All school activity for Monday, March 16 has been canceled. This includes all classes, meetings, athletic practices, etc. We are canceling activity in order to allow school employees to meet and work through important details. At present, we plan to resume classes on Tuesday. However, please know that with the continual flow of information and changing guidelines, we may need to reconsider this plan. If we do so, we will let you know as soon as a decision is made.
I know that canceling classes creates a burden for many in our school community. Some of you are single parents and others are working couples who must find childcare. If this is the case for you, I encourage you to turn to families in our community for help and support. You and I are blessed to be a part of such a caring community, and it is during a time like this that it becomes most apparent.
We are canceling classes on Monday so school employees and I can discuss and plan around the following.
- All school families with residing members who have traveled overseas during the break or domestically to areas where the CDC has imposed mitigation strategies (Santa Clara, CA; Seattle, WA; New Rochelle, NY) are being asked to keep their students home the next two weeks. These students may not attend classes or participate in any school activity. The faculty will provide lessons and assignments to those who are kept home. Starting Tuesday, the teachers will be in communication with you about the assignments. No penalty will be imposed for late assignments during this period. Please use discretion and good judgment here and have the best interest of the school community in mind. If in doubt, it is better to err on the side of student safety.
- School employees who have traveled overseas will be placed on paid leave for two weeks. Those who traveled domestically will be reviewed as related to their travel destinations. At this point, we don’t expect the number needing to be placed on leave to be more than a handful. We have begun seeking substitutes for those who will be placed on leave.
- We will address classroom and campus wide cleaning protocols, especially relying on faculty to keep their high-touch surfaces regularly cleaned. We are providing each classroom with a spray bottle and a cleaning solution and asking faculty to spray between classes or during periods of break when students are not present. We will also have faculty remind students of the need to wash their hands and send students to the nurse who report or appear ill.
- We will have faculty work in teams in order to begin planning for the possibility of moving instruction online this spring. We have begun assessing our technology needs in order to hold online classes.
- We will discuss our options for student trips (fourth grade trip to Sea World, fifth grade trip to Space Center Houston, and all TAPPS related activity this spring) as well as assemblies and other community gatherings and events. The yearbook/journalism trip planned for New York City next week was called off after Columbia University canceled the conference the students and faculty were to attend. EF Tours, the company with which we partner on the eighth-grade trip to D.C., has elected to cancel all North America tours for the next thirty days.
If your Geneva student tests positive for the new coronavirus (COVID-19), we ask that you immediately notify school nurse Brittany Styles. She will share that information with the local Health Department who will then guide the school in how to communicate the matter to the school community and in identifying additional steps the school should take to ensure the safety of our community. Remember that no one should come to school if not feeling well or experiencing a fever.
Also, please note that the loss of one day of instruction will not require extending our school year or taking back future holidays (only the Monday after Easter would be considered). Should there be a need to cancel additional days, then we will reconsider the need to extend the school year or take back the holiday.
On Monday, the school employees and I will take time to pray for our school community, especially those who will not be joining us the next two weeks. Also, please join us in praying for wisdom and patience as we seek to fulfill our mission during these challenging times.
Brad Ryden, Head of School