Steve Hancock Written by  Mar 04, 2020

March 4 - An Update on Our Response to Coronavirus

Dear PDS families,

We are continuing to monitor the spread of COVID–19, and today I am writing to you with more information regarding the response that PDS is taking. About 10 days ago I asked our school nurse, Alice Ball (aball@pdsmemphis.org), to look closely at the virus to learn as much as possible regarding the science surrounding the spread and containment of the disease. Nurse Ball has become very knowledgeable and stands ready to answer your questions.

PDS belongs to both regional and national associations of independent schools. Both organizations have been giving schools guidance, and I want to share that information with you.

The CDC website continues to be our guide on all issues related to COVID–19.

Prevention

Our best defense continues to be hand washing and respiratory etiquette. We have been instructing our boys in proper hand washing techniques and have been giving boys time to wash hands throughout the day. We have increased the amount of hand sanitizer in the building and the custodial and maintenance staff is increasing our sanitizing efforts. The entire building will be deep cleaned over the break.

Travel

Many PDS families will be traveling over the next week for Spring Break. We encourage you to follow the CDC guidelines on travel. As you know, information regarding the spread of COVID–19 is changing daily. At PDS, we are utilizing the CDC as the final authority of issues related to travel.

Self-Quarantine

The CDC is asking all travelers arriving in the United States from China, even if asymptomatic, to self-quarantine for 14 days. The self-quarantine protocol has extended to people traveling to CDC Level 2 and Level 3 areas. We are following the suggestions of our local and regional organizations to make the following request:

Any faculty, staff, students or parents who are traveling to a Level 2 or Level 3 area are asked to self-quarantine and not return to school until a 14 day period has elapsed following their return to the United States and to obtain medical clearance before returning to campus. PDS has been instructed to extend this self-quarantine to all members of a household. We will make every effort to provide remote learning if your family is quarantined.

School Disruption

The leadership team at PDS has met to discuss possible disruptions to the school calendar and ways to continue learning during this time. All of our plans will be dependent on internet access. If access to the internet is a problem in your family, please contact your son’s division head.

School contacts for reporting of illness or exposure

I am spending time in prayer each day to ask for God’s guidance and protection for our community and school. While this situation does call for solid planning and contingency plans, I am hopeful these plans will not be necessary. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me or to the people listed above.

Thank you,

Steve Hancock
Headmaster

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