July 7, 2020
Nationally, levels of COVID-19-like illness (CLI) are lower than peaks seen in March and April but are increasing in many regions, including the southeast. IJGA, Bishops Gate is doing all that is necessary to remain safe by adhering to the public health advisory issued by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as well as CDC guidelines for public health and safety.
We continue to monitor and assess the situation as it relates to our golf academy. As the days turn into months, our focus is on adapting and leveraging the things we do exceptionally well. Every step along the way, we look to turn lemons into lemonade.
We opened our doors to IJGA alumni who needed a safe place to stay while their colleges sorted things out. Several of them are earning college credits, as interns, by helping with accounting, communication, operations, and marketing tasks. They are making their presence felt and we are delighted to have them back!
Many of our full-time boarding students remained on campus this summer, rather than risk international travel. We modified our typical summer programs and upped the number of golf tournaments to help them remain fully engaged throughout the dog-days of summer. The response has been overwhelmingly positive – the level of golf has been amazing.
Of course, every decision is based on the safety and well-being of our IJGA family. We realize the actions we take now will determine whether our academy will be more successful in a year or if we will struggle. Early indications lead us to believe our future will be bright.
March 27. 2020
As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to grow in the U.S., IJGA is faced with challenges we could not have imagined a month ago. Unfortunately, experts expect the numbers to rise dramatically in the coming days. Based on the most recent news and developments, we decided to relocate approximately 40 students from our Old Carolina campus to our Bishops Gate complex, in Florida. The move is expected to be complete by the end of this week.
We made the move to protect the health and well-being of all our students to the very best of our ability. In Bishops Gate, we have:
- a gated community will all the necessary resources to care for our students,
- ample housing in a secure environment,
- onsite golf course and practice facilities to allow core operations to continue,
- academic support for students during temporary online learning sessions,
- coaches wear rubber gloves and masks as they move about the grounds,
- onsite catering.
We continue to practice, self-distancing, isolation when necessary, proper hygiene, and restricted access and egress of the property. From our perspective, the situation remains under control. We will continue to monitor and assess the situation and make the necessary adjustments to protect the well-being of our students, their families, and our staff.
March 20, 2020
As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold hour-by-hour, we wish to provide an update on our efforts to flatten the curve of community spread while we continue to provide for the safety and well-being of our student-athletes. We have been continuously monitoring the COVID-19 situation and working with medical experts to assess the risk to our community. With the recent developments in the spread of COVID-19, we now believe that it is prudent for us to implement even stricter measures as we continue to follow Federal, State and local guidance. IJGA remains open and its core operations will continue, albeit in a new, more restricted environment.
Frequent Updates and Actions
- Daily crisis communications committee meetings with senior leadership
- Self-distancing and isolation for commuting staff and returning students
- Catering and Fitness Centers are limited to students who have remained on campus over Spring Break
- Students returning to campus are isolated in separate bedrooms, with separate bathrooms, and required to wear plastic gloves in common areas within their home. Prepared meals are brought to their house by our catering team.
- From an IJGA perspective, the situation remains under control
- Staff has been in touch with clinicians, government agencies and health information sources
- Ongoing situational awareness sessions with staff and students
- Student temperatures are taken daily and their health is closely monitored
- Daily cleaning in all offices, dining hall, gym and classrooms
- Staff clearing and disinfecting their desks each night
- Disinfectants are placed at “high touch point” areas and staff are required to wipe down surfaces when passing through the space
- Residential Instructors collect provisions ordered online by students, who may not leave campus
- Third party IJGT spring tournaments canceled but in-house IJGT events will be arranged
- Students are on “lock-down” and most off-site excursions have been canceled
- Limited to essential personnel only and after careful vetting
- Visitors are logged in and their whereabouts closely monitored
- Transitioned from on-campus to online learning
- Established study areas around our campus to facilitate online learning
- Educator Residential Instructors supporting students with their online learning
- Directors of Student Life, Andrew Summers and Amanda Williams, as well as our golf coaches, spend time with students to gauge their sense of comfort and understanding of the situation
- Additional in-house activities have been added to students’ routines to keep restlessness at bay
- Students sign a wavier acknowledging their understanding and commitment to act responsibly for the duration of this pandemic
Our decisions and actions are not made lightly. They are directly aligned with IJGA’s primary and overriding concern during this time of unprecedented challenges: The health and well-being of our students, their families, staff and the greater community beyond our campuses. We work together and take the necessary actions to safeguard the long-term well-being of everyone who make IJGA so special.
We will continue to closely monitor this pandemic and will offer further guidance as more information becomes available.