Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The Health & Safety Task Force

by Nancy Spencer, Head of School
The Health & Safety Task Force (HSTF) was established in March of 2020 to create policy recommendations for approval by the Shorecrest administration to protect the on-campus school community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Former Headmaster Mike Murphy had the foresight to form a group which included medical experts and community members to guide school operations through the unprecedented experience of educating Shorecrest students during a global pandemic. 

The goal of the Health & Safety Task Force is to establish policy recommendations for the Head of School and her administration which provide the medically safest in-person educational environment feasible, within the restrictions of the school's mission, budget, logistical constraints, and applicable Florida state laws. 

Chaired by School Nurse Donna Conroy, the Task Force includes four medical experts, three of whom are Shorecrest parents; the fourth is the Chairman of the Division of Infectious Disease at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. Shorecrest has greatly benefitted from the time, wisdom and commitment these doctors have devoted to helping Shorecrest prepare and implement plans, procedures and protocols to educate our students in the midst of a global pandemic. The complete list of the HSTF is listed below and is also available on our website

Since March of 2020, the Task Force has met weekly via WebEx to review policies that enable the School to operate safely. The initial months were spent establishing protocols and procedures that would allow the School to reopen in person for the 2020-21 school year. The Task Force conducted scenario planning, created behavior risk matrices, and developed mitigation paradigms. Discussion topics included daily attestation, sick policy, COVID testing policy, contact tracing procedures, cleaning processes, masks and other mitigation policies, COVID tracking dashboard, and lunch procedures. 

The overall philosophy of the HSTF has been to take a step-by-step approach and reevaluate situations as circumstances evolve. Consideration about masking, the use of outdoor spaces, visitors on campus, and the return to athletic/extracurricular activities has been guided by recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the objective to minimize disruption on campus due to infection and quarantine of community members. The Task Force recommendations aim to balance the proper community health considerations through the identification and implementation of appropriate safeguards while providing a pathway for the community to engage in meaningful activities. The Task Force can and does revisit protocols as the situation evolves, such as revised quarantine requirements based on vaccination status.  

For the past 18 months, the Task Force has also responded to questions from faculty, administrators and parents about specific events. Various faculty, staff, and student leaders have been invited to attend meetings to bring forth their questions and proposals. For example, Class of 2021 Student Council President Jonathan Currie ‘21 presented the safety plan he and his fellow student leaders developed for Homecoming 2020; Athletic Director Anthony McCall has been a frequent guest to discuss the safety and support of our student-athletes. There has been a great deal of thought and preparation about how to safely return to activities, while also reimagining certain protocols. The Task Force has evaluated risk factors and made recommendations as to how best conduct events such as Fall Festival, Homecoming, Back-to-School Nights, Parent-Teacher Conferences, yearbook pictures, the Holiday Gift Drive, field trips, Performing Arts events including the Fall Play, Spring Musical and Middle School play, and of course, Prom and Graduation. 
 
As we continue to encounter challenges due to the Delta variant, the Task Force remains steadfastly committed to providing information and recommendations which serve the best interest of the School. Shorecrest has successfully navigated many difficult challenges since the creation of the Task Force, and we will continue to rely, with much appreciation, on the expertise and input its members provide. 
 
All the best, 
Nancy
 
 
 
Shorecrest Health & Safety Task Force Members 

Chair, Ms. Donna Conroy, RN: School Nurse

Consulting Advisor, Dr. Alison Messina: Chairman of the Division of Infectious Disease at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital 

Dr. Adam Befeler: Chief of Neurosurgery at St. Anthony's Hospital, a member of the COVID-19 hospital task force; Shorecrest parent & trustee

Dr. Adam Prawer '01: Medical Director for the Westminster Communities, Family Physician; Shorecrest parent & alumnus 

Dr. David Wein: Chief of Emergency Medicine, Tampa General Hospital; Shorecrest parent

Mr. Trevor Burgess: Shorecrest parent & trustee
Mrs. Jennifer Casanta: Shorecrest parent & former SCA Board member
Dr. Sarah Ribeiro: Shorecrest parent & trustee
Mrs. Beth Vivio, Parent of Shorecrest alumni, Chair, Shorecrest Board of Trustees

Ms. Nancy L. Spencer: Head of School
Mrs. Rachel Barrett: Director of Marketing & Communications
Mr. Michael Gillis: Director of Advancement
Ms. Kristine Grant: Head of Middle School & In-House Counsel
Mr. Marcus Holmes: Director of Facilities
Mrs. Donna Novell: Director of Human Resources
Mr. Jeremy Simpkins: Shorecrest Food Services Director, SAGE Dining
Mrs. Lisa Wylie: Chief Financial Officer

Shorecrest Preparatory School

5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
Phone: (727) 522-2111  |  Fax: (727) 527-4191
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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.