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March 11, 2020
Dear Lansdowne Friends School Families,
We are reaching out today to keep you updated on how we are monitoring and handling the risk of COVID-19 (coronavirus). As of this date, we do not know of anyone in our community who has been exposed to the coronavirus and there is only one person in Delaware County who has the virus. We continue to closely monitor the CDC and Department of Health websites to ensure that we are taking the proper steps here at school.
What we have done so far:
• We have formed a coronavirus response team made up of administrators and board members.
• We have dispensed disinfectant wipes in every classroom for the faculty and students to wipe down desks and hard surfaces, keyboards, and doorknobs during the day.
• Gatherings, for the time being, will be for students and faculty only. Meeting for Worship will take place in classrooms.
• Our cleaning contractors are taking extra precautions to make sure that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned each evening.
• Out of an abundance of caution, we have postponed the Sixth Grade Washington DC trip, and other upcoming field trips.
• Vacation Care has been cancelled.
• The faculty is meeting to develop plans to be able to support student learning at home should we have to close the school for a period of time. While it is not certain we will close, this possibility is more likely than it was a week ago and we want to be prepared. Our experiential program is difficult to duplicate online. Teachers are planning to send home packets of materials so that students can do work at home. Please make sure that there is a designated quiet space for your child to work at home, with materials such as paper and pencils, in the event of a school closing.
We would like to remind you about some best practices to avoid spreading any infection:
• If you have a child with compromised breathing, please follow the advice of your doctor.
• Please, if your child exhibits any symptoms of sickness, keep them home. This is incredibly important. Please see the flow chart entitled “Should My Child Go To School Today?” attached to this letter. The LFS rule is that students, faculty and staff should be fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications for 24 hours before returning to school.
• If a member of your family is tested for COVID-19, or if you or your child is diagnosed with any communicable health condition, please immediately send a direct communication to Teacher Linda so that we can support you and your family and work with health officials to make the best decisions for our school.
• If you or any family member in your household has returned from China, South Korea,Italy, Iran, or France in the last 14 days, or if you or any member of your household have had contact with an infected person in our area, please follow two safety protocols: first keep your child home from school until 14 healthy days have passed and, second, maintain a rigorous quarantine/isolation practice at home for the family member.
• Remind your child that hands should be washed often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Here is a youtube link demonstrating how thoroughly to wash one’s hands.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a reasonable alternative when hand washing with soap is not an option.
• Encourage your children to cough or sneeze into their elbows instead of hands, which are more likely to spread bacteria and the flu virus through touch. The main way that the virus spreads from person to person is in the droplets produced by coughs and sneezes. Dispose of tissues immediately and wash hands.
• We are asking that you send your child to school with a clean labelled water bottle each day so as to avoid using the water fountains.
• Avoid contact with anyone exhibiting cold-like symptoms.
• Limit touching your face and mouth with bare hands.
• Disinfect the “hot zones” in your residence, including the kitchen and bathroom. Frequently clean surfaces such as light switches, cell phones, remotes and other frequently touched items.
• We ask that all LFS families consider professional and personal travel carefully. The CDC has recommended that vulnerable populations avoid air travel, cruises, crowded venues and events that host over 150 people. We know that when we are exposed we will expose others, some of whom may be vulnerable. We ask families to self report travel and, based on the recommendation of our Public Health department and our own committee on community and public health, may ask that you and your family delay your return to campus following travel.
The following are some resources about the coronavirus:
Our priority is the health and well-being of students and employees. We want to reassure you that we are being vigilant and will take proactive steps to protect and support our community. We are in direct communication with and will follow directions from government agencies and we will continue to provide you with updates and inform you of any possible changes to our daily activities.
We all have a responsibility for reducing our own risk of infection, and if we are infected, for reducing our risk of infecting others. Each of us can act to protect vulnerable people in our communities. We are in this together. We know that many of us are likely to be exposed. At the same time, we also know that our best efforts, especially now, may save lives.
In times like this, we are particularly grateful for the strength, warmth, and partnership of our school community. Please look for further communications from us. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Warmly, Nancy Werner