Dear Children’s Center Families,
Intensive planning and preparedness related to coronavirus has continued since last week’s update. First, I want to offer my appreciation to our community, families and educators, for continuing to maintain a calm environment for our children. We are not initiating discussion of the virus with children at school, and, if they raise it, we answer in simple terms, focusing on how our community cares for those who are sick and how they themselves can care for others.
While we do not have a presumptive or confirmed case of coronavirus among the students or staff, we are very closely monitoring the situation and staying in daily contact with both the Needham Department of Public Health and Massachusetts Department of Public Health. We are also following instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and our TBS pediatric consultant. Under their instruction, school is continuing as scheduled.
We have temporarily increased our custodial team to allow for more frequent daily sanitizing of shared surfaces throughout the building. In the classrooms, we practice and teach good hygiene and hand washing and disinfect surfaces multiple times each day to prevent the spread of illness. Our process is an intensive two-step one, with cleaning followed by either sanitizing or disinfecting, depending on the situation. We have checked all cleaning products to ensure they meet the CDC recommendations for virus prevention. As you know, the precautions we are taking will help prevent the spread of disease to high-risk individuals.
In addition to these enhanced protocols, we are implementing a few new precautions at school:
- The school-wide Shabbat Celebrations, which typically take place at 11am on Fridays, are cancelled for the next 30 days, through April 3. Instead, we will celebrate Shabbat in small groups, with children only. Emily Perlman, our Shabbat song leader, will continue to lead our much loved Shabbat singing in this new setting. Other family members are asked not to attend.
- Teachers are screening children upon arrival to evaluate their health status. You will be contacted if your child appears sick.
- Children’s hands will be washed more frequently, including immediately after drop off.
We are lucky to be part of a community where all are aware and vigilant about protecting others from illness. Ways you can help us maintain a safe school environment:
- If you know that you have been exposed to the virus, please let me know immediately.
- If your child is sick, please be in touch with us to let us know, and consult with your pediatrician on when your child can return to school.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick
- If you have traveled to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan or been on a cruise, please let me know before returning to school.
- Remind children to cough into their elbow, use tissues, and wash hands frequently and practice these skills at home.
- If you are sick, please use the drive line for drop off and call ahead for pick up so that we can bring your child to the car to meet you.
If, during this challenging time, your family needs support, please be in touch.
I will continue to update you as the situation develops. Thank you for your partnership in keeping our community healthy!