taking during this time of adversity?

    McKeel Mental Health Facilitator, Angie Mudge, LMHC

  • Resources
    • A handout released by the National Assocation of School Psychologists regarding talking to children about COVID-19
    • A message from Peace River Center's CEO
    • Crisis Management Institute releases new content regularly. Topics include attitude, anxiety, coping, empowerment, filling time, and distinguising fact from hype.
    • Virtual MindPeace Rooms to learn about mindfulness techniques to calm the body, free the mind and bring inner peace.
    • Additional compiled resources
  • Disclaimer

    The apps, games, websites, & resources listed on this site are not endorsements. We have not read or thoroughly reviewed all of apps, games, websites, and resources. We take no responsibility for the consequences of any action one might take based upon reading any of the documents/resources or using any of the apps. If an individual believes a child has a need for professional support, we recommend seeking the help of a licensed health care or mental health care professional.

    We shall not be liable to the users of this site or to its listed participants for the content, quality, performance or other aspect of any information provided. We are also not responsible to any person for any damages arising in any manner out of the use of this site. The users and participants acknowledge that they assume all risk and/or responsibility for any loss or damage arising from the uses to which this site is put.

    We shall not be held liable in any way, shape, or form for the misuse or abuse of this site by any user or participant.

Useful Resources

Use these additional resources to keep the most up to date with COVID-19 and how it may impact Florida K-12 schools.

Florida Department of Education

fldoe.org

Florida Department of Health

floridahealth.gov

Polk County Health Department

polk.floridahealth.gov

Centers for Disease Control

cdc.gov
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Lunches from PCPS

FREE FOR ANY CHILD UNDER 18

Please visit the PCPS website to find the nearest serving location to you.

LUNCH PICKUP locations