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Subiaco Academy Prepares for August 2020 Opening

Subiaco Academy reopening August 2020

FROM THE HEADMASTER

Although the end of the school year was turned upside down for all of us, Subiaco Academy is preparing to open for students in August. Benedictine education is dedicated to scholarship, stability, and community. Holding true to our values during this pandemic has never been more important. While the course of CoVid 19 cannot be confidently predicted, we believe the school is well-positioned to open for in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Despite the uncertainty, we are moving forward in a spirit of hope and faith. Not only is our extraordinarily rural location ideal, the Subiaco community, to date, has identified no cases of the virus. Moreover, our staff is currently engaged in intensive scenario planning by researching best practices, outlining safety procedures, and identifying resources needed to ensure the health and well-being of our students and staff.

Our students are our mission at Subiaco Academy and we are committed to being here for them in August. With the state of the world today, we have never been happier to be in the “middle of nowhere.” Our boarding school environment is uniquely suited to address student safety during this crisis. The Academy is a part of Subiaco Abbey, a Benedictine monastery, founded in 1878, known for its self-sufficiency, stability and focus on community.

While we are not a closed environment (we have visitors and deliveries like any school), we are located in relative isolation. Subiaco Academy sits within 1,500 acres of Abbey land, surrounded on all sides by our own pastures and forests. Moreover, our lands are located between two national forests – the Ozark National Forest encompassing 1.2 million acres and the 1.8 million acre Ouachita National Forest. Our students have a beautiful, spacious playground in which to live and learn, and we are much better suited for an uninterrupted academic year than most schools in the country.

In addition to recognizing the value of our location and resources, Subiaco leadership has made scenario planning for the 2020-2021 school year its number one priority. There are four key plans in development:

  1. A plan to bring new and returning students to campus, testing students upon arrival and regularly throughout the school year.
  2. A plan for the continual monitoring of health conditions to ensure quick discovery of infection, including contact tracing, cautious use of facemasks and physical distancing, and careful attention to the density of dormitories, food services, and classrooms.
  3. A plan for containment and isolation of individuals if the virus is detected, utilizing quarantined dormitory space far from the healthy student population and onsite medical resources from our own Mercy Clinic, staffed with doctors and health care professionals from our regional Mercy Hospital.
  4. A plan to deliver in-person instruction, outdoor student activities, and athletics without compromising the health of our students, staff, or communities.

As these plans develop, Subiaco administrators will be in contact with local, state, and diocesan officials to continue to refine our strategies based on changing scenarios as we draw closer to August. We know that many questions remain unanswered as we look to the next school year. No community, regardless of its isolation, can guarantee perfect health for its members. But Subiaco Academy has all the elements that parents need if they are looking for a safe, stable, highly ranked school focused on intensive academics, strong student life, and preparation for college.
For more than 130 years, we’ve grown our students graciously to manhood. Subiaco has faced devastating tragedies in the past and been made stronger despite them. We know this is one of those times and we look forward to reuniting with our full community and building a better future for students, now and for generations to come.
There has never been a better time to consider Subiaco Academy for your son.