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Responding to COVID-19

Last updated: 5/4/2020

Siena is actively monitoring recommendations and advice from the CDC, the Maryland Department of Health, the Montgomery County Health Department, the Maryland State Department of Education, and the National Association of Independent Schools. The health and wellbeing of our students and staff is a top priority, and we will continue to evaluate the situation daily.

Siena will be closed through the end of the school year. The learning continues online!  

Prevention and Preparedness

Siena's distance learning plan is contingent on Internet access. Please consider how multiple people working online at home will affect your broadband speed and plan for this.

To consider as you prepare for distance learning:

There will likely be multiple members of the family working online at the same time.

  • Where will each family member work? Students should not work in bedrooms.
  • How many devices will be on the home network?
  • Is there enough bandwidth?

Supplies

Maintaining Routine

  • How will you continue a consistent schedule e.g. regular wakeup, bedtime?
  • Where will Chromebooks be stored when not in use (e.g. not in student’s bedrooms)? Chromebooks are only for academic use.
  • At this time, it is unknown if or when students would make-up any missed “physical” school days as a result of a closure. This decision will be made by the Maryland State Department of Education.
          Daily online distance learning schedule

 

Share this infographic with the students as it may be helpful to set daily expectations for online learning.

Elementary Students

Middle/High School Students

Example Afternoon Schedules

Elementary

6th grade

7th grade

8th grade

High School

 

In addition to establishing a traditional workspace for your child, we encourage a variety of options to be provided so that students may have a choice of spaces for different types of activities.  A lap desk can be a helpful resource for flexible seating.

  • Sit on an exercise ball
  • Bean bag chair
  • Work on the floor
  • Sit on a cushion
  • Couch
  • Standing desk
  • Stadium seating (sent home with elementary students)
  • Low table
  • Outside if suitable space is available

Why offer different options?

  • Prevents extended sitting
  • Allows for varied postures and positions
  • Can help with focus

Please be attentive to how your children are feeling. We have reviewed factual information with students about the coronavirus but a lot of misinformation is being shared. Now is not a good time for students to have unfiltered access to constantly updating news cycles and inaccurate online sources. Please speak to your children about their questions and concerns. Resources to help:

Child Mind Institute’s suggestions for talking to kids

Talking to Children about COVID-19  Developed by the National Association of School Nurses and the National Association of School Psychologists

BrainPop Video explaining the coronavirus for children

Visit Siena's Social Emotional Resource on Caring for Our Whole Selves

Siena’s planning and response strategies reflect our commitment to an inclusive and caring school community. We remind our community that any sign of harassment, bullying, or exclusion will not be tolerated. Please review Speaking Up Against Racism Around the New Coronavirus

 

Because of the rapidly changing situation, Siena advises travelers to conduct risk assessments in advance and consider postponing trips to impacted areas—while noting that impacted areas are changing as COVID-19 continues to evolve. 

Anyone who has traveled to or through a country with a Level 3 CDC notice is required to follow CDC and health department guidelines, to inform the school, and to self-isolate from the school and school community (as a family) for a minimum of 14 days (see guidelines here).

We will continue to follow CDC and Department of Health Guidelines; employees, students and family members who have recently traveled abroad are asked to contact the school and may be asked to remain out of school for an extended period of time. We expect every member of our community to follow CDC guidelines and also notify the school of such travel. Please find all current health-related travel notices here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then immediately discards the tissue in the trash.

As always, please follow the school procedure for illness:

  • Keep students home when they are sick.
  • If they have a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, they should remain home until they are symptom-free for at least 24 hours.
  • Students must be 24 hours fever free without medication before returning to school. 
  • Please notify the front office as usual to report an absence.

If you think you may need to self-isolate or are not sure what to do.

If you or a family member believe you’ve come in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or has been diagnosed themselves, please keep your child at home and contact the school. Please follow any instructions that you receive from the Department of Health or other authorities. Symptoms outlined by the Centers for Disease Control.

Online Learning