March 15th, 2020 [3:07pm] – We are aware of several surrounding schools in Idaho that are closing down either for the next few days (for cleaning purposes) or for the next few weeks (for “distancing” or contact tracing), in response to Covid-19.
At this time, we are continuing to plan for school and daycare without interruption. It should go without saying that because of the fluidity of the situation, this could change anytime. But at this time, we are planning to continue to stay open.
Now, there are a few differences between the other surrounding schools (PFSD, Genesis Prep, etc.) and CornerStone that once pointed out might help in understanding just a few aspects of our thought process moving forward.
1.We are a smaller school in terms of facility space (i.e. we do not have cafeteria’s, bussing systems, sport facilities, locker-rooms, libraries, auditoriums, stadiums, shops, science labs, bleachers, and similar structures). These facilities take a much longer time in maintaining and/or sterilizing necessary surfaces.
2.We have already implemented cleaning and sterilizing procedures as stated in earlier updates, as well as, additional sterilizations throughout this weekend. Other schools (because of factors mentioned above) need more time to conduct and complete their plans regarding Covid-19 cleaning/sterilizing.
3.Schools are either contacting Idaho Panhandle Health District if they are considering a shut down, or they will be contacted by PHD to take preventative measures. This priority contact with Panhandle assures the best decision process for each individual school or daycare before closures are made. We are not aware of PHD contacting any school or daycare to shut-down at this time.
4.As of now, there is no authoritative mandate for schools or daycares to shut down. Those in our community are doing-so voluntarily to help clean/sanitize their facilities.
The following statements from the CDC also help understand our decision to continue to stay OPEN at this time:
Considerations for School Closure Recommendations on school closure based on available science, reports from other countries and consultation with school health experts.
1. There is a role for school closure in response to school-based cases of COVID-19 for decontamination and contact tracing (few days of closure), in response to significant absenteeism of staff and students (short to medium length, i.e. 2-4 weeks of closure), or as part of a larger community mitigation strategy for jurisdictions with substantial community spread* (medium to long length, i.e. 4-8 weeks or more of closure).
2. Available modeling data indicate that early, short to medium closures do not impact the epi curve of COVID-19 or available health care measures (e.g., hospitalizations). There may be some impact of much longer closures (8 weeks, 20 weeks) further into community spread, but that modelling also shows that other mitigation efforts (e.g., handwashing, home isolation) have more impact on both spread of disease and health care measures. In other countries, those places who closed school (e.g., Hong Kong) have not had more success in reducing spread than those that did not (e.g., Singapore).
For our CornerStone Family:
Please stay diligent and informed as to our continued updates regarding the status of our school and daycare. We will make all announcements via UPDATES through our web-page, Facebook, and push-text/email messaging. (If you are not on our messaging list, please go to the school web-site www.cca-pf.com and click the GREEN Shout-Out button underneath Quick Links on the main home-page).
We will continue to enforce mandatory cleaning events (outlined in UPDATE #2, initiated March 11th) throughout each day. Tight observance of our sick policy should need no reminder at this point. Should you or your child(ren) begin to show signs of illness (ANY ILLNESS), you are required to keep them at home from CornerStone. Seek medical advice, staying proactive in your healthcare.
*NEW* As further precautions we are asking parents to consider checking-in their children in at the front door after the child washes hands instead of entering the building and walking their child to class. A teacher will be stationed at the front door to help your child get to his or her classroom. This measure would help us to further prevent any personal contact throughout the building. The more proactive we are, the better set we are to endure this as best we can.
Also, per normal procedures…please let us know if your child is ill and will be absent from school or daycare via phone call or text message. And again, STAY TUNED for continued UPDATES!
Strength in prayer,
Rev. J. Young