March 10, 2020

COVID-19 COMMUNICATION
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ THROUGH ALL OF THIS COMMUNICATION CAREFULLY AND THOROUGHLY

MA Family,

I am writing to share updates and resources with you as we continue to monitor and plan for the implications of the COVID-19 outbreak. Our COVID-19 Planning Team continues to meet regularly to assess risks to our students and community. All communications from the school about the COVID-19 health outbreak will also be posted on our Preparedness Planning webpage.

IMPORTANT SCHEDULE CHANGE: MA WILL BE CLOSED FOR CLASSES ON MONDAY, MARCH 23.

  • We are currently planning to resume classes after spring break on Tuesday, March 24. The Monday after spring break will now be a faculty and staff in-service day to train our faculty and staff in creating remote learning environments for our students. In the event we need to close the school for an extended period of time, we want our faculty to be prepared to continue with their lesson plans.
     
  • We recognize that this change in schedule may be disruptive to families therefore we will offer childcare for those families who need it. Please click here to register by Friday, March 13 so we can plan accordingly. 
     
  • At this point, all athletic practices, athletic contests, and other school events scheduled for March 23 beyond the school day will continue as planned after our normal school hours, subject to change as the situation develops over the next week. Please check the school calendar before coming to an event on March 23. We will also notify everyone if any change were to occur due to a situation related to COVID-19.
     
  • Furthermore, in preparation for a possible extended closure, we are asking our families to determine if they have reliable internet access. The school will work with families to support at home technology needs for remote schooling. If you do not have reliable internet access at your home, please email our IT Department.

IMPORTANT TRAVEL FORM TO COMPLETE: Please complete this form as soon as possible to let us know of your family's travel plans over spring break.

  • As we seek to protect our students, faculty and staff, it will be important for us to know of the exposure of our community to areas where there could be a potential outbreak of COVID-19. The following guidance is consistent with current guidance from the Alabama Department of Public Health and the CDC:
     
    • MA students and families travelling over Spring Break to CDC Level 3 or Level 2 areas with sustained ongoing transmission may be exposed to COVID-19.  Students should self-monitor for a period of 14 days after returning from those areas.  Students returning from a CDC Level 3 area should NOT attend school during the self-monitor period.  Students returning from CDC Level 2 areas may attend school as long as they remain asymptomatic. Parents should be sure to inform Nurse Shontrice Boswell if their students or their families are engaged in 14 day self-monitoring. 
       
    • Students who return from Level 3 or Level 2 areas in which there is sustained (ongoing) transmission and who develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within the 14 day interval should take the following steps:
      • Immediately notify Nurse Shontrice Boswell and contact ADPH Infectious Diseases & Outbreaks Division at 1-800-338-8374. This number can be reached 24/7/365. (As a result of the volume of calls, this number should only be used by persons doing self-monitoring and physicians, and is not for use by the general public). This will allow ADPH to coordinate evaluation.
      • Separate themselves from other people or animals in their home and do not leave except for the purpose of receiving medical care. Wear a facemask, if available. Do not go directly to a healthcare provider or hospital unless it is an emergency. However, if they have a medical appointment, they should call the healthcare provider prior to arriving and let them know they are self-monitoring for COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider's office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
      • If they experience an urgent health situation, call 9-1-1 and inform emergency medical services that they are self-monitoring for COVID-19.
      • If possible, restrict travel to a private vehicle or medical transport (e.g., ambulance).
      • Persons who become symptomatic will require written physician clearance to return to school.
         
    • As the situation evolves, the school may need to request additional precautionary self-quarantine measures based on the potential exposure to COVID-19 through travel to affected areas.  The information collected in the form linked above will be vital in allowing the school to make the decisions that will best protect our community from the potential spread of the virus and is consistent with guidance from authorities and actions taken by other educational institutions.

In addition to our coordination with the Alabama Department of Public Health, we are following the CDC recommendations for K-12 schools, which can be found here: CDC Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

We will continue to keep the community updated as this situation evolves in the days to come.  Throughout this situation, it is important that we continue to remain calm as a community. With the steps that we are taking today, we are taking proactive steps to be prepared for other possible contingencies in the weeks or months ahead. 

Sincerely,
John McWilliams