Dear Covenant Community,
The situation with the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change day by day. As we head into our final day of e-learning before spring break, we wanted to inform you that we are planning to continue e-learning during the week of April 6-9. Friday, April 10, is Good Friday and a scheduled day off.
I anticipate that we will know much more by the time we return from break and be able to determine more accurately the timeframe through which we will continue e-learning. Our great desire is to see the students return to school as soon as it is wise to do so. We are praying that this day will come soon.
Below is a link inviting school parents to a school-wide live meeting tomorrow at 3:00 pm. At this meeting I will draw names for some special participation prizes as we wrap up the Serve-a-Thon. I will also lead our community together in prayer as we head into spring break. Please join us!
We are here for you. Please let us know if there is anything that you need.
Love to you in Christ,
Dear Covenant Parents,
As you know, the situation regarding COVID-19 is changing rapidly, so I want to bring you the latest updates.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. More than 100 colleges across the country moved to online learning and several large office buildings in downtown Chicago shut down, asking all employees to work from home. Yesterday, we learned of several other cancellations across the country, including schools and colleges in various states. Today, public school districts 203 and 204 in Naperville joined those that will move to online learning.
Late this afternoon, Governor Pritzker announced that all schools in Illinois, public and private, must close beginning Tuesday, March 17, and move to online (remote) learning.
Covenant’s faculty and staff met on Thursday after school to begin planning for the potential of a mandated shut down and the need to move to online learning. We discussed how we will continue to fulfill our life-shaping mission in our students’ lives while advancing their progress through our rich curriculum, deepening their understanding of Christian faith, and challenging their growth in character. Miss Eekhoff and I were proud of the thoughtful questions and creative ideas they shared as they began to think about how they would rise to meet this challenge.
Covenant classes have been cancelled on Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17, to allow time for teachers to be trained in and begin to implement an online learning platform. Online classes will begin for Covenant students on Wednesday, March 18.
We ask all parents to come to school on Monday, March 16, anytime between 8:00 and 11:00am for the purpose of gathering student books and materials that will be used for online learning.
Our teachers will be communicating directly with parents to provide direction to students on Monday, March 16, so that they can begin working on classroom materials while waiting for online classes to officially begin.
We are still planning to have parent-teacher conferences and will provide further detail on how this will work early next week.
Our current plan is to resume normal classes on Monday, April 6. Of course, this date may be subject to change.
During this extraordinarily challenging time, we have the opportunity to pull together as a community while asking God to be at work for our good as He has promised. Please join us in praying to this end and in praying for all those in need right now. Thank you!
We will plan to see you briefly on Monday morning!
Love to you all in Christ,
I have included some resources below that may be helpful in speaking with your children about COVID-19.
CDC: Talking with Children about Coronavirus
CDC: Helping Children Cope with Emergencies
National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children about COVID-19
Coronavirus: A kid-friendly explainer video from Brainpop: It can be scary to hear about a disease outbreak, but learning the facts can help ease your mind.
Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus
Dear Covenant Community,
I want to provide you with several updates regarding our efforts to preserve and promote health and safety in our school community.
We are carefully watching the information in the news and the recommendations from local and national public health organizations regarding the novel coronavirus, commonly referred to as COVID-19.
COVID-19 is respiratory illness with symptoms very similar to influenza: fever, cough, shortness of breath. It is highly contagious and can be spread through person to person contact or by touching a surface that has been in contact with respiratory droplets. In addition to being highly contagious, COVID-19 may also have a delay of up to 14 days from exposure to the onset of symptoms, making it very difficult to prevent from spreading.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has provided the following fact sheets to help staff and students’ families understand COVID-19 and the steps they can take to protect themselves:
We encourage all families to read each link and follow the recommendations.
“The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully known. Reported illnesses have ranged from very mild (including some with no reported symptoms) to severe, including illness resulting in death.” (cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html) At highest risk are people living in communities where the virus is spreading, people who have travelled to these regions, healthcare workers, and anyone who has come in contact with someone who has the illness.
Most people who contract the virus recover from it relatively quickly. The elderly and people who have suppressed immune systems due to other illnesses are at risk for more serious complications.
Our focus at Covenant is to prepare an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). These plans take different formats depending upon the type of organization, but each share the common elements of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery.
At this point the public health organizations in our region, including the Dupage County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health, are focusing upon practical ways we can prevent the spread of illness and protect ourselves and others in our community from contracting the disease. These recommendations include:
The teachers are proactively helping students increase handwashing throughout the day, particularly before and after lunch time, snack times, restroom breaks, etc. Teachers are also implementing social distancing as best we can within our classrooms and lunchroom.
We have placed a 10% bleach/water spray bottle, towel, and gloves in each school classroom, the office, and several in the lunchroom, and have asked all school personnel to wipe down hard surfaces, door frames and knobs, railings, etc., at the end of each day.
We are also in discussion with Wheatland Salem Church about increased sanitary measures to disinfect hard surfaces, particularly in common areas of the school and building.
There are a number of very practical ways you can help us prevent the spread of illness and protect our community from exposure and infection:
With Spring Break coming up, here is a link to FAQ for travelers for important information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html
If you have a suppressed immune system or your child needs to take additional precautions due to potential exposure to someone with a suppressed immune system, please speak directly with Dr. Stoner about taking part in an alternate opportunity to serve alongside the Covenant community.
It is quite possible, perhaps even likely, that we will see an increased need to shift our plans and accommodate our learning environment in order to make our best efforts to mitigate and recover from the spread of the illness. I am attaching our initial response plan that will be implemented on an as-needed basis according to CDC and Illinois Public Health information. Our focus is on how we will continue to educate our students if and when we reach a point when public officials recommend students stay at home. We are currently investigating how the use of technology might help us minimize the disruption to student learning if we face this scenario, and teachers are preparing to utilize online platforms to keep in close communication with students and families.
As we monitor the situation, practice common sense measures, and pray for a swift end to these concerns, we are also monitoring the best practice protocols suggested by state and federal agencies.
We have also created a page on our website as a convenient place to access our latest updates on COVID-19. Please see the Resources section of our website for any future updates.
A number of you have provided helpful information and resources, and we ask you to continue to do so. We will keep you apprised of any developments and please do not hesitate to contact any of us directly with any information or questions.
The faculty inservice on February 14 focused on the health and safety of our students and everyone in our beloved school community.
Our day began with a 90-minute training by members of the Naperville police department on the best practices for responding to crisis situations, including active shooters. We found these particular officers to be effective and thorough in their training. Our recently formed school safety committee is meeting now to determine how Covenant might better prepare and train for these worst-case scenario situations.
The second half of our morning focused on increasing our awareness, our understanding, and our ability to support and intervene with students who may be struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety or depression. Mrs. Weldy presented a powerpoint based on her research and training at a professional conference, and I have attached some of what she shared to this email. A few of the helpful points made were:
Please look carefully through the attached information. If you have any further insights or recommendations, please contact us. We are committed to leveraging Covenant’s distinctive school community for the growth, health, and safety of our students, families, and faculty.