One of our parents asked some very good questions about new protocols at Sequitur, and we wanted to share the info with everyone:
The front desk will be staffed fulltime by a Sequitur mother, Michelle Crowe. (You can email her here: firstname.lastname@example.org or the desk directly once school starts at email@example.com) Medical screenings and records will be a step up from last year but not on the level of official hospital screenings or records.
Health screening: One of our doctor-dads gave us on-hand information from the CDC to help us assess general ailments, including pre-symptoms of the virus. Our general procedure is to send a child to the front desk if they are feeling ill or if a teacher sees they are clearly not well. We have general medical remedies for headaches, coughs, stings, scrapes, cuts; a hands-free temperature check, EpiPen, etc.; but we will keep close watch for the specific symptoms of the virus itself. In all cases we document the student's headache, cough, etc., and the medicine we give them. If we are unsure about medicine for a child, we call the parents. If two or more coronavirus pre-conditions are present, we will record these, isolate the student in a designated area, and contact the parents.
Health records: We created a simple entry form and file in our G-Suite secure drive system to record student health instances, from the smallest to the largest issues, and actions taken. This allows us to correlate and communicate health information to parents or parent-designated healthcare providers. Parents have full rights to their child's health info; so you can simply email myself or Michelle to get a report. Usually the reports are full of bandaids or cough drops, but it's important to have this as the occasional serious fall or health condition has occurred. We also ask parents to inform our staff ahead of time if a child has any pre-conditions or health diagnoses. During this special time of the coronavirus, we ask parents to keep us informed of any pertinent health checks at the hospital.
Time in classroom: I anticipate the new procedures having little effect on time in-classroom.
Family Travel: We have no way of tracking family travel, so we cannot require families self-quarantine after traveling. We would ask families to be wise in their entry into our community and communicate with us if they have questions about the best practice. We will take it on a case-by-case basis.
Teachers and masks: Sequitur is not mandating our faculty to wear masks. I want everyone to feel free to wear masks if they choose to do so.
Student ID's: The ID's are for students, faculty, and staff. Also, guests will get a sequitur visitor label to stick on their clothing. The purpose of the ID's is to provide more security at Sequitur. Students will be required to check-in and out of the building upon entering and exiting, except for breaks between classes. The check-in/out is a hands-free QR-code reader that records the name, grade, and time/date in a form (also in our G-Suite drive). The ID's will also be used when recording a health instance and for detention. Further, the ID's allow us to identify students by face, name, grade, etc. As a small perk, students can use the ID's wherever student discounts are offered in town.
Parents and Faculty,
I will try to be thorough but brief in this outline. If you have more questions feel free to email me (TAchord@sequiturbr.com).
Sequitur is meeting in person at Istrouma beginning August 10th. Sequitur is following and adapting the guidelines of the CDC, the Louisiana DOE and DOH, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to our context (building, schedule, student body, instructional model, finances, human resources, etc.). The AAP recommends meeting in person as students need in situ instructional education and social interaction, and we agree. Further, the posture of the CDC, DOE, and other state schools assumes a physical opening this August.
Below are the specific procedures Sequitur has in place to minimize the risk of contracting or spreading the virus:
Social Distancing -- minimize mass gatherings while avoiding isolation
Cleanliness and Prevention -- foster hygiene awareness
Health Practices Guidance
A Note on Masks
The summary: Sequitur will not mandate that students and teachers wear masks, but parents may choose to have their child do so on their own.
The details: While there is no law requiring the wearing of masks in schools, the cited information does recommend it. However, these sources also note that masks may complicate or impede the educational process and basic social functioning among youth. They conclude that each school institution must approach mask and health protocols according to its own community's situation and means.
While Sequitur aims to maximize its student body health, it does not have the logistical ability to ensure and guarantee to parents an effective oversight and implementation of mask-wearing protocol (proper positioning, excessive face-touching, eating, speaking, medical complications, hygienic disposal, etc.). As such, Sequitur will not mandate that its staff or students wear masks. However, as already noted, parents may choose to have their child wear a mask at school. Please note that parents so choosing will be solely responsible for mask supply, proper wearing, disposal, and any other related responsibilities.
July 2nd – EBR parish Mayor Broome issued a "non-punitive mandate" to wear masks. The mandate specifically says schools are to follow schools are to follow LA Dept. of Education and LA Dept. of Health guidance, which do not mandate masks for schools. Governor Edwards said that, although he encourages mask-wearing, he is not increasing restrictions beyond those of the Phase 2 plan.
July 15 – The LA governor's recent proclamation 89 JBE 2020 specifically exempts churches (our school meets at a church) from the requirement. Furthermore, the order expires July 24th.
Hopefully the summer is going well for your families. I have a few summer updates for you:
Opening In August
Louisiana's governor announced "Phase 2" for the covid virus, which means all businesses can operate at an enlarged capacity with recommended health guidelines. As of now, Sequitur will be implementing our "Soft Open" on August 10th. Soft Open means we will have a normal opening date, normal class schedule, and operations; but we will alter our protocol a little and employ practices to minimize the spread of germs or a virus, and also to help those at risk. I will update you all with specifics when we get closer to opening. Please email me if you have questions in the meantime.
Conversation With The Headmaster
For all parents, but especially rhetoric school: I had a great discussion with Trey Pavy the other day about Sequitur's high school, sciences, senior thesis, ACT, future direction, and more. We'd like to continue the conversation and invite parents to come join us: Tuesday, June 23rd in the afternoon around 5pm, at Trey's house (6410 LaSalle Avenue, Baton Rouge). *Please let me know if you can make it.*
House System Recruitment
You all should have gotten an email from Josh Crowe seeking for parent interest in the house system. The whole idea of the house system is to help build community with a parent-led initiative. This is a great opportunity to get involved! Please reach out to Josh Crowe (firstname.lastname@example.org). His meeting is at hosting a meeting on July 16th at 6PM, location TBD.
Thanks for coming out for Parent Orientation. If you missed it, here are some highlights, as well as the slides from the presentation.
"Resilience, Community, Excellence" - our themes
Opening Scenarios Detail
Sequitur's opening scenarios mirror those of the State of Louisiana and of Istrouma Baptist Church. See the slide outline of opening scenarios. Here is Istrouma's info for operations during this time. Go here for the State of Louisiana's general info on the virus. Here is a detailed explanation of what "Phase 1" means for Louisiana. Reading this gives us great confidence that we will have a hard open in August if/when Phase 2 is announced. Lastly, here is a FAQ from the CDC for schools regarding health and hygiene practices that make for safe environments. Sequitur is monitoring these sources regarding its opening scenario decisions.
Questions and Answers
If we are opening in a Phase 1 scenario and we are doing Sequitur At Home, will tuition be reduced to reflect this?
Will students be required to wear masks in any opening scenario (phase 1,2, or 3)?
How long will Mr. Wolfe be in Baton Rouge? What are his plans after the PHD program ends?
The other question we had was to get more details on possible flu season break scenarios. Will those be also be Sequitur At Home?
Where do you buy the Promptus Hymnal's?
Dear Sequitur Families,
In these uncertain times, we know that one of the things you miss most is... sitting in the carpool line. What more fitting way could there be to send off the Daigle family with our very best wishes?
Drive-by Goodbye Parade for the Daigle Family
Saturday, May 30
3517 Colonel Gibson Circle, Baton Rouge LA 70816
Please take your place in line just like old times, then stop when you get to their driveway. Wave, wish them well, maybe toss Brian some of those gummi bears he loves, then drive on like it's 12:36 on a Thursday afternoon.
We hope to see you there!
Sequitur Classical Academy has updated its mailing address to the following:
Questions Answered by the Board
What is Mr. Daigle's last day? – Kyle Abbott
Brian will continue teaching through the end of the school year. His last official day at Sequitur will be June 1.
Will we get a chance to thank him and tell him goodbye? -– Kyle Abbott
There has been some discussion of what could be done to recognize Brian and his contributions to Sequitur. Considering the uncertainty of the circumstances, we may be limited by whatever restrictions remain in place at the end of the school year. However, some type of formal recognition is certainly appropriate. We would like to encourage anyone who is interested in helping to plan something to email Board@sequiturbr.com.
Who will replace Lauren Daigle as director of admissions? – Kyle Abbott
The board is working to reassign that role to another capable person who will also be sending out the new school directory. The new Director of Admissions has not yet been named.
Is there a plan for hiring a new headmaster? – Jeff Hanson
Before I answer that question, I think it’s important that I share what the board sees for Sequitur’s future at a higher level.
First we want to make sure we focus on finishing this year strong. We want to make sure that we, as an academy, continue to deliver great instruction. Then, after we finish this school year, we want to regroup.
We are very excited for next year, but we want to take it slow and we want to listen. We’re all on the same ship – we all want to see Sequitur thrive and have a very bright future.
We also recognize that Sequitur will look different without Brian. His shoes are very hard to fill. We very much appreciate Brian and all that he has done for this academy. No one has done more for Sequitur than Brian has. We now need to determine what Sequitur will look like with Brian no longer in the picture.
Before the beginning of next year, we are going to get input from faculty. We’re going to get input from parents. The board and transition team will be working on this over the summer. It’s the parents, faculty, admin and the board that will work together and drive the decisions that shape Sequitur’s future. We are confident that the future is very bright.
Circling back to our question: our bylaws task the Sequitur board with determining what qualifications are sought in a new headmaster and hiring that new headmaster.
After the board made a decision to have Julie and Thomas step in to administer the headmaster role for the last weeks of this school year, we then needed to make a decision regarding next school year. After a number of discussions and prayerful consideration, tonight we are announcing that the board has named Thomas Achord as our interim headmaster for next school year. Thomas will begin in this role on June 2nd after the completion of this school year. Thomas will serve in this role through the end of next school year, and we are thankful to have him. We want you to know that both the board and admin team have full faith and confidence in Thomas as headmaster.
I, along with all the other board members and transition team, are also thankful that we have Julie Dreher, Kevin Lindholm and Lee Stephenson working side by side with Thomas as part of our admin team. They love your children and this academy and work hard every day, along with the rest of our faculty, to further our mission statement. The board is very thankful to the faculty team as well and the tremendous job they’ve done in adjusting to this year’s current challenges and educating our students.
What changes should we expect in our student's school day? –Julie Dreher
While we will miss Mr. Daigle greatly, you will see very few changes in the year to come. The Sequitur community is much more than one person; our faculty and administration will continue striving to maintain the environment of Christian formation and excellence we have always treasured.
Will Sequitur Press continue to operate? – Julie Dreher
This time of transition is an opportunity for us to prioritize and focus on the strength of our academy's core responsibilities, so we will not continue to operate Sequitur Press. Charta books will still be a part of our Grammar School curriculum, but for other books we will turn to the many wonderful sources of classical teaching material already available.
What about the Books and Materials List and summer reading? – Julie Dreher
Our Books and Materials List and Summer Reading List have always been maintained by our Grammar and Logic/Rhetoric School heads, so they will continue just as before. Those will be posted very soon.
Will we still have Parent Orientation in May? - Thomas Achord
Parent orientation will be on May 26th at 6:30pm. It will likely be over video. We will have an Open House night in August, the week before school starts, in order to make up for face-to-face interaction. At that time, parents will get to meet their teachers and more. Parent Orientation will include a greeting and overview of changes from the new headmaster, and great preparatory info from the grammar and logic/rhetoric heads. A live link with question prompts will be sent a week in advance.
When will the student handbook and calendar be updated and distributed?
Answer coming soon . . .
How can Sequitur families be helpful to our board, faculty, and administration? – Josh Crowe
The Board is looking forward to the opportunities of the new school year and a new phase in the growth of Sequitur Academy. We welcome the support of Sequitur families through:
Will our relationship with Istrouma change as a result of this transition? - Kevin Lindholm
I have always been Sequitur's primary point of contact with Istrouma, and I will continue in that role. I work closely with Darrin Badon, Istrouma's operations director, and we have cultivated a great relationship over the past 5 years. Istrouma has made it very clear that they love Sequitur and plan to continue hosting us in the future.
We would love to have our own permanent location, but for now we are focused on keeping our tuition low while ensuring Sequitur's financial stability, so until a clear path to a building plan becomes evident, we are thankful that Istrouma makes both of those things possible for us.
Will this fall be totally different at Sequitur? - Thomas Achord
More details will be presented at the Parent Orientation. Generally, as headmaster my aim is to structure the school to provide a beautiful classical education experience for students and parents. I’ve worked alongside Sequitur families for some time, where I have gained an understanding into the needs of our community. I’ve also been involved for many years in online classical education nationwide, where I have gained external experience and a larger vision of classical ed. To bring these together, I am eager to labor together with our families and faculty. I believe we have great years ahead of us.
How will we know whether classes will begin as usual in the fall? - Jeff Hanson
We are preparing to start in person classes on time and in person at our Istrouma campus. In order to determine whether we will be onsite at Sequitur in August, we’ll be taking into account 3 main factors:
The next step will be to determine what in-person school will look like on Istrouma’s campus. At this time, there are too many unknowns to provide any specifics.
While no one can see what will happen in the fall, many schools and universities are developing guidelines. There are a lot of very smart people working on this nationwide. We’ll be listening and as this develops, we’ll incorporate the proper guidelines. Dr. Brad Gaspard is a part of our transition team and will advise the board from a medical perspective. As soon as we know more about what adjustments will be in place when we return to in person schooling at Istrouma’s campus, we’ll be sure to let you know.
The Board hopes to see you tomorrow at the Town Hall Meeting.
Time: Apr 28, 2020 06:30 PM Central Time
The Board of Sequitur
Dear Sequitur families,
This week our Board has worked hard to organize well for this period of transition, and we'd like to keep our community abreast of important developments.
Changes on Sequitur's Board
Jeff Hanson has graciously agreed to take over as our Board President. Jeff has a long history with Sequitur as a parent and board member. His expertise as a business owner and leader at Istrouma Baptist Church gives him wonderful insight into this role, and we are happy to have him lead the team.
Linda Authement, mother of three Sequitur students, will serve as our Board Treasurer. Linda has honed her expertise handling Istrouma Baptist Church's finances, so we are thankful that she will share it with us.
Sequitur Transition Team
Our Board has reached out to past members Chris Shipley and Brad Gaspard, as well as past president Scott Gendron, to form a Transition Team. They bring wisdom from all eight years of Sequitur's founding; we are happy to have them join us in an advisory capacity as we seek to make wise and prayerful decisions.
Town Hall Meeting Tuesday, April 28
Please watch your email for a Zoom invitation to our Town Hall Meeting next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Our Board is eager to "see" you and to hear your thoughts as we seek to move wisely into the next stage of Sequitur's history. Please submit your questions in advance to email@example.com.
The Board of Sequitur
Dear Sequitur Families,
Congratulations are due to Brian Daigle, who has accepted the Head of School position at Oak Hill Classical School near Atlanta. Brian’s term will begin with the 2020/21 school year. We pray for every blessing on Brian and his family as they enter this new stage, and we know that the Oak Hill community will be as thankful for Brian's leadership as we are. Brian’s decision is in response to an opportunity from Oak Hill Classical School and is a result of prayerful consideration of every angle possible. Brian has come to his decision based on the conviction that it would be the best next step for Oak Hill, for his family, and for Sequitur.
The Board as a team is diligently overseeing the smooth transition of Sequitur's headmaster and conducting the search for a new headmaster that will fit our academy well. Based on discussions with Brian, the Board assures each of you that there is a great transition plan for Sequitur’s headmaster. Additionally, Brian’s feet are firmly planted at Sequitur until key points in the transition timeline to ensure a smooth and strong transfer of his duties as headmaster.
Beginning now, the heads of school - Julie as Grammar School Head, Thomas as Logic and Rhetoric School Head - will work together to administer the division of labor of Brian's tasks as headmaster. Please contact the heads of school (Grammar School Head: Julie; Logic and Rhetoric School Head: Thomas) at their respective emails as the primary points of contact for all questions. May God continue to bless the Sequitur community as we grow!
We're confident in God's plan for this next part of Sequitur's history, and we will keep you well informed of changes as they arise. We miss you all! As we continue to shelter in place, we are especially eager to keep our whole community informed about our COVID-19 plans and when we will be able return to our home at Istrouma. We hope your families continue to be safe and well.
The Board of Sequitur