Queens Paideia has many emergency preparedness plans in place, but now there is a new scenario to consider: the potential spread of COVID-19. For all of our community, and anyone else who stops by our blog, we reproduce an email we sent out today.
Dear QPS Community,
Like many of you, we are keeping an eye on the developments surrounding COVID-19. We want you to know that we are thinking about the what-ifs, given that schools have closed in other countries and given yesterday’s warning and call for preparedness by the CDC.
Our plan is to follow the lead of NYC’s public schools, unless we believe that the city is not thinking/acting quickly enough. In the event of a school closing, we will send at-home work to students via email, Google Drive, and SeeSaw. We suspect that if such a decision becomes necessary, it will not happen overnight, and there will be some indication that we are heading in that direction–thus we will make sure the kids take their books home. In any case, either students will know what they need to do and/or we will schedule phone calls with the students and parents (of younger ones) to create their learning plans.
We’re not there, or even close to there, but even so, there is a plan in place. In the meantime, we ask that people take standard precautions around illness transmission, including:
- Hand-sanitize and wash your hands with soap as soon as you can after riding public transit.
- Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
- Dispose of used tissues immediately and sanitize your hands after blowing your nose.
- Consider wearing a face mask, especially if you are exhibiting symptoms or you are stuck on crowded transit in close proximity to others.
- KEEP YOUR CHILD AT HOME IF THEY ARE SICK. We know it’s inconvenient when kids are sick, especially for working parents, but we’ve already gone through a wave of students missing up to a week of school due to some other virus. We need everyone to buy into containing the various illnesses going around, and not just COVID-19.
- For confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include: fever, cough, shortness of breath. Don’t hesitate to see a doctor!
We also want to make our usual (but always true) plug for the importance of sleep and nutrition in maintaining a strong immune system.
With all that in mind, thank you for reading this, and feel free to email your advisor if you have any concerns or thoughts about this issue.
P.S. If you are wondering what else you can do, aside from these health precautions: make sure you have plenty of books around for your kids to read. Our standing/daily ELA assignment is for kids to read for at least 20 minutes (for younger kids, read aloud to them but also have them read aloud at their level to you); that is also the assignment for any school closing, be it snow- or health-related.