Academy Family ‘Prays Until Something Happens’
by Tracey Jackson
For the 2020–21 school year, Pine Forge Academy’s (PFA) theme is “Pray Until Something Happens” (PUSH), for it is by prayer that God has led and continues to lead.
Prior to the campus closing in March due to the pandemic, God had already begun to answer prayers. Leadership was inspired to develop a plausible plan on how to safely reopen for the fall semester.
In June, Principal H. Clifford Reynolds, III, formed and chaired the Health and Safety Task Force to plan and prepare for PFA’s reopening of the new school year. The uncertainties surrounding the spread and contraction of COVID-19 were being disputed nation- wide. Accordingly, the task force, comprised of school personnel and physicians, turned to prayer and sound medical expertise from Joseph Cheatham, M.D. (’93), and Charlyce Wallington-Reynolds, M.D., both parents of current students.
While public school systems debated what equip- ment was necessary to keep students and staff safe, PFA took advantage and placed orders ahead of them. God helped establish connections integral to the success of the reopening plans, including unexpected funds to help pay for the new equipment. Prior to the students’ arrival to campus, leadership had safety protocols and equipment in place: UV light sterilization in the dorm rooms; plexiglass splash shields in class- rooms and offices; HEPA filtration ventilation systems in dorms and all campus buildings; zone pods in dormitories for students exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms; face masks; and social distancing decals.
The hybrid curriculum was offered via online tele- teaching or in person for students on campus, and off-campus instruction was eliminated to reduce the chances of infection. Added protocols included daily temperature checks, health screening questionnaires and physical distancing requirements. Attention was also given to the students’ socio-emotional health. The campus incorporated outdoor classes and built new basketball and volleyball courts outside to allow for more physical activity. Students also returned to find renovated science classrooms with a new chemistry lab.
On August 24, PFA started its first day of
classes with a community of students and staff who began their second 14-day quarantine to ensure everyone’s safety.
The PFA community prayed and believe something remarkable happened.