VIGILANCE AND COMPASSION
In 2020, Middle Way School established a Health and Safety team composed administrators and health experts. This year the team is streamlined with three members: of our Head of School; Operations Manager; and Buildings and Grounds Manager. We meet every week to review the latest numbers and recommendations, and reevaluate our current COVID protocols and make real-time adjustments or update as-needed on a bi-weekly basis. We are committed to communicating changes to families and staff in a clear and concise manner on a timely basis. The MWS Admin team will also hold monthly community meetings via Zoom during which we will provide updates on current MWS policy and procedures, give a report on student life and learning, and open up to Q&A.
Our primary commitment is to the students, staff and families we serve, what we call our sangha. Our priority is keeping safe. We are happy to report that we were able to remain almost entirely in-person in 2020-2021 with 9 virtual days, one positive case, and no community spread. Our layered approach, dedicated staff and families, and swift responsiveness kept us safe and learning together last year. As we plan for another successful year, our campus will continue to be greatly impacted by COVID-19. This Health and Safety Plan outlines our protocol for remaining open in person that aligns with the NYS Department of Education Health and Safety Guide, CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 School, the Ulster County Guidance for 2021-2022 School Reopening, and our own experience with navigating the challenges wrought by COVID in 2020-2021.
We rely on the innate wisdom of each individual in our community, their compassion for each other, and on each person taking responsibility for their actions. We are all closely interconnected through this amazing group of children and our actions have direct impacts on everyone in the community. Being compassionate means staying vigilant. Please remind your children to wash their hands frequently at school and elsewhere and keep up with the best practices in your home as you would elsewhere. The reality is that we’ll likely all be forced to go virtual if any COVID cases pop up and none of us want that. Cases are likely to start rising locally as public schools in our region begin to open in person. This is in all of our hands so please be smart and respectful of others in the choices you make regarding socializing.
Our approach to the pandemic is multilayered and relies on personal and shared responsibilities to reduce risk of transmitting the virus. Our community exists within a circle of trust, where we all play a role in protecting the health of everyone else. The image from the New York Times above illustrates how the interventions we are taking work together. According to the article, “Multiple layers of protection, imagined as cheese slices, block the spread of the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. No one layer is perfect; each has holes, and when the holes align, the risk of infection increases. But several layers combined — social distancing, plus masks, plus hand-washing, plus testing and tracing, plus ventilation, plus government messaging — significantly reduce the overall risk. Vaccination will add one more protective layer.”
A foundation of our school is open lines of communication—we value the input of our community. We will not be able to meet every individual’s needs, however we welcome everyone’s input and will take everyone’s perspective to heart when making decisions that prioritize the middle way.
If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us at email@example.com.
HOME CHECK QUICK LINKS
Our Healthy School Committee—made up of medical experts, educators, school leaders, and parents—published a plan, as mandated by New York State, to reopen safely based on all of the best information available. This plan was approved by the State in August. It is a living document that is revised regularly as the mandates change.
- fever (over 100 degrees F) or chills
- shortness of breath
- severe fatigue
- muscle or body aches
- new loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- congestion or runny nose
- nausea or vomiting
A slight uptick in the number of allergy and viral-like symptoms is very common for this time of year. With the added anxiety around the pandemic, now is a good time to review the similarities and, more importantly, the differences. For details on how to tell the difference between allergies and COVID, continue reading.
For what you need to know about who should get tested, where to get tested in Hudson Valley, and what types of tests are available, click here.
PREVENTION AND EARLY TREATMENT
Poughkeepsie-based Bambini Pediatrics created a document with helpful information about how to stay healthy.
COVID-19 REPORT CARD
Every day, MWS reports to the NY State Department of Health, tracking our real-time COVID-19 infection and testing operations.