Good Afternoon Connect Families,
This morning and this afternoon newsletters were sent from Da Vinci Schools' CEO, Dr. Matthew Wunder, with a COVID-19 update. I've copied the most recent message at the bottom of this page in case you did not receive it. Please continue to check your inbox and junk folders for any updates Da Vinci might send. You can also visit the Da Vinci Schools website (www.davincischools.org
) and click on the red Coronavirus update tab.
Please know that we care deeply about students' safety, their learning and their overall well-being and experience at school. At Da Vinci Connect, we will proceed with normal classroom routines and great days on campus until otherwise notified. Additionally, here are some things you should know:
If your child appears sick or may be sick, please keep him/her at home. Not only will this ensure we stop the spread of all illnesses, it will also help all students feel safe at school. Please remember that not only do students feel uncomfortable sitting at a table with someone who is sick, they also feel uncomfortable being the person who is sick during times of heightened awareness.
Please also continue having conversations about what empathetic responses to this pandemic looks like. Our teachers had some conversations today. It does NOT look like making jokes about any specific race, ethnicity, age, or pretending/role playing spreading illness through fake coughing/sneezing. Here are some resources to help guide conversations with children:
Some of you have asked about or chosen to keep your students home from school. You may do that! Your decision to take care of your family and community will in no way reflect negatively on you or your child. We just ask that you homeschool each day, document your child's learning in Headrush, and keep your child's teacher(s) updated about your decision and his/her learning experience. We are fortunate that as a homeschool program, we can easily accommodate this.
- We understand that the county mandate to suspend non-essential events is disappointing. In uncertain times, those events can enhance our sense of connection and stability. We are working on ways to stay connected despite these events and will plan for reconnecting when conditions change. However, until further notice, Da Vinci Connect will not sponsor or participate in such events and we recommend families think carefully about homeschool related events involving non-essential or large gatherings.
Please note that workshops for home educators, 1-on-1 support meetings and casual use of the Parent Center are cancelled. Theresa and Michelle will collaborate on ways to offer virtual supports. We appreciate your patience and understanding that essential homeschool support is our priority.
Our school nurse is staying abreast of needs and next steps. We will keep you informed as new information emerges. Please do not seek out or share misinformation. Your best resources for reliable COVID-19 updates are from the California Department of Public Health.
Our school is implementing additional cleaning and sanitation measures. Our teachers are sanitizing their spaces vigilantly and ensuring students who appear sick are sent to the office.
If you are at all unsure if your child might be sick, please keep them home! Reducing the spread of spreading COVID-19 is key to prevention and community health!
Thank you for your continued trust in us. We are a strong community. We will navigate through hard times together. You are all thoughtful, loving and diligent members of our school community. You look out for each other. Keep doing that good work for and with each other!
Michelle and Kaitlin
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: CEO's Message (March 12, 2020)
Dear Da Vincians,
Today, we are implementing new precautionary safety actions to protect our community and to help limit the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) on our campuses. Importantly, there are no known cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) on any Da Vinci campus.
We received information late yesterday from the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) that we are in Scenario II of the California Department of Public Health School Guidance on Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19. Scenario II defines the measures to be taken if there are two or more community transmission cases of COVID-19, but no individuals (student or staff) at the school have tested positive.
Scenario II: Effective immediately, Da Vinci Schools will implement the following precautionary measures:
· If your child appears sick or may be sick, please keep him/her at home. Students, teachers and staff should self-screen (i.e., check themselves for fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as cough) for respiratory infection symptoms each morning before coming to school. As is our practice, please notify your school office or principal/supervisor if you need to remain home.
· We are cancelling all non-essential activities, including SLCs, Exhibition, field trips, school dances, assemblies/community dialogue, talent shows, and athletic events (including athletic games and practices) until further notice. All workshops and other community gatherings are also canceled.
· We will limit visitors to the school by not allowing those with symptoms of fever and/or respiratory infection or who have a travel history over the course of the last 14 days to an area identified by the CDC as Level 3 Travel Health Notice.
The Scenario II measures above are in addition to the increased cleaning and disinfecting that have been taking place at all of our schools. Our custodians have prioritized cleaning and sanitizing of commonly touched surfaces in our schools. We thank our facilities team for helping keep our entire school community safe.
Precautions and Recommended Practices
· If you get sick, stay home. Persons who have been ill should be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication before returning to school or work.
· In addition to being fever-free, the County has recently advised that students and staff be free of a "productive moist cough spewing respiratory droplets." Persons who have such a cough should stay home and be cough-free before returning to school.
· Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Help young children do the same.
· If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
· Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
· If possible, limit close contact with people who are sick.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
· Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sleeve (not your hands).
· Maintain social distance (avoid unnecessary touches, handshakes or other person-to-person means of transmission).
Contingency Plans: In Case of School Closures
I want to take a moment to update you on our planning for a potential school closure if directed by a public agency due to COVID-19. Again, we take direction from LACOE and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on a decision to temporarily close school. The CDPH would recommend closing a school if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at that school.
Our educators are working collaboratively to develop plans around continuing instruction through online and alternate platforms. Teachers are currently surveying students about their Internet access at home. We expect most students will work mostly virtually if there is a school closure. Given our exceptional talent and how we already leverage technology in our instructional program, we are confident in our ability to develop plans as circumstances evolve.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide updates as information emerges. You can also find information and resources on our Coronavirus Updates webpage. Although we are receiving guidance from LACOE and the Department of Public Health, I acknowledge that there is no “play book” for this kind of event. We have the finest educators anywhere, and we have no doubt that our collective efforts will allow us to overcome the challenges we face now and ahead.
Please know that we care deeply about students' safety, their learning and their overall well-being and experience at school. We will proceed with normal classroom routines and great days on all of our campuses until otherwise notified.
Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Chief Executive Officer