Dear BOSMMA Families,

We thank you for your patience as our school board continues to discuss and plan for the most recent spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in our state.

Although Governor Whitmer announced a statewide closure of K-12 schools effective Monday, March 16th through Sunday, April 5th, our program is not impacted by this decision. Our first priority as a school is to provide a safe and healthy environment for your child to learn. We are facing a worldwide pandemic with Coronavirus (COVID-19) and we need to work together to help each other minimize exposure. After careful deliberation, the Basilica of Saint Mary Montessori Academy has decided to stay open and assess the situation on a day-to-day basis.

Due to staffing limitations, before-care hours will be shifted to start at 8am instead of 7am and after-care will, unfortunately, not be offered.

We will be implementing extra sanitation practices. We will clean regularly and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. These include doorknobs, shelves, counters, desks, and light switches. We will continue to educate students and staff regarding preventative hygiene practices.

These guidelines include:
· Stay home if you are sick, and advise others to do the same.
· Always cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
· Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
· Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and warm water are not available.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
· If your child has any of the symptoms below, he/she will need to be picked up as soon as possible
1. coughing
2. sneezing
3. runny nose
4. fever
5. diarrhea
6. Vomiting

In regard to families who have recently traveled or are planning domestic or international travel, we ask that you self-quarantine yourself and your children for two weeks after returning from a potentially infected area. This restriction will also apply to air travel to any destination. Protocols have been established by the Center for Disease Control for citizens returning to the United States which should be followed.

Limiting possible exposure is the most prudent course of action for all of us. We encourage you, as best you are able, to reduce or eliminate contact with other people, especially in group settings. We also request that you follow for yourself and your children, even more carefully than usual, the recommended procedures for reducing the spread of the virus, as listed below.

To provide you with accurate information, we are sharing the following resource from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (https://tinyurl.com/whtm2cs). MDHHS have put out a number of communications with suggestions for cleaning and personal hygiene practices. Some of these are familiar to even the youngest children, as they are the same procedures we use and teach daily in our school. They include:
· Wash hands often and thoroughly (for 20 seconds) with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
· Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
· Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, keyboards, cell phones, and light switches.
· Avoid handshakes.
· Avoid contact with people who are ill.
· Stay at home when you are ill.
· Learn about the symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing), and be prepared to self-quarantine if necessary. If you have symptoms, call your health care provider for direction.

Several documents have been posted on our schools’ websites, and we hope these will be useful to you.

CDC: Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html

NAEYC, Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfection Frequency Table
https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/accreditation/early-learning/clean_table.pdf

CDC, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Recent events related to the COVID-19 virus are unprecedented, and the situation is changing constantly. This letter contains information that we know to be true as it is being written, but we, like you, will be monitoring the newsfeeds and adjusting accordingly.

While we are not experts in this area, we are partners with you and our community in keeping our children and staff as healthy as they can be. Together we will stay informed and involved.

Sincerely,

BOSMMA School Board