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School Planning Update and Progress

August 17, 2020
Faculty on the Quad preparing for the Start of School Dear CSS Families,
As we move closer to the start of school, it is important to update you on some of the many plans that are underway. There are many details to digest during these ever-changing times. Here are some of the things that you will want to know.
People Making Things Happen
Holly Hannum, the Early Childhood Center Administrative Assistant, is now an Executive Administrative Assistant for myself and the leadership team.
A long-standing member of our community, Dr. Melissa Hocate joins us in the newly created Health Coordinator position. She will support Ann Runte (Infirmary Coordinator) during these challenging times. This position was created to better prepare us for the health divide after quarantine and to ensure we have someone who can provide the school with an on-going, relevant health curriculum and support. This is a unique role because although this is to replace Holly in the Early Childhood Center, it is also a support to the entire school for proper long-term planning around health and risk mitigation as things continue to evolve with COVID-19. We continue to offer our sincerest gratitude to Dr. Sarah Bartz P’29, P’31, a pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital, Dr. Kerri Bagnall P’24, a pediatrician with Iron Horse Pediatrics, and Dr. Leon Kelly P’30, P’27, a pathologist and the Deputy Medical Director of El Paso County, for providing safety walkthroughs, panel discussions with our teachers, and daily consultations to our team as we prepare for a safe return.
Other new faculty include Jonathan Andujar (Theatre/Spanish), Peter Wade (Computer Science), and Joseph LePage (Middle School English/Geography). Another note of service, Sara Derr is returning to her roots in PreK to serve our youngest learners. Kathryn Sieminski is rejoining us to launch 4th grade for the year.

Health & Wellness at CSS
At this time we would like to clarify and reiterate some frequently asked questions as we lead up to our return to campus. Mask-wearing for students: All students must have a clean face covering (i.e. masks) that securely covers the student’s nose and mouth. The school expects children and adults to wear masks, except for mask breaks, mealtime, and when people can be 6 feet apart realizing that younger students will adjust and take frequent breaks. The school will provide back-ups for just-in-case situations. Ideas for children and students to begin to embrace mask-wearing are developing all over the internet. Health officials are helping guide parents and school officials on many tips and tricks for success. Here are a few that may serve your family in the days to come.
  • Look in the mirror with the face coverings on and talk about it.
  • Put a cloth face covering on a favorite stuffed animal.
  • Decorate your face covering. They are personalized and fun.
  • Show your child pictures of other children wearing them.
  • Draw one on their favorite book character.
  • Practice wearing the face-covering at home to help your child get used to it.

For children under 3: It’s best to answer their questions simply in language they understand. If they ask about why people are wearing cloth face coverings, explain that sometimes people wear them when they are sick, and sometimes people wear them so they don’t get sick.

For children over the age of 3: Focusing on germs. Explain that germs are special to your own body. Some germs are good and some germs are bad. The bad ones can make you sick. Since we can’t always tell which are good or bad, the cloth face coverings help make sure you keep those germs away from your own body.
Cleaning Solutions: We are using a hydrogen peroxide disinfectant based solution to clean the CSS campus. In addition to cleaning surfaces, it also kills viruses and deodorizes. We will use electrostatic sprayers for classrooms and offices.

Classroom mask breaks: Each classroom teacher will devise mask breaks to ensure that students are spending time free of their face covering. Mask breaks for the class will be spent outside social distancing. Just as restroom breaks are individualized periodically we realize that students may need to have a mask break at the discretion of the teacher.

Cohorts on campus: We have many cross-divisional teachers at CSS. We look to continue to provide a rich and robust education for all of our students while limiting the amount of foot traffic across the campus and into buildings. The students and faculty will cohort by building as much as possible.
Infirmary Capacity: We have increased infirmary capacity. We know that illnesses and symptoms of sickness can occur for many reasons throughout the school year. As we actively prepare for students to return to campus we are seeking to be very careful when servicing students who are ill. Each building will have an infirmary space in order to minimize potential spread or exposure and maximize discretion. These rooms will serve as an isolation space for the Infirmary Coordinator and Health Coordinator to access symptoms and chart the appropriate course of action.
Daily health screening: Each day families will be required to fill out the Daily Health Screening form. This form will populate the school for entry. Both students and faculty will need to complete the form to enter the campus. The Daily Health Screening form is powered by Google Form. Volunteers will verify the health screening in addition to checking temperatures upon arrival in carline. We will be sending additional details about the specifics of “Carline for Everyone.”
Dress Code: During the 2020-2021 school year, we have decided to relax our dress code to accommodate students and teachers. As we anticipate outdoor learning and students spending additional time on the quad or social distancing on the campus, we have made concessions and adapted the dress code to be outdoor-friendly. We expect all students and faculty to be dressed appropriately for school and mindful of the changing weather conditions. See the Divisional Directors for the amended dress code for acceptable items.
As the week progresses, please look for additional information to sign-up as a Volunteer (pergola building, carline volunteers, etc.), links for Virtual Back-to-School Night, as well as classroom and divisional specific guidance.

With Appreciation,

Tambi Tyler
Head of School

Faculty on the Quad preparing for the Start of School