Redwood Day Remains at Level Green; New Updates to School’s Response Plan
Dear Redwood Day Community,
If you feel like I do right now, you are inundated with information about COVID-19- everywhere you turn there are updates, new media reports, new expectations, and new guidelines, etc. For some of us, we are grateful to have all of this information- the more prepared we are, the better. For others, all of the information can be overwhelming and anxiety-producing. I understand that my communications fall somewhere in this range for all of you, and I hope that they lean more toward the “grateful and prepared” side than the “overwhelming, anxiety side.” In this communication, I’m going to be mission consistent, and differentiate the information according to what you feel you need to understand regarding the school’s evolving response.
Amidst evolving guidelines and news of other school closures, the Health, Safety and Infectious Disease Advisory Council (members: Louise Bedsworth, Christine Chen, Adithya Cattamanchi, M.D., Deann Hays, Nardine Riegels, M.D., John Swartzberg, M.D. [grandparent; Jeremy Swartzberg, M.D., and/or Hena Borneo, M.D, in John’s absence], Galia Szurley, and Cheryl Ting) met and decided upon new measures that will be implemented to reduce the risk of exposure amongst our community and beyond, and ensure Redwood Day can remain at a Level Green as long as possible. We strive to remain at this level as long as possible because we know that closing Redwood Day, for as little as two days to as many as fourteen days or more, will have significant impacts on our students, faculty/staff, and parents/guardians. While these new measures will significantly alter how we operate as a community and will shift our social norms, they are intended to be temporary. Our hope is that, as the risk diminishes, we will be able to resume normal operations; as always, we will update you accordingly. Additionally, teachers will be communicating with students about these new measures in developmentally appropriate ways across the grade levels; our primary goal is to lessen all of our students’ worries and concerns, provide a safe forum for students to share their feelings, and reinforce for all of them that the health and safety of our community is our greatest responsibility.
For those of you who prefer a brief, high-level summary of the updated Level Green measures in the response plan, please see below:
- School-sponsored events will be assessed on a case by case basis and will be reassessed over a rolling 30-day window as guidelines and conditions change. We have made the following decisions on specific events at this time:
- The Redwood Day At Night Auction on March 28, 2020, is canceled; the Auction Team may plan a smaller-scale event for later in the year; in the meantime, most items will be moved to the online auction, to be held April 1-8, 2020.
- Community events, including parent education workshops and Friday Coffee, will be canceled beginning today.
- Events for outside groups that use Redwood Day’s facilities will be canceled starting on March 17, 2020.
- Assemblies and other large school gatherings will be canceled starting this week; should we need to bring more than 50 students together for any purpose at one time, we will practice social distancing.
- Field Trips and Athletic Events will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Field trips to public spaces and/or that require public transportation or parent drivers will be canceled.
- Beginning on Tuesday, March 17, in an attempt to minimize exposure and keep the school open as long as possible, we will be limiting those on campus to only students, staff, and teachers. This means that we will be closing Redwood Day’s campus to parents/guardians and non-essential outside individuals. All students must be dropped off and picked up at the curb in the morning and afternoon. For parents/guardians of younger students, if you prefer, you can walk your child to the front Gallery door at the beginning of the day; teaching assistants and/or teachers will be there to greet your child. At the end of the day, for students in X-Care, parents/guardians will be permitted up to the X-Care check-out desk in the Gallery, and no further, to check out their child(ren). After you sign your child out, we request that you wait outside the front entrance of the school for your child; this will help minimize congestion in the front of the Gallery.
- If your child needs to bring in food for a birthday or advisory celebration, only store-bought, pre-packaged food can be brought on site. For individual student lunches, prepared meals from home are permitted; faculty/staff will monitor students to ensure they are not sharing food at lunch or recess. “Pizza Fridays” will continue as normal without parent volunteers.
- Any community members, including students, who have a travel history over the past 14 days to an area identified by the CDC as Level 2 or Level 3 will not be permitted on campus for at least 14 days after returning. As of March 11, 2020, these areas include China, Iran, Italy, South Korea. and Japan. Parents/guardians are required to notify the school if this is the case for your family.
For those of you who prefer a more detailed explanation and rationale for these new measures, click HERE. In this more detailed section, you will find information about field trips and community events that have been canceled, our current outside food policy, and information about our preparations for distance learning.
We also created one central location on our website HERE for all information related to the School’s response plan. This portion of our website will also include FAQ’s to provide even more information if you lean more towards “prepared” as opposed to “overwhelmed” when it comes to reading all of the content. The FAQ’s section will provide information about the following topics:
- Preventative measures being taken on a daily basis
- When to keep your child home from school
- The School’s response should a community member come in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or if a community member tests positive
- Self-reporting if you have or will travel to a CDC Level 2 or 3 area of the world
- Preventative measures to minimize exposure at home
- How you can help to avoid the stigma
- How the school will communicate with you if a closure is necessary
- How absences will be documented and how students can keep up with school work if you opt to keep your child(ren) home
On a final note, Parent/Teacher Conferences will continue as regularly scheduled on Friday, March 13th and Monday, March 16th. We encourage parents/guardians with video conferencing capability via ZOOM to use this option. If you would like to participate in your student’s conference via ZOOM, please notify your student’s teacher or advisor, and they will send you instructions to join the meeting.
As you know, the dynamic, constantly changing COVID-19 situation has been unprecedented. It is during times like this that the strength of our community shines through. As our mission statement guides us, we are absolutely “ready for anything,” and will continue to be, as this situation evolves. Thank you, as always, for your partnership, support, and understanding.