COVID-19 UPDATES

Greetings to all current HCA Parents,

 

These days are certainly unconventional, and none of us are spending March break in the manner which we expected. We’ve all been forced to adapt into new rhythms in our daily lives. However, we pray that through God’s grace, and public diligence, this will be past us as soon as possible.

Now that we are in the second week of our unexpected three-week March break, you will be receiving updates on a regular basis.

For those that may not have heard, the NS Government declared a state of emergency yesterday. This declaration places further restrictions on everyday life, including limiting gatherings to 5 people. The press release is here: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200322001

To date, we have not received any mandate from the NS Government extending closure past the current date of April 6th. While we are praying for the best, the HCA leadership and tech team have been planning for other contingencies, including an extended closure of both our campuses past April 6th.

HCA@Home

I am pleased to let you know that in the case of an extended forced closure, HCA will continue to educate and disciple students, via our new “HCA@Home” digital e-learning platform.

  • HCA@Home will launch on April 6th and will operate as long as is required.
  • Dr. Penney will be leading the implementation and management of HCA@Home with the assistance from the divisional Lead Teachers
  • Staff and Teachers will be back on the job on March 30th preparing for the launch of HCA@Home
  • All staff will be following social distancing regulations
  • HCA@Home will use a combination of proven software, available at no cost to our families
  • The student experience will include independent learning, and periods of two-way communication with their teachers.

We are excited for the blessing that HCA@Home brings during this unconventional and challenging time.

Through our HCA@Home program,

  • Our students will be well prepared to advance in grade, come September.
  • Our Grade 12 students will graduate on time, and will be able to meet their University Entrance requirements
  • Summer family vacation are preserved intact (assuming travel restrictions are lifted)
  • Student summer jobs are protected (again assuming businesses are up and running)

The Board of Directors, Dr. Penney and I are thankful for each person who has lent their wisdom and expertise in bringing this powerful new tool to bear. Your donation of time and energy will bring a blessing to hundreds!

New Website Launched 

HCA remains focused on advancing our vision and mission and we are pleased to announce the launch of a NEW HCA WEBSITE! Another step forward allowing us to communicate with you with respect to Covid, and other topics of interest. The website is intentionally designed to engage with parents who are curious about HCA and the blessing that a Discipleship Infused Education brings. We hope that the website provides answers they need and elevates their interest level to the point of making an enrollment inquiry.

Please share the new website along with your own HCA story on social media, to raise general awareness throughout HRM, and sing God’s praises of the life transformation HCA is making.

HCA COVID Task Force Update

March 17, 2020

Greetings to all!

Today we greet you with the first update from the HCA COVID Task Force. HCA started planning before the recent government school closures, and as such we are in a stronger position.

Today I confirm a few basic points. We will communicate with diligence (in alignment with HCA core values) when material developments warrant. I also pray that we each take a posture of diligence without fear, and prayer over panic, in alignment with our core value of balance.

At the present time we can confirm:

  1. HCA campuses will be closed to students, by government order, until at least April 5th.
  2. We are building a new webpage to keep apprised of events at: www.halifaxchristianacademy.ca/COVID
  3. HCA Leadership and IT team are working together to develop a TeleLearning (e-learning) plan for Continuation of Learning, should there be an extended closure.
  4. We confirm that anyone from HCA who has travelled outside of Canada is subject to a mandatory self-isolation period of 14 days following their return to Canada.
  5. We recommend continued diligence and prudence as this situation unfolds. Social distancing and proper hygiene practices are the most effective. Please refer to the NS Government COVID website: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/

Personal Reflection 
Psalm 91:1-6 has been a guiding verse for me personally as we manage through these challenges.

I pray that we all use this unexpected “break” from the norm to lean into Him and strengthen our faith. What an awesome opportunity to read your Bible, pray, work through a devotional plan, equip yourself to evangelize, and to strengthen your own spiritual disciplines. Our kids will be watching how we act and walk through this crisis. Let us give them a powerful example of how believers trust God in a crisis and without panic.

CALL TO PRAYER and Action
COVID has caused many to reflect on their own lives and many have realized that the worldly foundation they have built their life on can instantly erode. We pray that many turn and seek Jesus as the only solid rock on which to build one’s life. Please join the HCA prayer team by sending your email to hcaprays@halifaxchristianacademy.ca and please invite others to know and accept Him (from a safe, social distance 😉). Look after one another, check on your neighbours, and even offer to bring groceries to an elderly friend or someone who has just returned from travels.

We must shower this situation in prayer. Please pray for our families, each other, and use the opportunity to do a prayer walk around the perimeter of the HCA campuses. Pray for HCA leadership, staff, students, alumni, former students, and families. Keep our pastor and clergy in prayer. We can do a lot even in self-isolation, the most of all is to Pray, Pray, Pray!

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Shaun E. Alspach
Head of School

COVID-19 COMMUNICATION

March 13, 2020

RE: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Greetings!

As everyone is well aware, the facts surrounding Covid-19 are indeed dynamic.  With such a fluid situation, we advise that you monitor and follow the following web pages to stay apprised of new developments:

At the time of writing, there are five countries in the world for which Health Canada has assigned travel advisories.  Currently, Italy, China, and Iran are at Level 3, which includes a 14-day self isolation, and Japan and South Korea are at Level 2, which recommends 14 days of self-monitoring (not self-isolation) following return to Canada.   (https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices#risklevels)

As of this morning, the Government of NS has stepped past the guidance of the Federal Government and are recommending that ANY persons travelling outside of Canada should self-isolate for 14 days following their return to Canada.  (https://globalnews.ca/news/6671308/nova-scotia-update-coronavirus-march-13/)

The provincial government has mandated this edict for publicly funded schools, and has asked private schools to follow suit.  Although not publicly funded, HCA Armdale will adhere to the policy, in alignment with our core values of diligence and balance.  Thus, if you choose to travel out of the country during March break, please self-isolate for this 14 day period.

We have been and are being proactive in a number of areas:

Facility

  • hard surfaces are being disinfected every evening with industrial strength cleaners,
  • additional hand sanitizer has been added to the campus,
  • students instructed on the necessity for diligent and proper hand washing.

Over March break, our facility team will be

  • performing a deep cleaning on the washrooms,
  • cleaning carpets, and
  • stripping/cleaning/waxing the tiled floors.
  • undertaking a thorough disinfection program while the campus is empty, and
  • Hanging posters in each washroom to serve as visual reminders for everyone on what constitutes proper handwashing procedure.

Preparedness and Planning

  • HCA leadership has been in regular contact with governmental officials to gain understanding and guidance, and have benefited from their input.

In the event that it becomes prudent to extend March break, we are exploring options to continue instruction via available internet applications.  Such a venture on a large scale will be new for HCA but not totally new in education. To best position our students for success if indeed we need to remain closed, we are being proactive by sending children home with their textbooks and personal belongings.

Note: Over March break our office team will be on campus with shortened work hours, so that they too can enjoy time with family.  If you require assistance during the break please phone 902.475.1441 prior to visiting campus, to insure that someone is here, or email office@halifaxchristianacademy.ca.

As we face this interesting and dynamic situation, please remember that God is in control and we are in the shelter of His wings.  He is not a God of fear but a God of peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us, “Do not be anxious…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

May God bless you and make his face shine on you as He leads, guides and directs.

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Shaun E. Alspach
Head of School

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Aubrey J. Penney
Principal

Finally, could you please help our team with the planning for HCA@Home? Please take a few minutes and fill out the following survey to help us gain understanding on what technology options you have at home:

Until our next communique, we thank you for your partnership, for your support and your understanding as we continue forward together, in a manner that none of us could have anticipated even a month ago.

May you rest in the knowledge that our Lord remains sovereign over this situation, and He promises to never forsake us.

Bless you and your family,

Shaun E. Alspach
Head of School

Aubrey J. Penney
Principal

Aubrey J. Penney
Principal

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.