The first day of school looked quite different for students at Calvary Christian Academy Hollywood (CCAH), a private Pre-K–12th grade Christian school — formerly known as Hollywood Christian School. Face covering and temperature checks, social distancing requirements, and plastic partitions for desks were just some of the new measures students experienced upon their return to campus August 19. Some students bypassed these new protocols altogether by participating in the school’s new mobile learning program, which allows them to tune into their classes in real-time through the high-definition cameras that were recently installed in each classroom.
“After hundreds of hours of research, planning, and deliberation with federal, regional, and local professional institutions over the summer, we concluded that it was in students’ best interest to physically return back to school while still providing virtual learning opportunities of the highest quality for families who are not ready to return back to campus,” said Head of School Dr. Jason Rachels. “We ultimately wanted to give parents the opportunity to choose the delivery method that works best for their situation and comfort level.”
When developing the reopening plans for each division — Early Childhood, Lower School, and Secondary — the school’s administration was in close communication with entities such as the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, Florida Department of Education, Association of Christian Schools International, and Broward County Childcare Licensing. These institutions emphasized the importance of schools reopening this fall and how in-person learning plays an essential role in children’s overall well-being.
“We stand in agreement with these professional institutions and acknowledge that in-person learning not only gives students the opportunity to thrive academically, but mentally, socially, and spiritually as well,” said Rachels. “Our holistic educational approach ultimately prepares students to grow into confident leaders and world changers.”
The CDC reports that children under 18 “account for under 7 percent of CODVID-19 cases and less than 0.1 percent of COVID-19-related deaths” and were unlikely “major drivers of the spread of the virus.” Although new COVID-19 cases in our state are steadily decreasing, CCA designed a plan that includes multiple layers of safeguards for on-campus learning such as such as face covering requirements for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, heightened cleaning and sanitizing procedures, daily temperature checks and screening questionnaires, new hand washing and sanitizing stations, and signage around campus promoting proper hygiene and social distancing. The school also has a full-time licensed nurse who has been properly trained to treat students who may become symptomatic during the school day.
“Enrolling my son was the best decision I made for him educationally and for my peace during this pandemic,” said CCA parent Elpidia Frederick.
Every CCAH family from pre-K through 12th grade had the opportunity to commit to full-time mobile learning from home or another offsite location until they are ready to return back to campus. To make this possible, CCAH invested in and installed high-definition cameras and monitors in each classroom that stream through Google Classroom. Out of approximately 400 enrolled students, roughly one quarter of the student population is currently participating in full-time mobile learning. This new virtual program also gives students who live in other cities and states the opportunity to enroll in the school.
“Our mobile learning program provides an authentic virtual learning experience for students who are not on campus by giving them the ability to engage with their teachers and peers in real-time” said Rachels. “Although we’d love for all of our students to be physically at school, we understand the current challenges and believe this mobile learning offering is the next best thing to the live experience. In every circumstance and setting, our faculty and staff are wholeheartedly devoted to seeing their students succeed.”
Calvary Christian Academy Hollywood (CCAH) is a Pre-K3–12th grade Christian school located in Hollywood, Florida, that partners with parents to help students build a strong foundation spiritually, academically, and socially. Our tight-knit community dedicated to academic excellence prepares students for college and beyond. CCAH offers a VPK program for pre-kindergarten and accepts state scholarships such as Step Up, Gardiner, and McKay. For more information, please visit CCAEagles.org/Hollywood.