Because COVID-19 (coronavirus) is now present in Michigan and the guidance to schools is rapidly changing, we want to communicate again that we are staying current with the most recent information and recommendations from county, state, and federal agencies.
Although the risk to our children is reportedly low, local and state authorities are now telling us that the spread of COVID-19 to our area should be expected. We are committed to doing what we can to protect our community including parents, grandparents, and those at a greater risk. To that end, we want to communicate a number of items at this time:
Monitoring at home and evaluating symptoms
COVID-19 behaves like a common cold and starts slowly with a persistent dry cough. It may not be recognized until several days after onset, meaning it can be spread before a person realizes they have it. Therefore, regardless of travel, we ask that anyone who exhibits a fever (more than 100°F) OR dry cough OR persistent body aches stay home until you are symptom-free for 24 hours or as advised by your physician to help contain any cold, flu or other viruses such as COVID-19. If a student develops these symptoms at school, they will be isolated to our office and parents will be asked to pick their child up promptly.
Call your doctor if you or your child experience symptoms, or use the Michigan COVID-19 hotline (616.391.2380) to schedule a free virtual screening through Spectrum Health. For more information about this screening visit spectrumhealth.org/covid19.
We are enhancing the cleaning of shared surfaces, and we are requiring students to clean their hands and their workspaces every day as soon as they arrive. Handwashing is also increasing significantly, so you should consider sending in lotion if your child tends to have dry hands. Classrooms are in need of more hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and tissues. A sign-up will be emailed home soon.
We are also working to eliminate or minimize shared items. Children are being asked not to share pencils, markers, etc. Each student should have his or her own already, so this should not be a problem.
Changes in routine
We are now limiting the number of people that have contact with students in the school building including parents or volunteers during the school day. Please watch for a note from the office or from the classroom in case your volunteer schedule will be impacted.
For now, we are going to follow the advice of Kent ISD and reduce contact between classes. This may include a change to eating lunches in the classroom and altering the frequency of all-school Morning Prayer.
Re-entry after travel and Spring Break
Any staff member or student who travels on a cruise or to a COVID-19 Level 3 Travel Notice Area will be required to follow the restrictions below before re-entry to the school: 1) Maintain a self-quarantine and social distancing protocol for 14 days upon return from any Level 3 Area; 2) Monitor personal temperature daily and report any occurrence of fever or other symptoms to the school; 3) Provide a doctor’s statement to the school at the end of the 14-day quarantine period stating that the person is symptom-free and able to return to school.
Return from Spring Break and all other travel will be treated according to the guidance available from the CDC during and immediately following the time of travel.
Cancelling activities and closing school
We are evaluating planned field trips on a case by case basis. At this time we are cancelling the MJCL and Lollipops field trips and the Open Gym Night. You will be notified as soon as decisions are made about other activities and field trips. As always, you have the right to opt out of a trip or activity even if the school or group participates as planned. If you do choose to opt out of a field trip, you will need to plan for your child’s care/supervision outside of school.
Based on what we have been told, any school closing will almost certainly be a minimum of five days long. We are discussing how to handle classes during that time and which classes will continue in an online format with little or no interruption. Although Trinitas may elect to close due to illness, all schools in Kent County considering closure due to COVID-19 are being asked to work with Kent County Health Department before closing.
Moving forward, we will continue to make decisions in the best interest of our school community. We will keep you informed of any impact to group events, field trips, or school calendar changes. You will be receiving ongoing communication from us as more information becomes available. We appreciate your prayer, cooperation, and trust as we work together proactively for everyone’s safety.