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2020.03.11 -- COVID-19 Update

March 11, 2020
By Jef Fowler, Head of School

Coronavirus Plans at Veritas

With many of us planning travel over Spring Break, we ask that before you return to campus after the break, you advise the school if you or a family member living in your home--or any person with whom you have had recent contact--has tested positive for COVID-19 or traveled to any country that the CDC has issued a Level 2, 3, or 4 Travel Advisory (currently just China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, and Japan).

  • SELF-QUARANTINE
    • CDC guidelines for travelers returning to the U.S. from those countries currently states, "travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning to the United States and practice social distancing." Please know that self-quarantine would apply to students and employees in our community and include staying home from school and work. 
  • DISTANCE LEARNING PREP
    • We will attempt to assist any student in quarantine circumstances with distance learning. Presently, we are making plans and instructing faculty and staff on how best to effect this, mindful of the fact that simultaneously conducting a live class with students present in the classroom while also streaming for distance learners will place a new and heavy burden on our teachers. In that situation, we envision that the student(s) streaming the class remotely will not be able/allowed to actively participate by interacting with the classroom teacher or students. Students who attend class remotely will be counted present during this season. (Later, if necessary, we will discuss our distance learning plans In the event that we have to close the school and conduct all of our classes remotely. As you can imagine, this would be a giant undertaking, though not one we presently believe to be impossible. We’re still working on how we would go about doing it for teachers and students/parents.)
  • CDC EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN (EOP)
    • As recommended by the CDC, and after consulting several other resources, we have prepared an EOP in the event that this outbreak continues to escalate and touches closer to home. When warranted, next steps of the plan will become enacted and communicated to you. Until then, please be vigilant in taking the precautions that we are reminded of daily: frequent hand washing, coughing/sneezing into elbows, social distancing, etc. 
  • CALL FOR CLOROX WIPES
    • Lastly, with all of the extra cleaning we’ve been doing over the past week or so, the school’s disinfecting supplies (particularly wipes) are running low, and our normal supply sources have dried up. Should you have an extra bottle or two of wipes, would you please consider dropping them off at the school this week? We have ordered 15 gallons of temporarily overpriced isopropyl alcohol, along with dozens of spray bottles, in order to create our own classroom disinfectants over the break, but the wipes are quicker and easier to use...which means that they will be used more frequently. Thank you!

At any time this year, should you or your student become symptomatic of a cold or flu, just stay home! And, again, please advise us promptly of any travel to--or exposure to travelers to--the aforementioned countries under a CDC advisory or any recent contact with anyone who has tested positive to COVID-19 so that we may be aware of the risk and take steps to protect our community while providing help to you and your family.

Fear Not...

Clearly, these are uncertain times with volatile threats all around us, be they to the health of our loved ones, to our financial security, to our customs and routines, or to whatever. But panics also produce opportunities. First, to reexamine the sources of our security, and then to respond accordingly, in the process setting an example to our kids of how to actually live by faith, instead of merely professing it.

A challenge: With your kids, do a search of scripture (perhaps starting with Joshua 1) to view at least some of the many instances in which God encourages and even commands His people to not be afraid, to lift up their eyes above the circumstances in their immediate environment, and to call out to Him with their requests while magnifying His name and supremacy over all. Then, to be still, calm, strong, courageous, and confident in His presence, promises, and provision. When that becomes our focus, peace settles into us, no matter how badly things may begin to appear around us.

These are the opportunities to refocus us on the unseen source of reality, and in doing so, to inspire our kids to a lifelong faith in an accessible, loving God by their witness of--and participation in acquiring--this confidence that surpasses all understanding. What a testimony that will be to them, to our neighbors, and to our unbelieving friends and family members in troubled times.

-Jef


 

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