Information will be provided here as a primary landing page and updated regularly.
Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I know if I should keep my child at home (self-quarantine)?
The advice of the European CDC suggests that you avoid contact with others if you have visited an area identified as having community transmission. In addition to our guidelines from WHO and the U.S. CDC, we use the European declaration of Risk Assessment Status to compile our school list: https://zimplicity.org/country-list-for-self-quarantine/
How will you determine who should stay at home?
Self-quarantine is a request by the school to keep your child at home similar to our existing policy to keep your child at home if they are ill. This includes coughing, sneezing, temperatures, etc. No sick parent, child, or staff member should come to school until they are well.
But, when there is an infectious disease alert, the school asks the members of the community to remain at home when there is evidence that they have been exposed. Unlike most other infections, COVID-19 has been shown to be contagious for a period of time before symptoms become evident. This is called asymptomatic transmission. Schools and workplaces have asked their community members to remain at home if they have been to an area with evidence of community transmission. We rely on the CDC and ECDC to help us keep parents informed. But parents must make the judgment call of whether they have been in these areas, based on the school’s advice, and must disclose it to the school so that the student can be supported in-home learning during their absence.
How long should I stay at home?
The current CDC and ECDC advice is that you should stay away from others for 14 days after your exposure in an identified area.
It should be noted that 14 days is not an exact number and you will not get exact numbers in the case of viruses and epidemics. There are some cases of longer periods of time and most are far shorter. We use 14 because this is the published number used by the vast majority of sources.
Will all of this protect my child from getting the virus?
The short answer is “no” but see the final entry below. The advice, practices, and recommendations that we have introduced here is a means of offering a moderately expanded level of protection absent more clear direction by the official health authorities. As was noted by a leading researcher on COVID-19 in an interview recently, “viruses do not respect borders, rules, or boundaries. The current epidemic is no longer a matter of whether it will spread further, but now only a matter of when.”
In reality, the best protection from any virus is hand washing. We can and should prevent the spread of illness by using good hygiene practices. Hand washing will be a focus at ASW and we will implement methods across the school to improve our practice in this area along with cleaning and other preventative measures.
How will my child’s attendance be affected by self-quarantine?
If you register your absence with us via our hotline – firstname.lastname@example.org – we will waive absences related to self-quarantine as long as you work with us to make sure that your child maintains their academic work during the exclusion period.
How will my child’s learning be different while at home for self-quarantine?
We will get creative and use every tool at our disposal to help your child through the next number of days. A lot of this depends on the age of the child and teachers will communicate plans associated with this for each class and grade level. We would hope to use additional technology resources to the best of our ability to provide for inclusion in as much as possible, whether through work sent home, or opportunities to review more robust content online.
Virtual learning guides:
Why did CEESA cancel all student events until May 1?
CEESA reviewed what was happening across the entire region to determine its response. In other countries harder hit by the virus, more significant government regulations were imposed, including in some cases forced quarantines and restrictions on student travel. CEESA canceled their student events to protect students from potential issues associated with travel, border crossing, and disruptions to their schedules as new rules are implemented. Because of the advance planning associated with all of our events, CEESA further felt it was prudent to cancel until May 1 to include most of the regional Spring Breaks. Many companies and other organizations are in the process of canceling events even further out and we should be aware that cancelations of events after May 1 is still possible.
Why are CEESA Adult Professional Development events being treated differently?
Adult professional development events in the CEESA region are being allowed to continue since the travel complications are less involved when students are not involved. Professional development events will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and cleared or canceled based on that risk assessment. CEESA is also a large region and concerns further to the north are far less than to the south at this time. Further, professional development events do not involve homestays with families of the hosting schools, an additional consideration for canceling student events. This is still a fluid and changing situation and for some schools, they have already made the decision to cancel all adult travel, which we may consider as well.
If I travel or my spouse travel to a listed area, do we need to self-quarantine?
The short answer is “yes.” Since you have close contact with your family when you return, you should self-quarantine yourself and everyone in your home for the 14-day period. Most companies have informed us that they have restricted travel to these areas, but we recognize that you may still be required to visit these areas due to your assigned responsibilities. In order to protect the school community, we would expect self-quarantine, similar to government practices. You can only self-quarantine from your own family if you do not reside with them for the exclusion period.
Do I need to inform the school if my workplace has a confirmed case?
There is no need to inform the school if your workplace has a confirmed case unless it is you or someone in your immediate household who is a confirmed case. Consistent with the above criteria on exposure, you will then self-quarantine you and your family similar to the country based protocols. Please seek medical assistance immediately if you or your child are unwell.
Why is my child sent home when he does not seem to have a fever?
If a child’s temperature is 38 degrees Celsius or higher, the school will contact the parents to ask that the child be taken to see a doctor. Schools also look out for other flu-like symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, and will suggest a visit to the doctor.
There are also times when a child may inform his teacher that he is unwell, even though he may not be running a fever or showing symptoms. In these cases, we hope students and parents can all play their part and practice social responsibility by seeing a doctor first before coming to school. Students should return to school only when they have fully recovered.
What ASW is doing is not foolproof. What more can we do to protect our students?
No measure is 100% or guaranteed, but we will take the necessary precautions to contain and manage risk while enabling life to go on. There are two key threats we face in such an outbreak situation.
First is the virus itself. We have various measures, based on medical evidence, that are targeted at limiting its spread, not fully preventing it.
Second, which is more insidious, is fear. It prevents us from doing the things we love to do and have to do. We must remember that to be deprived of our daily lives and activities – to study, learn, play, socialize with friends, visit places we like, help people in need – over a prolonged period will make life miserable for everyone.
In tackling fear, we must be resilient – this is our core value of Bounce Back. We should not let fear of the virus get the better of us and prevent us from going about our daily lives. We should stay vigilant and calm, cooperate as a community, do our part and be socially responsible. Some of the most effective measures are in our own hands – wash them regularly with soap and water, and keep them away from our faces so that we reduce the risk of infection to ourselves and our loved ones. Help to contain the threat, while allowing life to go on as normally as possible.