3/13/20 updates on Coronavirus from Claudia
Fri, Mar 13 6:44pm
Dear Earth School Families, 
 
Before we head fully into the weekend, I wanted to share with you the latest updates/clarifications regarding precautions we are now taking to implement some measures of "social distancing" in response to the Coronavirus.
 
Meetings and Gatherings: 
  • All assemblies are canceled until further notice. This means we will not be having Open Mic Night next week, and will look to reschedule it in the future. 
  • All field trips are suspended until further notice.
  • Any planned meetings will be either canceled or conducted using technology for remote access. 
Attendance:
As we shared in yesterday's email (see below), if your child will be absent due to self-isolation or self-quarantine, it is important that you email attendance@theearthschool.org to let us know. I wanted to clarify that it will also to be helpful to include your child's teacher(s) on the email. 
 
More importantly, we need families to give us some indication of the anticipated duration of the absence.  The reason for this is that if your child doesn't return to school and we don't hear from you, we need to know when to start worrying about your family's well-being and responding to make sure you are well and safe. Please, give us an initial sense of an anticipated time-frame, and simply send a follow-up email to let us know if you need to extend that time-frame.  
 
Updated Family Contact Information
I will send a more detailed email over the weekend about some response protocols the DOE has put into effect that may require schools to contact families during the school day with information that may require immediate action. Be on the look-out for that email, as it will also include some information on the best ways to make sure we have current contact and emergency contact information for your family. 
 
I will send some more information over the weekend regarding measures that will be taken in the event of school closures. 
 
Finally, last weekend I sent an email explaining that the Chancellor of Schools had emphasized that information was evolving on a daily basis. In his remarks to principals today, he emphasized that information is now evolving on an hourly basis. To that end, I urge you to continue to monitor reliable sources of information throughout the day. 
 
The reliability of sources is becoming increasingly important, as there are now documented cases of intentional attempts to spread mis-information through social media. Yesterday, for example there was a wide-spread rumor on social media that the mayor had ordered an immediate and complete shutdown of the subway system. There are yet other rumors that are even more malicious that are being posted with the intent of stoking fear and panic city-wide. I urge you all to verify information as best you can before sharing it or acting on it. 
 
I wish you all peace and health. 
 
Be well and take care, 
Claudia
 
Yesterday's email pasted below: 
 
 
Dear Earth School Community, 
 
Meeting and Gatherings: 
We wanted to share some updates regarding meetings and gatherings scheduled for today and in the near future: 
  • Tomorrow's Diversity and Difference meeting is postponed (new date TBD). 
  • We will not be having Weekly Town Meeting tomorrow (and until further notice), as the most recent guidance from the CDC recommends that schools avoid large gatherings that mix students from different grades/classes.
  • There is a very high likelihood that we will be postponing Open Mic Night and upcoming field trips. We will send definitive information before the weekend.
Absences: 
As was included in the most recent DOE documents shared earlier this week, students with fevers must be fever-free without the aid of fever reducers (Tylenol, aspirin, Motrin, ibuprofen) for at least 72 hours before returning to school. 
 
We have been receiving many emails and calls regarding attendance and self-isolation and self-distancing. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the terminology: 
  • Self-isolation and self-distancing refers to situations where families and individuals choose to stay home in order to reduce risk to exposure
  • Self-quarantine refers to situations where families and individuals stay home because they may have been exposed to Coronavirus or may be showing symptoms
If your child is absent either due to self-isolation/self-distancing or self-quarantine, it is important that you email attendance@theearthschool.org to let us know of the anticipated duration of your child's absence. (If there is a change in the duration, please send a follow-up email to attendance@theearthschool.org to let us know.) 
 
All absences related to Coronavirus will be considered Excused. This includes the following situations:
  • Students are staying home with any illness related to COVID-19 (students who are ill should stay home).
  • Students who have returned from COVID-19-affected areas and are self-quarantined.
  • Students who are absent due to exposure to COVID-19 and possess a doctor’s note.
  • Families/caregivers who choose to keep students home in an effort to reduce their child’s risk of exposure to COVID-19.
 
For 4th graders applying to middle schools, although attendance will appear on student records, attendance will not be used as a screen for admissions. 
 
Be well, 
Claudia