West Orange-area private schools to reopen

The First Academy and Foundation Academy will welcome their students back next month.

Both The First Academy and Foundation Academy will have safety protocols in place when campuses open next month.
Both The First Academy and Foundation Academy will have safety protocols in place when campuses open next month.
  • West Orange Times & Observer
  • News
  • Share

While Orange County Public Schools’ plans for the 2020-21 school year remain undetermined, two West Orange-area private schools have finalized their plans for the new school year.

Foundation Academy plans to begin its school year Monday, Aug. 10. Families who prefer distance learning will be able to choose a new online option, called F.A.C.E. (Foundation Academy Classrooms Everywhere). 

Regarding on-campus safety protocols, Foundation is following a phased approach using guidelines and recommendations provided by federal, state and local governments, as well as by experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics. As of July 24, Foundation is in its second phase, which states the school building are open to students with enhanced physical distancing and safety measures, and the delivery model will be on-campus learning or hybrid learning.

Foundation is postponing all off-campus field trips until further notice. Furthermore, no visitors will be allowed at chapel services until further notice. Foundation also will implement additional safety measures at all three of its campuses — Plant Street, Tilden and Lakeside. Those include temperature checks of all students before they exit their vehicles; frequent hand-washing; face coverings; physical distancing; and more. All students will be required to bring a water bottle daily.

The First Academy will begin its new school year Wednesday, Aug. 12. Prior to that, parents and students are invited to the school’s Royal Family Reunion event, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10, and 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Aug. 11.

“The First Academy will welcome back families and students in August with additional health and safety measures,” Creative Marketing Manager Casey Vaughn said. “Clear, Plexiglas desk shields are being installed in every learning station, outdoor classrooms are being added to campus, and two additional health clinics will be provided. With the addition of sterilization systems to our AC units, electrostatic sprayers and updated daily cleaning protocols, TFA is prepared to welcome back students to focus on college prep, accelerated academics with a strong spiritual formation in Christ.” 

In addition, TFA students will remain in their classrooms for the weekly chapel presentation. Many on-campus events have been modified, shifted to a virtual platform or canceled for the first semester. Field trips normally scheduled for the fall will be rescheduled for later in the school year. 

Windermere Preparatory will welcome students back to campus Aug. 12.

The school will implement health and safety policies and procedures approved by local health officials and piloted during the school’s Lake Cypress Summer Camp. 

“Faculty and staff are actively preparing for the arrival of students on campus by focusing on our two interconnected priorities — ensuring both the continuity of learning and the health and safety of all members of our community,” said Summer Simmons, Windermere Prep marketing manager.

Families can select one of two options to start the school year — a Blended program or Campus Connect. In the Blended program, Lower School students will be on campus five days a week, while the middle and high-school students will attend in-person classes twice per week and log in virtually the other three days. 

Campus Connect is a virtual option that allows students to remain connected to their same classrooms and teachers while they are not on-campus for an extended period of time. It is available at all grade levels. 

Windermere Prep athletics and fine-arts programs will provide more details about their programs soon.





Michael Eng

As a child, Editor and Publisher Michael Eng collected front pages of the Kansas City Star during Operation Desert Storm, so it was a foregone conclusion that he would pursue a career in journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Missouri — Columbia School of Journalism. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his wife and three children, or playing drums around town. He’s also a sucker for dad jokes.

Latest News