March 10, 2020
Dear St. Andrew’s Families,
Thank you so much for your support and understanding as school leaders have responded to the spread of COVID-19 with preventative measures and careful planning. Our school nurses continue to communicate daily with the local Department of Health and monitor all changes to CDC guidelines and policies as we focus on keeping our community safe and maintaining a strong and positive learning environment for our students. Today we wanted to share with you some of our preparations in case of school closure as well as to reiterate our expectations around travel and the well-being of our community.
Learning Continuity In Case of Campus Closure
If St. Andrew’s were to close its campus due to health concerns, we would continue to educate your children via distance learning with the aid of video conferencing. Many faculty already incorporate virtual learning into their classes, and are familiar with relevant software. Tomorrow afternoon, our entire faculty will meet to engage together in distance learning training. Next week, we will set aside time for our students to attend classes virtually while on campus, allowing them to develop an understanding and comfort level with the software and interface.
We are also preparing developmentally appropriate expectations around distance learning that we will be able to share with students and parents if the need arises. While distance learning cannot fully replicate the in-person classroom and school experience, our preparation and strong teacher-student relationships will help us minimize the impact of a campus closure situation.
Changes to Lunch Service
Sage Dining, which provides St. Andrew’s lunch service, has adopted additional safety measures for illness prevention. Beginning tomorrow, Sage will provide only disposable cutlery, cups, and plates. Students will be able to get fresh fruit from the hot lunch serving line, and may choose premade and individually packaged sandwiches (either turkey or ham with cheese and lettuce) and salads in place of our traditional salad and sandwich bar.
Expectations Around Travel
As we previously communicated, the school’s international spring break trips have been cancelled. Additionally, the boys lacrosse spring break domestic trip has been cancelled along with several upcoming field trips.
A few other reminders about travel in the coming months:
- If you travel internationally, you should be aware of the possibility of being quarantined upon returning to the United States if you have been in a high-risk area.
- St. Andrew’s will require a quarantine period and a delayed return to school for students and employees who either have visited countries at the CDC’s Level 2 or 3 risk level, or who live with a family member that has traveled to a country on the Level 2 or 3 list.
- If you or anyone in your immediate family is traveling internationally, notify your child’s school nurse.
Community Health Standards
To help prevent the spread of contagious illnesses, we expect all members of our community to follow these basic instructions:
- Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, and use the hand sanitizer located throughout our campus.
- Sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow if a tissue is not available.
- If a child shows any symptoms of illness (fever, runny nose, cough, etc.), the school expects that child to remain home and not come to school until they have been symptom free without the help of medication for at least 24 hours.
- Do not send a sick child to school to take a test or quiz or to turn in a project, even if a child insists. Our teachers are very understanding and will not penalize students for health-related reasons.
- If a school nurse calls you to pick up your child, please arrange for the child to be picked up within an hour.
- If you have reason to believe that you or your child has been exposed to a case of COVID-19, please notify the school and do not return to campus for at least 14 days.
Finally, we are aware of fake posts on social media that have impacted other schools in our area by causing undue concern for the safety of their students. I assure you that St. Andrew’s will communicate any health information families need to know swiftly and forthrightly.
We understand that COVID-19 has caused anxiety within and beyond our St. Andrew’s community. If you have any questions, please contact our school nurses or division heads. The school will continue to update you as needed on any changes to our policies and procedures.
Assistant Head of School