March 4, 2020
Dear St. Andrew’s Families,
 
Last week, we shared with you a few of the steps we are taking to keep our campus healthy as we continue to monitor and track the fluid situation around COVID-19. While there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, D.C., we have nonetheless been working on a contingency plan to ensure that your children’s education goes uninterrupted should conditions change. With that in mind, you can expect to hear from us regularly throughout the trimester with updates on any relevant policies and procedures. As a reminder, we follow all CDC and Maryland Department of Health guidelines when it comes to protecting our students’ and families’ health and well-being.
 
Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to cancel all international school-sponsored Spring Break trips. Mindful that many of you already have travel plans of your own for Spring Break, we ask that any families traveling outside the U.S. alert the Health Room and monitor the CDC website for their travel guidelines and recommendations . If you are traveling 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 delayed return to school for students who either have visited countries at the CDC’s Level 3 risk level, or who live with a family member that has traveled to a country on the Level 3 list.

Our classrooms and gathering spaces are regularly cleaned and disinfected, and we have intensified school-wide cleaning procedures, including the amount of supplies we have on-hand. Teachers and staff use disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer as needed in their classrooms and shared spaces and will continue to do so as needed throughout the school day. Frequent handwashing with soap and warm water, stifling sneezes and coughs in the crook of the arm, and reducing hand-to-face contact will continue to be encouraged by our faculty. We have seen an uptick in the flu this year, and these are best practices for preventing the spread of all types of illnesses. 

As always, our nurses will not hesitate to send home any students, teachers, or staff members who appear unwell. The school expects that if you are called because of a sick child, someone will pick them up within an hour. As a reminder, the CDC does not recommend the prophylactic use of masks, and the school does not permit students or adults to wear masks on campus unless a school nurse instructs a sick person to wear a mask while waiting to go home.

St. Andrew’s is blessed with a resourceful faculty and strong, broadly-used educational technology. While we hope that the spread of COVID-19 will not necessitate the temporary closure of the campus for students, school staff are planning for educational continuity for our students in that eventuality. 

Finally, we know that for many of our students, the information they see or read online, or hear second-hand from friends, can sound alarming and frightening. If you are looking for some guidance on how to speak to your children about COVID-19, we direct you to this resource from the National Association of School Psychologists .

If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our school nurses or division heads. We will be in touch with further updates before spring break.

Sincerely,

David Brown
Assistant Head of School
St. Andrew's Episcopal School |  8804 Postoak Rd.
Potomac, MD 20854  | (301) 983-5200