Dear Community, 

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, all members of the Alto community bring their own concerns and ideas on how best to respond to these unique circumstances. Ideally, everyone's initial response should be to 'grow in knowledge' of the situation and then thoughtfully base all responses on that foundation of facts.      

Today's presentation on COVID-19 by Alto parent and pulmonologist Edda Spiekerkoetter to students in grades 3 - 12 was an excellent example. As a result of her talk, students and staff left informed and to a large degree, de-stressed. I encourage you to click here t o view the presentation and have a conversation with your children regarding its contents. The entire community thanks Edda for her preparation, presentation, and expertise.

During Thursday's APTO meeting, I shared the following COVID-19 updates with those in attendance:
  • Communications are ongoing with San Mateo Health Office, Peninsula schools as well as the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS)
  • All school trips are being reviewed on a case by case basis
  • Common sense actions are being reinforced to prevent spread of colds, etc. via posters and teacher reminders
  • Attention to cleaning has been a focus
    • Eating areas are cleaned with disinfectant daily
    • Bathrooms and 'wet' areas in classrooms are disinfected daily
    • Door handles are disinfected daily
    • Desks and counter tops are disinfected every weekend
    • Alto is researching a longer term, anti-microbial solution
With Alto's spring break planned for April 13 - April 20, many families are concerned about national and international travel. With this in mind, Alto will follow these recommendations from the CDC:
  • Any student, faculty, or staff member who travels to or stops in a country categorized by the CDC as Level 3 may not return to Alto for 14 days following her/his return date, regardless of medical clearance. This guideline is effective immediately and will remain in place until further notice.
  • This policy also applies to students, parents, faculty, and staff with household members traveling to a CDC Level 3 country.
  • Any community member who has traveled to a CDC Level 2 country must exercise extreme caution and take extra care to monitor their health, including the consideration of self-isolation.
A number of conference calls this week have taken place with other independent schools regarding their responses to the COVID-19 situation. In the event of school closures, CAIS has clearly stated that all missed days will need to be made up; however, online work will count for days in attendance if they meet the following guidelines:
  • PS through Grade 1 - Teachers should communicate directly with parents, providing parents with resources and 'lesson plans' (if you will), for parents/caregivers to work with their children for a minimum of one hour per day.
  • Grades 2 through 12 - Teachers will provide students with enough schoolwork to fill a minimum of 3.5 hours per day. 
Alto is continuing to plan for this possibility and will certainly be in ongoing communication with you and your children should this become reality.

Please continue to check the San Mateo Health County Office website to receive the latest updates and recommendations on COVID-19. Per earlier messages, this office provides us with reliable information and direction.

Finally, I encourage you to use this resource  for you and your younger children if they are asking questions or expressing concerns about  COVID-19. It presents the information in a developmentally appropriate manner.

Enjoy this weekend.

In partnership,

Drew Alexander