2020.03.16 -- COVID-19 Update
With additional restrictions on gathering sizes being imposed or suggested over the weekend by the City of Austin and the CDC--and expected to persist for many weeks--it appears increasingly unlikely that Veritas will resume classes on campus immediately after Spring Break. Though our desire is to get back together and resume school routines as soon as possible, our planning needs to be based on the most likely scenario.
At this point, that most likely scenario is an extended school closure with the commencement of school-at-home beginning next week...though not on Monday or Tuesday. Instead, we will allow those two days to be used by faculty and staff to create their lesson plans and prepare the systems and technology tools needed to administer this school-at-home effort. We always build two extra days into our school calendar each year for unexpected closures due to things like icy weather (or more uniquely for us, water main breaks), so I'm preemptively declaring next Mon/Tue to be "snow days." Enjoy the cold.
As mentioned in my last message on Friday, we will make decisions each Wednesday for the following week, but I wanted to share this information now so that our extremely conscientious faculty and staff can enjoy a bit of the break with everyone else. Teachers, there will be time next Mon/Tue for you to prepare for your classes after the break, so please enjoy some time off with your families this week. (Just keep an eye out for an email from your respective school heads with more details.) And families, know that you get a couple of extra days to add to your Spring Break before instruction resumes.
This email will serve as this week's Wednesday Memo to communicate plans for next week, so go ahead and expect school to resume the following Wed, Mar 25, almost certainly from your homes and not on campus. But if by some extraordinary chance our campus is allowed to reopen right after the break, then that's what we will do...though not before Wed, Mar 25, after enjoying our long overdue snow days.
Two final thoughts:
- If, at any time, you or anyone in your family has tested positive for the coronavirus, please advise the school immediately. (Eventually, I will be notified directly by our local public health service, but please save us some much needed time to respond by letting me know right away.)
- Local nonprofits, such as food pantries and blood donation centers, need more volunteers/donors at this time as support from their corporate partners is being impacted by the health crisis. Please consider how you can be of service to others right now. They're not asking for your toilet paper, just your blood and your time.
Endeavor to live and love large this week!