PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION BELOW:
March 21, 2020
Dear ADM Parents –
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
We appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented time in our school’s history. Several of you have sent our board and staff very good questions, so we’re sharing the answers with all of our parents.
What are you doing to keep children safe?
We have closed the school until at least April 20 to prevent the spread of the virus. Three other staff members have been tested for COVID-19. Two tests have come back negative, and we are waiting for results from the third. The school will be cleaned and disinfected by a professional company before reopening.
How long will the school be closed?
The school in closed until at least April 20, in line with the Chicago Public Schools closure. We will reopen when it Is deemed safe to do so by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH).
Are we expected to pay tuition while the school is closed?
We do not plan to reimburse tuition, as our school is closed in line with guidance from public health authorities. This is in keeping with the practice of other private schools in the area.
We understand the school closure presents a great inconvenience and financial burden. We are working to live up to our mission and support our families. The board is discussing how to compensate families for the loss of childcare, meals and other services. We will share more information as soon as we can.
Will staff continue to be paid?
Yes. Our board voted to pay staff for the two-week mandated close. We have adequate funds to pay them for the next pay period as well. We want to make sure they can also stay home and take care of themselves and their families. The board is discussing how we can take care of our staff for the duration of this situation.
The staff is working to develop optional age-appropriate activities for the children to do at home. Those will be shared on our Facebook page and directly with parents.
What day was the first person tested for COVID-19? What was the last day the person had contact with children?
The last day the staff member was at school—and the first day she was symptomatic—was March 11. She felt unwell and left early that day. She was tested on March 12 and received a positive result from the hospital on Monday. We received an official positive confirmation from the CDC for that staff member on March 20. She is still recovering at home and doing better.
We have received a negative test result for two other staff members. We are still waiting for the third’s results.
How did the staff member contract the virus?
We do not know and will not speculate, just as we wouldn’t with any other illness our employees may have. It is crucial to maintain employee confidentiality, as we would in all other situations. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) limits the amount of information that can be shared about individuals’ health.
What building/classroom did the teacher work in?
Again, it is crucial to maintain employee confidentiality, so we are not sharing that information.
Because our school space is open and children move between buildings, we decided to inform the entire school community as soon as we learned of the test results. We recommend they stay home and monitor their health.
This is an unprecedented situation, and we are working hard to provide accurate information quickly to our families, while respecting our employees’ privacy (which is also mandated by HIPAA).
Please contact us if you have any additional questions or concerns.
The All Day Montessori Board of Directors
March 16, 2020
We are writing with an update on developments regarding COVID-19.
Today we learned that a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. We are following the guidance of government agencies and health care professionals and will remain closed for at least two weeks. All Day Montessori will not open until March 30 at the earliest.
Other staff members will be tested, and we expect those results in three days. We continue to monitor the situation and will update you as soon as we have more information.
We have contacted the Chicago Department of Public Health, and we encourage families to stay home unless seeking medical care.
The school will be cleaned and disinfected by a professional company before anyone is able to return to the buildings.
We understand that this news is distressing for our entire community.
By following the guidelines of the CDC, and state and local officials, we can all help limit the spread of the virus.
We will be in touch with more information as it becomes available. As always, please reach out to us with questions and concerns.
Jean Doyle, President
ADM Board of Directors
March 16, 2020 (3:40 p.m.)
We continue to monitor and receive updates from several governmental agencies who are providing insightful information regarding COVID-19.
We’re sharing these links to help answer your questions.
City of Chicago
Illinois Department of Health
The key is to stay well and limit contact. It is recommended that one self-quarantines for 14 days. If the identified symptoms of fever, cough and difficulty breathing develop, then contact your health provider to discuss and determine whether a COVID-19 test is needed since you have had possible exposure to an identified case.
Without the approval of the Department of Public Health at this time, we cannot disclose in which classroom the case was identified.
Jean Doyle, President
ADM Board of Directors
March 13 2020
In the best interest of the health and safety of our children and our staff, after much deliberation, the board has made the difficult decision to proactively close All Day Montessori for at least the upcoming week, March 16-20, 2020, in keeping with the CDC’s recommendation of limiting social contact as the world struggles to get control of the Covid-19 virus.
There have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 at our school.
As of yesterday. we have had four staff members begin to exhibit flu-like symptoms. Of the four, one has obtained a Covid-19 test today, but the results won’t be back for 3 days. We will apprise you of the results of those tests as soon as we have them. If any of the tests come back positive, the school will be closed the following week as well, in keeping with the CDC’s guidelines.
We will ask staff with flu-like symptoms to seek medical treatment, self-quarantine for 14 days, and be cleared by a doctor before returning to work. Again, we will keep you apprised.
We recognize the impact this has on our families, but this is the most responsible course of action, given the current situation. With 4-5 key staff members out, coverage will be stretched to the utmost capacity.
Closing the school relieves this stress and allows our staff to take care of themselves and their families as well.
During the closure, a professional company will perform a deep cleaning of the entire school.
We ask for your patience and support at this very difficult time. We will provide you with updates as we have more information. We wish all the best for you and your family as we navigate through these difficult times.
March 12, 2020
The health and safety of students and staff in our school community are of the utmost importance. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is on everyone’s mind, and we are writing you to update you. We are closely monitoring updates from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and the American Montessori Society. We met with our Board of Directors last night.
What we are doing:
Children currently wash hands upon arrival to school, before snack, before lunch, when coming inside after being outside, before snack, after blowing nose, and after using the restroom or receiving a diaper change. This is our normal protocol and our children are very familiar with this process.
We are taking care to supervise and guide this hand washing for more effectiveness. We have them use soap, warm water & vigorous rubbing between fingers, on palms, backs of hands & fingernails for twenty seconds (signing ABCs twice).
Our staff is cleaning and sanitizing classroom materials and frequently touched surfaces like door knobs, tables, chairs light switches and faucets more frequently.
We are bolstering our regular cleaning with the added use of Clorox wipes on shared materials and surfaces.
We are implementing a four stage protocol based on our community’s exposure to this virus and are coordinating efforts with other area schools and state & local agencies.
What you can do:
1. Keep your child home when they are sick. For your reference, here is our health and safety policies from our handbook:
If a child has any one of the following conditions, the parent will be notified to pick up the child immediately:
- Contagious disease
- Fever over 100 degrees
- Vomiting or diarrhea
We have a 24-hour fever-free policy to prevent epidemics in the classroom. Your child can return to school 24-hours after a fever has passed. If you visit the doctor, please let us know if your child received a diagnosis so that we make other families aware and send a copy upon returning to school.
2. Coach and support proper hand washing at home. Again, this is 20 seconds of vigorous rubbing with soap and water.
3. Let us know if you have interacted with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or have traveled outside of the U.S. to one of the high risk areas.
4. All faculty, staff and students who are feeling ill should stay home until they fully recover. As in our current illness policy, which is aligned with the recommendations of the Chicago Department of Public Health, students and faculty should stay home for 24 hours after all major symptoms have disappeared. Sometimes even longer if symptoms persist.
5. Our community should initiate self-imposed quarantine of two weeks for anyone who has traveled to high-risk areas or has been in contact with someone who recently traveled to a high-risk area (level 1,2 or 3.) See CDC travel information – CDC Travel information – coronavirus. If you are obligated to quarantine at home for 14 days because of your possible exposure, your child must quarantine with you.
6. Practice Social distancing as suggested by the CDC and other agencies.
Please contact your health care provider immediately if anyone in your home experiences any of the following symptoms which may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Shortness of breath
Additionally, our community is prepared to alter our procedures and planning should the situation change, including school closures. We will follow the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Illinois State Board of Education’s recommendations regarding closure. We will communicate any changes as quickly as we can.
It is important to remember that handling the spread of a serious contagion like the coronavirus is primarily the task for public health agencies. Any directives from the World Health Organization, CDC, or local governmental organizations should be followed.
During this stressful time, we appreciate the sense of community that we have at ADM. While the news is concerning, please keep in mind that the best thing we can do is greatly increase our hand washing, bathing, and personal hygiene. In the case of any illness, whether it be coronavirus or seasonal flu, we cannot emphasize enough the benefit of following the suggestions above regarding hygiene and staying home. Following these protocols will absolutely help minimize the spread of these viruses.
We appreciate your partnership and diligent effort to keep everyone healthy and safe.
All the best,
Head of School