As the public health concern surrounding COVID-19 (coronavirus) grows, we continue to monitor national, state, and local information regarding precautions to help protect the health and safety of all members of our community. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Rochester area is limited, and Monroe County health officials continue to state that the risk of COVID-19 to the general public in our area remains low that this time. In the meantime, we want to reinforce that safety continues to be a priority here at Nativity Prep, and we have been, and are continuing to take, steps to limit exposure to any viruses here at school. Those measures include:
- The school continues to be cleaned daily using a multitude of cleaning and disinfecting products. During the school day, our faculty and staff are diligently wiping down surfaces and other materials which are used by multiple people, including doorknobs and desks.
- We have brought in nurses from RCSD and St. John Fisher College to speak with students about proper hand and health hygiene at this time, including not touching hands, not touching faces, and proper handwashing techniques.
- We have stopped use of communal water fountains and have purchased water bottle filling coolers for student use instead. This will prevent the spread of germs and viruses on the water fountain surface and the direct transmission to hands, faces, and mouths that can occur through communal water fountains.
- We have begun requiring students to disinfect their phones as they sign them in in the morning.
- Our supply of hand soap, hand sanitizer, hand wipes, and facial tissues is more than adequate at this time, and we are encouraging everyone to use hand sanitizer and wash their hands frequently throughout the day, as well as providing them with opportunities to do so before and after each meal and snack.
- We have suspended our afternoon tutoring and enrichment program to volunteers indefinitely. Given that our tutors and volunteers are undergraduate students from area colleges, community volunteers, and retired adults, we have asked them to forgo weekly visits to school out of an abundance of precaution. Afternoon programming and study will still be held as usual, but students will be in enrichment groups with only faculty and staff from Nativity, and study will be in a quiet study hall format.
We will continue to take direction from local, state, and national education agencies regarding our continued steps and precautions. We thank you for your understanding as we take these measures to keep our students safe and healthy. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to speak with either of us or any member of the faculty and staff. We will continue to keep you informed of the situation and will provide updates as they impact Nativity Preparatory Academy.
If we must close school, we will communicate all changes as they are made. These steps will include online learning, novel studies, and/or workbooks for all core subjects to ensure student academic progress is maintained.
The CDC has offered guidance for individuals, and everyone can do their part to be vigilant. Please watch for symptoms of COVID-19 at home (information is available at coronavirus.gov). Best practices for prevention include:
- Handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and immediately throw the tissue in the trash. If tissues are unavailable, sneeze into your upper sleeve and immediately wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect all frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you or your child are feeling ill, please try to stay home if possible.
- Avoid entering the school if you have recently traveled to an affected geographic area within the past 14 days or if you have been in contact with someone who has recently traveled to an affected geographic area.
We thank you for trusting your student’s education to Nativity and look forward to continuing to partner together.
Jennifer Kremer and Meredith Smith