School Closure Announcement

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Dear Providence Families,

In light of today’s news of a presumptive case of COVID-19 in Bell County, our administrators have elected to close the school for two weeks’ time with modified home lessons. Statistically speaking, one confirmed case means that there are likely more active local cases yet to be confirmed, and many of our families that have traveled all over the country for Spring Break have also potentially been exposed. To mitigate the spread of the virus, the time to act is now. 

Please note that our decision is not borne of fear, but out of a love for our neighbors in Bell County and a desire to protect the vulnerable, considering their needs above our own. We understand the disruption this will cause to your lives, and we want to help however we can. 

We will aim to reopen Tuesday, March 31, subject to change based on how things develop. 

Cancellations and Postponements

We are canceling the following events:

  • March 17th 8th Grade Meeting
  • March 19th What’s Brewing with Mr. Billman
  • March 19th Graduation Meeting for Seniors
  • March 24th 4th grade Meeting
  • March 26th 7th Grade Meeting

For each one of these informative meetings, we plan to communicate the content of the meeting through email and documents. 

We are also canceling the March 23rd Informational Meeting for prospective parents; we still have one scheduled on April 28th. 

The ProvFit Games must be postponed for now, but we hope to reschedule them later in the semester. 

Sports/athletics, including soccer, volleyball, and ProvFit, are canceled for the next two weeks. 

Unfortunately, SpringFest is postponed indefinitely, and it will likely be canceled. With the loss of school time, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to find a time to make it up this semester. I know that a number of the students were excited about this event, and we know that this is sad news.  

Due to both the loss of rehearsal and preparation time and the emerging uncertainty about the availability of the performance venue, the full production of Fiddler on the Roof, Jr. scheduled for April 17-18 is canceled in its current format.  However, the drama team is currently working with Music Theater International on a possible alternative performance that would allow students to present excerpts of the show in a reduced production format.  At this time nothing is known for certain about the structure, timing, or location of this alternative performance. More information will be distributed as soon as it becomes available. 

Learning at Home

Practically speaking, we will modify our lesson plans so that Tuesday and Thursday lessons, as well as Friday for 5th through 12th grades, will be able to be completed at home. To accommodate changes to plans, we are giving teachers more time to work on them, and plan to release them Monday at 4 pm.  And we realize that our plans will need adjusting. We are working to focus on lessons that are manageable for this drastically modified schedule. We know that many parents will be very limited in their ability to homeschool on what have been usual campus days, and we intend to focus only on what is most essential for co-teaching on designated campus days. Some of our teachers have already moved toward using more video lessons. I emailed teachers yesterday to get their feedback on what they would need for us to teach remotely, off campus. Overwhelmingly, our faculty responded with constructive ideas on how to modify their lessons, and all had the attitude of “we’ve got this.”

Thanks to our collaborative model, and the clear strengths of our parent co-teachers and faculty, we are in a relatively favorable position to keep learning. We have a system in place that can be modified in this situation. Still, I understand that the measures that we are taking will be difficult for many of you. I am sorry for that. As we head out into uncharted territory, please reach out to teachers for assistance, and we will all do our best to work with your individual needs. For now, we ask that you please wait to ask specific questions of them until after lesson plans are released on Monday. We will be monitoring closely for your questions to the administration. We highly value your prayers, encouragement, and constructive attitudes. 

Recognizing the tragedy of this situation, and understanding the strain that this unprecedented action will impose upon many of you, I still hope for the silver lining that your family will draw closer together during this time. I have been thinking about how fast this school year has progressed, and how quickly my children own are growing. Perhaps the elimination of a few events will help us gain a few moments that would have otherwise been lost. 

Be strong and courageous,

Bret Billman

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