September 25, 2020
A few words about record keeping, and why it is so important for us right now.
But first, a big shout out to our Middle School students. One of the perks of Middle School, in addition to Friday skiing and running a pizza business, is getting to read to Children’s House friends. Since they cannot do this in person, the students decided to record themselves reading some of their favorite books. The recordings will be posted on Children’s House class websites so students can watch them at home with their families. This is their way of connecting to the community.
Now to record keeping. Your daily health screening form is the basic building block that allows us to track the health of our school community. The daily screening tells us who is healthy and who is not. It also helps us log absences. If someone is out for a medical reason, we follow up with a phone call to discuss symptoms and next steps. We follow up until the student or staff member returns to school.
We log this information in the secure Nurse’s Office tab in our Student Management System. It is our tracking tool. We know how many in our community have been tested for COVID, and the outcomes, and how many have quarantined. We know when a doctor has recommended against testing. This data helps us make sure we are on top of health issues, to see patterns and trends, and to make responsible decisions.
We plan to share a high-level summary of this data with you in the form of a monthly Community Health Dashboard. I think it is important that we all know how we are doing, and how much the daily steps that we each take contribute to the health of our community.
Be safe friends,
September 18, 2020
There are two important things that I want to share with you this week.
The first is that on Thursday our EEC Licensor made her annual inspection visit. This included a detailed review of all of our logs and records (attendance, health forms, emergency procedures, personnel files, etc.) and an on-site visit and safety inspection. She did the full campus visit via FaceTime. The result is that we are in full compliance with EEC regulations, which means that, even with all of the extra attention and effort COVID-19 is requiring, we are not neglecting the details. In fact, we are doing them better. A huge thank you to all faculty and staff for this.
The second is that Tachou Brown and Purvi Harley have agreed to co-chair the Parent Association this year. The PA is an important partner in helping us to build community. This year will present challenges as we cannot hold our traditional in-person events, but I am certain that we will figure out creative ways to connect and network. A virtual Curriculum Spotlight presentation means you do not have to hire a sitter in order to attend. You can expect to hear from Tachou and Purvi soon.
Finally, I am thinking about a brief conversation I had this week, in which the other person said, “Well, now that school is open you can relax.” That would be nice, but the answer is no we cannot. We all need to continue to wear our masks, wash our hands, and respect social distance. These things are just part of what we do and model, like saying thank you, holding doors, and respecting each other. Our children get it, and it is not stopping them from being happy to be in school, engaging.
Be safe friends,
September 11, 2020
This weekend marks six months since we were forced to suspend on-campus learning. It has been quite a journey.
We had to move quickly from onsite to online, delivering virtual curricula and resources daily. We Zoomed. We navigated the ever-changing public health and regulatory landscape, and we acquired a new vocabulary: pods, cohorts, etc. We kept on Zooming. We ran a successful summer program, and practiced social distancing, hand washing, and wearing masks. We Zoomed some more. We made classes smaller and rearranged spaces. And here we are, at the end of week one.
For me, through all of this, there have been two constants. The first is knowing that there will always be something new around the next corner, and the second is that whatever that may be, we, working together, will figure out how to deal with it. We share a common purpose, and as we work together, we are building a stronger school community.
We are also part of the larger educational community.
As such we are participating in the National COVID-19 School Response Dashboard, a collaboration between organizations representing public and independent schools, under the leadership of Brown University Professor of Economics Emily Oster. This effort will track the impact of COVID-19 on enrollment and staffing trends over time and help us all make better decisions supported by good data. https://explaincovid.org/kids/nationwide-covid-19-school-dashboard
Who knows what lies ahead. Whatever it may be, our school community is up to the challenge. For that, I am grateful to all of you.
Be safe friends,
Note: As we begin the new school year, our weekly communication is migrating from LEAF to our redesigned web site. I will still appear in your In Box each Friday, but please visit the web site News & Events page for lots of useful information and news. More details to follow soon.