TO HOLY NAMES ACADEMY PARENTS:
As you may have heard, over the weekend additional cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been confirmed in King County, and the Governor has declared a state of emergency. I am writing to share information about the Academy’s preparedness measures and to seek your partnership in keeping our school community healthy.
What is HNA doing?
We are actively monitoring information and updates from the Public Health – Seattle and King County (PHSKC) , the Washington State Department of Health (WSDH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). While the CDC states that the risk is “low” for the general American public and there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in our school, we are prepared with a strong response plan.
Some specific strategies include:
• Our Emergency Management Team is engaged and monitoring the situation
• Faculty members are prepared to hold classes via online tools in the event of a closure. For the past month, our teachers have been trained and practiced in the video-conferencing capabilities within Microsoft Teams. By combining video conference and Microsoft OneNote, students will continue to “attend” school in the event of a closure.
• We continue to remind students of preventive measures and will train them on the tools for online learning during the homeroom period on Tuesday, March 3.
• The school is routinely cleaned with an environmentally friendly disinfectant and we have increased the focus on cleaning surfaces in high-use areas.
• We have hand-sanitizing dispensers in every classroom and common-use areas of the school.
What can you do?
We ask that you partner with us in keeping our school community healthy. Please follow these guidelines:
• Be mindful of good hygiene. Frequent and thorough handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth are the best preventive measures.
• If your daughter is sick, have her stay home and seek medical attention. Some of the symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and other respiratory problems. A student who becomes ill while at school will be sent home after parents have been contacted.
• If your daughter has been diagnosed with or exposed to the coronavirus or other communicable disease, please contact our Attendance Office by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (206) 720-7823.
We will alert students and parents of any school closure via our SchoolMessenger system, and follow up with more information via an e-mail message and the school website. If the closure is for only a day, students should access lessons on Microsoft Teams and OneNote. If the closure is for two or more days, classes will be taught through the video-conferencing tools in Microsoft Teams to provide for the necessary engagement and interaction. “Video classes” will be held at the regularly scheduled school-day hours of 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and on the normal class-schedule rotation. This provides opportunities for discussion, direct instruction, and teacher-student contact. We encourage you to check your home Internet connections to be sure there is sufficient bandwidth for video conferencing.
Activities and Events
We will continue to monitor the situation. While we have no plans at the moment to cancel or postpone upcoming events and activities, it is possible that we will need to do so. We will keep you informed.
CDC Recommendations for Prevention
These recommendations have been shared with our students:
• Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
• Stay home when you are sick. Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
• Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean your hands. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
• Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
We will continue to prepare for the possible impact of this outbreak in our community, and we will keep you informed of any updates.
— Liz Swift, Head of School and Principal