March 3, 6:30 p.m.
In light of the recent spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States...
In light of the recent spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States, St. Martin's is closely monitoring the health of our students, faculty, and families. We are following the guidelines of the CDC and local health organizations. We have been in close communication with other local independent schools, as well as the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), which has resources for schools to prepare in the event the COVID-19 develops locally.
St. Martin’s is an advocate of prevention and preparation. Currently, we have taken the following steps:
- Our school nurse has spoken to all Middle and Upper School students to review good hygiene (handwashing, coughing and sneezing in elbow) and to emphasize the importance of staying home if you are ill, as well as alleviating anxiety in this age group.
- Lower School students have been instructed regarding hygiene during cold and flu season to avoid unnecessary alarm.
- Our school nurse is continuing to work with the George Cottage faculty to identify signs and symptoms of illness.
- We continue to have our school cleaned and sanitized, paying close attention to the areas where germs are easily spread.
Your assistance is needed in a number of ways. Please continue to follow our existing illness policy:
- All students, faculty, and staff are instructed to stay home when sick.
- Students exhibiting flu-like symptoms are immediately dismissed to a parent for further evaluation by their physicians.
- All students, faculty, and staff with fever over 100 are required to stay home until they are fever-free without medication for 24 hours.
- Those who exhibit coughing or shortness of breath may be sent home for further evaluation by their physicians.
- Anyone who is absent due to illness for more than three days must bring a doctor’s note to return to campus.
- All students, faculty, and staff and requested to continue to practice good hygiene, observe flu/illness precautions, and maintain healthy nutrition and sleep schedules.
We are still in the cold and flu season; therefore swift diagnosis and treatment are necessary to contain any of the viruses that may be circulating in our community at this time. If you have a question regarding whether your child should stay home, feel free to contact our nurse, Eileen Smilari, at 504.736.9944.
If you have traveled or plan on travelling to the countries with an elevated alert level, please consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information. Please report any personal international travel to our nurse to assure that CDC protocols are followed.
Field trips and scheduled school events will continue as planned, with close monitoring. Any adjustments will be made on a case by case basis. Domestic trips will be closely monitored as well, and parents will be alerted as needed for any changes in itinerary. If your child is planning to participate in the StM-associated trips abroad, you will be contacted regarding plans for these trips; you will receive separate emails with details specific to them.
In the unlikely event that St. Martin’s needs to close for an extended period of time, we are working with the division heads and faculty to ensure our students continue to receive the quality education they deserve. We are preparing our teachers for distance learning in the third through twelfth grades. For our students in second grade and below, we are developing resources to support parents in extending their children’s learning at home.
We are available to discuss any concerns you or your child has regarding the COVID-19 or flu. Due to the heavy media coverage, anxiety regarding illness may be heightened. This article may be helpful in explaining the virus to children. Feel free to encourage your child to reach out to our counselors or medical professionals for reassurance.
Thank you for your continued support and cooperation. Updates will be sent as they become available. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Head of School
School Nurse, Chair of Student Support Services Department