February 28, 2020

Dear Spartans, 

We have been carefully following the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, and we’re writing to share with you where we are and what we are planning.

We are monitoring all available information from the CDC, WHO, and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). While all advise normal precautions, none are advising that we close school, quarantine students, or prohibit travel at this time. We have also been in close contact with our partners for Minimester trips to Spain and Costa Rica; while the situation is evolving, we plan on moving forward with each. Again, there have been no travel warnings or prohibitions for travel to and from these countries, according to the latest information from the WHO and the U.S. Department of State.

We assume some families will be traveling during spring break. If you are, please consider letting Nurse Heck know, so that she can monitor our school community. Her email address is rebecca.heck@stewardschool.org. Upon return from break, if your child is sick and/or running a fever, please let Nurse Heck know and keep your student at home until he or she has been fever-free for 24 hours.

Advice from the VDH includes the following:

It is currently the middle of flu season, and VDH recommends that K-12 students and staff take the following actions to prevent the further spread of influenza and other respiratory viruses, especially as flu symptoms could be confused with symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Get a flu vaccine.
  • Practice good hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Take flu antivirals if prescribed by your healthcare provider if you have the flu.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We believe the Steward community is well-prepared. Nonetheless we have built a team (administrators, deans, IT staff, and health providers) to plan for different scenarios. These possibilities include managing ongoing learning for quarantined students, providing teaching and learning in the event of a long-term school closure, developing standards for visitors to campus who have recently traveled abroad, and providing for business continuity in the case of quarantine or closure.

Resources that you may want to follow include:

CDC COVID-19 main page

WHO COVID-19 main page

VDH Coronavirus Updates

We hope you have found this information useful, and we will continue to communicate with you as this issue evolves. In the meantime, if you have questions and/or concerns, please reach out to me, Lisa Dwelle (lisa.dwelle@stewardschool.org), your division director(s), or Nurse Heck (rebecca.heck@stewardschool.org). 

Stay healthy and enjoy the upcoming break! Remember, we return to school on Tuesday, March 17.


Dan Frank signature

Dan Frank
Head of School


The Steward School | 11600 Gayton Road | Richmond, VA 23238 | 804-740-3394
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