Message from the Head of School

Subject: Reopening Cass Street 

Thank you students, families, employees, alumni and the great Prep community for your support, patience, kindness, resilience and efforts. It has made all the difference and I am personally grateful.

We are excited for our students, both returning and new, to begin school in August. I am pleased to share with you our preparations for the opening of school and our class schedule. This message breaks from the Head’s Messages you have been receiving as it is the most substantive communication about the resumption of school to date. 

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. We saw a need that needed to be filled, and we stepped in to help.” — Benet Wilson

You are probably more familiar with the first part of the quote from Benet Wilson, but it is the last half of the quote that is incredibly important: “We saw a need that needed to be filled, and we stepped in to help.” 

As schools across the country prepare to welcome their students back, the needs we see are a commitment to the health and safety of students, employees and families in the midst of a public health pandemic combined with a commitment to continue to deliver the finest education for our students. We “step in” to bring together two of the most pressing needs of the moment in a manner that makes sense, demonstrates an unwavering commitment to both, and gets our community through this complex time. Our goal is to resume instruction safely and to reignite the extraordinary combination of daily experiences that bring joy, engagement and fulfillment to our students and faculty. 

OUR REOPENING PLAN

Our reopening plan, focused on the health and safety of our community and the resumption of in-person education, endeavors to meet the most needs possible understanding that, under the current conditions, we may be unable to meet the individual needs of all. We acknowledge that there will be unique circumstances, and we will do all that we can to meet them, and yet there will be circumstances we are unable to meet as well. 

Our plan also recognizes the social-emotional development of needs of children to be together, grow together and learn together. The intersection of students and teachers in a classroom is fundamental to exploration of knowledge. That being said, to provide for the health and safety of our community, it is paramount that we also understand and work through the necessary limitations of social distancing, wearing masks, hand hygiene, space cleanliness and monitoring the health and wellness of our community members. The changes to our program and campus protocols will enhance our sense of community and connection, provide opportunities for independent work (this in response to feedback from students), and lessen the intensity and regularity of screen time.  

The modifications to our daily schedule will provide opportunities for deeper learning, as well as a smooth transition to full remote teaching and learning should a stay-at-home order be issued in the future. Our chosen model features “blocks” that allow for focused academic exploration with longer class periods while reducing the number of courses underway at the same time to strengthen our shared educational journey. The grouping structure embedded in the schedule also limits the potential exposures a student has each day while creating new opportunities for teaching and learning.

The measure of this plan, its efficacy and effectiveness, will come through many lenses: personal, professional, and compare and contrast. That is expected, understandable and welcomed. There will be plans published by peer schools that have components we respect, admire and may even agree with, but are not being implemented at Prep, and that is a good thing. I will continue to respect the independence of schools and districts to use what’s best for their communities, just as we are doing for ours. 

You will have a first impression, and may have questions as you process the information being presented to you now. I also encourage you to give yourself the gift of reflection on the intersecting goals of health, safety and education. After research, study and good old-fashioned hard work and grit, this plan guides our school into a combination of on-campus and remote learning–a hybrid. In doing so, we are able to have students regularly attend school on campus, provide enough space for social distancing and provide for the social-emotional developmental needs of our students.

Below is a short list of just a few of the things that we are working hard to define, establish and share with the community over the next several weeks: 

  • Our “return to play” plan for athletics 
  • A healthy structure and format for performing arts and PE classes 
  • Specific protocols to physically distance students during lunch 
  • How to conduct events such as New Parent Shindig and TPPA socials and gatherings 
  • Ways to sustain our students’ learning should they become sick 
  • Whether any changes will need to be made to drop-off and pick-up procedures 
  • Our policy around exams and other assessments

Thank you for your continued support of Tampa Prep. We cannot wait to be with you when school resumes.

Sincerely,

Kevin Plummer's signature, Head of Tampa Prep School

Kevin M. Plummer

HOW WE GOT HERE

NOTE: This campus reopening plan is a living document. We will continue to monitor this pandemic and update protocols as necessary.

Our reopening plan is the byproduct of the work from our Opening Task Force, our partnership with TPRO (Tampa General Hospital and the University of South Florida School of Medicine), and advice from experts in the fields of epidemiology, public health, medicine and fellow respected national and international educators. 

This plan is the first step on our journey toward the future, until the day we can all be on campus at the same time. We wanted to be as clear as possible with our intent as soon as possible, to allow our teachers and families to plan and prepare for the school year. That being said, there remain significant details to work through. There will be additional communications throughout the remainder of the summer.

COVID Campus Protocols

NOTE: This campus reopening plan is a living document. We will continue to monitor this pandemic and update protocols as necessary.

Tampa Prep has worked diligently to develop a reentry strategy that prioritizes the health and safety of our community and allows for flexibility and transparency. Our reopening plan is designed so that we can accommodate and respond to changing circumstances.

It should be noted that our reopening is not a return to pre-pandemic normal. We must all consistently do our part to reduce individual and community risk of the spread of COVID-19. Our reopening and continued on-campus operations rely on the following actions:

  • wearing face masks and physical distancing
  • practicing proper hand hygiene and cleaning protocols
  • following illness protocols: staying home if you are sick or instructed to isolate/quarantine

COVID icons

DAILY HEALTH SCREENINGS

The daily Magnus app health questionnaire must be completed by all students scheduled to be on campus on that day prior to coming to campus. The deadline for submission is 7:45 a.m. daily. More details will be sent the week of August 10.

DROP OFF, PICK UP AND OUTSIDE VISITORS

DROP OFF PROCEDURES (view map below)

by 7:45 a.m. | COMPLETE DAILY HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE IN MAGNUS APP 

The daily Magnus app health questionnaire must be completed by all faculty, staff and students scheduled to be on campus on that day prior to coming to campus. The deadline for submission is 7:45 a.m. daily.

TEMPERATURE PROTOCOLS FOR ALL

  • As you approach a check-in point, please ensure you are properly wearing your mask for the temperature-takers. Middle School students being dropped off by parents should have their mask on in the car for when they are greeted by a temperature-taker as they exit the vehicle.
  • Temperature readings below 96° F will require a retake. A temperature above 100° F will be retaken one time. If the temperature is still over 100° F, the student (or faculty/staff member) will be sent home. If the student was dropped off and the parent has already left, the student will be asked to move to a private waiting area set up in the north end of the gym lobby until the student’s parent returns to school to pick him/her up.
  • If there is a line, please remain at least 6 feet from the person in front of you.

8:15 – 8:50 a.m. | MIDDLE SCHOOL ARRIVAL – 5 temperature takers

We are asking all Tampa Prep families, please do not drop your student(s) off prior to 8:15 a.m. If this is a hardship for you as a family, please reach out to Kim Souza, ksouza@tampaprep.org to make other arrangements.

Middle School families should enter through the Cypress Street gate and proceed to the motor court.

  • There will be four (4) staff/faculty temperature takers meeting the cars as they pull around the circle to take temperatures as students exit their vehicle. Students must have a mask on prior to their temperature being taken.
  • There will be one (1) additional temperature check-in table at the entrance to the 6th grade hub for all middle school students who walk in from any of the parking lots.
  • All Middle School students should enter the classroom building through the 6th grade hub entrance and move directly to their first period classroom.
  • Students arriving after 8:50 a.m. will proceed to Betsy Zollinger at the Health Desk for temperature screening.

8:15 – 8:50 a.m. | UPPER SCHOOL ARRIVAL – 7 temperature takers

We are asking all Tampa Prep families, please do not drop your student(s) off prior to 8:15 a.m. If this is a hardship for you as a family please reach out to Kristy Steel, ksteel@tampaprep.org to make other arrangements.

Student drivers, please do not arrive prior to 8:15 a.m. Seniors should enter through the Cass Street gate and park in the senior lot. Underclass students should park in the junior lot on the north side of school in the Julian B. Lane parking adjacent to campus. Upon arrival, students should proceed directly to the school building.

Upper School families please enter through the Cass Street gate. Upper School students should walk directly to an Upper School check-in table. There will be a total of 5 check-in tables and 7 temperature takers available to Upper School students:

  • the south door to the gym lobby (1 temperature taker)
  • US lobby door (2 temperature takers)
  • the US stairwell door (1 temperature taker)
  • and 2 stations at the Student Center doors (3 temperature takers).

As you enter into the buildings, please move directly to your first period classroom. Students arriving after 8:50 a.m. will proceed to Betsy Zollinger at the Health Desk for temperature screening.

PICK UP PROCEDURES (view map below)

In keeping with our goal of maintaining a healthy and safe environment for our students and employees, we ask that students only remain on campus outside of the school day if they have an activity such as extra help or a club meeting and, in most cases, no later than 4:30 p.m. If this is a hardship for you as a family, please reach out to Kim Souza, ksouza@tampaprep.org (for MS) or Kristy Steel, ksteel@tampapprep.org (for US) to share this information.

The majority of students will follow a staggered dismissal procedure, with all students remaining in their 7th period class until their scheduled dismissal time. NOTE: Siblings may be dismissed with their oldest brother or sister. Carpools with children from multiple grades should coordinate a pickup time with parents via text message and remain in their classroom until arranged pickup time. 

  • 2:30 p.m. | Students who have a 7th period study hall and were not planning on staying for extra help are encouraged to leave with parental permission at 2:30 p.m., but must still sign out with Mrs. Betsy Zollinger. Parents may email Mrs. Zollinger at the beginning of the Quarter with blanket permission to release their child daily at this time, or may email for individual days.
  • 3:30 p.m. | Students who drove themselves to school, as well as 8th, 11th and 12th grade students, will be permitted to exit their classroom and proceed directly out of the building;
  • 3:40 p.m. | 7th and 10th grade students will be permitted to exit their classroom and proceed directly out of the building;
  • 3:50 p.m. | 6th and 9th grade students will be permitted to exit their classroom and proceed directly out of the building.
  • 3:30 – 4:15 p.m. | Students may stay to get extra help with a teacher, but must be picked up or leave campus no later than 4:30 p.m.

We appreciate your cooperation in having all students off campus by 4:30 p.m. unless involved in an extracurricular activity that ends later. All students should wear their mask until safely in a vehicle. Please use the same pick up location where you dropped off.

  • MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS should be picked up using the Cypress Street entrance, and follow directions for the carline to the motor court circle. They should proceed outside the main gates and remain near the front traffic circle and the north end of the gym, and maintain 6 feet physical distance while waiting for their ride.
  • UPPER SCHOOL STUDENTS should be picked up using the Cass Street entrance and follow directions for the carline through the faculty lot. They should proceed outside the main gates and remain near the far/south end of the gym, outdoor basketball court area and pool deck and maintain 6 feet physical distance while waiting for their ride.

Faculty and staff will be onsite in the outside area, courtyard, student center, gym lobby and other high traffic areas to ensure all students are following appropriate mask and physical distancing protocols.

OUTSIDE VISITORS & VENDORS

It is critical to minimize the number of people on campus. Only essential and scheduled visitors will be allowed on campus. All visitors will need to answer our health screening questionnaire, will have their temperature taken at the front desk and will be required to wear a mask.  Disposable masks will be provided, if needed. In order to maintain our occupancy limits, the following policies will need to be put in place: 

  • Parents will not be allowed on campus for unscheduled appointments or events until further notice.
  • Admissions visitors will follow the same protocols above and will be asked to socially distance in our Mitchell Lobby until greeted by an Admissions officer.
  • Food deliveries will not be allowed from outside vendors or parents, other than Evos. View the Evos ordering details.

DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP MAP

Tampa Prep COVID drop off and pick up map

FACE MASKS & PHYSICAL DISTANCING

MASKS

  • Masks should be properly fitted and worn at all times when on campus, except when eating/drinking. Masks should be worn by everyone on bus transportation. When unmasked, students will be reminded to be even more vigilant about staying physically distanced from others.
  • Although students will receive three, two-ply, Tampa Prep-branded, washable masks at the start of the school year, they may also wear their own masks provided that it fits these quality expectations:  
    • fully covers nose and mouth;
    • fits snugly but comfortably against the side of your face;
    • is secured with properly fastened ties or ear loops; 
    • is made of breathable material, either disposable or reusable. 
  • Bandanas, one-ply gaiters and masks with valves are not acceptable face coverings. In addition, face shields will not replace masks but may be worn in addition to a face mask that meets the above guidelines. 
  • A small allotment of masks will be for sale in the campus store.
  • Disposable masks will be provided for campus visitors.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING

  • Floor markers will indicate appropriate distancing when standing in line at any desk or check-in area.
  • Signs throughout campus will remind people to stand at least 6’ apart.
  • Please honor the signs that designate hallways, door ways and stairways as one-way.

HAND HYGIENE & CLEANING PROTOCOLS

Hand Hygiene

CDC recommendations regarding hand hygiene are as follows:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or before eating / drinking and after using the restroom.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Cleaning Protocols

Our custodial staff have been trained and are following the CDC Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfecting our facilities. Specifically, the team is cleaning surfaces with detergent and then EPA registered household disinfectant. Routine cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces such as desks will occur daily. Cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as railings, doorknobs and restroom surfaces will occur more often throughout the day.

ILLNESS PROTOCOLS

NOTE:  This campus reopening plan is a living document. We will continue to monitor this pandemic and update protocols as necessary. In addition, it is next to impossible to identify every possible scenario, and there will be uniqueness in many circumstances. Let the following be a general guide for community expectations. 

QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION PROTOCOLS 

If you or anyone in your household has tested positive . . .

Or if you or anyone in your household has had symptoms . . .

Or if you believe you have had masked or unmasked contact within 6 feet for 15 or minutes or more with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive . . .

Please inform Mrs. Betsy Zollinger and follow these guidelines:

  • If you have had close contact with someone with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, including anyone in your household, please stay home and quarantine for 14 days after exposure. This is because symptoms can take 2-14 days to develop. While in quarantine, you must stay home, separate yourself from others, monitor your health and follow directions from your healthcare provider. You should not get a test until a minimum of four days after exposure as it will not be accurate, according to our partners at TPRO. 
  • If you have symptoms, you should answer the Magnus health screening questionnaire honestly and accurately and stay home if you get a red Stop sign. You should then consult with your healthcare provider. S/he knows your health history and can determine if your illness is COVID-related and direct you to whether you should be tested. You may return to school when you no longer have symptoms and when your healthcare provider instructs you that it is safe.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you should isolate entirely even from members of your household, and, per CDC, must stay home until all of the following criteria is met: 
    • 10 days from the date of your positive test date
    • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
    • Improvement in other COVID-19 symptoms

SAFETY AT SCHOOL 

If a student or faculty member is sick, they are required to stay home and should consult with their healthcare provider.

If a student or faculty member begins to feel sick at school:

  • Students will be isolated and monitored until a parent can come to school and take them home and consult their health care provider.
  • Students who have driven themselves to school, if well enough and with the consent of a parent, will be asked to depart immediately for home and consult their health care provider.
  • Faculty members will be required to depart the campus immediately and consult their primary care physician. It will be paramount to appraise the depth, breadth and seriousness of a faculty member’s illness, as this will guide the planning for our students continued educational progress. We have a healthy list of substitutes to draw from and will also explore whether a faculty member is able to teach remotely. 

Although remote learning is not currently an option for quarantined students, as we do with all sustained absences, we will work with students to assure, health permitting, that they are able to remain current with their assignments and progress academically.

SAFETY AT HOME

The COVID-19 Resources tab has several links to the CDC website and other resources with information about how to mitigate your family’s risk of contracting the coronavirus. Please practice and reinforce good prevention habits with your family both for your own sake and for the benefit of our students, faculty and the entire Tampa Prep community. 

CDC recommends the following ways to protect yourself and others:

  • Stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with others.
  • Wear a cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth in public settings.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces including electronics like your child’s devices (phones, ipads, earpods, etc).
  • Wash 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 not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.  
  • Practice social distancing by
    • Buying groceries and medicine, go to the doctor, and complete banking activities online when possible.
    • If you must go in person, stay at least 6 feet away from others and disinfect items you must touch.
    • Get deliveries and takeout, and limit in-person contact as much as possible.
    • Monitor your child’s health daily. 

Should your child feel sick at all, please keep him/her at home and call your family doctor immediately. You may also want to utilize this Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-Checker to assess your symptoms. According to the CDC, “people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.” Symptoms include new onset or unusual: 

  • Fever greater than 100 degrees F or chills
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

It is critical that we are all vigilant in our actions as they impact the entire Tampa Prep community and our ability to provide our children with a meaningful educational experience.

TGH Concierge Testing Service

Tampa Prep has entered into an agreement with Tampa General Hospital (TGH) to provide certain executive concierge services relating to COVID screening, testing and resulting through a priority scheduled TGH Fast Track Urgent Care visit and TGH Lab. Through this service, lab testing is guaranteed within 48 hours from test administration. This concierge level service is available to all students and employees. Please see the charts below for Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Testing options.

Tampa Prep Symptomatic Testing Chart COVID

 

Tampa Prep Asymptomatic Testing Chart COVID

 

Tampa Prep Partners with Tampa General Hospital’s Prevention Response Outreach

Tampa, Florida, June 10, 2020 — Tampa Prep and Tampa General Hospital have formed a partnership that is the first of its kind among independent schools. As Tampa Prep establishes protocols to re-open in the fall, the School will seek advice from TGH Prevention Response Outreach, a new consulting service made up of Florida’s field experts, the Infection Prevention team from TGH and Infectious Disease physicians from USF Health.

The group, known as TPRO, will offer the hospital’s expertise in infection prevention to organizations who want to safeguard their employees and visitors as they re-open to the public. The goal of TPRO is to modify people’s behavior to decrease infection and create a customized plan based on those variables. Tampa Prep is the first school to be utilizing the new service. TPRO will advise the School regarding reopening protocols, examining things such as classroom capacity, traffic flow, screening procedures, visitor policies and more.

Head of School Kevin Plummer said, “I could not be more proud and pleased to partner with TGH and USF to receive their advice, consultation and assistance in the development and implementation of our safety measures, and to have the opportunity for ongoing education to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This will ensure that the School takes the deepest dive possible, with the most cutting edge, innovative and knowledgeable source available to assist us.” In addition to receiving advice from TPRO, the School will be monitoring the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local and national government and several independent school organizations.

Ultimately, Tampa Prep’s senior administration team will work with TPRO and establish School protocols and procedures based on a commitment to students, families and colleagues that not only meets, but surpasses, the highest and most thoughtful standards for safety and care for the health of both the Tampa Prep community and the City of Tampa.

Academic Reopening Plan

SCHOOL REOPENING GOALS
As we thought about returning to school in August, these are the goals we kept in mind: 

    • To prioritize the health and safety of the Tampa Prep community, especially our students and faculty
      • To utilize our campus to its greatest capacity while ensuring students maintain appropriate physical distance as much as possible
      • To minimize population exposure by limiting student and faculty movement throughout the day   
    • To maintain the same standards of academic excellence we all expect at Tampa Prep, including the greatest amount of in-person quality teaching possible, within the confines of a global pandemic 
    • To establish one consistent schedule that would allow us to transition, if need be, between three possible scenarios (on campus, hybrid or remote learning) with as little disruption as possible
    • To take into account all ages of learners in the Tampa Prep community and provide continuity throughout our school

With those goals in mind, we have determined that the best option for our school is to begin the school year utilizing a block scheduleWe expect to utilize this schedule for, at least, the fall semester and, possibly, the full year. 

DEFINING THE BLOCK SCHEDULE

WHAT IS A BLOCK SCHEDULE? 

Block scheduling utilizes longer class periods that meet in concentrated chunks of time. This is in contrast to our former schedule where there were shorter class periods that extended over longer periods of time, i.e., a semester of full academic year. By implementing Tampa Prep’s block schedule, all classes, with the exception of period seven, will run for eight weeks, or a quarter. There will be two quarters per semester. Students will take three or four classes per quarter for a total of six to eight classes per semester. See “The Hybrid Model” section below for more details. 

As a part of the block schedule model, we will utilize “synchronous” and “asynchronous” methods of learning: 

  • Synchronous learning happens in real time with students and teachers interacting either in-person or online at a specific time. 
  • Asynchronous learning occurs when students are working independently on projects or lessons under the direction of their teachers. 

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A BLOCK SCHEDULE?

  • A block schedule provides significant, high-quality, in-person instruction time while allowing for safe social distancing based on occupancy guidelines. 
  • Block scheduling maintains academic rigor and allows for greater immersion in individual subjects. Students will be able to take a deeper dive into their learning by taking fewer courses at a time. 
  • The relationships between students and teachers has always been of the utmost importance at Tampa Prep. Studies have shown that longer class periods can lead to deeper relationships between students and teachers. 
  • During this spring’s remote learning, we all missed the ability to congregate as a community. While the current public health crisis will still inhibit large gatherings, we intend to utilize a longer lunch period for clubs, advising and assembly opportunities, virtually when necessary. 
  • Our curriculum and our classrooms are designed to allow students to develop the skills they will need in college and beyond such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity and more. This schedule will give teachers greater opportunity to utilize project-based learning and other innovative methods of teaching. 
  • In addition, increased asynchronous time for our students will give them the ability to improve their initiative, metacognition/self-awareness, time management and overall independence. By creating a schedule that will allow for fluidity regardless of our mode of teaching, students will experience a more seamless experience because teachers will be able to pivot quickly and effectively with minimal disruption to their lesson plans. 

 

THREE LEARNING SCENARIOS

In order to achieve the goals and maximize the benefits above, we have established one block schedule to accommodate our students regardless of whether we are able to conduct school via remote learning, a hybrid model or fully in-person. Given our school’s culture and pedagogy as well as our institution’s advantages and constraints, these are the circumstances under which we would expect to move to each of these learning scenarios: 

IN-PERSON

  • Should there be a vaccine, or it otherwise becomes safe to have full occupancy in our buildings, we will resume our school with all 700 students.

HYBRID

  • In order to provide as much in-person teaching as possible while maintaining the suggested six feet of distance between students and teachers, we will split our student body into two groups (Group A and Group B) and alternate the days when they are on-campus learning synchronously with days that they are at home learning asynchronously. On Fridays, both groups will attend classes together from home via Zoom. See “The Hybrid Model” section below for more details.

REMOTE LEARNING

  • Should a stay-at-home order be issued or if our community experiences an infection rate that significantly exceeds the local infection rate, we would be forced to revert to online classes similar to what we did in the spring, though with our new block schedule.

We will need to be flexible and fluid this year as we may need to adjust among these scenarios. This will be determined in accordance with local health guidelines, in consultation with the medical experts we have partnered with, TGH Prevention Response Outreach (TPRO), and with the utmost concern for the health and safety of our students and faculty.

THE HYBRID MODEL AND FALL SEMESTER SCHEDULE

Although we will make a final determination as we get closer to the start of school, given the current conditions, we expect to reopen in a hybrid mode. Should we move to either fully in-person or remote learning, we will communicate with you with regards to those schedules and logistics. Regardless of how we ultimately return to school in August, we will provide students with their specific schedules toward the end of the week of August 17 (First Week), or sooner if possible. Your patience and flexibility as we work through a host of details is greatly appreciated.

The schedules below present a visual depiction of the hybrid schedules we will use for the fall semester (quarters one and two). You’ll notice the following: 

  • Group A will have in-person classes on Monday and Wednesday with asynchronous assignments to be worked on Tuesday and Thursday. 
  • Group B will have in-person classes on Tuesday and Thursday with asynchronous assignments to be worked on Monday and Wednesday. 
  • On Fridays, both groups will use Zoom to log into their classes together for a full synchronous class experience.  
  • There will be two 8-week quarters per semester and two semesters per academic year.
  • With the extended class periods, each quarter will equate to a semester’s worth of work. 
  • During Quarter 1 (August-October), students will take their period 1, 2, 3 and 7 classes. During Quarter 2 (October-December), students will take their period 4, 5, 6 and 7 classes. We expect to follow the same pattern for quarters 3 and 4 but will make that decision as we see how the situation with coronavirus progresses. 
  • Please note that there are two slight schedule variations between Middle and Upper Schools (highlighted in yellow): 
    • For Middle School, the last period of the day Monday through Thursday is either PE, athletics or a study hall. Upper Schoolers will have their seventh period class at that time. 
    • On Fridays, the Middle School day will end at 11:25 a.m. while the Upper School day will finish after seventh period at 12:00 p.m.
  • Click for printable Hybrid Block Schedule for Quarter 1
    • Tampa Prep's Hybrid Block Schedule for Fall 2020 Q1
  • Click for printable Hybrid Block Schedule for Quarter 2
    • Tampa Prep Hybrid Schedule Q2

OUR SCHEDULE DESIGN PROCESS

From the outset of the pandemic, the 2020-2021 school year was in our thoughts. Based on the fluidity of the situation nationally, internationally, and, most importantly, in Florida, it was clear significant and comprehensive planning would be needed. We were surprised by the growing severity of the pandemic in March 2020 and moved quickly to address the health and safety of the Prep community. It was clear that the 2020-2021 school year would also bring uncertainty, but our experience from the spring and the time available during the summer allowed us to be even better prepared to adapt.

To that end, we recruited faculty representatives from the middle and upper schools, and formed a committee to evaluate multiple models and schedules that would meet our needs in all learning scenarios:  in-person, hybrid or remote learning. Each of us did research among our personal and professional networks nationally and internationally. After consulting with medical experts who toured our campus, we were advised that we would need 49 square feet per child to maintain a safe social distance. With that information, we conducted studies to understand our occupancy paradigm. We established a more robust than usual professional development program for the summer.

All teachers were asked to participate in at least two professional development opportunities related to teaching and assessing remotely so they could adapt their curriculum and teaching even more effectively. In addition, several administrators took courses tied to education and schedule development in the time of coronavirus. We harnessed all of that knowledge, in addition to our collective expertise and experience in teaching, and believe that this model best meets the current needs of Tampa Prep students.

COMMITTEE:

  • Suzanne Beekman, STEM Coordinator and Upper School Science teacher
  • Carl Carlson, Head of the Upper School
  • Joe Fenlon, Associate Head of School and Head of the Middle School
  • Kerri-Ann Grosso, Middle School Science teacher
  • Donald Morrison, Dean of Faculty
  • Kevin Plummer, Head of School

Message from the Head of School

IN THIS TAB:

  1. Video message from the Head of School
  2. Letter from the Head of School
  3. Answers to 22 of your most Frequently Asked Questions regarding our Academic Reopening Plan

Thank you, Tampa Prep, for answering our call for your questions. I know you are concerned and worried. Under these circumstances, I would not want to have it any other way, as these thoughts and emotions are clear indicators of your care for your children and your understanding of the gravity of the moment. Your thoughtfulness, understanding and support are clearly evident. Some of the messages and questions were deeply personal, and we have chosen not to address those publicly to preserve the confidentiality needed for some families and students. The complexity and fluidity of COVID generated 149 emails with 446 questions, and we are grateful for the communication, insight and questions. As an administrative group, we reviewed all of the emails submitted and read each and every comment, question and suggestion. 

As you can imagine, and may have anticipated, there was a broad spectrum of questions, perspectives, reopening wishes and hopes shared. The breadth ranged from support for opening fully remotely to full five-day in person and all things in between. The comments and questions fell into primarily the following themes: remote learning options, the school day schedule, COVID-19 positive protocols, general campus protocols, facilities, asynchronous remote learning, groupings, performing arts and siblings. There were additional questions that were more unique, but for the purposes of this document we sought direction from the data to drive the categories for which the broader community sought clarity, thus “frequently asked questions.”

In our planning, we were unable to implement some aspirations, such as aligning A and B groups with carpools and full alignment with friendships (friendships are an incredibly fluid experience for adolescents) across the dispersion of course selections. With nearly 700 students at Prep, specific assignments of this nature would, in all likelihood, make the scheduling and assignment of students impossible.

Again, the questions, comments and suggestions shared were a clear indicator of the concern and hopes of the moment. Regarding the pandemic, we all have received so much information and so many differing perceptions presented each and every day. Some days the information directly conflicts with or evolves information from preceding days and weeks. The “one right path” feels as if it comes with gradations, assumptions, beliefs, influences, and understandings that continue to change, and this comes at the very real crossroad of science, emotion, experience, politics and personal beliefs.

As we learn more, we will share more. As we experience more, we will continue to develop. We are profoundly appreciative of the trust you have for Prep and the confidence you have in Prep to do what’s best for students and safeguard the health and safety of our community.

We are fully committed to the health and safety of our students, faculty, parents and community and to creating the best educational experience possible under these difficult circumstances. Let there be no misunderstanding, the academic mission of this moment is to develop meaningful academic experiences that preserve the academic progress and bolster the social-emotional wellbeing of our students.

Thank you for being fully present in this moment and for your support of Prep.

Sincerely,

Kevin M. Plummer

CURRICULUM & SCHEDULING FAQ

How and when will groups A and B be decided?

Will siblings be placed in the same group? Will socialization/friends/car pools be taken into account? Will students have the ability to alter their course selection, i.e. taking a less rigorous schedule or not taking a performing arts class since it may not happen as usual?

Groups A and B will be placed according to a complex algorithm that takes into account students’ course selections, teachers’ schedules, semester workload and other factors. We WILL make every effort to place siblings together. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate individual requests. We realize families have unique circumstances, and yet our algorithm cannot be completed with the inclusion of certain variables. In addition, we understand your desire to place your child with friends. However, we believe that smaller class sizes and longer class periods will lead to deeper friendships and increased connections, and need to prioritize the academic schedule. 

Students’ class schedules were available via My Backpack yesterday, August 6. Any requests for schedule adjustments must be made by the end of the day on Tuesday, August 11. If you have questions or need to discuss changes, you must reach out sooner so that there is time for us to get back to you. We will send our scheduling information to our statistician on Wednesday, August 12. He will then work on the schedules to divide the classes evenly into two groups, A and B. We will get this information to you as quickly as possible to allow you to make carpool plans. Our target date is Monday, August 17.

What is the First Week schedule? How will we welcome new students?

Click here for First Week (Aug. 17-21) schedules for Middle School and Upper School.

In a typical year, First Week is an opportunity for new students to get to know each other and for new and returning students to bond and begin the school year. We are well aware that this year will not be the same for our new students, and will be creating ways for these boys and girls to bond throughout the year. While First Week will not allow for the same types of activities from previous years, with the block schedule, students are in classes with fewer students and for longer periods of time with much less unstructured time. This environment is likely to lead to more quickly formed friendships and social ties. As always, we will pay attention to the well-being of our students in all aspects, including social-emotional. Given this unusual year, please reach out to your child’s advisor or your division head if you ever have a question or concern about any aspect of your child’s educational experience whether it be academic, social-emotional or anything else.

What will be expected of students on their asynchronous remote learning days?

The days when students are doing remote learning asynchronously is absolutely a day of learning. Students will be required to login to Zoom at their scheduled class time so that their teacher can take attendance. Once they have been accounted for, they may log out, unless otherwise instructed by their teacher. Students should then complete their assigned work for that class which will typically be due by 9:00 a.m. the next morning. The types of assignments and projects will vary by grade, subject and teacher, and the amount of time spent doing this work will vary by student. At times, there may be collaborative group work that will be done with peer students. Teachers will set clear expectations and deadlines regarding asynchronous work in order to provide structure and accountability. In addition, they will continue to be available for extra help from 3:30-4:15 p.m. each day and, as always, by email.

How will you address the 8-week gap in learning between quarters, especially for math, language and AP classes?

Tampa Prep is well-versed in restoring continuity for students each year when they return from their three-month summer break. We are aware that we will need to address this and meet kids where they are at the beginning of each quarter. There are also numerous technological tools that could be utilized to help bridge this gap and ensure a student continues to advance their studies, such as ALEKS, Duolingo and Khan Academy. AP teachers have already begun their planning to assist student readiness for the scheduled AP exams and we will explore and develop a host of strategies for review and readiness in preparation for AP exams. Each student’s schedule and learning style is different, and, as always, we encourage you to work with your child’s advisor to be sure their academic needs are being met.

Will there be quarter/final exams?

Research shows that with a hybrid model of education formative assessments are more effective than summative assessments. With that in mind, there will be cumulative projects due at the end of each quarter instead of final exams.

How will performing arts work? Will there be plays or concerts this year?

We specifically asked our partners from TGH/USF to provide recommendations regarding performing arts. These are being reviewed and considered to better understand how we can continue to conduct our strong tradition of performing arts. We do know that indoor performances are highly discouraged. However, we hope to utilize outdoor spaces and other innovative methods to develop opportunities for student rehearsal, classes and performances. 

We continue to work through and toward the support of our students whose passion lies in the performing arts and are members of the Arts Concentration. We will have to be innovative, creative, and patient to get us through this period of COVID-19.

Will fall athletic teams play?

UPPER SCHOOL
The FHSAA Board of Directors has postponed the start of fall athletics until August 24. The reasoning behind this decision was to prioritize the safety of athletes and coaches. In addition, it will allow the FHSAA staff, the FHSAA Task Force as well as the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee additional time for research on COVID-19, and to develop sport-specific protocols that would be used by all FHSAA member schools. The summer season, as outlined by the FHSAA, will now be extended until August 24. This does allow our athletic teams to condition, and we will remain in our Phase I Return-To-Play which includes no contact or sharing between athletes, required masks except during vigorous activity, social distancing, health screenings and temperature checks and more.  

The FHSAA Board of Directors is scheduled to meet again on August 17 with the goal to have return-to-play policies in place for the fall season. We know there are many questions regarding interscholastic competitions. Please know that we are committed to providing the safest environment we possibly can for all of our fall athletic teams. In the coming weeks, we will work with FHSAA as well as our partners at TGH and USF to establish sports-specific guidelines and protocols to ensure a safe and successful fall athletic season for all.  We appreciate your understanding and patience, and will continue to keep you updated in as timely a manner as possible, with the understanding that the situation is fluid. 

MIDDLE SCHOOL
For the fall season, we plan to create an intramural program for the middle school students rather than competing against other schools. On synchronous learning days, students on campus will participate in practices and games. On remote learning days, students will be given assignments tied to physical movement.

Ultimately, Tampa Prep will develop its own athletic protocols. Fans will not be in attendance at games, and we are in conversation with fellow athletic directors to develop health and safety guidelines for competition at Tampa Prep and at other schools when we compete there.

COVID ILLNESS PROTOCOLS FAQ

First and foremost, our Academic Reopening Plan establishes a clear set of guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. It is our clear expectation that all members of our school community will wear masks when they are on campus. In class, students will maintain physical distancing and aside from the moments when students pass from class to class, physical distancing will be maintained. Hand sanitizer for hand hygiene is readily available throughout the school and respiratory etiquette guidelines have been established and will be maintained.

We have been advised that the guidance for exposure is sustained contact for more than 15 minutes with or without masks under six feet of social distancing. It is our intent that by reducing capacity in the building and establishing clear protocols and expectations, this condition is never met and that there will not be any sustained contact within our community under six feet for more than 15 minutes.

What happens if a Tampa Prep student or employee gets sick?

It is next to impossible to identify every possible scenario, and there will be uniqueness in many circumstances. Let the following be a general guide for community expectations. 

Based on our illness protocols, any member of our community who fits the following criteria will need to quarantine or isolate for a specified number of days (please refer to the  COVID Campus Protocols tab under the SAFETY AT HOME subheading in this Academic Reopening Plan): 

  • If you or anyone in your household has tested positive 
  • Or if you or anyone in your household has had symptoms 
  • Or if you believe you have had direct, masked or unmasked contact within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive 

If a student or faculty member is sick, they are required to stay home and should consult with their healthcare provider.

If a student or faculty member begins to feel sick at school:

  • Students will be isolated and monitored until a parent can come to school and take them home and consult their health care provider.
  • Students who have driven themselves to school, if well enough and with the consent of a parent, will be asked to depart immediately for home and consult their health care provider.
  • Faculty members will be required to depart the campus immediately and consult their primary care physician. It will be paramount to appraise the depth, breadth and seriousness of a faculty member’s illness, as this will guide the planning for our students continued educational progress. We have a healthy list of substitutes to draw from and will also explore whether a faculty member is able to teach remotely.

Although remote learning is not currently an option for quarantined students, as we do with all sustained absences, we will work with students to assure, health permitting, that they are able to remain current with their assignments and progress academically.

How will contact tracing and community notification work?

It is currently the responsibility of the local County Health Department to be notified by health professionals of positive tests and conduct contact tracing on individuals that test positive. If we find that the local County Health Department or the State of Florida is unable to execute contact tracing in a manner that supports our community in a reasonable amount of time, Tampa Prep will continue to explore alternatives.

In the event that a community member (custodial parent/guardian or employee) informs the School that they have tested positive for COVID-19, then Tampa Prep will inform the community. For privacy reasons, we are not able to share the name of the person who tested positive. However, our safety protocols are designed to ensure minimal to no incidents of contact at school and, therefore, very low risk of exposure during the school day.

How can we ensure that our community will have access to fast and reliable testing? What if a student or teacher isn’t able to access a test or receive test results in a timely manner?

Based on advice from TPRO medical experts, we will no longer require a negative test for a student or employee to return to school, but rather will follow CDC guidelines regarding when someone is safe to end home isolation or quarantine. Anyone who has had symptoms, tested positive, quarantined or isolated, should consult with their healthcare provider. 

Having said that, Tampa Prep has entered into an agreement with Tampa General Hospital (TGH) to provide certain executive concierge services relating to COVID screening, testing and resulting through a priority scheduled TGH Fast Track Urgent Care visit and TGH Lab. Through this service, lab testing is guaranteed within 48 hours from test administration. This concierge level service is available to all students and employees.

See the tab titled TGH Partnership and COVID Testing for more information about this important service.

FAQ RE: PIVOTING AMONG LEARNING SCENARIOS (Hybrid, Remote, In-Person)

What metrics would push us toward remote learning? Conversely, would there be a scenario in which we would move to fully in-person teaching?

Let there be no confusion in our community. Tampa Prep instruction is prepared to pivot to remote learning at a moment’s notice. Clearly the school would follow federal, state and/or local mandates to shelter in place. In addition, should it be determined that despite our best efforts to establish and maintain a healthy environment for our students that we could not, we would pivot to remote learning. 

We will continue to monitor the advancement and retreat of COVID-19, the development and distribution of a vaccine and the infectious rate of our school and local community. We will also monitor a number of COVID-19 data and surveillance dashboards and continue to seek the guidance of our partners from Tampa General Hospital and USF College of Medicine. Given the complexity of the variables associated with this virus, there isn’t one specific metric that we will look at, but rather this is a commitment to you that we will be vigilant and continue to regularly communicate with you. After five months of living with and leading through this Covid experience, it is clear that an openness to, and pursuit of, broad input and perspectives is critical in decision making.

In order to return to having the entire student body on campus five days per week for 100% in-person learning, we would require a sustained negligible infection rate in Hillsborough County and the development and subsequent distribution of a vaccine.

Will Tampa Prep consider either a delayed in-person opening (move to remote rather than hybrid) or a virtual option?

At this time, we continue to plan to begin the school year in hybrid mode. Delaying the start of school is not being considered. In addition, we are not offering remote learning across our community. This is not being done to be insensitive or obstinate. Yes, technology has increased our capabilities, but like all tools, it must be used in the correct manner at the correct time to fully leverage its benefits. With only 65 faculty members, it is clear that instructing students in two modalities (in person and remotely) at the same time is less than optimal. Our concern is that neither group would receive the depth of engagement, attention, observation, supervision and care that we seek, and know that is valuable, in these challenging times.

That being said, in the event that we transition to full remote instruction, we are confident in our preparations to fully support the experience for all students and that the experience will be significantly different from the final ten weeks of the 2019-2020 school year. We will continue to be vigilant of the COVID-19 trends and environment, and we are positioned to change direction if need be.

On-Campus Safety Protocols FAQ

Please see the COVID Campus Protocols tab of our reopening plan, under the School Reentry section, for detailed and updated daily health screening instructions and drop off and pick up procedures. (Last update: 8.7.20)

How will classrooms be set up to maintain social distancing guidelines of 6 feet apart? Are classes being held in larger spaces in order to reduce density?

Over the summer, we worked to create a floor plan template that will assure 6 feet of distance between students. Chairs and tables will be placed at an appropriate distance from each other before students arrive. Teachers will encourage and enforce that these placements are maintained throughout the day. Due to our concern for health and safety, students will sit facing the same direction. We will also utilize larger spaces such as our Middle School hubs, the Student Center, the Library, etc. should we need to accommodate a larger class. Class locations will be determined once students’ schedules are finalized.

What is the quality of the airflow and HVAC systems in the academic buildings?

We are fortunate to have an incredibly high quality HVAC system, one that we are told is on par with the air filtration system at Tampa General Hospital. Between 2011 and 2014, we replaced all of the air handlers and air filtration equipment. We now have three stages of air filtration, the first stage is in the ceiling mounted grills in each room, the second is a 2″ pleated filter, and the third is a HEPA grade electrostatic filter. Our equipment brings in and filters a large amount of fresh outdoor air which maintains proper CO2 levels and dilutes any indoor air contaminants. In addition, this creates a positive pressure inside the space, preventing outside air contaminants from entering the building. Since each room has its own supply and return air duct, no contaminants can be drawn from one room into another. In addition, we have installed UV lighting in all of our air handling equipment which kills any microbes, including viruses, bacteria and mold spores. All of our air handling equipment is professionally cleaned each summer and the air filters are replaced regularly.

What protocols will be in place for bus transportation?

All bus surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized after each use. Seats will be marked to ensure students maintain appropriate physical distancing. Masks are required at the bus stop where student riders should be socially distanced as they wait, and at all times on the bus. The bus driver will also be wearing a mask and will have had their temperature taken and completed their health screening questionnaire prior to departing on their route. Student temperature checks will be taken prior to entry on to the bus. If the student rider’s temperature is over 100 degrees F they will not be able to ride the bus. Please wait with your student at the bus stop until they are cleared to ride the bus. We are reducing ridership on our buses so capacity is limited. If you are interested in bus service and have not yet signed up, please complete this form ASAP.

How will classrooms be sanitized between classes?

Students will be responsible for wiping down their desk and chair surfaces upon entry into the classroom. Teachers will provide reminders and oversight, and disinfectant wipes will be available in all classrooms. By giving students this responsibility, they can be certain that they are seated at a clean desk. At the end of each day, the custodians will clean and sanitize all classrooms utilizing the CDC Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfecting just as they did during the summer to assure the cleanliness of the building for staff.

Where will students eat lunch? Will we allow friends to sit together (socially distanced) during lunch?

Students will eat lunch in their classroom with a teacher supervising them in order to minimize interaction in the hallways and ensure they are maintaining social distance while eating. They will either stay in their second period class (which meets right before lunch) or move to their third period class (which meets immediately after lunch) and eat there. We hope that in the event that the spread of the virus diminishes, we will continue to seek the best ways to preserve student health and safety while promoting healthy social interaction. At this time, seniors will not be permitted to leave campus for lunch.

Will students be able to use their lockers?

In the interest of the health and safety of the community, students will not be allowed to utilize or congregate at or near lockers. It is recommended that students bring a backpack or bag to school that will comfortably allow them to carry what they need for the day. Please remember that they will only need books and school supplies for three to four classes per day and will only have two to three transitions during the day.

How will the School ensure safety during transition times between classes?

Faculty and administrators will be strategically placed in the hallways to support the smooth, timely and socially distant transition between classes. Masks will be required and exposure to classmates will be limited as travel between classes will be expedited. In addition, there will be signage placed throughout the building encouraging effective traffic flow.

How will the congregation of students be monitored before and after school hours in the various "hangout" spots (i.e., courtyard, student center, hubs, library, etc.)?

With the new drop off and pick up procedures, students will not be able to congregate before or after school. Nonetheless, we will need the support of not only our parents, but our students, in this regard. While we wish we could be with them at all times, it is true that a measure of personal responsibility and maturity is necessary for the health and safety of the community. The School will do all it can to promote the practices and habits of the heart, mind and decision making that will support health and safety.

How will we enforce our on-campus and illness protocols?

Without question, the School will enforce all of the policies, procedures, and protocols that have been established for the health and safety of our community. In addition, we will be distributing a “notice and disclosure” document via Magnus which will essentially ask students and parents to pledge to take personal responsibility in mitigating their risk of contracting this virus. It is critical that our great community move beyond the pervasive complacency in relations to COVID-19. Masking, hand washing, social distancing, minimizing social interactions, not coming to school when someone does not feel well or is sick, and the avoidance of large crowds in social conditions is critical to the success of our efforts to restore in-person education at Prep. Our success is deeply intertwined with the choices and decisions our community makes when away from campus, and we will continually reinforce this message and address on-campus violations immediately and seriously.

Will students be mandated to wear the Tampa Prep mask or can they wear their own?

Although students will receive two-ply, Tampa Prep-branded, washable masks at the start of the school year, they may also wear their own masks provided that it fits these quality expectations:  

  • fully covers nose and mouth;
  • fits snugly but comfortably against the side of your face;
  • Is secured with properly fastened ties or ear loops; 
  • is made of breathable material, either disposable or reusable. 

Bandanas, one-ply gaiters and masks with valves are not acceptable face coverings. In addition, face shields will not replace masks but may be worn in addition to a face mask that meets the above guidelines. Masks must be worn at all times when on campus, except when eating/drinking. When unmasked, students will be reminded to be even more vigilant about staying physically distanced from others.