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Coronavirus Update

Updates sent to the Hershey Montessori School Community
Hershey Montessori School is closely monitoring the CDC, ODH, and our local Geauga and Lake County Health Departments for updates and recommendations regarding the COVID-19/Coronavirus. We aim to ensure that we are well-informed and prepared to make sound decisions with regard to student health and risk management. News and information is evolving quickly. We will update our parent community through direct email and post those communications to this page.

 

From the Head of School…

March 12, 2020

Dear Hershey Families,

I wish to update you on the current efforts to slow the progress of the COVID19 virus in Ohio. Governor DeWine has ordered all schools to close beginning no later than Monday, March 16 and remain closed until no sooner than April 6, 2020. Both of Hershey Montessori School’s campuses will be open tomorrow as we recognize the practical challenges for parents that these changes can create. We leave the decision up to your family as to whether your child comes to school tomorrow. All absences will be recorded as an excused absence. Morning care will proceed as usual tomorrow at the Concord Campus, but there will be no aftercare, and all Concord children must be picked up at the 3:20 p.m. dismissal. The Huntsburg bus will arrive as usual by 4:20 p.m. You can stop by to collect snow suits, boots or personal belongings at any time before dismissal tomorrow. There will be no school beginning Monday, March 16 through, at least, Monday, April 6, 2020. We will continue to keep you informed with any new information or changes. You also can find updates about the outbreak on the Ohio Department of Health’s website here.

We recommend that international students keep their return travel plans open due to the potential of changes in return dates based upon the rapidly changing information from our government health agencies. I remind all families that if you are in a region or country that is listed at high risk / level 3, you will be required to complete 14 days of quarantine off campus before returning. Any family who is concerned about symptoms in their household, or who has been exposed to a diagnosed case of COVID-19, should notify the school. If a student has been in contact with a diagnosed case, we will be requiring quarantine and a signed medical statement before that student can return to campus.

The staff will be working on creating remote learning content with a view to giving students engaging work and ways to create and to communicate with their teachers after spring break. For Hershey families with children under six years of age, the staff will be sending materials and activities that parents can choose to offer to their child at home. They also will be sharing activities for students to do at home that can engage them as much as possible off-screen time. Most of all, we are valuing the importance of staying connected as a community, so staff are already eagerly planning ways that we can do that with our students and our families after spring break. We will communicate these ways to connect and engage from home as the plans are completed. Although we may not be sure how the situation will develop, we will be ready for students, either on campus or remotely, by or before April 6.

As this is a time of uncertainty and change we join you in wishing to help our children feel cared for and as safe as possible. We attach an article from the National Association of School Psychologist on how to talk with your children about the virus. We also have created a page on our website with school communications and some helpful related resources. You can find that information here. While this is a very concerning time for all, I believe that our community will be resilient and will rally to be our best selves toward meeting our fundamental needs and caring for each other.

I will keep you posted on any new information and with the plans for how we will offer remote learning for our students at each stage of development.

In service to the child and our community well-being,

Paula Leigh-Doyle

Head of School

Hershey Montessori School

pleighdoyle@Hershey-Montessori.org

Office:   440-357-0918

 

March 11, 2020

Dear Hershey Parents,

We send this notice with a view to keep you informed about our response to the current COVID19 virus outbreak. The health and wellbeing of our children, staff and community is of utmost importance to us. There has been no report of concern for students or staff at our school. We are monitoring the facts daily and staying informed by the CDC and local government health agencies.  As this is a quickly evolving situation, we will provide updates on changes as appropriate. For now, we continue to follow the CDC recommendations and require that any student or family who travels to any of the Risk-Level 3 countries, or any subsequently declared regions in the United States, complete the 14-day self-imposed quarantine before coming on campus. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html

Countries that have a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (widespread, ongoing transmission) currently include:

The Huntsburg and 6th year class trips will most likely be cancelled by this outbreak also. We will continue to assess the situation regionally and globally each day and will keep you informed of any changes. In the event that there might be a need for the Huntsburg Campus to close for a future period, the staff will be prepared to offer remote learning, and students will be required to continue to be engaged in learning through new and creative ways of connecting with their teachers and each other through on-line instruction, assignments and collaboration.  If the Concord Campus remained open during a Huntsburg Campus closure, student absences due to health concerns will be excused during this period.

In the event that the Concord Campus might need to close for a future period, the staff will prepare remote learning work for elementary children. The staff will prepare materials and resources for Montessori in the home for families in Children’s House, Young Child Community, and Parent Infant programs.

In the meantime, we continue to be diligent with hygiene practices, which include hand washing, avoiding touching our faces, covering coughs and sanitizing surfaces daily. I remind you that children and staff who develop a fever may not return to campus until the child, or staff person, has been fever-free without medication for 25 hours.  In the case that children or staff with additional symptoms to the fever, such as cough or shortness of breath, the family should contact their health provider to determine if further testing might be necessary.  Please report all symptoms of the illness when you call absences into the school.

For now, we are grateful that life, learning, community engagement and joy continue on our campuses, and we strive to keep the school conditions conducive to safe and healthy learning environments. I appreciate that all Hershey parents are contributing to that shared vision.

Best regards,

Paula Leigh-Doyle

Head of School

Hershey Montessori School

pleighdoyle@Hershey-Montessori.org

Office:   440-357-0918

 

February 28, 2020

Dear Hershey Parents,

The health and safety of our students and staff are the top priority of Hershey Montessori School.  We have been following the facts from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) about the potential outbreak of COVID-19/Coronavirus. We strive to remain practical and seek to avoid alarming our children and young adolescents. But we also want to convey that we are alert, diligent and prepared for any potential situation that could affect our school community. Please note that there have been no documented cases of COVID- 19 in Ohio. We are following the guidance of the health department authorities in preparing for all contingencies.

We are following the protocol for personal hygiene and for observing children’s health that we have in place to prevent the spread of the flu and other contagious diseases. In the event that there is a warning from the CDC or our county health departments for extra control actions, we have developed a response plan for the care of our students on campus and for decisions regarding closing campus for day students. If it becomes necessary to close school for a period of time, the staff will share work assignments electronically, as appropriate to age and grade level, for students to complete from home.

Our preparations for the Huntsburg boarding students, should the health department require day schools to close, includes complete safety protocol, staffing, comfort and engagement for our residential community.

If your family plans to travel to regions identified as impacted by the epidemic over the spring break, we request that you follow the CDC guidelines regarding safety precautions as well as the guidelines to avoid non-essential travel to countries listed on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/. Those guidelines include 14 days of self-quarantine and monitoring for symptoms. If you do travel to these regions, we request that you keep your children home from school for 14 days following travel.

We will continue to communicate with you if there is new information about the health and safety of our community, which is foremost in our mind. In the interest of the overall wellbeing of our children, we suggest limiting exposure to constant media messaging about the virus for children between the ages of infancy through 12 years. We are dedicating to ensure that our children continue to grow in an emotionally and physically safe environment.

Thank you for supporting the well-being of our community by following the safety guidelines of the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/.) If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Judy Venaleck.

 

In service to the child,

Paula Leigh-Doyle

Head of School

Hershey Montessori School

pleighdoyle@Hershey-Montessori.org

Office:   440-357-0918