COVID-19 de Paul School Updates

May 28, 2020

Dear de Paul School Community:
We wish to share with you our emerging plans and school design for School Year 2020-2021. While the landscape associated with COVID-19 is still changing, there are action steps we feel confident in initiating and sharing today.

We are hopeful for a campus-based start of the year on August 12 and are carefully planning for this scenario. However, we recognize that State and Health requirements may mandate a different plan, and we will be ready to implement a remote instructional program uniquely tailored to the needs of our students should that be necessary. In all decisions, we will continue actions which fully comply with authorities in health and safety.

Earlier this week, the Kentucky Department of Education shared the Centers for Disease Control Considerations for Schools as plans for re-opening campuses ensue. Their leadership and health professionals stated that “…implementation of these considerations should be guided by what is feasible, practical, acceptable and tailored to the needs of each school community.” Those considerations will inform our plans and protocols. Following are action points and strategies we wish to communicate now, with more to be provided in coming weeks.

Health and Safety
• Children and adults will have temperatures taken upon arrival to campus.
• We will reserve a room for students who develop fever and await pick-up from a family member.
• All children and adults will wear approved masks each school day.
• We will establish safe procedures for restroom usage, drink breaks, and excellent hand hygiene.
• Prepackaged lunches and snacks will be provided by our Flik dining professionals.
• Campus will be closed to visitors and guests, except in specially-approved instances.
• Protocols and procedures will be implemented to ensure responsible daily deep cleaning, disinfecting, and
sanitizing. Hard surfaces and ventilation will receive specialized attention.

School Design
• Our already large classrooms allow for enhanced social distancing between individuals and desks.
• Instructional supplies, hands-on tools, and books will be assigned to each student and not shared.
• Students stay within their teams and on their team floors. Staff will go to them as needed.
• Students will not visit communal sites (e.g., library) so as to reduce risk of virus transmission.
• We will establish dedicated doors by which assigned teams will enter and later dismiss from the building.
• We will not convene in assemblies or large groups: before, during, or after school.

We will update these plans each week throughout the summer and keep everyone informed via Jupiter Ed and
our website. Please email any questions to dpinfo@depaulschool.org so we can answer those as part of each
week’s update. We appreciate your support as we plan for your children next year! Wishing everyone the very
best in health and strength and joy!

Tony Kemper, Head of School

JCPS Meal Sites for Students

Jefferson County Public Schools’ Nutrition Services is distributing free breakfast and lunch to all children (both JCPS and non JCPS students) 18 years old and under. The program also includes JCPS students over age 18. Families can drive or walk up at any of the sites and get the meals from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. each weekday while schools are closed. Each child present can get a breakfast and lunch. Here are the sites and menu. Contact Ashley Brandt, ashley.brandt@metrounitedway.org with any questions.

Funding for Those in Need

Greater Louisville’s corporate community has come together to create One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund aimed to assist families and nonprofits in need in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Individual households may request support by contacting their nearest Neighborhood Place Location. Here’s an overview of the fund including who is eligible for support, how to request assistance, and how to donate.

The de Paul School Remote Instruction Program

The de Paul School has rolled out a comprehensive and specially-crafted remote instructional program. It includes synchronous sessions led by our faculty, with students engaged multisensorily in a new teaching and learning landscape. Over 95% of our students are attending/participating each day -- an attendance that rivals any “normal” school day.

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Tips from Our de Paul School Faculty

In these uncertain and challenging times, consider these important points for safeguarding our children’s emotional health and wellbeing:

Reassure Children That They Are Safe

You undoubtedly have had conversations to set your child’s mind at ease. It will be important to revisit these conversations regularly. For example, review that most people who become infected only get mildly ill and recover fully. Amid nationwide alarm and upheaval, our leadership in maintaining perspective is essential.

Call attention to ways people are helping others. Express appreciation to doctors, nurses, volunteers, and others who help those who get sick.

Communicate a positive perspective about hygiene and social distancing. Rather than talking about these from an anxious and self-protective point of view, emphasize that these are ways we help our community and keep others safe. This is how we join the ranks of the helpers.

Discuss how our bodies are very good at fighting off viruses.

Reduce And Prevent Anxiety

Establish a daily routine and stick to it. While children and teens may balk at structure, they need it for their own emotional security.

Set an example of calmness and confidence. As new information unfolds, children are watching your reactions to determine whether they should feel safe. They need to know that the adults are secure and confident in protecting children.

Frequent and repeating news reports are emotionally toxic. Daily death tolls, divisive debate, and casting of blame teach pessimism and despair. Limit children’s exposure to these news cycles.

Avoid conversations that depict worst case scenarios. Help children separate reality from rumor and fantasy.

Monitor Online Activities

Enforce screen-free time each day. Yes, remote instruction and social distancing will require increased screen time, but the fact remains that offline time each day is essential. Play board games, play in the yard, read books, or take a stroll together outside.

Enforce nighttime technology restrictions. On school nights, students should be restricted from late-night chatting or game playing.

Help your child navigate his/her online social life. Be aware that online interactions can bring unique forms of conflict or stress.