COVID-19 News & Updates
We are using this page to keep our community informed about the novel coronavirus, and its impact on our community. The health and safety of our students, families, faculty and staff is always our top priority. We value your partnership as we respond to this rapidly changing situation.
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department issue an update on March 6, addressing schools:
- It is recommending that schools remain open, citing both children's apparent resistance to COVID-19, and the great learning and social/emotional benefits to children of being in school.
- It aims to help schools that have had exposure to COVID-19 to reopen as quickly as possible. Only a few area schools have closed and they have been allowed to reopen within a week.
Old Orchard & a Potential School Closure:
- We are developing contingency plans for continued distance/virtual learning for our students should it become necessary to close the school for any reason. These will draw on existing digital tools and new resources.
- In the event of an extended disruption, we will look for ways to create additional teaching days this school year, and/or add days to next school year.
- Alternative Childcare: The CDC has asked all schools to urge parents to plan ahead and have plans in place should your student need to remain home for a short or extended period. In addition, Old Orchard would encourage you to plan ahead for arts, crafts, and other activities to keep your student engaged.
- Tech Tools:
- Log in to your account and be sure your contact information in the Family Directory is current.
Students and staff members who are ill must stay home in the following circumstances:
- Until they have been fever-free for at least 24-hours without the use of fever suppressing medication.
- For at least 24-hours after an episode of vomiting or diarrhea.
- When they have the flu or flu-like symptoms.
We are currently reviewing these on a case-by-case basis. Here are guidelines, criteria, and extra steps we are taking:
- Food / Snacks / Treats: In larger groups open food must be served by gloved adults, with food kept at a safe distance from areas where students are gathered; in smaller groups adults must use a clean napkin to serve treats. Individual packaged treats are encouraged. No grab-bag food will be served (bowls of chips, popcorn, etc) This applies to cast parties, dances, etc.
- Assemblies: Seating will be arranged so that students aren't overcrowded. (All-school assemblies are done for the year.)
- Class Plays: Attendance will be limited to ensure theater-goers are able to distance themselves from others.
- Field Trips: We are actively re-evaluating our current plans. We are doing our best to allow experiences that the students would not otherwise be able to have to enjoy to go forward.
Under the following circumstances, we ask that community members and visitors refrain from visiting campus:
- Travel: If you have visited any country/region on the CDC's Level 3 Watchlist. Wait at least 14-days after your return. Presently, these countries are: China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.
- Exposure/Suspected Exposure to COVID-19: Anyone who may have been exposed to another individual diagnosed with or presumptively diagnosed with coronavirus must for at least 14-days, and return only when they are symptom free. If you have been exposed, please call your school office or email us at email@example.com
Note: Visitors to campus are being screened by office staff before they are allowed beyond school office.
These are steps we are taking and conversations we are having regularly with students at school:
- We have instituted schedules during the day when we disinfect commonly used/shared surfaces, such as desks and door knobs, iPads, etc.
- We are regularly reminding students of all ages to wash their hands, and how to do so properly.
- When hand-washing isn't readily convenient, we are doing the same with hand sanitizer.
- We are also reminding students to sneeze/cough into tissues or their elbow, to avoid touching their faces, and each other.
- And we are reminding students not to share food or water bottles, and to keep their hands to themselves.
Keeping up the conversation at home about proper hand washing and hygiene is paramount, and the more you reinforce the message, the more success we will have at school.
There is lots of guidance online to help adults navigate conversations with children about the coronavirus. A common thread is addressing questions and concerns calmly, clearly, and at an age appropriate level. Not an easy balance, but these articles can help you get started.