3/3/20 COVID-19

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Dear St. Michael’s Parents and Families,

On behalf of our Board and faculty and staff, I am writing to assure you that we have been working closely and continuously with medical and school professionals within and beyond the St. Michael’s School community to stay apprised of developments with the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Given the uncertain, short- and longer term impact of COVID-19 on communities within the U.S., and more specifically on the St. Michael’s community, we are relying on the professional guidance of the medical community to help guide our work and decision-making in three areas: (1) staying current with (and providing timely communication for) any and all COVID-19 health alerts that may impact our community, (2) doing all that we can at school and at home to maintain preventative hygiene for cold and flu, and (3) determining the feasibility of extended student travel and extended student stay beyond the confines of our campus—namely, our scheduled Upper School class trips in mid-April to Crow Canyon (6th grade), Catalina Island (7th Grade), and Washington, DC (8th Grade). We will send an update via email to all families, by or before this Friday, to confirm the status (going or not) for the three Upper School trips.

St. Michael’s has a health-and-safety team in place, which includes our Head of School and our School Nurse, Mrs. Erika Huff; our administrative team, communications director, and director of facilities; and the healthcare consultants within our parent community (including a specialist in infectious diseases). We are also receiving regular updates from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, the National Association of Independent Schools, and the CDC. We are developing longer-term emergency-preparedness plans in the highly unlikely (though not uncertain) event that COVID-19 will significantly impact on-site attendance and instruction.

For now, the most effective precautions are the same preventative measures we typically take to stay healthy during the cold and flu season; these include:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. In lieu of soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Staying home from school and refraining from all activities outside the home when you are sick; avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Avoiding contact with your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Covering your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing; immediately discarding used sanitary tissues.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Getting an annual flu vaccine if you have not had one.

For information on news and related topics with the COVID-19, we recommend that you visit the website for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

It is important that you keep your sons and daughters home if they are not feeling well to prevent the spread of illness to other students as well as to our faculty and staff. Please be sure to communicate with our front office if your child is home sick.

Nurse Huff is also available to answer questions.

Please be sure that you update, as needed, your contact information with us.

Brendan Sullivan
Head of School

Erika Huff
School Nurse