Message From the Principal

Principal Cheryl Simmers has released the following statement:

Rowanty Update #2

Good morning all!

I wanted to take a few minutes to update you on Rowanty’s planning for the fall. We are still working on the final stages of our health/safety plan. I know this is one of pieces that is giving families the most anxiety with respect to sending their children to school. I can’t speak for other schools, but I will share with you some of the extra precautions we are putting in place at Rowanty. I realize that nothing is failsafe and some will disregard some of our policies. We will do our best to have a multi-step system that will help increase our effectiveness.

Students and parents will be provided with a checklist, ahead of school opening, of things to consider before students leave for school each day. This checklist will include the standard items you have seen in much of the CDC literature regarding symptoms and warning signs of COVID-19. We ask that students not come to school if these symptoms are present. We will be modifying our attendance policy to help ease students’ minds about missing days for legitimate health reasons. We will also be providing additional instructional support.

Students will be entering our building through different doors to minimize the crowding of their entry to the building. Their temperatures will be taken before they enter the building. If they do not have a fever, they must enter the building with a face covering of some type. Details on options will be provided at a later date. Also, please note Rowanty will also be providing assorted PPE of this type for students, so we can meet individual needs.

All classrooms/shops will be sanitized daily. When students enter the classroom, each will have a tri-fold high impact desk shield at their desk. This will add additional protection to the facial covering. Students will be seated at least three feet apart, as required by CDC. All instructors will be held to the same standard regarding facial coverings. Rowanty takes the stand that instructors and students are wearing their facial coverings to protect others, since we do know some people are more at risk.

Each classroom will be equipped with a UV Sanitizing chamber, so masks, safety glasses, and other tools can be sanitized daily. The goal is to have a full room air purifier in each classroom inside the building. Shops will be able to open bay doors to increase ventilation. We are also researching the type of HVAC filters that are best suited for our building to minimize the spread of any virus. These are just some of the types of precautions we are taking to keep your students safe.

Please know we have been purchasing PPE and safety/cleaning products since March 13th. Every day we check to see if there are new products we can acquire to help improve our safety protocol. We are not taking the health of your child lightly at all. My main priority since March 13th has been on what we CAN do to better protect our staff and students. We tell people we work as a family/team. We mean it, so everyone’s personal welfare is our first priority.

Since our students are high school students, we will spend time at the beginning of school to educate them on healthy safety protocol. We will also make our expectations known and the “why” behind these policies. Our goal is to provide your students with the education they need to successfully enter and stay in the workforce. Many of our graduates are essential personnel. With that responsibility comes risks. We want to help our students understand how to maneuver that new territory. We are asking parents to support us as we try to help your children.

Please know that this education is driven by the information we receive from CDC and VDOE. We do not entertain any form of politics or alternative health views in our instruction. So, please know that we will be happy to provide links to our resources to you as we move forward. Please help your students understand the difference between “family” requirements and “school/work” requirements during this pandemic. We respect families’ rights but we also know our students will enter the workforce and be required to meet those standards. This is the stand from which we will operate. We will present the standards that CDC, VDOE, and many industries are enforcing.

I am active in social media, and I see the pure panic, fear, and anxiety that is present for teachers, administrators, families, and students. I know it is very real. It appears to me that a lot of this is driven from the unknown. While I can’t answer every question yet, I hope that I have given you a little peace of mind knowing what our safety protocol is evolving into. Please do not hesitate to share ideas and concerns. We are simply trying to take the positive approach of what we CAN do rather than focusing on the unknowns and what we CAN’T do. We appreciate you all and hope you stay cool and healthy.

If you have concerns, we simply ask that you contact administration at Rowanty at 434-246-5741 or Ms. Simmers at We are more than open to listening and assisting you if we can. Just know our FIRST priority is the safety of your child. Also, please remember that official information for Rowanty will only be shared on our Facebook page and website. We can’t guarantee the accuracy of any information you may receive from other sources.

Cheryl Simmers


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