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IMPORTANT INFORMATION
REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS

St. Margaret’s School is actively monitoring the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and will be updating this website regularly. If you have any questions, please email schoollife@smsapps.org. We are also following the latest guidelines from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The World Health Organization (WHO), and the Virginia Department of Health whose recommendations will be informing the decisions made by St. Margaret’s School. The Virginia Department of Health is monitoring the outbreak, if you suspect a family member or child, please contact your Health department immediately. 

RESUMPTION OF SCHOOL FOLLOWING SPRING BREAK / DISTANCE LEARNING

On Monday, March 23, St. Margaret’s will launch our distance learning program to ensure an uninterrupted learning experience for all of our Scotties. This distance learning initiative will utilize two existing platforms that students already use here at SMS: the Google Suite and Blackbaud. Families should expect more specific information to arrive via email. Without doubt, the St. Margaret’s faculty will continue to provide an outstanding education to all of our Scotties. Accommodations for individual students will continue, as will necessary supports including academic coaching and math labs. One-to-one sessions and small group chats are just two of the many methods we will employ to ensure our signature supports and superb instruction remain available to all students from the very beginning of the Third Trimester. 

SCHOOL-SPONSORED EVENTS AND CAMPUS LIFE

Unfortunately, there are many of our programs that cannot resume until a physical return to campus. Athletes to communicate for individualized conditioning plans. We hope our artists will engage in creative endeavors at home, whether it be painting, photography, or singing. We will be working with student leaders to create daily suggestions for “wellness at home” evening activities that will arrive in student email inboxes daily. 

PROTECTING AND SUPPORTING FACULTY AND STAFF

We recognize there are many challenges ahead of us, including how to protect the safety of faculty and staff working on campus when the students are away. Delivering a remote learning experience of the highest quality will require a great deal of teamwork from all of our dedicated teachers and support professionals here at St. Margaret’s, all while operating under adverse conditions. We will keep faculty and staff well informed about COVID-19, we will regularly review protocols to enhance employee safety, and do all that we can to ensure their health and wellbeing.

CREATION OF THE EXECUTIVE COVID-19 TASK FORCE (ECT)

We recently mobilized a task force of senior leaders to respond to urgent and evolving challenges presented by COVID-19. Under my leadership, members of the ECT have established working groups that are consulting with stakeholders throughout the campus to prepare for a range of contingencies, including:

  • Providing education and instruction during periods of quarantine, distancing, if needed;
  • Addressing an increased demand for health care;self-monitoring, travel disruptions, or School closure;
  • Allowing alternate work arrangements for employees consistent with social 
  • Ensuring the continuity of essential functions, such as IT, dining, cleaning of facilities, and campus safety.

St. Margaret’s is coordinating its response plans with the appropriate agencies, and our health services teams have already put measures into place to screen symptoms and establish safeguards should a Lawrenceville community member test positive for COVID-19.

SCHOOL TRAVEL POLICIES (DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL)

We continue to update our policies on school travel.  

  • International travel – personal: We strongly recommend against personal travel out of the country. If you do undertake such travel, you must understand there is a chance that there may be a self-isolation requirement for 14 days upon return as well as the fact that there may be air travel or governmental restrictions on return that are beyond St. Margaret’s control.
  • Domestic travel – personal: Faculty, staff, and students should consider their own health status and other reports before making plans for personal domestic travel, recognizing that the status of COVID-19 infection in the United States continues to change.

Community members traveling need to register travel details with St. Margaret’s so the School can contact you in the event of a significant emergency or changing circumstance related to your travel destination.

In developing travel-related advice, we are aligning with the coronavirus-related travel health notices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the coronavirus-related travel advisories of the U.S. Department of State (USDOS). We recommend that members of the St. Margaret’s community review the country-specific CDC and USDOS links above, as guidance evolves rapidly. 

CDC Travel Alerts

We request that all students, faculty, and staff avoid travel to any country with a CDC Travel Alert Level 3 designation.

  • Any person returning from a country designated Level 3 will be asked to self-quarantine off-campus for the requisite 14-days, per CDC guidelines.
  • We advise all students, faculty, and staff to reconsider travel to any country with a CDC Travel Alert Level 2 designation
  • Any community member or student returning from a country designated Level 2 within the past 14 days AND exhibiting symptoms is required to see a healthcare professional and remain off-campus until cleared to return. 
  • Any community member or student returning from a country designated Level 2 within the past 14 days WITHOUT exhibiting symptoms is required to contact the Health Center prior to arrival on campus for guidance on how to complete the 14-day self-monitoring process.
  • Any person, irrespective of travel itinerary, who has had contact with a COVID-19 patient or COVID-19 person under investigation must reach out to their local healthcare provider before returning to campus and contact the Dean of Students for further guidance.

EMPLOYEE NOTIFICATION SYSTEM

In the event of closures or cancellations, we will contact you viaschoollife@smsapps.org as we do for inclement weather. As always, it’s extremely important that we have your accurate and up-to-date contact information.

FURTHER GUIDANCE

We recognize that there are several additional details regarding our response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic still to be finalized. Questions about issues related to COVID-19 can be sent to schoollife@smsapps.org and we will continue posting information on the St. Margaret’s website regularly. We appreciate your patience in allowing us the time to think through the issues so we can act responsibly and compassionately during this challenging time.

SMS COMMUNICATIONS

March 12 Letter
March 17 Letter
March 25 Remote Learning Update

PREVENTION INFORMATION

About Coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold or more severe illnesses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China had not been previously detected in humans or animals and much is still unknown about it. It is thought that initial patients in Wuhan City may have come into contact with the virus from an animal at a seafood and animal market. Subsequently, it appears that person-to-person spread is occurring. On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization named the virus COVID-19. For people who think they may have been exposed to the new coronavirus please be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you suspect an infection please call ahead so that your primary care provider or emergency room can be prepared for your arrival. Up-to-date information about the coronavirus can be found on the CDC website.

Care and Prevention

The CDC has established the risk categories dependent on exposure to help guide optimal public health management of people following potential COVID-19 exposure. If you are experiencing symptoms following possible exposure to COVID-19, seek medical care as soon as possible. Remember to call ahead and tell the healthcare provider’s office about your recent travel, symptoms, and concern. Please also avoid contact with others and do not travel.

Important steps you can take to prevent contracting or spreading viruses include:

COVID-19 Prevention, Education, and Awareness will help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19. Prevention measures are similar to those utilized against the common cold and flu. If you develop flu-like symptoms, please remain home and contact your health provider. Please contact your Health Center if you or a family member is diagnosed with COVID-19.

Practice Healthy Habits

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Keep shared surfaces and items cleaned and disinfected.
  • Get plenty of rest, eat a nutritious diet, stay well-hydrated, and get regular exercise.
  • If you are sick, remain off campus until the illness has resolved AND you have had no fever in at least 24 hrs.  
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Get your seasonal flu vaccine (it’s not too late!). Please contact the Health Center if you would like to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine. Employees should contact their primary care physician, local pharmacy or clinic for a seasonal flu vaccination.  

Sanitation and Hygiene

We are taking extra precautions when cleaning our facilities to limit the spread of the COVID-19.  Janitorial services have also been increased in high-traffic areas, and we are using a special day-to-day disinfectant that has been approved by the CDC and EPA for the coronavirus to keep facilities and surfaces as clean as possible. Learn more at the CDC website.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES