Coronavirus (COVID-19) information
Remote Learning Nov. 30 - Dec. 4
Due to the sudden spike in COVID cases and the much greater likelihood of infection the week after Thanksgiving Break, Iron Academy will implement one strategic week of Remote Learning from November 30 to December 4. We will provide an in-school option for limited students for whom this would be a substantial hardship.
Please click here to access the document with full details.
August Opening Plan: In-person, Everyday, On Campus!
See the opening plan here.
2020-21 Opening In-person and on Campus in August
Iron Academy open as normal with Forging Camp for first-year high school students August 3, new students at Crucible Camp August 8, and all students August 18.
What about COVID-19?
- We are happily under 100 students, a number that often allows significantly more options than larger gatherings.
- Our classrooms have always been limited to 15 students. Though we did this for discipleship and academic reasons, our intentionally small student body is also ideal to mitigate the risk of viral or bacterial infections.
- We are beautifully situated with on-hand technology to cleanse the building of viruses each evening.
Iron Academy celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2020 as it should have been celebrated---LIVE! Our young men were blessed to have had roughly 200 attendees. Extraordinarily, they have also received over 1,300 views on Facebook. If you are interested, please watch here. Our graduation was unlike any I've ever witnessed: swords, anointing, Justice Paul Newby, etc. Thank you, Lord!
Strategic Changes to Spring Break 2020
- We Have Changed the Spring Break Schedule
- We are exchanging the previously scheduled Spring Break—April 10-15—for four consecutive, three-day weekends.
- The Fridays of April 10, 17, 24, and May 1 will be unplugged family days with no Iron Academy classes.
For families who wish to keep the original dates, we will work with you per requirements below.
The Rationale and the Plan
The good news is Iron Academy students have only missed one day of school due to the Coronavirus and we have maintained our daily schedule and rigor without disruption. We have not given up daily engagement with each student in each class. The bad news is the Coronavirus has disrupted almost every aspect of our lives. Sadly, it has also made it almost impossible to enjoy Spring Break as planned. We see little likelihood that the overwhelming majority of our families will be able to take full advantage of Spring Break since beaches, resorts, restaurants, national and state parks, and all entertainment venues are closed. We are also keenly aware that our young men (and entire families) are spending unprecedented amounts of time in front of screens due to the needs of remote learning. Instead of five straight days for Spring Break with very limited family-friendly options, we have changed the schedule to provide four consecutive three-day weekends.
To protect our families and students from Tech Fatigue and to maximize family-friendly time, Iron Academy will replace Spring Break with four, three-day weekends. Each Friday from April 10 - May 1 will be an unplugged day of rest from screens and to spend as your family deems best.
We did this after surveying all our families (graphed results below). Ninety percent of our families indicated our Spring Break as scheduled could not be spent as previously intended.
Families Wishing to Keep the Planned Break:
For the handful of families already committed to activities during Spring Break, we will not interfere with your families’ plans. We will expect the young men to make up all work on the Fridays given as digital breaks: April 17, April 24, and May 1. Students must arrange this with their teachers ahead of time. Iron staff members will be happy to work with students. Academic work must be turned in regularly as arranged with his teachers on the digital-break Fridays. Please notify teachers and email@example.com if this applies to your family by noon of Monday, April 6.
Thank you, Iron Family! We have heard horror stories about the difficulties between schools, students, and families. This Iron Family, however, has been strong, gritty, and patient. What a blessing you have been during this time of rapid change and uncertainty! We are optimistic about returning to campus May 4th or earlier. Until then, hang in there, and—as the Complete Jewish Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 16:13—“Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, behave like a mentsh, grow strong.” ‘Mentsh,’ by the way, means a person of integrity and honor in Yiddish.
Together, we continue to build men!
March 29, 2020
Iron Academy Remote Learning Notice and Deployment Details
Executive Summary Points:
- Iron Academy open Monday for training for remote classrooms
- Tuesday: Teacher Work Day, Students Home for Makeup Day and to Complete First Teams Assignments
- Wednesday remote classrooms per normal schedule to begin at 7:45 AM
- Remote until further notice
- Coronavirus in proper perspective
Along with every school in the state, Iron Academy will cease meeting for the next two weeks, perhaps longer. After Monday at 3:30 PM, all interactions will be virtual until further notice.
Monday will be a normal Iron Academy day, normal in the sense that we will begin at 7:45 AM and end after chores are over at 3:30 PM. Otherwise, it will be a day of firsts. It will be the first—and I hope the last—day in which we mandate that students bring their laptops (and smartphone, tablet, and headphones if available). It will be a day entirely dedicated to training them how to use their MS Office365 Suite with special emphasis on Teams, Word, and Outlook Calendar.
Tuesday, Iron Academy will not assemble.
- For teachers, it will be a workday as we finish preparations for remote teaching.
- For students, it will be a day to make up any remaining late work from Term 3. We are nearing the end of the quarter. Late work needs to be completed (with some unusual exceptions) and turned in Wednesday. All students will also have a very quick, very easy assignment to demonstrate they learned from Monday’s training and are ready to participate in remote learning.
Wednesday will begin an entirely unanticipated era for Iron Academy, remote classrooms.
- We will follow our regular, daily schedule. All academic classes will meet at normal times.
- We will take roll at the beginning, at the end, and as needed throughout the class.
- We will update you about PE courses, but for Wednesday through Friday, regularly scheduled PE time will be a time for students to move about, take a break, study, or do as directed by parents. Attendance requirements will be determined and communicated soon.
- We will not take roll during lunch, convocation, or Study Skills classes while practicing remote learning until further notified.
Much uncertainty awaits the Iron Academy and the rest of our nation. 372 million American citizens are getting ready to launch into the unknown and place burdens upon our internet-related resources as never before. We have no doubt there will be much cause for frustration. It is coming. Please be patient with Iron Academy. You hired us to be your ally in revealing God’s design for biblical manhood within your son. That alliance includes spiritual, physical, and intellectual realms. We expect to be tested spiritually…always. We pray fervently we will not be physically tested with this virus. Academically, this staff will do all in its power to continue building your son, but we are going to encounter obstacles. We must find ways to overcome them. You are going to encounter obstacles in your home too. Do not give in. Do not give up. Do not let your sons crumble under the weight of these burdens. Let us keep all of this in historical context. Things could be much worse.
Please humor me with this aside. I am reminded of Winston Churchill’s extraordinary address to the British people, often referred to as the “Never Surrender” speech (here enacted in the recent movie, Darkest Hour). In June of 1940, his entire island nation faced horrendous attacks from obviously superior enemy forces directed by Adolf Hitler. Please listen to his inspiring words and consider the diligence, grit, and courage the young and old mustered to defeat the Nazis. We must build these qualities into our young men if they are to overcome whatever life throws their way. More important, our sons have biblical mandates, Joshua-sized callings to bring glory and honor to our King. May this temporary suffering be a training ground for the more important battles coming their way in the forms of marriage, fatherhood, providing for their families, death, and fleeing from the temptations of the Devil. These next weeks are training days for the real battles to come. Let us not confuse the inconveniences we will experience for the real enemies: laziness, victimhood, the Devil, temptations, false idols, passivity, unbiblical sexuality, etc. Your family is not the enemy. Iron Academy is not the enemy. Your son is not the enemy. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. It is our privilege to walk with you.
Stay strong. Never give up! Let us find a way to get through this together. May we “rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope (Romans 5:24).” Equally important, may we—with all humility, gentleness, and patience—bear with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).
March 14, 2020
Executive Summary Points:
Iron Academy open Monday for training for remote classrooms
Pathogen mitigation is strong, risk is low
Preparing for remote classrooms and immediate deployment as conditions warrant
Monday is entirely devoted to training on MS Teams, bring your device/s
Dr. David Alan Black was on the schedule to speak with our young men next week. He is a Greek scholar and one of the principal contributors to the ISV version of the Bible. He translated Matthew 10:16 as “Pay attention, now! I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. So be as cunning as serpents and as innocent as doves.” The CSB tells us to be “as shrewd as serpents.” Others tell us to be wise. The CJB tells us to be prudent.
We must be prudent, even as the hysteria around the Coronavirus runs entirely contrary to our firm faith and identity in Christ. We are considered a low-risk facility by the Wake County Health Department. Our intentionally small community is far less at risk than facilities that house 25+ per classroom and handle many hundreds or thousands of students daily. Our sanitation efforts throughout the day have evolved and improved markedly as our understanding of the Coronavirus has grown. The staff is more involved than ever before. Specifically, the staff is applying the stronger, more effective CDC-approved (Center for Disease Control) agents we are using to destroy pathogens at least twice daily. Iron Academy procedures now include multiple anti-viral and anti-bacterial applications, diffusing an anti-bacterial essential oil blend, ionizing the facility every evening, and several intentional hand-washing breaks for staff and students alike. The CDC has provided abundant instruction on how to minimize risk. Our young men and staff are responding well to learning how to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other pathogens. We are being shrewd.
Things are moving very quickly in our nation, state, county, and local municipalities. It is also wise that Iron Academy prepare for remote learning should that become necessary. It is possible new information or considerations of what “everyone” else is doing may affect how we proceed to assist our families. Wake County just mandated full closure for the next weeks. We may find it unwise to continue meeting on campus after Monday. We are prepared for that possibility. If deploying remote classrooms becomes necessary, we will notify you immediately. Again, things are happening very quickly. Allow us time to put together a wise plan.
Remote Learning Plan:
- Iron Academy will complete student and staff training in Microsoft Teams on Monday, March 16 and be ready for immediate deployment (perhaps as early as Tuesday)
- We are well-equipped to operate remotely
- Microsoft Teams is a strong and reliable suite of tools to which all of us already have access
- We will prepare to operate remotely at a moment’s notice for the near future, meeting under our normal schedule
- Each class will take attendance and will require active engagement throughout the regular meeting time
- There will be the same amount of instruction time
- From our MS survey this week, we know all our families have access at home to every technology needed for remote classes
- HS students should already have everything needed for productive remote classrooms: wi-fi and a wi-fi-enabled laptop
- What does each student need to operate remotely?
- Normal materials for each class (i.e., texts, notebooks, novels, writing materials)
- Login credentials for “login.microsoft.com”
- If a student has accessed student email—something every student should have done many months ago—he has access to the suite of Microsoft/Office365 tools needed
- If a student has failed to do this, he must take care of this with Ms. Becker on Monday
- If a student needs a loaner laptop, this must be handled Monday with Mr. Walker
- Download Microsoft Teams, Word, Outlook
- These can also be downloaded in App form to smartphones and tablets
- A reliable internet connection throughout the day
- What additional tools/capacities will make this easier?
- Either internal or external mic and camera
- A comfortable place and free of distraction to be productive throughout the day
- If you have multiple sons, headphones may be helpful
We are still hopeful we will remain safely open. We know our calling is with your sons, walking with them daily. We love investing in them as young men and as learners. It gives us great joy. It is the core of the Iron Academy experience. Iron Academy is so much more than lesson plans and homework. If, however, we must teach remotely for a week or several, we fully plan to thrive and honor God in our efforts, knowing we will re-immerse ourselves in this walk of discipleship the moment they walk through the Iron Academy doors. The Iron Academy staff will be shrewd in our efforts to make the very most out of academic time during what could be a taxing time for our families, community, and nation.
Enjoy your weekend. We will contact you if anything changes. Until then, “Remain alert. Keep standing firm in your faith. Keep on being courageous and strong.” We have many worried people watching how we, the Christ-followers, will respond to the Coronavirus. May we indeed be salt and light, always prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks us to explain the treasure we have in Christ.
Executive Summary Points:
- Iron Academy open Monday for training for remote classrooms
- Pathogen mitigation is strong, risk is low
- Preparing for remote classrooms and immediate deployment as conditions warrant
- Monday is entirely devoted to training on MS Teams, bring your device/s
March 10, 2020
IA Coronavirus Plan
Iron Academy is preparing for the worst and expecting the best. We are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of the flu or Coronavirus at Iron Academy.If we have to stop meeting in the building, we have a plan for continuing the daily schedule online.
What is Iron Academy doing about the Coronavirus?
Our sanitation protocol includes:
1. Wiping down all desks, door handles, light switches, and other surfaces daily with disinfectant wipes.
2. Encouraging hand washing not just after visits to the restroom, but before preparing lunch and after lunch.
3. Encouraging the use of sanitizer pumps as they walk in the doors every time throughout the day.
4. Running the ionizer nightly.
5. Running a diffuser during the day with a “100% Pure Health Shield Blend Essential Oil by Artizen” designed to kill germs and bacteria.
6. Emphasizing basic contamination risks and encouraging students to not touch their faces, not share food or drink bottles, etc.
7. Acting quickly when a student shows signs of illness by taking their temperature and sending them home when necessary.
What precautions should you take for the Coronavirus and what to do if you contract it?
1. Don’t panic. Educate yourselves. Compare this outbreak with others in the past. There is a lot of information on this website that it is worth reading. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
2. Ensure your son is getting proper rest and nutrition. Resting well and eating well (vitamins and minerals) will give your immune system the boost it needs to fight any potential pathogen.
3. Keep your son home if he shows signs of illness and do not let him return until he has been fever-free for 24 hours.
4. Make every effort to pick up your son quickly if they are being sent home due to illness.
5. Donate sanitizing products to the school.
6. Pray daily for the health and well-being of the IA family.
What do you do if anyone in your home has symptoms or has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus?
Email and call immediately. Let us know without hesitation.
What if Iron Academy has to close and our students need to work from home?
The Leadership Team is putting together plans right now.
Every Iron Academy student has an ironacademy.org email address through Office365, which also allows the student to download the Microsoft Office suite to devices. Students will need to download Microsoft Teams, Word, and perhaps other products as determined by individual teachers. Though very helpful during meetings using MS Teams, a camera and mic are not essential. If the device at home does not have a camera or mic, it is also possible to call in during the meeting on any phone for times we need to hear from your son.
If conditions warrant closing the school building, we will operate under our normal schedule using Microsoft Teams.
More tutorials will be prepared for students and detailed instructions will be emailed to students and parents.
This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.