To: BCS Parents & Guardians
From: Kevin Dunning, Head of School
Our region woke this morning to news that a local school district had made the independent decision to close one of their schools based on a staff member’s possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus (aka, Coronavirus). We realize this news will raise concern and generate questions in the Bellevue Christian community about our own school’s thinking and preparations.
School leadership has been carefully monitoring for several weeks the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. We are having discussions around this virus and proactively discussing a broad range of response scenarios. Because of this initiative, we are better positioned to respond to a quickly-evolving situation. We have been in contact with people outside the organization in health care, global travel, and in other schools to help guide our thinking.
Here is where Bellevue Christian currently stands regarding preparation and response to the COVID-19 virus:
- Since summer, Bellevue Christian has been employing advanced cleaning practices that are far more effective than the standard wiping of surfaces. This practice uses a non-toxic, electro-statically charged mist via sprayers to fully disinfect surfaces at our three campuses. We’re adjusting our cleaning protocol to ensure that the effective half-life of the disinfectant lasts throughout the school week. We are also expanding the practice to our buses and we are exploring the efficacy of using this on playground surfaces. In addition to this cleaning, our Facilities Dept. has provided each classroom with non-bleach peroxide-based sanitizing wipes that teachers can use to regularly disinfect surfaces.
- We have discussed the issue of increased family travel, especially with spring break coming in April. The global health picture will likely change significantly between now and then, so right now we are simply monitoring guidance and discussing possible scenarios. Regarding the mandatory self-reporting of international travel, currently, we are following the lead of the U.S. government and the Centers for Disease Control. Our position is if someone’s travel presents a risk, that will be evaluated and responded to at the border. We have discussed other options, but at this time we are not asking community members to self-report international travel.
- We ask that families carefully monitor their student’s health and keep them home if there is any sign of fever. Please communicate all absences through your campus office. Click here to read in detail more information from the CDC regarding prevention and treatment of the virus.
- We are discussing various scenarios that could result in disruption to program, ranging from the cancelation of field trips all the way up to temporary school closure. This morning’s news will accelerate these conversations so that we are well-prepared to continue to maintain learning even if school is closed.
Please consult the CDC website for information around travel restrictions and advisories and how they may affect your family. As in all cases, when assessing your health or a family member’s health, please discuss any concerns with a trusted medical professional.
We share everyone’s concern regarding health and safety. We are vigilant in continuing to monitor global events and discuss the school’s best proactive response to ensure both community health and continued learning. We appreciate your partnership and will continue to communicate with you.
In His Service,
Kevin M. Dunning
Head of School