What time is dismissal?
*Students (K4–Gr. 6) enrolled in ESD may remain as late as 5:30 p.m. on any school day.
May I walk my child to class?
For the health safety of students and staff, parents should remain in the car while staff guide children from the designated drop off zones to their classroom. Parents who have children new to the Academy should plan to utilize Orientation Day to familiarize them with their classroom location and arrival procedures.
How should I pick up my child?
If you need to pick up your child during the school day, sign them out from the front lobby.
After school, children may be picked up at the designated areas below:
- K4–K5—Doors 2, 3, 4, 5 (playground) Door 2 (bus side)
- Grades 1–6—the playground gate on the west (Palafox) side of the Academy
- Grades 7–12—front of the building under the awning
Note: Grades 1–12 may also be picked up at St. John gate, located on the north side of PCA on St. John Street.
How will students be socially distanced in classrooms?
Each student in K4–Grade 12 will have his own desk for class. Class sizes have been reduced, and desks have been separated to accomplish social distancing.
Will there be recess/PE?
Because students need sunshine, fresh air, and the opportunity to exercise, recess and PE will be part of the school day schedule. To reduce the potential spread of germs, students will avoid interaction with other classes and will sanitize their hands before and after equipment use.
In grades 7–9, PE will meet three days per week (weather permitting) to allow for smaller class sizes and groupings within the class. Students will be provided a cooldown time prior to entering the locker room at the end of class, and groups will be limited to approximately 10 at a time in the locker room. The locker room will be sanitized between each class.
Note: In grades 7–8, parents concerned about their child’s health may opt for an additional study hall instead of PE. Since PE is a graduation requirement in high school, parents of students in grade 9 may choose to defer their child’s PE credit to grade 10. Requests for grade 7–9 PE changes should be submitted to the principal by Tuesday, August 11, to allow time for the appropriate schedule changes to be implemented.
Will there be assemblies?
The September assemblies for grades 1–12 have been canceled, and future assemblies will be decided at a later date.
I’d like to send birthday treats for my child’s classmates on his birthday. Is this OK?
Parents sometimes choose to send treats or baked goods for the class to celebrate their kindergarten or elementary child’s birthday. To protect everyone’s health, food should be delivered in the store/restaurant’s original, unopened packaging. We are unable to accept homemade baked goods for distribution at this time.
Will choirs still meet?
Yes. Choir sizes will be limited so social distancing may be achieved in the choral room. For maximum social distancing while actively singing, alternate locations will be utilized when the entire group sings together.
Will band still meet?
Yes. Prior to participation, students will be instructed in best practices regarding instrument handling, breathing, and social distancing to create a safe performing environment.
How will social distancing be accomplished for in-person private music lessons?
Due to the nature of private music instruction, social distancing is not always feasible; therefore, teachers will wear a mask during private instruction.
Are remote music lessons available?
Yes, a limited number of online remote music lessons in the evening and on weekends will be available. Contact the music office if you are interested.
Health and Safety
What do I do if my child has a fever?
Anyone exhibiting symptoms of illness (cough, sore throat, fever, etc.) must remain at home. Do not send your child to school unless his temperature is lower than 100.4°F without a fever reducing medicine.
Will students be screened daily?
Every classroom teacher will be provided a touchless thermometer, and a daily health screening will be conducted for each student before school begins. During this screening, a temperature check will be done and a visual assessment (appearance and breathing) will be checked. If a student exhibits illness, they will be sent to the school nurse for further assessment.
How will restrooms and drinking fountains be protected?
- Restrooms—Helpful markers will be placed on the floor to help students stay socially distanced between others in line. Hand washing will be required. Each restroom will be sanitized multiple times throughout the day.
- Drinking fountains—To limit drinking fountain use and the germs associated with them, students will need to bring capped, clear water bottles to fill at filtered water stations in the school.
Will children be required to wear masks?
Students and teachers are strongly encouraged to wear masks or cloth face coverings, particularly when social distancing is not feasible. There may be some close or confined spaces (class changes, Driver’s Ed, biology lab, etc.) where a mask is necessary due to the inability to be distant from others. Specifics will be noted at Orientation.
How will I be notified if my child gets sick?
In the event your child gets sick, a school nurse will contact you by using the numbers submitted with your child’s enrollment. To update phone numbers, go to Change Emergency Contact Info after logging in to PensacolaChristianAcademy.com.
Will the entire class be notified if a child has COVID-19 symptoms?
As symptoms are not always an indicator of illness, notifications to parents will be made when a student or staff member in their child’s class tests positive for COVID-19. The personal identity of the positive COVID-19 cases will be protected.
What happens when someone in the school tests positive for COVID-19?
The area occupied by the individual who tested positive will be immediately vacated for sanitization following CDC guidelines. Students and staff normally occupying that space will be provided an alternate location to continue until it is safe to return. Parents with students in that class, team, group, or bus will be notified, and contact tracing will be performed in coordination with the Florida Department of Health. Those determined to have been in close contact with the infected student or staff member will need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of contact.
Will the entire class have to quarantine if a student or teacher tests positive for COVID-19?
PCA will work closely with the Florida Department of Health to perform contact tracing immediately following news of a positive case. Only students and staff identified by the tracing as a close contact will be required by FDOH to self-quarantine. To mitigate the potential number of close contacts within a class, teachers will limit seating assignment changes and student mobility during the day. Students will convene in an alternative location until the classroom has been sanitized following CDC guidelines.
What does “close contact” mean?
Close contact is defined by the CDC as any individual who has been within 6 feet of an infected individual for more than 15 minutes since 2 days prior to symptoms or 2 days prior to test if asymptomatic. Close contact would also include those who had direct physical contact or transferred saliva (sharing of eating/drinking utensils, kissing, etc.) or respiratory droplets (sneezing, coughing, etc.).
How will lunch be handled?
Most students will eat lunch in their classrooms to allow for social distancing. Pre-plated hot lunch choices will be available for purchase in a grab-n-go disposable container, or students may bring lunch from home. Hand sanitizer will be available at multiple locations.
How will absences be handled?
If a child is quarantined or isolated at home due to COVID-19 exposure, PCA will make video streaming available so that student does not fall behind in his studies. Students who participate daily in their video streaming and complete the assigned work will be counted present. Students who do not participate during their quarantine will receive excused absences for illness and may be required to make up the work when they return.
What protective health measures have you installed?
- Upon arrival each day, each student and staff member will have his temperature checked.
- Students will have frequent designated times to wash their hands, and hand sanitizing stations are widely distributed throughout the building and encouraged to be used.
- Distance in waiting lines (restrooms, library, bookstore, etc.) will be increased using ground marking to identify distance intervals.
- Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned multiple times during the day, and overall cleanings will be conducted at the conclusion of every day.
- Plexiglas dividers will be installed for physical separation in customer service areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.
- A commercial cleaning company has been retained to provide professional disinfecting as needed.
What kind of air filtration system do you have?
PCA has invested in one of the best filtration systems in the industry. The BioCel VXL MERV-16 filters are the same grade used in hospital operating rooms. These filters have an efficiency of 99.99% on particles that are 1 to 5 microns in size and 97.9% on particles as small as 0.3 microns. Viruses typically travel through the air riding in or on particles called droplet nuclei, which range in size from 1 to 5 microns.
How will PCA libraries be maintained?
After books are turned in, they will have a three-day quarantine period and sanitization prior to being returned to the shelves. Elementary classroom teachers will coordinate time in the lower library for their students later in the semester. Although the upper library will be available for browsing before and after school, high school students will be encouraged to order books online through PCA’s holdings system. The books will be available for pick-up from the library the following school day. Hand sanitizer will be available in the libraries.
Will there be bus transportation?
Yes, bus service is available for most parts of Pensacola and the surrounding area.
Will temperature checks be taken at the bus stop when students are boarding?
No, temperature checks at boarding present a potential safety hazard while students wait to board. Parents will need to ensure their child exhibits no symptoms of illness without the aid of fever-reducing drugs before he boards the bus each morning. Temperatures will be checked before the students begin class.
What health precautions will be taken for bus riders?
Students will have assigned seats, sitting near siblings or members of the same household when possible. Bus seats are high, providing a physical barrier between students in front and behind. Weather permitting, drivers will open windows and roof vents to increase the fresh airflow through the bus during the route. Air conditioners may continue to be used while windows are open.
Will the school bus be cleaned and disinfected prior to picking up the students?
Yes, school buses will undergo disinfection with an electrostatic sprayer between each route. Hand sanitizer will be provided for students to use.
Will Extended School Day (ESD) be available?
Yes, each group will spend as much time outside as possible, following a schedule, which minimizes equipment sharing and interaction with other groups.
Will high school athletics be offered?
Yes, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) moved the start date for fall sport tryouts to August 24 to accommodate parts of the state under heavier COVID-19 restrictions. Under FHSAA guidelines, PCA continues to offer summer conditioning until tryouts begin on Monday, August 24.
Will fans be allowed to attend athletic events?
Yes, spectators are encouraged to wear face coverings. Temperatures will be checked for indoor sporting events. Social distancing and facility capacity guidelines will be followed.
If the district closes schools, will PCA close?
PCA is not part of the Escambia County School District, and is therefore unconnected to decisions and guidelines of the district. While great consideration is given to the direction the district takes, PCA will make decisions in coordination with the Florida Department of Health but independently of the district. We will communicate accordingly with parents.
If I begin the school year with Abeka Academy, when can I return to PCA?
Pending available classroom space, we will make a transition from ABA to PCA as smooth as possible when parents are comfortable with their child returning to in-person instruction. Contact our Admissions Office to begin the process.