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Dear SAA Parents and Guardians,

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about” (Wheatley). We have had some changes that have occurred over the summer, and one is the resignation of Cheryl Korwin and me taking over the helm as of July 14th.  I have been working diligently to provide the best education possible for our SAA students.  Ms. Aiesha Kardos will be joining us as the 6,7,8 ELA Teacher. She is excited to meet all of you!


Teachers return: August 17th: Brick and Mortar

Students Return: August 31st

No Before Care: Not enough students

After-Care: 4:15pm-5:30pm (new release time)

5:30: Campus closed for deep cleaning


The PreOpening Plan has yet to be approved by the Department of Education; however, these are three options proposed:

Option 1 – In-Person brick and mortar learning environment. Your child will attend Sarasota Academy of the Arts, full time, in person as your primary method for the start of the school year.  They may still participate in Option 2 at their discretion or when they are unwell or required to quarantine. Students will complete assignments and assessments in person. Materials, supplies, and technology will be provided at school. 

Option 2 – A hybrid model of in-person, brick and mortar learning and remote learning. This plan is at the parent/ guardian’s discretion on a day-to-day basis. They have the daily option of in-person brick and mortar learning or remote, asynchronous learning. Your child can attend SAA, full time, fluidly moving between in-person instruction and remote instruction.  Your child may also stay home remotely. Both groups will have access to the same lessons.  Students will be grouped into learning teams designed to limit the number of other students and staff members having contact with each student.  This team approach will minimize the risk of cross contamination between individuals, as well as provide a dedicated educator for remote learners. Different grade levels may be combined in a way to share space due to facility constraints, within the guidelines of the CDC and Florida Department of Health. 

When in-person, students will complete their assignments and assessments in person. When remote learning is occuring, students will complete assignments and assessments online. A required schedule will be provided to all students, teachers, and families.  Attendance will be taken using electronic accountability methods.  Materials, supplies, and technology will be provided for those students in need, as defined by the National Food and Nutrition, Free and Reduced lunch program. 

Option 3 – District or State Virtual School Program. Your child will no longer be an SAA student for the 2020/2021 school year.  You will register for a full time Virtual School through Sarasota County Schools or the DOE FLVS program.  We will not be able to take your child back, as the lottery requires that we give that spot to the next student on the waitlist.

Our last SAA survey, shows the following statistics, and not all families completed it:

Kindergarten: 9 Home, 3 Brick and Mortar

First Grade: 8 Home, 4 Brick and Mortar

Second Grade: 7 Home, 8 Brick and Mortar

Third Grade: 10 Home, 6 Brick and Mortar

Fourth: 9 Home, 4 Brick and Mortar

Fifth: 7 Home, 7 Brick and Mortar

Sixth: 3 Home, 4 Brick and Mortar

Seventh: 12 Home, 10 Brick and Mortar

Eighth: 12 Home, 12 Brick and Mortar


The week of August 10th, a FINAL SAA SURVEY WILL GO OUT FOR YOU TO MAKE YOUR FINAL CHOICE for Option 1, 2 or 3. This will give us the ability to staff appropriately and insure all students have the proper materials needed. 

What will communication look like?

Normal, course communication will be provided via the following tools: 

  • Portal (a district gradebook that is updated to show all assignments as they are graded). 

  • Email (our teachers email students and parents the upcoming week’s assignments and assessments on a weekly basis).

  • Schoolwide GOOGLE CLASSROOM. Each teacher creates their own classroom. The teachers will enroll their students so that they can have all daily work.  Students will use school email addresses to communicate with teachers. They will use Google Classroom to communicate and collaborate with their teachers and classmates. They will also use Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and a secured Google Drive to store and access their documents on and offline from anywhere without losing their work.


What we will do as a community:

SAA Administration will:

  • Use stand here and distancing signs throughout campus. 

  • Create additional lunch areas to eliminate contact between teams.

  • Make sure that playgrounds and lunch areas are sanitized after each use.

  • Excuse all absences so that students stay home when they are sick. 

  • Use our CSP grant money to purchase computers for the students to have at home.

  • Have a fever quarantine room in the main office. 

  • Not allow parents to enter the school building.

  • Switch to virtual school tours.

  • Purchase UV lights for our HVAC system.

  • Sanitize water fountains and doorknobs hourly.

  • Group students as to minimize the risk of cross contamination

  • Carefully track student and teacher interactions to marine records for potential contact tracing.


SAA Teachers will:

  • View/ read/ train on differentiating teaching techniques to online educational opportunities in real time, streaming lessons and assessments, and tools to document and provide accommodations  for students with ELL plans, ESE,  Gifted, and 504 students.

  • Use infrared thermometers to check every child and staff member before they enter the building.

  • Ensure that all work is posted online so that students who are home can complete it. 

  • Move over as much work online as possible, including using FORMS, online textbook licenses, etc.

  • Model the appropriate way to wear a mask,  or other protective gear to encourage safety.

  • Ensure that school is a safe place and recognize when a student may need to be referred to the mental health counselor or appropriate staff.

  • Use test acrylic dividers for two-person tables. Acrylic desk shield in front of  teacher’s desk

  • Before classes start in the morning, you will spray appropriate cleaning supplies on your tables and doorknobs and allow it to dry naturally for 15 minutes. It will kill all germs on surfaces. Students may NOT touch this.

  • Use our online tools effectively, in the classroom, to ensure that students can use them, alone. 

  • Stay within their own teams and locations to minimize the risk of cross contamination.

  • Help maintain accurate records of student and staff interactions to assist in potential contact tracing.


SAA Students will:

  • Wear a mask while on campus (other than when eating) and social distance to the best of their abilities. 

  • Wipe computers/ devices each period, after use. Tech will provide these.

  • Know and use Google Classroom effectively.

  • Have required supplies whether a Brick and Mortar student or a Remote Learning. 


SAA Parents/Guardians will:

  • Keep their child home if they feel unwell.

  • Keep their child home if they have a fever until they are fever free, without medication for 48 hours.

  • When keeping your child home, have your children wake up, on time, and participate according to the provided schedule.

  • Not give a child Tylenol to control fever before sending them to school.

  • Support our teachers and staff, who will try their very best to provide two formats of education, simultaneously, without additional time or support.

  • Quarantine your child if they have encountered someone with Covid-19 for two full weeks.  Have them attend remote learning classes.

  • Notify team leaders and/or administration when you need help.  We want every child to have Fair and Appropriate Education, and to do so, we will do all that we can to meet the needs of all of our children, together.

  • Families when returning from vacation will follow all state mandates regarding isolation.

  • Will purchase 3 masks for each child.

Important Items:

Have you filled out the Transportation Survey?

Has your  incoming Kindergarten and/or  seventh grader completed their shots and/or physicals?

Have you re-enrolled in InfoSnap?

Have you found a way to relax?

Finally,  SAA is  preparing  a Back To School Night Facebook Live Event.  Currently, we have many teachers creating Introduction Videos. Please look for the date in the next coming weeks.

We understand that this is a particularly stressful and unknowing time. Together we will create a unified school which seeks to find the best solutions to meet the needs of our students and families, whatever the capacity may be, I am here for you.

Thank you for being a part of Sarasota Academy of the Arts.

Kindly Your new Principal,


Dr. Jodi Kopacz

Copyright © 2020 Sarasota Academy of the Arts, All rights reserved.

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