About

Coronavirus Updates

Barnesville School's Health and Safety Committee is monitoring the recent events associated with coronavirus (COVID-19). This web page will be updated regularly to inform you about our response to the situation. We continue to follow the guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland Department of Health.

Updates

List of 11 items.

  • April 3, 2020

    Dear Barnesville School Parents/Guardians,

    I hope that you and your family are staying well during this most difficult time. As we come to the end of our first full week of distance learning, I want to thank you for your overwhelming support. Your partnership is greatly appreciated and valued. 
    I could not be prouder of our exceptional faculty and staff who have fully embraced the challenge of shifting to delivering our curriculum virtually. While we had been planning for a number of weeks, our Faculty had only days to pivot to the new platform. Their dedication and passion to supporting our students and families is truly inspirational. 

    As we navigate in a world of uncertainty together, I want to thank you for your feedback. We recognize the need to listen and adapt to best support our community. This is a whole new world for all of us. We are committed to continuously adjusting our distance learning program to meet the needs of our students. Most importantly, we understand to need to prioritize connections during this time of isolation. We will continue to explore ways to leverage our faculty’s deep relationships with their students to allow them to continue to provide a joyful, supportive, and caring community that we all know as “The Barnesville Way”. 

    Please note the following:
    • Beginning Sunday, April 5, the weekly grade-level google docs will be posted by 5:00pm each Sunday to support planning of the week ahead
    • Reminder that we have a previously scheduled long weekend April 10 – 13 
      • Distance learning will be suspended April 10 and resume on Tuesday, April 14
    • I will begin hosting virtual “coffees” beginning the week of April 13 – I can’t wait to connect with you all!
    I remain confident that the power of our community will enable us to get through this together. 

    As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. 

    Susanne Johnson
  • March 27, 2020

    Dear Barnesville School Parents/Guardians,

    I hope that you and your family are enjoying spring break as best as possible while adapting to life with social distancing. As I indicated on Wednesday, we will officially transition to distance learning on Monday, March 30 until at least April 24.
     
    I am thankful to have such exceptional educators who have embraced our new reality and are prepared to deliver our curriculum virtually. Our faculty recognizes the need to be creative and flexible in finding ways to keep our students active and engaged. Their deep relationships with the students will allow them to continue to provide a joyful, supportive, and caring community while delivering our curriculum in a virtual setting.

    As we navigate in a world of uncertainty, I ask you to please have patience with our faculty and staff. Your partnership will be vital to support your children during these trying times. I am confident that the power of our community will enable us to get through this together.

    As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

    Susanne Johnson
  • March 25, 2020

    Parent Alert: Barnesville School campus will be closed through April 24, 2020. Distance learning will begin Monday, March 30.
  • March 20, 2020

    Dear Barnesville School Parents/Guardians,

    I hope that you and your families are adapting to life with social distancing. I know that I have dearly missed having the students on campus. Our goal this week and going forward is to keep our Barnesville School family connected during this unprecedented time. 

    I am confident that we are fully prepared to transition to delivering our curriculum virtually if distance learning becomes necessary. As we developed our distance learning plan over the last few weeks, we utilized the excellent resources through our Independent School network with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Association of Independent Maryland & DC Schools (AIMS), and the Association of Independent Schools in Greater Washington (AISGW). Additionally, we gleaned lessons from our peer schools on the west coast that sadly have been managing this rapidly evolving crisis weeks ahead of its arrival on the east coast. Lastly, as always, our decisions reflect our community, culture, and mission.

    JOY
    Our faculty recognizes the need to be creative and flexible in finding ways to keep our students active and engaged. Their deep relationships with the students will allow them to continue to provide a joyful, supportive, and caring community while delivering our curriculum in a virtual setting. 

    SUPPORT
    We are being extremely sensitive to our students’ social and emotional well-being during this most difficult time. Additionally, we are very aware of the hardship for our families. Our plan seeks to find the right balance of all of our priorities in the best interest of our community. We also know the importance of communicating frequently, listening, and adapting.

    EXCELLENCE
    We remain committed to bringing out the excellence in each and every student. If we shift to distance learning, we understand that it will be an adjustment and we look at this as an opportunity to reimagine learning in new spaces. Our skilled teachers will continue to promote imagination, exploration, growth, and achievement.
     
    As we navigate in a world of uncertainty, I ask you to please have patience with our faculty and staff. Your partnership will be vital to support your children during these trying times. I am confident that the power of our community will enable us to get through this together. 

    I have asked our faculty to unplug next week and to enjoy our previously scheduled spring break. They will need to rejuvenate to bring their best selves back to class on March 30. I hope that you too will enjoy spring break and stay well!

    As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. 

    Susanne Johnson
  • March 18, 2020

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

    I hope that this note finds everyone to be staying well, both physically and mentally, during this intense time of uncertainty. 
    As you can imagine, we have been spending an enormous amount of time the last few weeks developing a distance-learning protocol as COVID-19 cases began to be reported. We are fortunate to have excellent recourses through our Independent School network with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Association of Independent Maryland & DC Schools (AIMS) and the Association of Independent Schools in Greater Washington (AISGW). Additionally, there are a plethora of resources available to us through education and technology networks.  

    I continue to be thankful for our exceptional Faculty who worked with us on Monday and Tuesday to help refine our distance-learning guidelines. They quickly embraced the plan and in some cases new delivery platforms as we worked to ensure that they have all of the resources necessary to support our students. Most importantly they remain dedicated to our mission of Joy, Support, and Excellence.

    I will be sharing the specifics of our distance-learning plan by the end of the week as it looks highly likely that we will need to transition to delivering our curriculum virtually. Please be assured that we are being extremely sensitive to our students’ social and emotional well-being during this most difficult time. Additionally, we are very aware of the hardship for our families. Our plan seeks to find the right balance of all of our priorities in the best interest of our community.

    For the remainder of this week, our Faculty are giving grade-appropriate assignments to ensure the continuity of learning. In some cases, teachers as testing tools for distance-learning such as Google Classroom and YouTube. However, our regular academic schedule will not resume until March 30. I am confident that we are fully prepared to transition to delivering our curriculum virtually if distance learning becomes necessary. I will be as proactive as possible in making that decision with the information that I have that is changing by the hour if not the minute. 

    As always, thank you for your support as we navigate this uncharted territory together. I am greatly appreciative for your patience and your partnership to support our students and community.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. 

    Susanne Johnson
  • March 14, 2020

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

    It was very hard working afternoon carpool yesterday with the uncertainty of when students will be able to return to campus. During these unprecedented times we will most certainly need to be flexible and adaptable.  

    I am very thankful for our exceptional Faculty that worked so hard to ensure that our students had everything that they need to continue learning from home. At this point in time, it is uncertain how long that may be. For the immediate future, let me reiterate and expand on the points from my communication yesterday.

    It is important to note that, as of this writing, we have had no reports of anyone in our community as being identified as having COVID-19. However, we recognize that the practice of social distancing is crucial to slowing down the spread of COVID-19 to protect our community. 

    Barnesville School campus will be closed to students and families until at least through the end of Spring Break (March 27). In order to conduct a thorough deep cleaning of our facilities, access to the buildings will be limited to authorized personnel only. 

    Week of March 16  – our Faculty and Administration will use Monday and Tuesday to refine our distance learning protocols which will be shared with parents once finalized. Wednesday, March 18 – Friday, March 20, teachers will provide students with grade-appropriate assignments. Administrative Offices will be open the entire week.

    Week of March 23 - Spring break (as previously scheduled) – we ask everyone to monitor country-specific Travel Health Notices issued by the CDC and to please contact the school if your travel plans (including layovers) include a Level 2 or 3 country. We expect all community members to follow CDC requirements to self-isolate or self-quarantine to ensure the safety of the entire community.

    Week of March 30 – Regular academic schedule will resume. Our current plan is to resume in-person instruction on Monday, March 30. However, we are fully prepared to transition to delivering our curriculum virtually if distance learning becomes necessary. I will continue to provide you with timely updates.
    Please check our dedicated webpage for updates and resources related to COVID-19.

    As before, we ask that you continue to partner with us to support your child/children by limiting media exposure, relying only on highly trusted sources for information, and continuing to engage in proactive hygiene measures. 

    As always, thank you for your support as we navigate this uncharted territory together. I sincerely hope that you and your family remain healthy. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. 

    Susanne Johnson
  • March 13, 2020

    Dear Barnesville School of Arts & Sciences Community,

    I am reaching out to keep you informed to the best of my ability during this rapidly evolving and unprecedented challenge. I continue to be sensitive to the anxiety associated with this dynamic and uncertain situation. 

    It is important to note that, as of this writing, we have had no reports of anyone in our community as being identified as having COVID-19. However, we recognize that the practice of social distancing is crucial to slowing down the spread of COVID-19 to protect our community. 

    Please take time to read the following updates:

    •    Barnesville School will be closed to students at the conclusion of the academic day today until at least through the end of Spring Break (March 27). 
    •    We are proactively having every student bring home educational materials and devices should there be a need to transition to distance learning after March 27. 
    •    Faculty are working with Middle School students to orientate them to the digital platforms that we will be using should distance learning be implemented.
    •    Next week – our Faculty and Administration will use Monday and Tuesday to refine our distance learning protocols which will be shared with parents once finalized. Administrative Offices will be open the remainder of the week.
    •    Spring break – we ask everyone to monitor country-specific Travel Health Notices issued by the CDC and to please contact the school if your travel plans (including layovers) include a Level 2 or 3 country. We expect all community members to follow CDC requirements to self-isolate or self-quarantine to ensure the safety of the entire community.
    •    We have launched a dedicated webpage to centralize communication and resources related to COVID-19.
    •    We urge you to continue to use best practices to prevent the spread of illness from COVID-19 including:
    o    Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
    o    Avoid touching eyes, mouth, and nose with unwashed hands.
    o    Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
    o    Stay home when you are sick.
    o    The CDC recommends that individuals remain home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication (i.e., chills, feeling warm, flushed appearance).
    o    Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately discard the tissue in the trash.
    o    Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    o    Take any anti-viral medication prescribed to you as instructed.
     
    As before, we ask that you continue to partner with us to support your child/children by limiting media exposure, relying only on highly trusted sources for information, and continuing to engage in proactive hygiene measures. 

    Our current plan is to resume in-person instruction on Monday, March 30. However, we are fully prepared to transition to delivering our curriculum virtually if distance learning becomes necessary. I will continue to provide you with timely updates.
    As always, thank you for your support as we navigate this uncharted territory together. I sincerely hope that you and your family remain healthy. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. 

    Susanne Johnson
  • March 12, 2020

    Dear Barnesville Community,

    The Governor and the State Superintendent just announced that all Maryland public schools will be closed March 16 through March 27. In order to support the slow down of transmission, Barnesville School will be closed March 16 - March 27. I will communicate more details tomorrow as this situation continues to evolve.

    Susanne Johnson
  • March 11, 2020

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    I am reaching out to our community to reassure you that we are continuously monitoring the updates regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Please know that I understand and appreciate the anxiety associated with this dynamic and uncertain situation. 

    The Health & Safety Committee met again this morning to address the following:
    • Field trip policy - decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis considering the following criteria -
      • Location
      • Risk Level
      • Number of attendees
    • Creation of a dedicated Barnesville webpage to centralize all communication and resources.
    • Protocol for all visitors to the School - visitors are required to wash and sanitize their hands when arriving on campus; signage has been posted.
    • Policy for Spring break travel - policy is being developed following CDC, NAIS, and AIMS guidelines.
    • Hand sanitizer stations - four additional stations have been ordered. 
    • Additional policies should closure be necessary.
    We continue to actively work on the following:
    • Developing a plan to address continuity of operations and student learning should a disruption occur.
    • Training of Faculty to deliver remote learning should that become necessary.
    • Increased focus on thoroughly disinfecting communal surfaces.
    • Continuing to share best practices for overall health in cold and influenza season with students, parents and staff. These preventive measures include:
      • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
      • Avoid touching eyes, mouth, and nose with unwashed hands.
      • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
      • Stay home when you are sick.
      • The CDC recommends that individuals remain home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication (i.e., chills, feeling warm, flushed appearance).
      • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately discard the tissue in the trash.
      • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
      • Take any anti-viral medication prescribed to you as instructed.
    As before, we ask that you continue to partner with us to support your child/children by limiting media exposure, relying only on highly trusted sources of information, and continuing to engage in proactive hygiene measures.  

    Lastly, please know that the above list is by no means an exhaustive list. Our decision making process will be supported by best practices and trusted resources. As such, I will be attending a live conference call for Heads of Schools tomorrow morning sponsored by our accreditation association, AIMS. 

    As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

    Susanne Johnson
  • March 5, 2020

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    I am writing to provide you with an update on the measures that we are taking to ensure the health and safety of our community as we continue to monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
    We are actively working on the following:
    • Developing a plan to address continuity of operations and student learning should a disruption occur.
    • Increased focus on thoroughly disinfecting communal surfaces.
    • Continuing to share best practices for overall health in cold and influenza season with students, parents and staff. These preventive measures include:
      • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
      • Avoid touching eyes, mouth, and nose with unwashed hands.
      • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
      • Stay home when you are sick.
      • The CDC recommends that individuals remain home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication (i.e., chills, feeling warm, flushed appearance).
      • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately discard the tissue in the trash.
      • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
      • Take any anti-viral medication prescribed to you as instructed.
    • Health & Safety Committee will meet frequently to monitor the situation and review emergency preparedness procedures.
    We ask that you continue to partner with us to support your child/children by limiting media exposure, relying only on highly trusted sources of information, and continuing to engage in proactive hygiene measures.  

    Lastly, I have attached a parent resource from the National Association of School Nurses on “Talking to Children About COVID-19” to assist you in age-appropriate explanations to reassure your child/children. As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

    Susanne Johnson
    (Please see the Parent Resources section on this web page for the “Talking to Children About COVID-19” PDF.)
  • March 2, 2020

    Good afternoon-
    I want to assure you that we are closely monitoring developments surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), including the latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland and Montgomery County departments of health. Additionally, we are being updated daily by Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS) and National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
     
    As a best practice for overall health in cold and influenza season, the CDC recommends that individuals engage in everyday, preventive measures to prevent the spread of germs and avoid illness, such as:
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
    • Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick. The CDC recommends that individuals remain home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately discard the tissue in the trash and wash hands. 
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
     
    We have taken the following additional measures to safeguard the health of our community:
    • Our Facilities team is disinfecting high touch points (bathroom door handles, bathroom stall handles, bus seats and entry doors) daily.
    • Teachers are wiping down classroom tables and classroom door handles with greater frequency.
    • Students are not allowed to share water bottles or food.
    • Morning hand-shaking has been suspended until further notice.
    Thank you, in advance, for your support.

    Susanne Johnson

CDC Coronavirus FAQ

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • What is coronavirus?

    A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

    A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.
  • Why is the disease being called coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19?

    On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

    There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practiceexternal icon for naming of new human infectious diseases.
  • What is the name of the virus causing the outbreak of coronavirus disease?

    On February 11, 2020, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, charged with naming new viruses, named the novel coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan, China, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, shortened to SARS-CoV-2.

    As the name indicates, the virus is related to the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that caused an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003, however it is not the same virus.
  • What is the source of the virus?

    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.
  • How does the virus spread?

    This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

    The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

    Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.
  • Can someone who has had COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

    The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

    How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.

    Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:
    • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
    • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
    • The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.
    Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.
  • Can someone who has been quarantined for COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

    Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.
  • Why might someone blame or avoid individuals and groups (create stigma) because of COVID-19?

    People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine.

    Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.

    Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.
  • How can people help stop stigma related to COVID-19?

    People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.
21830 Peach Tree Road
PO Box 404
Barnesville, MD 20838
p: 301.972.0341