Closure Communication Update 3.23.20
Consistent with the directives out of the Governor’s Office and the State Department of Education, our school building is closed through May 15, 2020; however, academic learning is still taking place. Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, we resumed operations with our Online Learning Program although all co-curricular activities were and will continue to be suspended until our regular academic calendar resumes. This includes all athletics competitions/practices, club activities, and extended care.
We will continue to examine potential changes to the remainder of the academic calendar; however, please note we will still honor Easter Break.
This has been a difficult decision, to say the least, but the more we learn about this disease, the more we understand our responsibility to support social distancing and we are doing everything we can in order to reduce the spread of this virus. We do want to make it clear that there are no suspected cases of COVID-19 within our school community at this time.
Online Learning Program
Our faculty has been working hard to identify appropriate mediums that can help convey content, provide feedback, and record assessment progress for your child during this closure. Although plans have now been put in place, we will communicate if any adjustments are made and the expectations for students at every grade level. Again, it is important to emphasize that our Online Learning Program is school. We expect students to participate in virtual lessons with the same level of preparedness that they would in the classroom with adherence to assignment deadlines.
Emotional Health and Wellness
We understand that many students and families may feel anxious during this time of risk and uncertainty. It is important that we seize hold of any opportunity to pray with our children and appropriately use language and controlled emotion to help de-escalate these anxieties. Enforced isolation and loneliness is something to also watch out for, and we encourage parents to reach out to the school administration for support or if they have any questions or concerns.
Resources & Devices
Teachers are communicating with students via RenWeb, email, videoconferencing, and other electronic platforms on a regular basis. Within the RenWeb platform, not only will assessment grades continue to be posted, but so, too, will specific assignments be listed with designation of the platforms or resources required. High school students will be required to use their iPads. Students in younger grades may need your assistance, through RenWeb, in identifying their assignments and submitting papers electronically.
While our Online Learning Program is in effect, it’s important that we bear in mind the recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Delaware Department of Health to prevent the spread of disease; students should avoid gathering together socially if possible during the period of Online Learning in an attempt to protect our communities. We understand that children and teenagers are generally believed to be largely safe from serious infection due to COVID-19, but this is an important step to take; even if children don’t catch the disease, they can still be carriers and spread the infection to those in the community who are at greatest risk. Students and families should continue to practice all of the same precautions we have been recommending, including hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes.
Events and Athletics
Student events and athletics on and off campus are suspended throughout this closure and until further notice. During this break we will work with the DIAA and ESIAC to discuss what our Online Learning Program means for our athletes and their seasons, but we should be prepared to follow the example set by many colleges and universities, and increasingly by professional sports leagues, to suspend or cancel the remainder of the spring season if it becomes necessary. We will keep you informed as those conversations continue.
There are performances and activities scheduled for the coming weeks. We understand how hard our students have been preparing for and looking forward to these special events, and we will do our best to reschedule them in the future if at all possible.
We are encouraging all faculty, staff, and families to reconsider their own travel and Easter break plans in light of the guidance from the CDC and the President’s recent address. We are taking this pandemic very seriously and know that our whole community is being thoughtful about how to keep each other safe during this time of uncertainty and risk.
In closing, I would like to thank our faculty and staff who have been working incredibly hard, and who will keep working hard, to keep our students moving forward. I am deeply grateful for their commitment to providing your children with the best possible educational experience at all times. I would also like to thank all of you for the support you will be offering at home and the open communication we can enjoy electronically. I truly believe that we have an opportunity to walk through these uncharted waters demonstrating our faith and hope in Christ while we pursue excellence.
Delighting in Him,
Interim Head of School
Coronavirus infections are transmitted in a manner similar to many flus and respiratory illnesses through droplets in the air from a cough or sneeze. Increased awareness and practice of the following precautions, by both adults and students, is strongly advised.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, and after touching public surfaces. If this is not possible, then use a hand sanitizer gel.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze by using a tissue that you immediately throw into a trashcan or by covering your face with your elbow (bent arm) if no tissue is available. Do not cough or sneeze into the open air or into your hands. And wash your hands immediately afterward.
- In public places, put distance (about six feet if possible) between you and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- If you have not already done so, get a flu shot. The flu is an ongoing concern and currently is even more dangerous than the coronavirus.
- Be aware of CDC travel guidelines when planning Spring Break trips. Please refer to the CDC website for further information regarding travel restrictions as this site is updated regularly by the CDC.