Dear Headwaters Community, 

The worldwide spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has understandably raised concerns in our community, especially with Spring Break travel. Headwaters School has been closely monitoring local, national, and international reports of COVID-19, following the recommendations of Austin Public Health (APH), Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

APH has updated their risk assessment for Austin on their website to elevated "due to the growing evidence of person-to-person spread in the United States." APH also noted that no positive test results have been received by Austin Public Health as of Tuesday, March 10 at 12 p.m. 

With Spring Break around the corner, we encourage our community to carefully consider travel plans.

International Travel
Following guidance from the CDC, we ask that you avoid personal travel to CDC Warning Level 3 areas (currently China , Iran , Italy , and South Korea ) and Alert Level 2 areas ( Japan ) . Please take precautions and regularly monitor the COVID-19-related CDC Travel Health Notices . Families who do travel to one of these countries over Spring Break or have plans to do so, should contact campus administration and will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. The self-quarantine days will be counted as excused absences. 

Domestic Travel 
There are no domestic travel warnings at this time. However, recommendations and restrictions may change while you are traveling. We will continue to monitor any potential domestic travel restrictions. We encourage you to stay informed of any government-issued statements pertinent to your travel destinations or current locations. We recommend following the CDC Travelers' Health page

Cruise Ship Travel
According to the U.S. Department of State , "U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship. The CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment." If you plan to travel by cruise ship, we ask you to self-quarantine. You may also refer to the CDC Travelers' Health page about Cruise Ship Travel for more detailed information on risks and other important information.  

Upon Returning to School for All Students
Per our Student and Family Handbook , please ensure students do not have or have recently had a fever of 100F or higher before returning to school. Students must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication. 

Again, if your family travels to a Level 2/Level 3 country or if you travel on a cruise ship, we expect that you inform your program director as soon as possible and self-quarantine for 14 days. 

If you need to request extended leave from school for any other reason, please contact your program director to discuss reasonable accommodations. 

Potential Closures
W e will follow recommendations from local authorities regarding school closures, and we will follow suit if AISD were to announce a district closure. We will use our emergency communications systems (including text, email, social media, and our website) to keep you informed. On each campus, our academic teams are working on remote learning strategies and practices. Our goal would be to continue scaffolded educational opportunities for our students throughout any campus closures.

We urge all families to remind students to bring home any necessary materials, backpacks, jackets, lost & found items, etc. before Spring Break.

Continuing Preventative Measures
The best action each of us can take at this time is to continue following the recommendations of public health officials. This includes cleaning hands regularly and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. The CDC also recommends taking steps to protect others like staying home if you are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and cleaning/disinfecting.   See steps to prevent illness here. 

At school, students have been asking questions about this virus. Our guides have worked to provide developmentally appropriate answers. 

As a reminder, this page on our website  has updates, answers to FAQs, past communications, and more. As well, our cross-campus COVID-19 workgroup introduced in our last email continues to monitor information, updates, and weigh in on decisions related to COVID-19. Please send questions, suggestions, or concerns to this group by emailing health@headwaters.org

Take care,
 
Ted
 
 
Ted Graf
Head of School
Headwaters School
Each journey begins at the source
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