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Saint Francis Catholic Academy and the Diocese of St. Augustine are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. This webpage will be used to post the most current information regarding our school and student learning.


March 30, 2020

Hello SFCA Family,
The State of Florida announced earlier today that all schools would be closed through May 1st.  The Diocese of St. Augustine has announced our compliance with this statement.  A letter from Deacon Scott Conway, Superintendent of the Diocese of St. Augustine is attached and explains our current situation.

I pray that all of our families remain safe in these times of turmoil.

God bless,
Mr. Jason Acosta

2020-03-30-COVID-19-Parent-Letter


March 30, 2020

Hello SFCA Family,
Everyone here at Saint Francis has been praying for all of our families.  We miss having you all on campus, but we want you to be safe and secure in your homes at this time.  We will continue to update our families as news becomes available.  With Alachua County and other counties transitioning to Distance Learning this week we are anticipating some internet issues over the next few days, but we will continue to fix those areas we are able to maintain.  The main office has been re-opened for basic communication on weekdays between the hours of 9:00AM and 2:00PM.  Feel free to call the main office at 352-376-6545 with basic questions.  If you need to come into the office for any reason, please call before you come so that we may follow the current health protocols of Alachua County.  If there are specific issues with a class, we ask that you submit those questions directly to the instructors via email.  Teachers have access to their email accounts and have Google Meetings for distance learning instruction.  Please remember that during our Easter Break, April 7th-15th, no distance learning will be occurring and the teachers and students will be off.

As additional counties begin to move forward with their distance learning models the Diocese has requested that we email a new form to all families.  The Diocese has created a Distance Learning Agreement form as a reminder for academic integrity and honesty.  Please read and review the document.  Our email to you will count as your signature of accepting and having read the form.  You do not need to submit a signed copy of the form at this time.

We will continue to keep all of our families updated as news becomes available.  The superintendents of the State of Florida meet daily with the State Commissioner.  Principals meet with the superintendent of the Diocese of St. Augustine twice a week to be provided updated information as possible.  As that information becomes available to us we will provide it to our families.

Thank you for all that you are doing to make Distance Learning work and for your dedication to Saint Francis!  You are all in our prayers and we will hope to see everyone again as soon as this crisis has passed..

God bless,
Mr. Jason Acosta

Distance Learning Agreement Form


March 23, 2020

Hello SFCA Family,
Alachua County has officially announced a Stay-in-Place Order: https://www.gainesville.com/news/20200323/stay-homersquo

With this current order in place, all SFCA personnel have been asked to work from home and not return to campus at this time.  Teachers will be available online through WolfDen, Email, and Google Meetings as needed.  We expect to continue with our distance learning model until at least April 15th.  Please continue to reach out to your instructors for assistance and understanding on specific assignments.  The Diocese of St. Augustine will be having an update briefing Tuesday and any new information provided will be shared with our SFCA Family.  We continue to smooth out the issues that we have had with WolfDen through the assistance of PowerSchool and instructors continue to refine their classes to best work with the current platform/situation.  We will continue to pray for all of our SFCA families and ask that you reach out to us with concerns.  There will be times when individuals are on campus to continue monitoring the situation, but we ask that you monitor the Florida Department of Health website: http://alachua.floridahealth.gov for specific instructions of how to remain safe.

We are all working to provide the most consistent education possible at this time and we will continue working toward meeting your expectations under these stressful circumstances.  Please continue to pray for each other and for the world, so that we may see an ease to this crisis.  Please stay home when possible and keep safe during these times.  Continue to monitor additional announcements on our website at www.sfcawolves.org.

God bless,

Mr. Jason Acosta


March 19, 2020

Internet Information
Some students may be unable to successfully connect to reliable WiFi in their away-from-campus locations.  UFIT has shared the following information below that might be helpful for them to access reliable service. 

Cox Communications
Cox is providing a free month for new customers and 19.95/mo for their lowest grade of service, I do not know if they will offer that to this student, not knowing their specific situation.  https://www.cox.com/residential/internet.html?campcode=tnt_c2c_home_page_modal_sip_20200319

Also depending on their exact situation, WiFi tethering from their cellphone may or may not be sufficient, this will depend on cell signal strength at their residence and their phone and service plan. 

Comcast
Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser.

LINKS
Cox Open WIFI Mentioned Here
Cox Hotspot Locations
Spectrum/Charter: WIFI Mentioned Here
Spectrum/Charter Hotspot Locations
ATT Open Hotspot Mentioned Here (Under Community->Keep Americans Connected Pledge)

Most are also offering free deals on 60 days or so of connectivity.  Some of the free hotspot offers also seem to pace that 60 day timeframe, but we will see if it’s extended.


March 18, 2020

Hello SFCA Family,
Please find attached a copy of the most updated response from the Office of the Superintendent.  At this time SFCA will comply with the requirements of the Governor and will use the distance learning model through April 15th.  We apologize for the number of issues with WolfDen/PowerSchool at this time.  Please let your student’s know to complete what is possible, when the system is available.  PowerSchool is working on the problem and we are attempting to adjust our expectations to the availability of the system.  We are sorry that we are not able to provide more detailed information at this time, but for now the information we have will continue to be provided as soon as we have access to announcements.

God bless,
Mr. Jason Acosta

2020-03-18-COVID-19-Parent-Letter


Hello SFCA Family,

We have been in contact with PowerSchool, the company that manages WolfDen, and they are working through their bugs.  We are very much understanding of the issues and pressure that this situation has put on students and their families and are happy to work with our Wolf Pack.  At this time we simply ask that you do the best you can so that we can try and remain in compliance with State regulations.  

With the updated announcement from the Governor yesterday, public schools being closed through April 15th, the Diocesan superintendents are meeting today and will submit their recommendations to the Bishops for approval.  We look to have further information about the current status of Saint Francis in the next few days.  Please stay tuned for further updates on our website: https://sfcawolves.org/2020/03/16/sfca-school-updates-information/ and/or your email and social media as more information becomes available.

God bless,
Mr. Jason Acosta


March 17, 2020

Hello SFCA Family,
Today was the first day of our Distance Learning journey.  Somethings went smoothly and others did not.  We are all sharing the same voyage of uncertainty as we take this journey into the unknown.  Our teachers are seeing many of the same roadblocks to connectivity as PowerSchool/WolfDen adjusts for the increased demands being put on their resources.  Teachers are having troubles uploading assignments and downloading student work as the amount of data being pushed through the system is enormous.  We have early reports that students are having trouble seeing certain video items on WolfDen, as well as uploading pictures and graphic assignments.  We will all continue to work together in order to make this new system work to the best of our abilities.  This will continue to be a work in progress.  All that we ask is that you please keep doing the best you can and we will continue on the same track on our end.  As we all gain more experience with the system and PowerSchool/WolfDen adjusts to the increased demands we hope to see things run smoother in the upload and download departments.  We hope that the video classes with the Google Hangouts were user friendly.  As with all new things, we have kinks and will continue to try and iron them out.  Teachers are available via email or phone call to the school between the hours of 9:00AM-2:00PM provided they are not teaching.  Teachers have the ability to setup up additional group meetings to answer questions.  Please just have students reach out to their instructors via WolfDen email for assistance.

With prayer and understanding we will all pull through!

God bless,
Mr. Jason Acosta


Our first day of distance learning.


March 16, 2020

Hello SFCA Family,

First, thank you for being patient with us as we have attempted to work through this unprecedented situation.  Our teachers have been working on our model for Distance Learning and we will be putting it up Live on Tuesday, March 17th.  During the time we will be using the Distance Learning model SFCA will be requiring student participation via Google Hangouts for direct instruction.  A schedule of how this class will work is below and attached:

Each teacher has created a Google Hangout classroom set by period.  Teachers have sent invitations to the individual students and will post the link to their WolfDen accounts.  The link that your student’s teacher provides will allow for direct, live instruction by the teacher.   Daily assignments will be posted each day for students to complete, along with instructions, in order to provide an opportunity for the school to prove attendance in the Distance Learning Model.  Students will be REQUIRED to complete the daily assignment EACH DAY to show attendance in the class. Failure to complete your daily assignment could result in the State not recognizing attendance and students NOT RECEIVING CREDIT FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER. Please take these assignments seriously and be prepared to sign-on for the live session each day from 9:00AM-10:00AM for Periods One, Two, Three, Four and Five, or from 11:00AM-12:00PM for Periods Six and Seven.  Knowing that each family has a different circumstance, we are attempting to not overwhelm students and families with work.  However, we must show that instruction is still happening and that students are engaged.  If you are not able to access the internet, or have questions about this current system, please contact the front office at 352-376-6545.  

We understand that the system may not be ideal, but we will need your help to have students engage in the Distance Learning Model.  We anticipate recording all Live sessions for further review and we will have instructors filming additional instructional videos for student use.  The specific day instruction will not only attempt to simulate instructional time, but provide students an opportunity to ask questions.  Students are always welcome to email teachers, or call the school throughout the day, with questions.  Teachers are expected to be on campus Monday through Friday from 9:00AM-2:00PM, but this may change as new mandates are announced.  We are here to help, but we ask that you assist us with motivating your students to logon to their classes and to complete assignments in order for the school to submit our Instructional Continuity Plan, as well as a waiver that would grant us credit for the days we are not in the school. 

Thank you so very much for your assistance, your support, and your prayers as we continue to build toward this uncertain future.  Hopefully we will see a return to our regular schedule in the next few weeks.

God bless,
Mr. Jason Acosta


March 13, 2020 

Dear Catholic School Parents and Guardians, 

The health and safety of our families is our top priority. Our diocesan office and school leaders have been closely monitoring the development of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the attempts of our public health organizations to address it. In an abundance of caution for our students, employees, and vulnerable populations, Bishop Felipe Estévez has directed that all Catholic Schools and Early Learning Centers buildings will be closed to students from March 17 through March 29, 2020 reopening on March 30, 2020. This is a fluid situation and we will continue to monitor the situation and inform everyone of any change. We will conduct distance learning during this time. 

The virtual learning days will be conducted using a variety of resources provided by your school. Your child’s teachers will communicate with you via email or the appropriate learning management systems (LMS). We are considering these as regular school days, so please pay special attention to how your school instructs you concerning online attendance. If your child does not have access to this online environment, you should contact the teacher/school directly. This will allow us the opportunity to continue learning and conduct a deep cleaning of our school without students present. 

As of now, all after-school and athletic events are canceled until students return to regular on-site classes. Field trips and any large school gatherings (galas, auctions, dances, etc.) are canceled or postponed until at least April 17. Decisions concerning further closings/virtual days will be made at a later date. Please note that our current Easter vacation (April 13-17) may be impacted. 

We will not be closing our early learning centers at this time. 

Regarding travel, we will be enforcing policies consistent with CDC gui delines and self-quarantine situations. These are changing each day so please continue to inform yourself. We ask that you communicate with your school to keep everyone safe. 

We ask for your patience and assistance during this unprecedented situation. We understand the difficulty this action will have for many families. However, we believe it is the right thing to do. Let us continue to pray for one another and remain calm in the peace of Christ during this time. 

Sincerely in Christ, 
Deacon Scott J. Conway 
Superintendent of Schools