Last month we communicated our precautionary measures regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The school's efforts to manage risks associated with COVID-19 included canceling two China-related trips (International Winter Camp and AI Scholars) and increasing our daily sanitizing of the campus. We empathize with families around the world who are affected by this outbreak and seek to fulfill our commitment to protect students and staff by monitoring the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Palm Beach County Health Department, and state guidelines daily and carefully.
CDC Guidelines to Prevent the Spread of Illnesses
We are doing everything we can to keep our community safe. Please help us by doing your part by following
to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:
- If your student is sick they should stay home.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-90% alcohol.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
We are following and encourage you to follow the travel guidelines set forth by the CDC. As of today, CDC recommends that travelers avoid nonessential travel to Level 3 areas: China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy. It is recommended that travel to Japan, a Level 2 area, is restricted for older travelers and those with chronic health conditions. CDC recommends avoiding stops and layovers in these countries. If your child travels through or to an area for which CDC suggests self-quarantine or an area that later becomes subject to a CDC warning or alert, the school will require your student to wait two weeks after the student's stateside return before they return to campus. Countries are being added, upgraded, and downgraded on CDC's lists daily.
All domestic and international student trips that are currently planned, as well as local field trips, are being evaluated based on travel recommendations from the CDC and the state of Florida. This is a very fluid situation that will impact decisions on a daily basis. We will keep you informed as soon as decisions are made.
School Shutdown Contingency Plans
We are also working on contingency plans should the spread of the outbreak worsen, requiring schools to shut down. In particular, we are preparing an online learning platform that will help ensure continuity of curriculum delivery. We will provide more information if it becomes necessary.
This may feel like an overabundance of caution; however, we must take reasonable measures to prevent the arrival of COVID-19 on campus.
We live in a global community, and times like this remind us of our interconnectedness. Help us keep our community safe.
Ralph E. Maurer, Ph.D
Head of School