Cape Fear Academy moves to remote learning next week


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Cape Fear Academy in Wilmington has become the first school in our region to switch to online learning in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

CFA said while there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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“We have some creative teachers, who are putting together unique lesson plans that combine online and hard-copy resources that will enable students to be successful and are age-appropriate for our youngest students, who are 3 and a 1/2, to through 5th graders, who are 11-years-old,” Donald Berger, the head of school, said.

Their Crisis Management Team has decided to proactively make the following decisions to give faculty and families time to prepare.

  • Monday will serve as a faculty and staff workday, no students will be allowed on campus
  • Beginning Tuesday, March 17 through March 27, the school will move to remote learning for all grades. Details regarding remote learning plans will be shared by Lower School teachers and Middle School and Upper School division directors on Monday
  • All co-curricular events, such as athletics and arts performances, are cancelled during this time. CFA will provide updates if and when those are rescheduled
  • The teacher workday scheduled for Friday, March 20, for lower and middle school families has been postponed. This day will become a remote learning day for all students.

Berger says the schools will monitor the effectiveness of the transition closely to see if it should continue past the 27th.

“I wasn’t surprised,” Alexis Wall, a parent, said. “I have been waiting for the announcement, but I sort of thought the public school’s would go first.”

Wall found out Friday her middle school daughter won’t be returning to the classroom at  next week.

“We have reached out to our community and asked parents to identify, if they will have internet connectivity issues or connectivity trouble or if they don’t have a computer,” Berger said.

Berger says all 658 students from Pre-K 3 to 12th grade will be moving to a virtual learning platform on Tuesday.

“You can’t ask 2nd graders to all sit down at home and log in to a classroom online that’s probably not going to work for 2nd graders,” Berger said.

But, he says teachers will be adjusting their lessons , which could include small groups, to help those students.

Wall thinks it will work.

“our school in particular gives them a lot of tools to be able to work independently,” Wall said.

Wall is thankful her job lets her work from home, but that may not be the case for all parents.

“The reality is more and more companies are going to enable their employees to work from home,” Berger said.

CFA said they recognize this may result in considerable strain for families, but the decision reflects their commitment to the safety and health of students, families, faculty and staff, and the Wilmington community.

CFA said their independent school peers such as Durham Academy, Cary Academy, Parrott Academy and Ravenscroft have decided to switch to online classes.

The Crisis Management Team will meet to make initial decisions and begin planning for coming weeks.

If access to the technology to support remote learning is an issue for your family, contact your child’s division director.

Access to the CFA campus will be limited, with exception for essential personnel and special circumstances. CFA Security will not permit admission to any buildings or athletics facilities (including outdoor) without the permission of the respective division director.