Preparing for Fall 2020

While it is almost unnecessary to state, planning for the start of the 2020-2021 academic year presents an array of challenges. Key's administrative team, faculty and staff have been working on contingency plans for the past few months, informed by our experiences last spring and significant professional development over the summer, while also adapting to new data and CDC guidelines almost daily. 

Our overarching desire is to return to campus for on-site instruction and we are committed to doing so responsibly by using public health data points to inform and guide our decision. It is our belief that being together safely on campus for as many hours each day as possible is in the best emotional and educational interest of our students, faculty and staff. In our planning, we are taking the long-term effects of extended isolation and limited social interactions that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing children into consideration, along with our capacity to safely educate them while minimizing transmission of the virus, as we understand it today.

Details of all our back-to-school planning, including new health, campus-wide and cleaning protocols, phases of  return, Gateway Option details, and information about Key Athletics, fall transportation were posted on July 29, 2020.


 

Counselors' Corner


Featured Post:

We encourage everyone to think about the importance of self-care for adults/parents during this time. Many, if not most, of the things that we once did to care for ourselves have been closed or cancelled. We are all facing an unprecedented level of stress and very little time to take a break to prioritize self-care. Taking care of ourselves mentally, emotionally and physically has tremendous benefits and allows us to be more available to care for those around us, as this article shows.

Self-care does not have to be fancy or elaborate or expensive. We encourage you to think simply and reconnect with things that make you happy. Go for a walk, color, cook something, spend ten minutes alone focusing on taking deep breaths, make a list of five things you are grateful for each day...you get the idea. When you take care of you, you are better able to care for those around you.

If you have small children at home who need some tips on self-care, this article has something for them.


Resources shared by School Counselors Randi Altschuler and Erin Weiss

CNN.com article Parents: Take Social Distancing seriously and limit playdates and other activities

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion During COVID-19

In keeping with Key’s Mission to sustain an ethical school culture that respects the dignity of every human being, we must not be passive about bigotry, prejudice and racism.  This section of the webpage will provide students and families with resources and links to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion during this global health crisis.

Asian-Black Solidarity During COVID-19
Key's Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Jenifer Moore joined three fellow diversity practitioners in a discussion of Asian-Black solidarity during COVID-19 on a Third Space with Jen Cort podcast

Combating Xenophobia
Now more than ever, it is imperative that we all stand in solidarity as we combat this worldwide health crisis. Sadly, members of the Asian community have experienced increased instances of bigotry, prejudice and violence in the past several months. Teaching Tolerance provides a series of steps each of us can adopt for “speaking  up” to interrupt hate and for helping to educate others about potentially unintended consequences of actions.  The article How to Respond to Coronavirus Racism suggests the following when one witnesses xenophobic interactions:

  • Interrupt - Take a moment to show whomever you are talking with or texting that what they said needs to be addressed: "Let's go back to what you called the virus"
  • Question - Seek to better understand what they said and why: "Where did you get that information"
  • Educate - Focus the conversation not only on facts but also why the comment needs rethinking. “It’s not a funny joke if it stereotypes people and can be harmful.”
  • Echo -  When someone else speaks up, echo them, thank them and emphasize or amplify they message

External Resources

Here are some tips from the American Heart Association on "How to Move More Anytime Anywhere." They say that every minute you move counts toward the goal of at least 150 minutes per week of exercise. Every time you stand up and do something, you're taking a step in the right direction. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Maryland Department of Health

Annapolis Pediatrics COVID-19 Webpage - Dr. Katie Edwards

Prevention and Mitigation: Healthy Hygiene Habits

Updated March 26, 2020

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is primarily spread between people who are in close contact with one another (closer than 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

All Marylanders are advised to practice social distancing. Social distancing is a way to keep people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease. Social distancing can take many forms, depending on your lifestyle and your family and work situation, and can include the following habits and steps:

  • Avoid handshaking, hugging and other intimate types of greeting
  • Avoid non-essential travel (your health care provider may have specific guidance for your situation)
  • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces
  • Work from home if possible for your work situation
  • Avoid unnecessary errands — consider ways to have essential items, like food and other household supplies, brought to your house through online delivery services or through family or social networks

Healthy hygiene habits are also essential to mitigate the spread of this disease and everyone should regularly take the following preventive measures:

  • Clean your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
  • Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
  • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)