School Updates re COVID-19
Dear MSD Community,
MSD is committed to balancing the need to provide a safe school environment with students' developmental needs to socialize and inspire a love of learning. At this point in time, it is still our intention to move forward with the plans/calendars shared in my June 30th communication. Next week, we will be in touch with enrolled families with a survey regarding your family's intent to choose on-campus vs. hybrid learning as we start the year.
We are staying informed about what the local school districts and other independent schools are planning for the start of their school year. We also know that public schools have more logistics and safety concerns than some independent schools have, including hallways, busses, classes that change for each subject, and potentially limited space for distancing students in the classrooms. At this point, the majority of NC independent schools are moving forward with all the same safety measures and protocols that we have put in place. Some independent schools are considering having their middle and high school students begin with remote learning, but they're working hard to keep the younger students on campus. We say this knowing that plans could change before the scheduled start date.
MSD is committed to implementing health and safety precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our school community while prioritizing the safety of your children and our teachers as well. Please review our COVID-19 Handbook which lays out information on our sanitation protocols, staff training, health screening, campus procedures, distancing and safety protocols, communication and technology plans, and remote learning and hybrid learning plans. Please be aware that this plan is fluid and will be evolving over time at MSD’s discretion, while considering national, state, and local government agencies' recommendations and requirements. This handbook is not intended as a contract and the school reserves the right to modify, at any time, any of the policies described or privileges granted. The policies and procedures in this document supersede those in the Family Handbook during this time. An abbreviated Family Handbook with non-COVID-19 related policies will be provided to all families as the school year begins.
Just a reminder that you can access the most up-to-date version of our school calendars on the calendar page of the MSD website. One change to note: the New Parent Orientation will be shared as a video with all newly enrolled families to make administrative staff introductions and review the COVID-19 and family handbook. In the next two weeks, all families will receive more information about supply lists and orientation. In a typical school year, the Early Childhood students with After School contracts are eligible to register for an "Orientation Week 2 Camp" that extends their day during that week (August 24-28th). Because After School care is now provided in the child's classroom, we are not able to offer that Orientation Week 2 Camp this school year.
As a staff of around 30, we represent a small percentage of the MSD community, so parents, we need your help! Because we are such a close-knit community, we cannot do it without your support. To that end, we are asking MSD Families to commit to the following actions so we are all working as a team to keep each other healthy. We have the great fortune of being a responsive, dedicated, and caring community of families and teachers. By following these precautions together, we can decrease the chance of possible transmission.
In Public Spaces, including work, all members of my household commit to the following:
- Increased social distancing
- Minimizing close contact conversations to less than 10-15 minutes
- Face coverings worn when social distancing measures not available
- Monitoring for symptoms
- Hand sanitation after contact with high touch surfaces
- Hand washing during or after public activities
At home, all members of my household commit to the following:
- Monitor for symptoms of COVID-19
- Teach and model proper hand washing techniques to your child
- Teach and model proper wearing of face coverings to your child (to prepare Early Childhood and Elementary students to wear their face coverings on campus)
- Promote awareness and help your child identify when hand washing might be necessary
- Reporting to school when there is a confirmed case in our family
We appreciate your family's support in this way. We will be in touch again next week.
There are some great resources on how to talk to children and how to reduce their anxiety levels, but please be mindful that for our younger students these conversations may not be appropriate unless they specifically ask. Included among these resources are the following:
- Talking with children about children about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CDC)
- How to Support Children (and Yourself) During the COVID-19 Outbreak (Center on the Developing Child- Harvard University)
- How to talk to your kids about COVID-19 (Mayo Clinic)