Dear Villa Community,
We hope you are all doing well. We continue to think about all of you and miss you tremendously!
I am sending this email to the entire Villa community to keep everyone informed of recent events at the school.
As you may know, we opened our Early Childhood Campus to a limited number of infants and toddlers on Monday, June 1. Earlier his week, we added a small number of primary students and Introduction to Elementary I begins today.
In accordance with CDC guidelines, all staff and students have been and continue to be screened daily upon arrival. “No contact” drop-off and pick-up procedures were implemented along with increased sanitizing and disinfecting of materials and classrooms. All classrooms are self-contained and there is no mixing of children or staff between classrooms throughout the day. These procedures will remain in place in all summer programs for the foreseeable future.
Notwithstanding the systems and precautions in place, a staff member in our Toddler II classroom experienced and reported a sudden loss of taste and smell—a symptom of COVID-19—on Thursday evening, June 4. She had no symptoms while on campus.
Upon learning of this, the school took the following actions:
- The classroom was closed on Friday, June 5.
- In accordance with CDC protocol, we consulted with Maricopa County Dept. of Health authorities on Friday, June 5.
- Given the limited symptoms, the County health professional categorized this incident as having a “low possibility of transmission” to others, including staff and children in that classroom and was in agreement with reopening the classroom on Tuesday, June 9.
- A professional Clorox 360 cleaning took place over the weekend.
- The Toddler II classroom remained closed on Monday, June 8 and reopened on Tuesday, June 9, with all staff consistently wearing masks.
- Other classrooms not directly impacted opened on Monday as scheduled.
- The staff member was tested for COVID-19 on Friday, June 5; she was notified of testing positive on Saturday, June 6.
- The staff member has not returned to campus since Thursday and will follow Maricopa County Health Dept. protocols for returning to work, including self-isolating for 10 days from the date her symptom first appeared.
- All infant and toddler staff are in the process of being tested, and are awaiting results.
- The staff member reported today that she is regaining her sense of taste and has no other symptoms at this time.
NEW INFORMATION: Today, a separate staff member in the Toddler II classroom notified us midday that she was experiencing sudden onset of fever and shortness of breath. When she arrived this morning, she had no symptoms and passed the health screening. Upon this news, this staff member immediately left the campus, and we have closed the Toddler II classroom again until at least Monday. We have reached out to Maricopa County Health again for additional guidance, and are waiting to hear back. Another Clorox 360 cleaning will be done in the room, and we will monitor this second staff person’s symptoms and test results, once they are available.
The safety of the children and everyone at Villa remains our primary concern. In the meantime, we will continue to communicate any new developments.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
Margo S. O’Neill, M.Ed.
Head of School