American Preparatory Academy
Fall 2020 Reopening Plan DRAFT
APPROVED by Governing Board July 28, 2020
American Preparatory Academy (APA) has engaged in a lengthy process of research, discussion, and
collaboration with parents, staff members, and administrators regarding COVID19 and its impact on
the schools opening this fall. We have considered thousands of parent comments and have solicited
and received a great deal of input from teachers and staff members. Additionally, the Utah State
Board of Education and staff, as well as the Governor’s office, have provided requirements and
recommendations to schools that we have considered as we make our plan to open school.
American Prep leaders agree that the following principles will guide our plans and our actions:
- Students need to be in school if it is at all possible. Issues of student academic loss, student
mental health deterioration, and lack of supervision for students as parents return to work are
real and significant factors which support the need for students to be in school.
- Students in the age-band of K-12 schools are not considered by the CDC to be high-risk
individuals for COVID19, although exceptions exist, of course.
- Staff members are at higher risk than our students, and all reasonable means by which we can
protect our staff members should be implemented, including requiring mask or shield wearing
of all individuals in our buildings.
- There are many unknowns and constant change in the current circumstances. We will
endeavor to study, consider, discuss and debate when making decisions that may have an
impact on our staff members’ and students’ lives. We will support the best efforts of all
stakeholders in this process, and we realize there may not be clear answers or strong evidence
for or against a particular decision. We will act in good faith to support the decisions made
and be willing to support when information changes and there is a need for adjustments to
Plan Goal: To maintain our mission of excellence in academics and character development, while
simultaneously doing all we can to promote student, staff, and family health and safety.
This fall, APA will offer several options to parents. Each option is described below, first for
elementary (grades K-6) and then for secondary (grades 7-12).
ELEMENTARY PROGRAMS – FALL 2020
For students in grades K-6, APA will offer 2 options:
- On-Campus Program
a. Students will attend school on the regular school calendar and schedule
b. Students and staff will wear masks and/or shields, with certain exceptions for special
classes, activities or speech or other services.
c. The full APA academic program will be provided, including small-group classes, which
provide for less people together for a significant portion of the day (2.5 hours)
d. Students will eat lunch in classrooms
e. No large-group assemblies will be held
f. Symptom checking will be conducted by families each morning
g. Symptom checking will be conducted randomly by staff each day
h. Desks or seats will be separated wherever possible
i. Transition schedules will be altered to decrease the number of students in the hallway
at any given time
j. Transitions will be orderly and distancing will be implemented to the extent possible
k. Students will be taught the importance of mask wearing, social distancing, and keeping
their hands to themselves and their own belongings
l. Increased hand washing and hand sanitizing will be encouraged, planned, and
m. Increased sanitizing of desks, doorknobs, and other surfaces will occur daily
- Off-Campus Program
a. Students will not come to the campus for school
b. Students will be assigned to an Off-Campus Program Teacher
c. Courses will include Reading Group (at their level), Mathematics Group (at their level),
Science, History, Reading University, Writing (some grades), Keyboarding (some
d. Students will need access to a computer or other similar device, internet access,
printer, and supplies for about 2-3 hours per day
e. Parents will need to come to the school prior to the beginning of the term to pick up
the student materials for the term
f. Parents will need to assist young children with their schoolwork daily
g. When a student begins any term enrolled in the Off-Campus Program, they will remain
in that program for the length of the term. Transfers to the on-campus program will
be made at term-end
h. Students will not receive all of the content that the students receive at the on-campus
i. The Off-Campus Program is not the same Learning From Home (LFH) program we
provided during the school shut-down last March-May. See FAQ for more information.
j. In preparation for resuming normal school operations at some point during the year,
Off-Campus program participants will also be assigned to a classroom at their campus,
and there may be some communication between the on-campus classroom teacher
and the off-campus students during the term, depending upon the grade level and
SECONDARY PROGRAMS – FALL 2020
For students in grades 7-12, APA will offer 3 options:
- On-Campus Program
a. Students will attend on the regular school calendar.
b. At the WV2 and Draper campuses, for the beginning of the year, and for an
undetermined length of time, the school schedule will change to a full-block schedule
(A/B days), where on A days students have periods 1-4, and on B days students have
periods 5-8. Please note: This is NOT an attendance schedule where students only
attend on either A or B days. Students attend school every school day. The Salem
campus will not be implementing the block schedule in secondary. As a very small
school, the potential benefits at the Salem campus are not supportive of the change
and safety can be achieved in other, more effective ways than changing the school
c. Students and staff will wear masks and/or shields
d. The full APA academic program will be provided
e. Extra-curricular activities will be provided as allowed by UHSAA rules and state
guidance. Events will be live streamed as possible; spectators will be limited for most
f. Students will carry backpacks instead of using lockers, except as needed on a case-by-case
g. 3 lunch periods will be held to decrease the number of students at lunch together
h. No large-group assemblies will be held
i. Symptom checking will be conducted by families each morning
j. Symptom checking will be conducted by first-period teachers each day
k. Desks or seats will be separated as far as possible
l. There will be fewer transitions each day due to the block schedule
m. Hand sanitizing upon entry and exit of classes
n. Frequent hand washing encouraged
o. Frequent sanitizing of desks, doorknobs, and other surfaces
- Off-Campus Live Stream Program—Grades 7-12
a. Students will not come to the campus
b. Students will be given a course schedule that will align with the on-campus schedule
c. With the exception of the Salem Campus, school will be conducted on a full A/B block
schedule, so students will have 4 classes per day, periods 1-4 one day and periods 5-8
the next day
d. Students will need a computer, internet access, printer, and supplies and should
prepare to be “in school” for 6-7 hours per day
e. Students will log in to attend classes being conducted at the campus, according to their
schedule, each day (live)
f. Parents will need to come to the campus to pick up materials for the term prior to the
- Independent Study (IS)—BYU/Brain Honey—Grades 7-12
a. Student registers and enrolls in courses required for graduation
b. APA pays the student costs for approved, core classes
c. Student remains enrolled at APA but does not come to campus
d. Student must remain enrolled in the IS program until they have completed their
coursework, which is provided by semester. First return opportunity to campus would
be January 2021.
American Preparatory Academy
Fall 2020 Plan FAQ—Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the difference, academically, between the Off-Campus programs and the On-
Answer: For Elementary, the Off-Campus program is a combination of videos for students to
watch (Reading, Math) and Home Study for other subjects. Parents who are able to spend time
teaching their children and helping them with their work will find their students can complete a
greater amount of the curriculum (Science, History, Reading University) than parents who are
unable to provide that level of support. It is anticipated that the Off-Campus Program students
will be in school a shorter amount of time each day than the On-Campus Program students, and
therefore they will not receive all of the academic programs that the On-Campus students
receive. It is not possible to fit all the regular school programs that take 7+ hours to teach into
the shorter school day that the Off-Campus program provides. It is not recommended that young
students spend more than 3-4 hours engaged in distance learning per day. We understand
parents are in many different situations, and some will be able to work with their students a lot,
while others will not, and so some students will work longer and others will work shorter hours.
At a minimum, students in the Off-Campus Program for elementary school need to complete their
reading and math work each day, and be prepared to take their assessments in the other
For secondary, there is little difference for academic courses between the Off-Campus Program
and the On-Campus Program. A significant difference is that Off-Campus students will not be able
to participate in most elective courses such as choir, band, orchestra, drama, or PE.
- Why do the students and staff members have to wear masks (or shields)?
Answer: The Governor has mandated mask use in all Utah K-12 schools.
- What types of masks may our students and staff wear?
Answer: MASKS: Multi-layer cloth masks are preferred, as they provide the greatest protection.
Preferably, masks should be adjustable so they can fit snugly around a student’s mouth and nose.
Bandanas are not allowed to be worn at the school. “Gator” or cowl type masks are not preferred
because they are not multi-layer and do not fit snugly on the face. Masks should be free of
messaging, marketing, or anything that could be considered distracting.
- Can my child wear a face shield instead of a mask?
Answer: Yes. Face shields are acceptable alternatives for masks, and we encourage their use.
Teaching and learning will be facilitated by the use of face shields when possible so that mouths
and expressions can be seen by teachers and students. However, multi-layer cloth masks provide
greater protection than face shields, and shields are not safe on the playground so we encourage
students who wish to use a shield during class to have a face mask to switch to during appropriate
times during the day. To further safeguard our staff members, we will be encouraging them to use BOTH a shield and
face mask when they are assisting individual students, monitoring in the classroom, etc.
- Will students be required to wear masks/shields 100% of the time at school?
Answer: No. There will be times when students will be instructed to remove their masks. Lunch,
Band, Orchestra, PE, Choir, Recess, for example, will most likely have times where the teacher will
instruct students to remove their masks. Students should ONLY remove their masks when
instructed by a teacher. There are no “automatic” times when students are allowed to remove
their masks. Students will be instructed to wait for a teacher to tell them to remove their
masks/shields before they remove them.
- Will I be able to have my child excused from the mask-wearing requirement?
Answer: Due to our strong commitment to ensure we are doing absolutely everything possible to
safeguard the health and lives of our staff members, APA’s goal is to have 100% compliance on
mask wearing in our schools. We feel this is entirely achievable and is important to keep our
staff safe. Parents who do not wish for their child to wear a mask to school, or who feel their
child has an extenuating circumstance that would limit their ability to wear a mask, are
encouraged to choose the Off-Campus Program so that our staff can be protected to the
maximum extent possible.
We recognize there is significant diversity of opinions among our parents with regard to the
effectiveness or advisability of mask wearing. We have spent many hours researching, discussing,
and debating the issue of masks. Now that the Governor has mandated masks in schools, we feel
it important to state that we intend to fully comply with his directive.
We ALL wish we were not in a situation where mask wearing is necessary; however, one thing we
are unanimous about is our hope that we can be in school this fall with your children. Use of
masks is a reality we have had to face, and we have decided to embrace it to increase our chances
of having that hope realized. We have determined the best course of action for APA is to do
whatever is required so that we can return to school and hopefully keep our case counts low or at
zero so we can remain open, serving your children.
If masks can help reduce TO ANY DEGREE the number of COVID19 infections that occur among
our staff, we feel it is well worth the effort to set a standard of 100% mask wearing at our
schools—because we are 100% committed to doing all we can to help keep our staff members
safe and healthy and keep our schools open to the extent possible.
- Can I enroll in the Off-Campus Program and then switch to the On-Campus Program?
Answer: Yes. Student applications to switch will be accepted at the end of each term.
- Can I enroll in the On-Campus Program and then switch to the Off-Campus Program?
Answer: Yes. These enrollment switches can happen at any time a student’s status changes, for
example, if a student is required to quarantine, or becomes ill, or for other reasons cannot attend
school, they will switch to the Off-Campus program.
- Is the elementary Off-Campus Program the same as the “Learning From Home” (LFH)
program we participated in last spring?
Answer: No. In the Off-Campus Program, each elementary student will be enrolled in the class of
an Off-Campus teacher. This teacher will act as a support, mentor and guide to the student and
parent in the Off-Campus Program. The Off-Campus teacher will ensure that the student’s
reading and math lessons are loaded for the student to watch and complete each day at home,
and will be available for questions from students or parents. Science and History packets and
access to Science and History materials online will be given to the students to assist them in
completing their unit packets. Literature will consist of independent reading assignments and
Reading University reading and book reports, all done independently. Students will complete
their lessons, and parents will be given the answer keys to check the homework. Students will
take tests which will be graded and recorded.
We appreciate the many parents who requested that we continue the LFH program we instituted
last spring. We agree our teachers did a fantastic job of delivering a great education under the
circumstances. Our analysis of the program resulted in clear findings that the LFH program is
unsustainable for many reasons, including the fact that teachers were required to work excessive
hours to make the program successful. Many parents also reported that the program was too
intense and time consuming for their children. Therefore, the Off-Campus Program is not the
same as the LFH program in significant ways.
- What happens if there is a case of COVID19 among a student or staff member at the
Answer: With the current rates of transmission in Utah, and with 5500 students and 750 staff
members at APA, we anticipate this will happen, and we have a plan in place for when it does.
Parents will be notified of any positive cases at the school via email and text message. The case
will be reported to the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), and the UDOH will advise the school
with regard to any required closures—for example, of a class or a campus.
- Why does the secondary plan say “at the beginning of the year and for an undetermined
period of time” there will be a block schedule?
Answer: Running a “temporary” block schedule at the beginning of the year provides us with
• It gives teachers time to figure out the logistics related to “live from home” classes they will
• Teachers can establish and refine procedures for sanitizing classrooms, using the saved
transition time for training students on those procedures
• The first week or two of school will be very informative on a campus, district, and state level.
We will quickly see how the Utah Department of Health handles cases of COVID in a school
setting whether the case be a student or teacher, how outbreaks are handled, how common
cases become, and if we have to close classes or campuses
We anticipate carefully re-evaluating the block schedule, and we are open to going back to the
full schedule if and when it is advisable.
- Why would the block schedule be temporary? Why would secondary school staff want to
go back to a “regular” schedule (modified block) as soon as possible?
Answer: APA teachers are committed to the modified block because our data shows that we are
able to accomplish significantly more academic work on a modified block schedule. Student
attention spans are limited—especially for 7th and 8th graders—and a 90-minute class is not as
effective as a 48-minute class.
In our discussions, teachers overwhelmingly expressed they would prefer to teach on the
modified block schedule, but they understood the need to perhaps go to a block schedule
temporarily for safety reasons, and they are supportive of that.
Although it may seem to be the case that spending time with only 90-120 students a day in 4-
block classes as opposed to 210 students each day in the modified block schedule would be safer
for staff members, considering that the teachers will be spending time with those other students
within the next 24 hours helps us see that perhaps it isn’t a foregone conclusion that a block
schedule is appreciably “safer”. We will continue to monitor the block schedule situation and
make changes as they become appropriate.