Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information for Our Parents

Admiral Farragut Academy is taking all precautions necessary to attempt to minimize exposure to the coronavirus. Review the attached PDF for safety guidance.

Special video message to parents from Headmaster Bob Fine regarding coronavirus challenges and online learning.

Click here to watch videos by our Division Heads.

Frequently Asked Questions

Admiral Farragut Academy will begin distance learning (online instruction) on Monday, March 30th. Continuing to follow the State’s mandate, we are not resuming on-campus instruction until April 15th, and we should expect the Governor’s mandate to be extended as we move forward.

Are the dorms remaining open?

Being a boarding school, we always have staff working around the clock accommodating our boarders. Our dorms will remain open for our boarding students still on campus.

How will we ensure food safety for boarding students?

SAGE Dining will be open next week to serve brunch to all of our boarding students on campus. Here is some info from SAGE Dining:

Managers are preparing feeding plans for students who will remain on campus during closures and placing backup orders for canned goods, frozen products, and other foods needed to keep the community fed.

Our Team Members are continuing to follow our food safety protocols, including frequently cleaning all surfaces in the dining hall and kitchen throughout the day using antiviral sanitizer solutions (e.g., Ecolab EPA-approved products, including Peroxide Multi Surface Cleaner and Disinfectant, which can be used against COVID-19).

As food service professionals, we strongly urge any schools that remain open to implement service modifications to reduce direct contact from community members with food and serviceware to avoid transmission of the virus.  Such modifications include prepackaging or preplating meals and having gloved Team Members serve meals. We’re offering protection sheets, wipes, and — in some cases — gloves for students to use to obtain food items and beverages. We’re also offering individual packets of condiments, salt, and pepper.

These changes may cause some slight service delays, but we’re also adapting our menus to try to get your community through service lines as quickly as possible. Please bear with us and know that our efforts are focused on keeping everyone safe.

What has the school done to clean or disinfect the campus?

The school has increased cleaning services as well as hired two outside professional companies to sanitize and disinfect the entire campus including classrooms and dormitories.

Please continue to adhere to all precautions and directions that our school medical staff has sent over the past several weeks and review the attached PDF. While the risk to children is low, we would like to keep our entire school community healthy.

What if a student or family travels to an "at risk" country over Spring Break?

Because of the number of students from Asia who are boarding students enrolled at Admiral Farragut Academy, we have chosen to be proactive and ask any student from Asia who are boarding students to not return home during spring break.
If a student from Asia does return home during spring break, he/she has been asked not to return and finish the school year remotely. This is for the protection and safety of all students, faculty and staff.
We are also monitoring any overseas travel by any of our employees and students for any planned trips to Asia. Realistically, we cannot monitor the travel of all AFA families.
We respectfully ask you to notify the school infirmary if you will be traveling in an “at risk” country or have unfortunately been exposed to the new coronavirus either through travel or guest in your home.
The school is closely monitoring international and national advisories from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and staying in close contact with the local health department.

What if it’s not safe for a student to travel back to their home country after school ends?

Admiral Farragut Academy is offering a summer program called Summer@Farragut Extended for international students with the start date immediately following the school year through the entire summer.

How will online instruction work?

Our students and families will receive separate instructions from our Lower and Upper School Heads on our instructional plans for prolonged online instruction.

These instructional plans are adapted for age, class and subject area. Our teachers have an abundance of resources they can harness in order to continue and move forward with our children’s education.

Faculty and staff will continue normal school hours of interaction. In order to prepare for the rest of the school year — whether in a face-to-face or distance-learning format.

If families do not have a dedicated device for their child at their home, our Technology Department will work with these families to borrow one of our school’s Chromebooks.

Will campus events like the auction, block party, or graduation be canceled?

All events up to April 15th have been canceled or postponed. Some events after those dates are still pending. View this update.

Will athletic practices, games, and extracurriculars canceled?

All sports, extracurriculars, and field trips are canceled until further notice.

Another good source in regards to education is the Florida Department of EducationPinellas County Public School System which we will often follow, and the Florida Council of Independent Schools.

More Questions?

Parents please contact Communications at communications@farragut.org.

Employees please contact Human Resources at HR@farragut.org.

All Email Communications

These are email communications that have been sent to our parents from the Headmaster’s Office, Infirmary, or Division Offices.

Communication sent to parents on April 3, 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope this note finds each of you healthy and well in these challenging times. Everyone in the Admiral Farragut Academy community is demonstrating remarkable resilience, strength, and agility in the midst of this global pandemic. I have received numerous reports by parents of people in our Farragut Community going above and beyond for each other.

As we come to the end of our first week of distance learning I have some important updates in addition to several reminders:

  1. Admiral Farragut will comply with the governor’s mandate of extending the distant learning timeframe to April 30th. So please make appropriate plans to continue until that date at the very least. We will keep you updated as we move forward.
  2. A short survey will be sent to you at the end of next week for you to provide important feedback to the school in relation to your child’s experience with his/her’s online learning environment. We are in this together and we want to ensure we are meeting the needs of each student.
  3. Next week we will continue to follow our original school calendar by taking the Spring Weekend off from online schooling. Friday, April 10th, and Monday, April 13th, we will not hold school or academic time.

Once again, I applaud our entire school community for making this unforeseen transition to distant learning as smooth as possible. We continue to be here for our students and hope you are well and stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Fine, Jr.
Headmaster
Admiral Farragut Academy

Communication sent to Lower School parents (Online Learning) on March 23, 2020

Dear Farragut Families,

In light of the evolving reality of COVID-19, I do hope that everyone has been enjoying the break. Many things have changed since I last saw everyone on March 13th. As you likely know, through communication from Captain Fine, we will be moving to Distance Learning starting March 30th.

What To Expect?

  • As we implement our Distance Learning Plan, our main goals are to continue to support student learning and progress and maintain open lines of communication with students and families.
  • On Thursday, March 26th, parents and/or students will be receiving communication from their teacher(s) regarding protocols to initiate Distance Learning.
  • Depending on the grade, there will be different levels of communication and use of technology.

What Can You Do Now?

  • If you do not have access to the internet at home, you should contact your cable company.  During this time, many cable companies are offering free internet service.
  • Go On A Virtual Field Trip With Your Child (20 Field Trips To Choose From)
  • Read books or put a puzzle together as a family.
  • Play board games that incorporate math, counting, and logic – Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, etc.

What If I Do Not Have A Computer For My Child Or Have Technology Questions?

  • We will be loaning out Chromebooks from Monday, March 23rd-Thursday, March 26th. If your child needs a Chromebook please contact Mr. Olesnevich at molesnevich@farragut.org to arrange this.
  • Shannon LoRusso is available for minor tech support regarding programs, passwords, etc.  You can email her at slorusso@farragut.org.

What Are The Expectations Of Parent/Guardian/Student?

  • Dedicate a consistent distraction-free space for your child to work.
  • Try and maintain a daily routine, ie., consistent wake-up time, “school time”, lunchtime, and bedtime.
  • Have your child follow their teacher(s) schedule, complete assignments and submit assignments when requested.
  • Reach out to your child’s teacher if you have any questions.

How Do I Talk To My Child About The Coronavirus?

We will reassess and communicate further steps by April 15th, but until then all on-campus, school-sponsored events and activities have been canceled.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and support as we work together for the health, safety, and well-being of everyone in our school community. I will be available to you during the period of the closure via email at afine@farragut.org.  Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Sincerely,

Anita Fine
Head of Lower School

Communication sent to Upper School parents (Online Learning) on March 23, 2020

As our spring break has come and gone, the COVID-19 has increased and our Governor has closed all schools until April 15.  As you are aware via CAPT Fine’s communications, Admiral Farragut Academy has decided to move our classes online starting March 30.  Here are some important notes for the coming weeks and how the online classes will work.

  • Teachers will send an email to students in their classes this Thursday, March 26.
  • All students will need to use and check their AFA email address a few times a day.  Please contact Amy Stabile at astabile@farragut.org if they are not sure of their email address.
  • Teachers will continue to share information with the students through the following tools:
    • FOCUS
    • Google Classroom, Sites, email and other sources
      • (The students already use these resources, so this will not be new to them.)
  • Teachers will continue to provide content delivery, content practice, and formative assessments.
  • Teachers will be available Monday – Friday from 10a – 3p to answer emails or video conference using Google Hangouts.
  • If you do not have a Chromebook and you would like to borrow one, please email Amy Stabile at astabile@farragut.org or call with any questions you may have 727-384-5502.

The COVID-19 has been a challenge for everyone and as a school, AFA is committed to making our transition to online learning as smooth as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jen Grabowski at jgrabowski@farragut.org.

Stay safe and healthy.

Thomas D. McGlinn
Head of Upper School
Admiral Farragut Academy

Communication sent to parents on March 18, 2020

Continuing to follow the State’s mandate, we are not resuming on-campus instruction until April 15th, and we should expect the Governor’s mandate to be extended as we move forward. So, today, I am informing you that Admiral Farragut Academy will begin distance learning (online instruction) on Monday, March 30th.  

Next week you will receive a series of emails detailing what to expect, what times students can expect to be engaged online, how to pick up a Chromebook if needed, or how to come to school and pick up supplies (books, workbooks) from lockers or classrooms, etc. Please look for those communications early next week.

For our boarding families, we will have our dorms open and students will work from campus in an online setting. We will continue to be flexible for individuals and families if you want to bring your child home.   

I want to thank everyone for their patience and flexibility during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Fine, Jr.
Headmaster, Admiral Farragut Academy

Communication sent to parents on March 16, 2020

Admiral Farragut Academy will be honoring the Florida Governor’s request to extend our Spring Break an extra week. Classes will resume on Monday, March 30th, whether on campus or in a Distance Learning environment. We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate our plans with you over the next week. If Distance Learning is required, we will communicate plans, strategies, and times of teacher engagement in separate communications.

Meanwhile, we will continue to function as a Boarding School and monitor and oversee any boarder not able to go home. Separate communication will be forthcoming to all boarding families.

For everyone on campus, our increased cleaning continues, augmented by two outside professional companies that are sanitizing and disinfecting the entire campus — including classrooms and dormitories.

Please continue to adhere to all precautions and directions that our school medical staff has sent over the past several weeks and review the PDF at farragut.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/workplace-school-and-home-guidance.pdf. We are committed to keeping the entire school community healthy.

Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Fine, Jr.
Headmaster, Admiral Farragut Academy

Communication sent to parents on March 12, 2020

Dear Farragut Community,

As Spring Break is upon us, and the news of the COVID-19 is everywhere, impacting our universities in the state and public gatherings, I wanted to assure you we are continuing to closely monitor the situation. The health and safety of our community is always a priority and at this time there are no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 within our school community.

While we hope to move forward after our Spring Break, as we have these past few weeks, we will be closely monitoring the situation next week. We do have action plans in place if a closure is in the best interest of the school or is mandated by local officials. If closure is warranted, our dorms will remain open for our boarding students and we will move to online instruction. Being a boarding school, we always have staff working around the clock accommodating our boarders.

If we have to suspend “on-campus” classes, we will communicate that decision on Friday, March 20th. If that were to be the case our students and families will receive separate instructions from our Lower and Upper School Heads on our instructional plans for prolonged online instruction. These instructional plans are adapted for age, class and subject area. Our teachers have an abundance of resources they can harness in order to continue and move forward with our children’s education. If this decision is the course of action, faculty and staff will continue normal school hours of interaction. If families do not have a dedicated device for their child at their home, our Technology Department will work with these families to borrow one of our school’s Chromebooks.

In addition, the school has increased cleaning services as well as hired two outside professional companies to sanitize and disinfect the entire campus including classrooms and dormitories. Please continue to adhere to all precautions and directions that our school medical staff has sent over the past several weeks and review the attached PDF. While the risk to children is low, we would like to keep our entire school community healthy.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation. Have a nice Spring Break.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Fine, Jr.
Headmaster, Admiral Farragut Academy

Communication sent to parents on March 2, 2020

As promised, we are continuing to monitor the situation with the novel coronavirus (CoVid19).  Recently two probable cases have been identified in the Tampa area. One case in Hillsborough County and one in Pasco County.  I want to assure you that our school is keeping track of this situation through proven and trustworthy sources: our local health department, the Florida Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At this time, the risks to our school community continues to be low.
Updated information from the CDC on coronavirus in the United States can be found at:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and in Florida at: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/.  Additionally, I have attached two printouts from the CDC on preventive care as well as care should you be exposed and become symptomatic.

Much is being learned about this newly emerged virus.  Based on the current information, health officials are recommending local communities and schools should take the same steps to protect against coronavirus as we take to prevent the spread of everyday illnesses like the common cold or the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Keep your child home when sick.
    • No student should return to school until fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol or Motrin.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The 2019 novel coronavirus is believed to be spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, much in the way the flu and other respiratory viruses are spread.  Symptoms can be fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

The administration meets daily to create a plan of action, preventive care, and ways to share the information with the school and community to keep everyone well informed.

While a new type of illness can be frightening, we can protect our students, teachers, and the broader community by using simple everyday actions that protect people from other types of respiratory viruses.  The teachers and staff are working to encourage these simple and effective habits of frequent handwashing, covering every cough or sneeze, and cleaning classroom tables/surfaces frequently. We have stepped up these measures with our cleaning crews and our day to day habits. This is important not just to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, but to help prevent the spread of other infections that can lead to student illness and absences.

Additionally, with spring break right around the corner, you can access CDC travel advisories at:
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/china#travel-notices

As always, please feel free to reach out should you have any concerns.

Sincerely,
Suzanne Douglass, BSN, RN
Director of Student Health Services
Admiral Farragut Academy
sdouglass@farragut.org

Communication sent to parents on February 26, 2020

We are aware of the general concern regarding the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).  The health and safety of students and our school community is our highest priority.

Coronaviruses are quite common, but the latest strain—the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)— can cause severe respiratory illness. Fever is also a common but not universal symptom. The recent outbreak, centered in Wuhan in Hubei Province, China, has generated numerous confirmed cases in China. At this time, there are confirmed cases on all continents except Antarctica. Individuals who enter the U.S. and Canada who may have been exposed are undergoing screening and evaluation.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Public Health Agency of Canada are authoritative sources of information about the spread of the virus, as well as advice for individuals, communities, and organizations. The WHO has declared a health emergency in China, but has not classified the outbreak a global health emergency.
According to these various sources, as of this writing, the immediate public health risk in the U.S. and Canada is low.  The risk of influenza, which is very active in the U.S. at this time, is greater than the new-coronavirus. As our spring break approaches, we would like to take this opportunity to inform you of our efforts to keep our school healthy and safe as the 2019-nCoV continues to spread beyond China.
Because of the number of students from Asia who are boarding students enrolled at Admiral Farragut Academy, we have chosen to be proactive and ask any student from Asia who are boarding students to not return home during spring break.  If a student from Asia does return home during spring break, he/she has been asked not to return and finish the school year remotely.
This is for the protection and safety of all students, faculty and staff. We are also monitoring any overseas travel by any of our employees and students for any planned trips to Asia. Realistically, we cannot monitor the travel of all AFA families.  We respectfully ask you to notify the school infirmary if you will be traveling in an “at risk” country or have unfortunately been exposed to the new coronavirus either through travel or guest in your home. The school is closely monitoring international and national advisories from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and staying in close contact with the local health department.

Sincerely,
Suzanne Douglass, BSN, RN
Director of Student Health Services
Admiral Farragut Academy
sdouglass@farragut.org

Staying Informed

Too much information about Coronavirus confusing you? Here are three simple steps for staying informed.

About the Virus

The World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Public Health Agency of Canada are authoritative sources of information about the spread of the virus, as well as advice for individuals, communities, and organizations.