Why Opening Our Campus This Summer Matters

Florida Prep will be operating a summer program from July 13 to August 7, 2020, for both residential and day students, and here is why.

As we enter a new world ‘normal’ of social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing, it is easy to overlook the effects of isolation, disconnection, and in some cases fear in our children.  Many have been at home with little interaction beyond that of a computer screen for over 10 weeks.

Following the May 22, 2020 announcement by Gov. DeSantis that camp and youth sports would proceed this summer, we took it as a green light to move forward in earnest with our programs, knowing that doing so would require judiciously planning out methods and procedures for fully mitigating any risks associated with the spread of Covid-19.

In preparation for this, we have developed a careful program of safety protocols, a program we consider to be far more conscientious and rigorous than those we have seen adopted elsewhere. We aim to carefully address the unique needs of both our student participants and our counselors.

Our safety protocols take into careful consideration the fact that children, by nature, interact more closely in social environments, crowd each other, and may not be willing to wear a mask. To compensate for these conditions, we will regularly monitor their temperature, their general health and well-being, and the manner and frequency in which they interact.

A good part of our method utilizes “quiet strategies” for ensuring social distancing to minimize the need to enforce rules vocally. Our intention is to maximize the safety of everyone involved in a way that does not compromise the social interaction that is necessary for healthy student development. Of course, should any venue or activity require that a mask be worn, we will certainly comply.

It is our opinion that the health and mental benefits of returning to ‘school life’, of communicating with peers face-to-face and of getting back outside in the fresh air of daily life far outweigh all those important concerns we have addressed about the risks of reopening.

Children need stimulation and hands-on-learning to grow. Although our recent adventure with distance learning during stay-at-home orders did prove quite successful for most of our students, it was clear there were sacrifices. We feel strongly that a computer screen as a ‘summer friend’ is not a viable substitute for genuine personal interaction.

We do wish to acknowledge that any choice to attend a summer program is a personal choice for you and your family. As you consider all options, we encourage you to feel confident that Florida Prep’s Summer Program is the right choice for your child, just as we are confident that your child’s participation will provide exactly the right environment they need to Learn, Grow and Have Fun!