NICEVILLE, Fla. — Rocky Bayou Christian School has completed the first two weeks of the 2020-21 school year before most schools have begun.
The excitement was buzzing on Monday, August 10 as the first day of school of the 2020-21 school year commenced on both Rocky campuses in Niceville and Crestview. Face covering and temperature checks, social distancing requirements, and plastic partitions for desks were added safety features for the year but they have not slowed down progress. Even though the first day looked different, students, staff and parents alike were happy to be back in the saddle.
When developing the reopening plans for Rocky, the 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 Okaloosa County Health Department. 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 believe the structure of an in-person classroom environment is important to our children’s education and trust that Rocky is taking every precaution possible to make sure our children are safe while at school,” said Rocky parent Andrea Franklin.
Although new COVID-19 cases in Florida are decreasing, Rocky designed a plan that includes multiple layers of safeguards for on-campus learning such as face-covering requirements for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, heightened cleaning and sanitizing procedures including electro-static sprayers, daily temperature checks and screening questionnaires, touchless handwashing and new sanitizing stations, and signage around campus promoting proper hygiene and social distancing.
The school’s administration, facilities and custodial staff are working closely together to ensure procedure follow through.
“The team here at Rocky is so thrilled to be the first in the county to launch in-person school. Our faculty and staff are leaning into this year in an unprecedented way. They are committed to loving and teaching our students to become the young men and women God has made them to be,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael Mosley.
Along with new safeguards and protocols came new curriculum and 1:1 computers for 3rd through 12th grade. Ignitia is an online curriculum platform that can be mobile with each student will allow seamless transition between in-class and online learning if need be. Microsoft Teams and FACTS Learning Management System are also utilized to support a virtual classroom.
Some students bypassed new protocols altogether by participating in the school’s new online learning platform, Rocky Remote which allows them to keep up with their class with teacher-lead instruction and holds the student’s seat which allows them to come back on-campus at a time that is right for them. Families also has the choice of going to the Rocky Homeschool umbrella program.
“Teaching students both in-person and remotely at the same time is a new experience for us. Our teaching faculty and support staff have developed a delivery system that will provide a seamless learning experience for our students that will maximize learning for our young people,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael Mosley.