SKY Academy Week Four Update

Dear SKY Family,

I wanted to provide everyone with a four-week update on the start of our school year.

•    We have had zero confirmed COVID positive tests thus far this school year.  We have sent a few students home with symptoms such as headaches or upset stomachs, but none of these instances turned out to be anything more than the child just not feeling well.  I think that our safety precautions, cleaning, mask wearing, and adherence to best practices is proving to be successful.  Either that or we have just been lucky so far.  Regardless, we are very pleased with how the start of the school year has gone.  We have created a COVID dashboard on our school website for those wanting to look at our numbers. and then just click on updates in the upper right corner.

•    Our plan from the start of school to create a separate schedule for remote students and to not have teachers teach both in person and remote students at the same time is working very well.  We feel that this is the best plan and will lead to the greatest level of success.  As we look around at surrounding schools, they are beginning to adopt the same plan as us, which tells us that it is working.

•    In the past two weeks we have seen an increase in remote students returning to in person learning.  Their transition has been easy, and they are being successful in the classroom.  There is no doubt that in person instruction for some students leads to a greater level of success.  If you are a remote student and are ready to return just give us a call and we will happily setup a time to facilitate the transition.

•    Sarasota County Schools has decided to add two more teacher professional days to our fall calendar (pending school board approval).  October 12 and November 18 will now be professional development days, which means that school will be closed for students these two days.  We follow the Sarasota County Schools calendar.  These will be valuable days for teacher planning.

•    There is a new term out there that I rather like, its “netiquette.”  Teachers across Florida are seeing an increase in distractions that are competing with remote classroom instruction.  At SKY, we are seeing the same thing.  Music playing in the background, cell phone usage, eating during class, lying in bed, draping blankets over their heads, helping with chores around the house during class, or babysitting siblings, etc….   All of these are inappropriate activities to be taking place during classroom instruction.  Students would not be doing this if they were in the school building, so they should not be doing this at home during remote instruction.

•    We are also going to ask parents to please stop sitting with your child during remote class instruction.  This is your child’s time to learn and to participate in Middle School.  Please provide your student with a quiet place to do their work, and then just leave them alone so that they can find success on their own.  Once again, if you would not be doing this at school, we ask that you not do this at home during school hours.  Lastly, we are going to kindly ask that everyone be dressed during school hours.  There have been some instances of family members walking behind a student while they are working without being fully clothed.  This is viewable by all members of the school logged into that class.  This is not appropriate and creates a distraction in the classroom.

•    This is an exciting time for SKY Academy.  Our first baseball game is this afternoon.  Tennis and Golf have started practicing, and cross-country tryouts begin on Monday.  It is wonderful to have some normalcy during these times.  Remote students can participate in after school sports, they just need to be provided transportation to practice.

•    On October 6th, the Sarasota County School Board will be voting on whether to allow mini mask breaks in the classroom.  We are watching this discussion and vote closely and will adhere to the plan that the school district develops.  More to come on this once it’s been finalized.

•    Stay up to date with what is happening at school by following us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Pictures are posted on a regular basis.  Share with your friends and encourage them to check us out.  We still have room for a few more students and we would love to welcome more to our SKY family.

Thank you for your support of SKY Academy Englewood.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  [email protected]

John Bailey