March 3, 2020
I am writing to update you further on coronavirus (COVID-19) and the prevention of any spread in our community. We continue to monitor the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Center for Disease Control.
We are also monitoring travel restrictions. As you may be aware, we have two international trips coming up in the high school. The Dominican Republic trip takes place over spring break while the senior class trip to Montreal takes place in April. As of right now, these trips will take place as scheduled. However, these plans can change, and we will keep you posted in a timely manner.
As spring break approaches, we know that many in our community are likely planning to travel internationally and/or domestically. Please be advised that an increasing number of countries are now being placed under travel advisories or restrictions due to the spread of the coronavirus. Stay informed of the CDC’s travel advisories. These advisories may change quickly, so it is imperative that you stay up-to-date. If you are traveling, be sure you are aware of any advisories or restrictions in the areas you are visiting.
As noted above, we are monitoring the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reports and receive regular communications from them. While we are not in a position to need to do so presently, we are making plans to ensure education can continue through distance learning vehicles should the need arise to close school for an extended period of time due to the local spread of the coronavirus. We will be ready if such a step is deemed necessary.
We continue to conduct a deep cleaning of all areas of our campus: the buildings, classrooms, restrooms, etc. In doing so, we employ a machine, the Clorox Total 360 Disinfecting Cleaner. We also disinfect high touch areas daily: doorknobs, hand railings, etc.
Remember a good way to stop the spread of any virus is to practice basic hygiene routines: wash your hands often with soap and water; avoid close contact with anyone who may be sick; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; disinfect frequently used objects; cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing. Also, if your child is sick, keep them home from school.
Given how quickly the situation is evolving, we are monitoring new developments and will continue to reevaluate our processes and actions daily. In the meantime, the most effective way to stay healthy and minimize the spread of infectious disease is to follow basic health best practices:
Tips for Prevention
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
While we hope that there is no disruption to school, we are working on our remote-learning plans to ensure that students can continue their education in the event of a school shutdown. Detailed information about these plans will come in a communication later this week.
Please complete the survey below so that we know if each student has access to the technology needed to learn remotely. We must hear from all of our families as soon as possible. PLEASE RESPOND TO THE SURVEY HERE.
This situation is evolving daily and the days and weeks ahead may lead to new information from the CDC and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. We will continue to keep you updated when we receive new information and/or whether we have to make any changes to our own policies or daily activities. Please read the attached Frequently Asked Questions provided by the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for more information.
Timothy P. Madigan, Ph.D.
Head of School