March 3, 2020

Dear Steward families,

As noted in last week's communication, we are updating you on our preparations for the potential effects of the COVID-19 virus on our school community. In this letter, we will address the following important topics:

  1. Quarantine standards and travel scenarios
  2. Preparing for possible long-term school closure
  3. Resources for talking to children about COVID-19

1. Quarantine standards and travel scenarios

As part of our illness prevention plan, we would like to be able to track the epidemiology of the virus should any cases come from within our school community. Many of you have already contacted School Nurse Rebecca Heck with your travel plans. If you are traveling outside of the State of Virginia during the break we request that you complete this brief, confidential TRAVEL FORM.

Following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), any student or faculty/staff member who travels to a country designated by the CDC as a "Warning–Level 3" area will be subject to a 14-day period of self-quarantine away from school upon the date of their return. If your child is traveling to an "Alert–Level 2" country (check CDC's website for updates), we suggest that you seriously consider your plans in the event that the country is elevated to Level 3 status at a later time. This self-quarantine standard will also apply to the family members of those who have traveled in Level 3 areas for work or other reasons. If you have questions about this, please contact our school nurse, Rebecca Heck, at Rebecca.Heck@stewardschool.org.

In recognition of the need for caution, we will require visiting applicants and their families to follow these standards as well.

2. Preparing for possible long-term school closure

We will make a closure decision in response to state or national mandates; guidance from the CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), and Virginia Department of Health (VDH); and based on needs presented by faculty, staff, or students affected. We are prepared to provide you with substantive learning opportunities, even if we need to manage quarantine cases or close school for some period of time.

As noted above, we are training faculty for this eventuality. For students, we will provide instruction mainly through the Google suite (including Google Meet), other web-based platforms, and through the SeeSaw app in the Lower School.

Because the present situation is so fluid, we cannot accurately predict conditions on the ground after spring break. In an abundance of caution, we are asking all students, JK-12, to bring home their textbooks, binders, and other important school supplies before departing for the break. Please provide your child with an appropriate tote or bag on Friday in order to bring home these materials. Lower and Middle School students will be provided a school-issued iPad, and Upper School students should make sure to have their laptops at home.

Please remember to follow the CDC, state, WHO, and VDH websites for up-to-date information; be in touch with your family physician regarding health concerns; attend to strong hygiene practices; and look for further communication from us.

3. Resources for talking with children

We understand that this situation can be confusing for children and adults alike. Below, we hope you will take some time to visit the following resources that provide helpful, timely information about COVID-19 for you and your family.

We appreciate your patience, and we thank you for working with us as we make Steward a healthy environment for all. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact me; Lisa Dwelle; Rebecca Heck; or your division directors, Ingrid Moore, Susan Atkinson, and Adam Seldis.

Sincerely,

Dan Frank signature

Dan Frank 
Head of School

www.stewardschool.org
The Steward School | 11600 Gayton Road | Richmond, VA 23238 | 804-740-3394
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