LEWIS SCHOOL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
COVID-19 Contingencies and Action Plan Advisory
Dear Members of Our Lewis School Community,
With Spring Break fast approaching, we are closely monitoring reports, recommendations and interventional guidelines associated with the increasing spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States and abroad. The Lewis School administrative and planning team is reviewing daily updates on the virus from agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The World Health Organization (WHO), the International SOS (ISOS), The New Jersey Department of Health, as well as other resources such as New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS), Princeton Health Department and Princeton University Emergency Management.
The COVID-19 virus is undeniably a rapidly evolving worldwide health concern. Current advisories are in constant flux indicating newly elevated travel alerts and continuing up-tics in the spread of the virus. This was especially evident in documents we have received during the past several days. Lewis is developing contingencies that are in step with the action plans of area private schools and specifically responsive to our own student population. The plan and protocols outlined below have been implemented and will be monitored and updated for our parents and stakeholders regularly.
The Lewis School will close for Spring Break between Monday, March 16 and Friday, March 27, 2020. Since there is no way of anticipating or knowing what the short-term or long-term effects of COVID-19 will be by the end of March, we must prepare proactively for the potential spread of the virus to more countries and states, and for the possibility of further travel restrictions, medical screenings and/or quarantines that might be put into place or imposed by authorities with little or no advanced warning.
In the interest of providing for the safety of all our students to the best of our ability, we are committed to meeting or exceeding the recommendations of US, state and international agencies. At the same time, we are preparing to support and guide our students and our families through a variety of potentially frustrating situations or uncertainty. We will strive to minimize and diffuse any sense of disruption or anxiety among our students that may result from unanticipated but necessary changes to their routines or schedules. In this spirit, we have implemented the following:
• Consistent with government warnings, at this time, we must ask that Lewis students not to travel to the following countries during Spring Break: China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Pakistan and South Korea. (This list will be updated and emailed to our Lewis School community on an on-going basis.) Students and families travelling to these countries must notify our Main Office before returning to campus at (609)-924-8120.
• Families travelling abroad should be aware that they may be unable to return to the US or may be subject to quarantine upon their return, depending on emerging circumstances and initiatives that play out in the weeks ahead as changes occur.
Consistent with government guidelines and agency recommendations, at this time, we encourage our students and their families to postpone or temporarily cancel travel to states and cities in the continental United States that have been identified by authorities as destinations where there are confirmed cases of COVID-19. Currently these states are Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington and Wisconsin. We urge you to consider this choice for your own family’s safety and for the safety and well-being of all students, teachers and families of The Lewis School. (This list will also be updated and posted on our website.)
• Students travelling internationally to countries or to states in the US referenced above and by other national agencies must notify the school’s Main Office on or before March 9, 2020. Parents of Lewis School students whose close family members have travelled to, or plan to travel to countries and states reported to have confirmed cases of COVID-19, should report these travels to the Main Office. Families are also advised that students who wish to return to campus from specified international and US locations may require further screening, testing or a period of isolation as necessary or recommended.
• We respectfully request that all students and close family members travelling internationally or in the US, to specified destinations referenced in this document, complete the Student-Family Travel Plans Form 2020-2021. This document will be forwarded to all families, teachers and stakeholders of The Lewis School. Please return this document with signature(s) to The Lewis School’s Main Office on or before March 9, 2020.
• The Lewis School is fortunate to have an outstanding facilities management staff. Expanding our normal protocols for flu season, our staff has redoubled their cleaning of surfaces and common areas everywhere throughout the school.
Mother Nature eventually self-regulates even her most frustrating and disrupting forays into our lives. We look forward to that time in the foreseeable future. In the mean time, shortly you will receive student guidelines and recommendations for day-to-day safety and wellness routines during the period of the opportunistic COVID-19 virus. Nurse O’Brien, Mrs. Lewis and designated administrators will visit each classroom with instructions, to answer questions students might have and to open discussions relevant the best practices that will help to keep us all safe and sound.
Thank you for working with us as we reinforce best practices for your children’s health and safety. Please reach out with your concerns and feedback. Together we will weather this time of disruption and great concern.
Marsha Gaynor Lewis,
Head of School
As we continue to closely monitor and assess information from federal, state and local agencies, medical experts, research sources, private and public schools, and local colleges and universities, we will provide timely information that relates to parents, students, and faculty at our school.
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ACT and SAT Administration
Please review the following updated information and plan accordingly where applicable.
• Students scheduled for the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests have completed them and are in receipt of Official Reports or soon will be. Please notify us at email@example.com if you do not have official SAT results as of April 15, 2020.
• ACT college entrance exams have been postponed and rescheduled. Lewis School proctors, students and their families who are impacted by the changes have been contacted and apprised of the new schedules.
• Dates for the administration of the ACT have been confirmed and approved by the ACT testing service. The ACT begins on Wednesday, June 17 or Wednesday, June 24, 2020 respectively. Students must arrive at The Lewis School at 8:00 am promptly.
Current College-Bound Student Applications - Status and Inquiries
• Students who need guidance regarding the current status of their college applications, teacher recommendations or letters of a academic accommodation, or who have other specific questions, concerns or remaining issues to be resolved, can contact Roslind Hansen, Andrew Black or Mrs. Lewis for help and clarification at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students and parents may also leave voice messages regarding college application status at (609)-924-8120. They will be retrieved daily by Annie Adams, Main Office Coordinator, and forwarded appropriately.
• As of Tuesday, March 31, 2020 students and parents may contact college advisors through their new e-mail addresses at The Lewis School.
• Delayed ACT and standardized, *End-of Year Test results (EOYT) will not negatively impact students' applications to college. Most colleges are implementing modifications or interim waivers to accommodate these pending issues.
• As reported on March 18, 2020, delayed ACT and standardized, *End of Year Testing, (EOYT) results will not negatively impact Lewis School approved college applicants who have been accepted to, or are applying to "for-credit" summer programs and internships at other private schools, colleges and universities.
• Many programs are implementing modifications because of the COVID-19 disruption. *EOYT will be discussed in detail in upcoming e-mails.
Students Applying to College for Academic Year 2020-2021 - Application Process and Preparation
• In-depth preparation for the College Application Process typically begins in earnest, the week after Spring Break in early April each year and continues until applications reflect the best character and ability in each student and all deadlines are met.
• A succession of separate e-mails detailing the step-by-step application process including how to rough-draft preliminary College Resumes and Essays will be forwarded on or before Thursday, April 2, 2020 to begin.
• Advisors Roslind Hansen and David Lewis will be available on a regular schedule to be announced and will arrange individual instruction and feedback sessions with students via e-mail, telephone and remotely where appropriate. Administrative support staff, Mr. Black and Mrs. Lewis will also be available during scheduled hours to be announced.
• Students applying to college for 2020-2021 who have fulfilled the New Jersey State graduation requirements and have completed the required preparatory Lewis education for graduation, will be contacted personally by Roslind Hansen or David Lewis, and as appropriate, by administrative support staff, Mr. Black and Mrs. Lewis.
• Homeroom teachers, Mrs. Dark, Ms. Herman and Mrs. Leiggi will also be available at regular hours for guidance and feedback with college essays where appropriate.
• The application process will remain essentially student-driven as always with reliable and increased, robust support from all of us at Lewis.
• Colleges across the country are working with schools and applicants to help accommodate and resolve any issues arising from the COVID-19 disruption.
• It is important that students and parents are aware that The Lewis School expects to administer End od Year Standardized Testing during full-day, Summer Study sessions which begin on Monday, June 22, 2020. These evaluations and test results will be forwarded to colleges if independent, out-of-school evaluations are unavailable.
All administrative questions that students or their parents may have regarding ACT/SAT reports, transcripts, deadlines or the status of a student's application must be forwarded only to the attention of Mr. Black and Mrs. Lewis at email@example.com, not to advisors or teachers.
College Advisors and participating teachers have their hands full under normal circumstances when guiding our students through the critical academic aspects of their applications - essays, resumes, other narrative responses or inclusions, and where appropriate, various portfolios. Also important is to make sure that we help our students manage the floating anxiety typically associated with going to college. This is likely to be especially challenging now as the result of distance and remote instruction and feedback.
We are absolutely up to the challenge but will count on our parents' mindful and respectful discretion to help ensure that all of our teachers and advisors can focus all of their attention on the students' preparation and needs!
Communicating During the COVID-19 Disruption after Monday, March 30, 2020
• Lewis School parents and our community stakeholders can expect an increase in e-mail communications ongoing regarding a broad range of information and support.
• Temporary e-mail addresses have been set up for all teachers and instructors at The Lewis School. Parents can e-mail their children's teachers on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020 through Friday, May 22, 2020, if the school is still on hiatus.
• Mr. Black, Associate Registrar and Senior Master Mathematics Instructor will forward the teachers' interim e-mail addresses to parents on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
• Faculty and instructors' e-mails are available only and exclusively for questions regarding guidance, clarification and support related to students' daily home study and work assignments.
• Teachers are ready and eager to help parents and students with schoolwork planning and management. They especially encourage students to e-mail questions of their own.
• On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, all teachers of The Lewis School will begin calling their homeroom students. We are looking forward to reconnecting with students personally to lift their spirits and to see how they are feeling generally and coping with the apprehension of unexpected change and distancing.
• There is no more powerful connection to be made between human beings than through the physical sound, emotional intelligence and reassurance of human speech and voice.
• We will all see each other again at school in the not too distant future. In the mean time, we want our students to know we are thinking about them, we love them and we are here for them. They can count on that.
• Parents of Afternoon Enrichment and Tutorial students and Extended Day students placed by districts may leave messages for Director of Extended Day Education, Cindy Stewart at info@lewisschool,org.
• Messages regarding all Main Office records and administrative requests may be left at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond as promptly as possible.
• Families calling with regard to general enrollment, reenrollment or a student's projected class placement (where determined) for academic year 2020-2021 must contact the school at email@example.com.
• Messages related district placement, financial matters, tuition payment schedules and accounts, contracts and other financial issues may be left for CFO, Ann Zawartkay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admissions and New Parent Communication During COVID-19 Disruption
• New families applying to the Lewis School and those who are currently in the admissions process must direct inquiries regarding the status of applications or placement for Summer Study and Fall Semester to our voice mail at 609-924-8120.
• Parents or students wishing to speak to David Stier or Chantra Reinman in Admissions must leave messages on The Lewis School's voice mail at 609-924-8120 beginning Monday, March 30, 2020.
• All 609-924-8120 Voice Mail will be retrieved daily by Annie Adams, Main Office Managing Coordinator, and forwarded to the appropriate administrators.
Postponed, Rescheduled and Cancelled Events through Friday May 22, 2020
• End of Year and Standardized Testing, Thursday, April 2, 2020 - rescheduled for summer administration
• Open House and Coffee, Saturday, April 18, 2020 - cancelled, will be rescheduled
• Topics and Trends in Education and Earth Day, Wednesday, April 18, 2020 - cancelled, Topics and Trends will be rescheduled
• Upper School Theater Ensemble, April 24, 2020 - cancelled, may be rescheduled
• Parent-Teacher Conferences beginning on Monday, April 30, 2020 to be reorganized
• Field Day, Wednesday May 6, 2020 - cancelled, may be scheduled for summer
• Lower School Play, Thursday, May 7, 2020 - cancelled
• Upper School Prom, Friday, May 8, 2020 - cancelled
• Athletic Banquet, Thursday, May 14, 2020 - cancelled, may be rescheduled
• Open House and Coffee, Saturday, May 16, 2020 - cancelled, will be rescheduled
Graduation and Awards Ceremonies
Currently, Upper School Graduation and Awards, and the Middle and Lower School Awards ceremonies remain as scheduled for Thursday, May 21, 2020 and Friday, May 22, 2020, respectively. Both of these very special events in the lives of our students may have to be reorganized if that is necessary or possible. The final decision will be made based on the unfolding impact of New Jersey's COVID-19 disruption.
What to Expect in Future E-mails
Look for COVID-19 Emergency Planning Information regarding the following:
1. Post-Extended Break Educational and Administrative Contingencies
2. Possible Modifications to School Calendar/School Year, SAIL and Summer Study
3. Academic Credit for 2019-2020
4. Graduation and Awards Ceremonies
5. Extending Summer Study to full days
6. Summer Administration of End of Year and Standardized Testing
7. End of Year and Standardized Testing and Exams
First Day Back? How to Begin on Monday Morning?
CONTENT TEACHERS AND INSTRUCTORS WILL BE CALLING AFTER 1:30 PM, MONDAY AFTERNOON
- See the proposed "class schedule" attached. Working on packet assignments begins (should begin) promptly at 8:30 am for all students of the school.
- "Patience over Time" is a mantra that will help set schedules and put routines in place. Don't expect too much too soon. Always expect the best and appreciate that to start.