Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

McLean School is tracking news and information about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our region. Like other schools, we are monitoring resources such as the CDC, the US State Department, and local health agencies, to stay abreast of developments and to plan for the future.

The safety of our students and our school community is our absolute highest priority.

May 26: Fall School Reopening Message from Head of School, Michael Saxenian

Next week we will celebrate our students as they complete the school year and prepare to move up in grades. Few anticipated the extraordinary challenges of recent weeks, and I am so grateful for the way our whole community of parents, students, teachers and staff pulled together. Next Friday we will be honoring our seniors for their accomplishments at McLean, and sending them off to an extraordinary array of colleges. Commander Alvin Drew, an astronaut who twice visited the International Space Station and walked in space, will deliver their commencement address drive-in style! While the ceremony at school will be confined to immediate family members of graduating seniors, the greater-McLean community will be invited to view it through Facebook Live. Watch for the link in coming days.

As we look to next year, our approach will be grounded in the following principles:

  1. The health, safety, and well-being of our students and our community are always our most important priorities
  2. We will continue to deliver the best possible education through whatever means are available.
  3. As always, we are deeply committed to, and guided by, our Core Values, which include creativity, innovation, intellectual curiosity, inclusivity, flexibility, respect, wellness, and a welcoming community.

We will reopen our building as soon as we safely can, so that our students can take full advantage of their teachers, their classmates, and their community. We will rely on guidance from state and local authorities, as well as the CDC and the World Health Organization, to evaluate and respond to health risks and to implement protocols.

We are preparing to conduct school in the following formats, and to shift between them as needed:

  • We are planning for a return to our building for the start of school with protocols for physical distancing, hygiene, and monitoring. We know that not all students or teachers will be able to join us at first, so we are prepared to engage synchronous distance learning for those who are off campus.
  • We are further refining our distance learning program for the possibility that we cannot return to campus right away. Changes will include more direct, synchronous instruction and schedules that parallel the building-based school day. In the younger grades, we are also planning for very small student groupings for teaching fundamentals such as reading, writing, and math. We want to continue to capture your insights about our distance learning program while they are fresh, so please look for another survey in the coming days.
  • We are also preparing blended approaches, with both on and off campus components, to optimize for learning and community in case some elements prove to be more practical in one mode or the other.

We will offer a robust set of activities and events, whether in-person or at distance, so that students can get to know their teachers and their peers, and receive orientation for new grade levels or advancement into a new academic division.  We will also help parents connect with fellow parents, teachers and administrators.  Additionally this summer, we are making our online SummerEdge program available at half price to newly enrolled and returning McLean students.

We know that some in our community have been experiencing emotional difficulties due to social distancing. Please let us know if your child is struggling. Our counselors and other teachers and staff familiar to them are available to provide support.

We are fortunate that our Board of Trustees includes experts in a number of fields related to operating our School. These experts include an organizational efficiency manager at a national disaster restoration and decontamination firm, a hospital medicine physician and researcher in infectious diseases, and the director of operations management at a private investment and business development firm focused on life sciences and emerging technologies. We also have a clinical psychologist who is a board-certified psychoanalyst, as well as a number of educators with deep experience in independent schools and higher education.

As challenging as this time has been, I take heart in the knowledge that we will emerge with new tools for learning and an even greater sense of our connection and resilience as a community.

Thank you for entrusting your child’s education to McLean. I will continue to update you as our understanding of circumstances surrounding our fall opening evolves, and with a definitive plan in the first week of August.

With gratitude,


Michael Saxenian

April 16: A Video Message from Head of School, Michael Saxenian

With gratitude,

Michael Saxenian
April 30: Distance Learning Plans and Reflections
I write to share important news about our school calendar, observations of our distance learning program, and reflections on the future. As parents we have all experienced tremendous loss, each in our own ways, and I am grateful for your patience and understanding. We have, however, learned a great deal, and there is good news to report at McLean.

Distance Learning Schedule This Year
Distance learning began 6 weeks ago. For many of us, it feels like months, and uncertainty about the future amplifies our concerns. After carefully considering information provided by government agencies such as the CDC and the governments of Maryland, Virginia, and DC, and after consultation with the Executive Committee of our Board of Trustees, I am announcing that Distance Learning continues until the end of the school year, the first week of June. Commencement 2020 will be held on June 5 at 10:00 am. While portions of our national economy are beginning to reopen, social distancing at schools poses unique challenges to our top priority of safeguarding our students, and adequate measures will likely not be available by June. Even if Maryland Public Schools were to reopen after the announced shutdown through May 15, McLean would have only two instructional weeks left in the school year, and learning would be undermined by the activity of reopening.

Of course, we want to get our students back into the building as soon as we safely can, so we will re-evaluate if circumstances allow. Meanwhile, we are making plans for our usual wide range of year end activities so that we can recognize and celebrate our students virtually if it is not possible for us to meet at the school. Please look for communications on this in the weekly newsletters.

How We Succeed in Distance Learning
While many schools are hunkering down to wait out the pandemic, McLean has embraced the challenges of this new and more complex learning environment, just as we have always embraced the challenges of complex learning needs. To be sure, we feel the loss of our building and the ability to gather. But, in a moment of imperfect schooling solutions, our distance learning program is working well, and I believe it is the best solution available in the greater Washington DC area for bright, college-bound students with qualities that render traditional classrooms (and now traditional online instruction) less effective. This sentiment was reinforced by parents participating in our divisional coffees last week, some of whom have students at other area schools, and in emails we receive. We thank parents for their comments and suggestions, many of which we are working to incorporate.

Of course, there are things that we cannot do through distance teaching, such as supervising young children, and we know that this can be a huge burden for working parents. We also know that some students are at McLean precisely because they have organizational or other challenges not easily addressed outside of the classroom. In cases where those challenges exceed the capacity of our classroom teachers working at a distance, we are assigning other professionals in the building to help meet individual needs. Please let us know if your child needs additional support.

I believe that our success in distance learning relates to the same attributes that have always powered McLean:

  • We are forward-looking. We began exploring the possible impacts of COVID-19 with McLean administrators as early as February 11, and with our Board of Trustees on February 21. This enabled an early start in developing our distance learning approaches and the preparation of our faculty and students for a distance learning launch prior to Spring Break.
  • Our experts teach the way students learn. Our teachers are the best in the industry. They selected McLean because they have the creativity, drive, experience, and training to serve a richer mix of students, differentiating instruction and adjusting their approaches on the fly to meet student needs. This expertise and agility developed in the classroom enables the quality distance education that we deliver to students at home.
  • We have small classes. While area public schools often have classes of 30 or more students, and other independent and parochial schools may average 16 to 20, our average class size is below 10. This is a huge advantage in a distance learning framework, where understanding and responding to student needs is a greater challenge and a greater opportunity.
  • We know each student well, and how they learn. Our teachers make the time to connect with students one-on-one, adapting approaches to the needs of each individual, and helping them understand themselves as learners. Even with the challenges of distance learning, our students continue to get the tailored support they need.
  • We have great educational technology. Seven years ago we rethought and rebuilt our entire educational technology platform, from servers to the classroom to the home, with a one device per student approach — iPads K-6, Chromebooks 7-8, and the developmentally appropriate students’ choice of laptop (“Bring Your Own Device”) 9-12. Most importantly, we invested in the knowledge and skills of our teachers and our students. For years we have been learning from and strengthening approaches such as “flipped classrooms” where the lecture is delivered at home so class time can focus on questions, discussion, or project work. From Seesaw in the lower grades to the Mustang Portal and Google Classroom in the middle and upper grades, students and teachers entered distance learning with skills in many of the technologies they continue to use at home.
  • We have an amazing community. Our fundamentally embracing approach to students, grounded in our Abilities Model®, enables students to support one-another, and to be supported by their teachers and their parents. Our mindfulness, wellness, and service programs reinforce an environment in which each students can feel good about themselves and be open to learning. Our focus on cyber-citizenship develops our students into safe, respectful, and discerning users of social media. And, importantly, our parent community supports their children, our teachers, and our school in so many ways.
  • We maximize every opportunity for learning and connection. McLean students are not just doing academics online. They are meeting for Lunch Bunch and advisories, with counselors for social emotional support, and with the college counseling team to prepare for next steps. They are doing music and studio arts, PE, STEM, and meeting with their clubs, such as the Equity and Social Justice Forum.
  • We are a learning community. McLean’s effectiveness is grounded in our continual search to improve our educational approaches. We entered distance learning with a well-articulated educational philosophy, a culture, and a set of learning systems to support education that is effective both in the building and at distance, and we have been rapidly evolving our approach in response to what we learn from teachers, students, and parents. Last week we held coffees for feedback from parents in all grades. The Middle School surveyed its parents and will be announcing program adjustments shortly. Lower and Upper School parents will see similar surveys this week.
    These are central elements of our program, our culture, and our community. McLean is relying on its fundamental strengths to maximize student welfare and learning in whatever context we find ourselves. And we are succeeding.

Summer Plans
As strong as our delivery has been, we know that students and parents are anxious about their education, and that other summer opportunities may have been cancelled due to social distancing. We are pleased to announce, therefore, that we are revamping our SummerEdge academic offerings to meet the needs of McLean families.

To keep our campers safe, SummerEdge will offer a four-week online session beginning after the July 4 weekend. While we won’t have sports on the field or service trips, we will offer a remarkable range of academic programs taught largely by our McLean teachers for students in kindergarten through grade 11. It won’t be all work though, as each day of camp will incorporate music, art, and PE. It’s all under development now, and so details will be online shortly.

Next School Year
Like you, we don’t know what social distancing requirements we will encounter the next school year. What we do know is that whether we are teaching in-person or at a distance, or some combination, we will be offering the best available education for our students. Recognizing the central importance of the personal connection at McLean, we will plan orientation and culture-creating activities for both new and returning students, teachers, and families so that we enter the next school year with the same strong Mustang community that we enjoy and rely on today. Interest from prospective families remains strong, and our community continues to grow despite the challenges of social distancing. We are grateful for the referrals that you as parents make.

Gratitude
I thank our talented faculty, staff, and administrators for their incredible focus and dedication. Like all of us, they experience loss and have other responsibilities, but they show up powerfully for our students, every day. And I thank you, our parents, for your continued support and understanding. Raising a family is a tough job under normal circumstances. It is hugely more difficult today.

With tremendous appreciation,

Michael Saxenian

April 16: A Video Message from Head of School, Michael Saxenian

With gratitude,

Michael Saxenian
April 10: Educating our Children in Uncertain Times

As we wrap up our third week of distance learning, I know that many in our McLean School community–and, indeed, many around the world–feel exhausted. We are stretched by the unknown course of the pandemic, social distancing, close living quarters, financial uncertainty, and the possibility that someone close to us may have already suffered medical consequences, or will soon. This is difficult for everyone, and I am keeping all of you in my thoughts.

It is natural to worry that our children are losing time and losing learning. We wonder, will they fall behind, or will their college prospects be weakened. These are real and serious concerns, but our most important job, as parents and as educators, is not to teach specific content or skills on a pre-set timeline, but rather to enable our students to continue their progress towards becoming effective, well-adjusted adults. That means focusing on social-emotional wellness first, while maintaining structure and forward movement in academics.

It is important for us, as educators and as parents, to model calm and confidence in the future, paying less attention to every grade, and more to how our children–our students–are feeling about their learning, about themselves, and about their futures. We don’t know what shape the infection curves will take, or what the new normal will look like a few months from now, but we do know that we are resilient, and just as our country recovered from the 1918 influenza pandemic and from the Great Depression last century, and from 9/11 and the Great Recession in this one, we will come back from COVID-19.

In McLean we have a caring and connected community, with expert educators working hard to support each student, as well as each other. All of us are on a rapid learning curve. Top administrators at the school meet daily to discuss our approaches and our results, making adjustments as needed. Counselors and specialists are providing additional student support. And we have taken steps to address security concerns related to Zoom and Google Hangouts.

Our approaches are tuned to the developmental needs of students and vary by division and grade level. Feedback from students and parents has been helpful. We do sometimes hear concerns, such as that students are getting too much (or too little), synchronous instruction. We take that feedback seriously and look carefully at those situations. But the vast majority of parent feedback suggests that the creativity and flexibility of our teachers–and our educational and community cultures–have enabled effective approaches for distance learning. Our McLean culture is also foundational in another way. Our students report the importance of their connection with fellow students and with teachers.

While distance learning is new, McLean has been able to leverage a long tradition of thoughtfully deploying technology to meet individual student needs. This includes not only technologies for creativity, output, reading, and organization, but also importantly our “one-to-one” approach to iPads, Chromebooks, and, in the Upper School, BYOD, (“Bring Your Own Device”), ensuring that each student is equipped for home study, with backing from our talented team of information technologists. Students also come to distance learning with the benefit of McLean’s deep focus on cyber citizenship, which develops safe, respectful and discerning use of digital resources. Many of our parents with students in other independent or public schools remark on the effectiveness of McLean’s approaches compared to what they are seeing elsewhere.

As always, our commitment is to continuous learning and improvement, not only for our students but also for our School. Our gifted and committed teachers, and the administrators behind them, are working incredibly hard to develop and deploy approaches that serve our students. Like our parents, many of these educators have their own children or aging parents at home. They have my deepest admiration and gratitude. If you find an opportunity to say “thank you,” I know they will appreciate it.

Please see this week’s divisional newsletters and the Mustang Portal for information on free parent support groups and other resources ranging from service opportunities such as making and distributing face masks, to fun and self-care. Next week we will let you know how to join virtual coffees for parents in each division, so that we can connect directly with you, and all of you with each other. We look forward to hearing about your experiences.

We are deeply grateful for your support and cooperation, and send our best wishes in this trying time. For those who celebrate Easter and Passover, I wish you happy and meaningful holidays.

Sincerely,


Michael Saxenian

March 30: Reconnecting After Spring Break

I hope this email finds you and your family as well as can be under these difficult and fast-changing conditions. The stay-at-home-orders issued this afternoon by the governors of both Maryland and Virginia, and apparently pending in DC, underscore the critical nature of our health emergency. I know that many of you may be caring not only for your own children, but often for parents or other family members, and that most of us who are fortunate enough to be employed are working at home, adding additional complexity to student supervision.

As we prepare to return from Spring Break tomorrow, I wanted to let you know that our teachers, administrators, and staff worked throughout the break, and all day today, to digest learning from the first couple of days of distance education, to get additional training, and to further refine our approaches. This morning they were briefed by Dr. Mary Wright, a leading hospital medicine and research physician and the Secretary of our Board of Trustees. We have been fortunate to have Dr. Wright’s guidance as we’ve navigated the pandemic.

I also wanted to remind parents and guardians that our Mustang Portal provides a variety of resources for families. We recognize that the pandemic has strained the finances of many. Please feel free to reach out to our Chief Financial and Operating Officer, Jeff Berman, if you would like to discuss altering your schedule of payments, or if there are any other ways in which we can be helpful.

While the pandemic has been challenging for all of us, it has also revealed our strengths as a school and as a part of our broader community. Last week the School donated N95 masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies to area hospitals. With commendable foresight, our Facilities Department stockpiled these items in advance of the pandemic in order to safeguard our school community.

I’d like to close with a shout-out to 9th grader Wes Price and his brother, Ricky. In true Mustang spirit, every Wednesday since school moved to distance learning Wes and Ricky have made sandwiches and donated them to Martha’s Table for distribution to homeless people via McKenna’s Wagon. The first week they made about 50 sandwiches. Last week friends joined to help make 100 sandwiches. Wes and RIcky are now competing to collect 100 sandwiches each – 200 total – every Wednesday. McLean would like to support this effort. We have been developing plans to establish a sandwich drop-off point at the school for those who would like to contribute. Please check back to the Mustang Portal for details, as we will need to ensure that we do not run afoul of new stay-at-home mandates.

Congratulations to Wes and Ricky for inspiring all of us. I am so proud of the way the whole community has stepped up in so many ways. And, I know that our teachers will continue to deliver the best possible education, providing continuity through our distance learning program.  Experts teaching the way students learn. 

Wishing you comfort and health,


Michael Saxenian

March 20: A Few Thoughts As We Begin Spring Break

As we adjourn for Spring Break, I have been taking stock of what we have accomplished over the last couple of weeks. I want to express my deep gratitude to you, our parents and guardians, for your support to your children, our teachers, and the School, during this time of unprecedented challenge. I also want to thank our teachers, administrators, and staff for all that they have done. Launching our distance learning program has been a herculean effort by all involved, and the quality of execution reflects the talent and commitment of our teachers.

While we will not be holding classes next week, our faculty is working where possible to provide enrichment activities for students. Our teachers will be using the break to consolidate learning from the last three days, to modify their approaches, and to develop distance teaching materials for the coming weeks. The faculty and administration will reconvene for additional professional development related to distance learning on Monday, March 30, and we look forward to resuming distance learning instruction on Tuesday, March 31.

We are off to a very good start–a tribute to our families and our faculty alike–but this is just the beginning of a long road. Together we will find our path forward. Thank you for your support and for being part of our McLean community.

I’m pleased to close with a message from our students.

The Upper School Student Government Association wishes everyone a fun and safe Spring Break. Make sure to stay positive and healthy, so we may all get through this together. Especially because this is new to all of us, and if you are having trouble with anything (academics or technology), the SGA is here to help! Let’s spread positivity, and not this virus.

With gratitude and wishes for a healthy Spring Break,


Michael Saxenian

March 18: Distance Learning Off to a Good Start

Distance Learning is off to a good start.

While experiences varied, often in developmentally predictable ways, most reports were positive, and reflected the creativity and resilience of our faculty and students. Throughout our K-12 program, technologies used in the classroom provided a familiar bridge to distance learning. I wanted to take a moment to share with you a few anecdotes and additional resources.

Lower School

  • The Lower School continued its use of Seesaw as the primary platform for sharing work, as in this example from Kindergarten, practicing the word “luck.”

  • Our Coordinator of Learning Services, who has access to all Seesaw pages, wrote to Lower School teachers: “I have been moved to tears today. The academic lessons are, of course and unsurprisingly, creative, engaging, and effective. And then on top of all that:

    • Your morning message videos allow kids to see your faces and hear your voices

    • Kids recorded vlog book reviews, one child created an analog clock out of bottle caps, and another constructed and then tested out a bridge he made from bricks and boards in his yard, while a third followed a recipe to make pizza

    • All of the kids who are creating workspaces at home that they are proud enough to post for their teachers to see . . . it’s just all so awesome and inspiring and it’s what this is all about. You guys continue to think outside the box and keep families focused on making this time fun and meaningful.”

Middle School

  • A Grade 5 Teacher reported that “Since we usually have lunch in classrooms on Wednesdays, I hosted an optional “Zoom lunch” for my class. Almost everyone joined and they were so happy to be together, and they all begged to do it again tomorrow. Maybe this will be a daily thing for us.”

  • A Grade 6 Teacher wrote “It was smoother than I expected. Most of the students have tried the online assignments. Many completed them well.”

  • This from a Middle School parent: “As one small data point, my wife and I were very impressed with how our daughter’s day went today. The teachers were focused, helpful, and on top of their game.”

  • And finally: “I wanted to report that the PE and Athletic Department have heard nothing but positive feedback from the parents about the workout plans and the community building activity. The students are also responding to the questions we sent out today which is great to see!”

Upper School

  • From among the dozens of message on an Upper School email chain:

    • “My first Zoom class went fantastic!”

    • “The Seniors were all there on time, they were collaborative and cooperative and we had a great class.”

    • “All my students were present and awake! All are in good spirits too!”

    • “My students didn’t want to get off the call. Seriously.”

One Upper School Math Teacher reported that a student set up a gaming app so that his class could continue online the practice of partner quizzes, which they did not want to give up!

A couple of parents have asked whether we would consider holding school next week during our scheduled Spring Break. While the continuity of instruction would have benefits, our teachers need down-time to recover from an extraordinary effort to move instruction online, to consolidate new learning from this week, and to plan for the next phase of distance instruction. Even under normal conditions, our faculty members give 100% and depend upon scheduled breaks to recharge so they can be there for your students during the next leg.

To further assist families, we have created a new Distance Learning Resources page within our Mustang Portal. We are also continuing our parent support with tonight’s Community Education Series presentation by Jen Cort: It’s Not Your Imagination, Kids Really Are Different Today!, which has moved to a Facebook Live format on McLean School’s Facebook Page at 7:00 pm.

I am grateful to you, parents and guardians, for supporting your child and the School through this unprecedented period. McLean has an extraordinary team of educators and an extraordinary culture of collaboration. You are a big part of the magic sauce!

With warm regards,

Michael Saxenian

March 17: Distance Learning Starts Tomorrow - Wednesday, March 18

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones as well as can be under these challenging circumstances. I know that the loss of structure from the school day and the need for social distancing present challenges for students and families. I also know that many of you have family members who may be at greater risk for complications from COVID-19, and that the economic slowdown has introduced new financial challenges. My thoughts are with you.

I am writing to provide you with an update on school operations prior to the start of distance learning tomorrow. You can find my last letter and related resources on our COVID-19 webpage. 

As you may recall from the schedule I provided last week, distance learning begins tomorrow morning, March 18, at 8:15 am. Our school days will run to 3:15 pm for the next two days. On Friday, March 20, we end at noon for Spring Break, as previously scheduled. The faculty will reconvene for additional professional development on March 30, and our distance learning program will resume on Tuesday, March 31.

While this will be new for everyone, our faculty are highly trained and well equipped to deliver distance education. They have been working very hard to fine tune their approaches over the past few weeks and are looking forward to continuing to work with your children. We are grateful for their efforts. Your patience and understanding will be appreciated as we work to quickly address any issues that arise.

We are not looking to you, as parents and guardians, to teach the material, but rather to ensure, as far as you are able, that your child has an appropriate place to work and is available for learning. Please review any communications from your child’s division head or teachers regarding specific requirements and feel free to reach out with any questions.

McLean has a terrific team of IT professionals, learning specialists (including our Coordinators of Learning Services), and counselors who are all available to support our students. Our IT Office can be reached at it.support@mcleanschool.org or by calling 802.962.0854. Please find contact information for our other support professionals in the Faculty Directory on the McLean Website.

As a reminder, you can download McLean’s Distance Learning Plan here. The Distance Learning Plan provides a comprehensive educational continuity approach geared to the particular strengths and needs of our students in each division. It answers many questions that parents and students may have going into and during a period of campus closure, including methods for delivering educational content, responsibilities of McLean educators, and the roles and responsibilities of students and their parents and guardians. The Plan has been under development for some time and incorporates technologies and approaches already in use by McLean teachers. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to review this material with your children.

The building is now closed and is being disinfected. We have arranged for continuity of business operations, including processing of mail and phone calls to our campus numbers, and handling of admissions inquiries. Like our teachers, all staff and administrators are continuing their work from home, so please feel free to reach out with questions or concerns. Please be reminded that the policies and expectations for behavior articulated in our Parent and Student Handbook remain in effect.

Thankfully, to our knowledge there are still no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in our School community. Please let us know if you learn of any.

I want to again thank all members of our community for their wisdom, patience, and dedication as we navigate the challenging and fast-evolving COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted the lives of our families and created uncertainty about health risks for our loved ones. I also want to shine a light on our teachers, specialists, and academic administrators for their heroic efforts in preparing for our period of distance education. I am deeply grateful for their enormous dedication, as I am for the cohesiveness and mutual support that our families and educators provide one another.

With gratitude and respect,

Michael Saxenian
March 12: Distance Learning Plan from Head of School, Michael Saxenian

I want first to thank all members of our community for their wisdom, patience, and dedication as we navigate the challenging and fast-evolving COVID-19 situation, which has disrupted the lives of our families and created uncertainty about health risks for our loved ones. I have watched our community pull together, and I am grateful for the cohesiveness and mutual support that our families and educators provide one another.

I am writing now to announce that next week McLean School will move to distance learning. As we do so, our foundation of community support, and our tradition of partnership, will be more important than ever as students, teachers, staff, and administrators begin to work from home.

We reached the decision to employ distance learning after carefully considering our commitment to continuity of education and the imperative to safeguard our community, as well as to support societal efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. We are taking this step proactively, following extensive consultation with health experts, trustees, and administrators. To our knowledge there are no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in our School community. Our approach is informed by advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Maryland Department of Health, and other local health authorities, as well as practices emerging in the school and business communities.

Distance Learning Approach
McLean’s Distance Learning Plan provides a comprehensive educational continuity approach geared to the particular strengths and needs of our students in each division. It answers many questions that parents and students may have going into and during a period of school closure, including methods for delivering educational content, responsibilities of McLean educators, and the roles and responsibilities of students and their parents and guardians. The Plan has been under development for some time and incorporates technologies and approaches already in use by McLean teachers—approaches which teachers have been practicing with their students, and which will be reinforced over the course of three days of additional professional development this month. I encourage you to download, print, and review this material with your children. Please note that, although we will not be meeting in the building, the policies and expectations for behavior articulated in our Parent and Student Handbooks remain in effect.

Roll-Out Schedule for Distance Learning
Our last regular day of school in the building will be tomorrow, Friday, March 13. All regular activities, including after school ones, will take place as normal on that day. Monday and Tuesday of next week will be professional development days for faculty. As indicated in the Distance Learning Plan, students and families should use that time to catch up on work and to prepare their study space and technology for distance learning. Distance instruction and learning will begin on Wednesday, March 18, and will continue at least through Thursday, April 9 (with a pause for Spring Break, as previously scheduled). As during normal operations, the school day will run from 8:15 am to 3:15 pm. We recognize that our end date is later than the one recently announced for Montgomery County Public Schools, which does not seem to offer as fully articulated a distance learning approach as McLean’s.

Please expect an update on Monday, April 6 regarding our plans to reopen. At that time we will notify the community whether the building will reopen on Monday, April 13, as currently anticipated, or whether distance learning will continue further into the school year.

Tomorrow, Friday, March 13, students will need to bring home all of their study materials and personal belongingsPlease provide them with a container, such as a duffle or fabric shopping bag, that they can use in addition to their backpacks. Parents may pick up medication from the Health Room tomorrow, or if necessary Monday of next week.

Here is a detailed schedule for the next four weeks:

Friday, March 13:
·   Regular instruction and after-school programming
·   Students take home all materials at the end of the day
·   Medication can be picked up from the Health Room

Monday, March 16 & Tuesday, March 17:
·   No classes
·   Professional training for faculty and staff
·   Students should use these days to catch up on work and to prepare work space and technology for distance learning

Wednesday, March 18 – Noon Friday March 20:
·   Teachers and students pilot distance learning

Monday, March 23 – Friday, March 27:
·   Spring Break–No Classes
·   No academic or co-curricular programs
·   Spring Break Camp and trips are cancelled
·   Deep clean of facility

Monday, March 30:
·   Faculty Professional Development Day
·   No Classes for Students

Tuesday, March 31:
·   Distance learning for all students resumes and runs through at least Friday, April 24

 Monday, April 6:
·   Depending upon developments in public health and other relevant considerations, McLean will announce whether we will return to school on Monday, April 13 or whether we will extend distance learning beyond April 9.

Friday, April 10:
·   School is closed for Passover and Good Friday

Monday, April 13:
·   School reopens, unless notified otherwise on April 6

Compliance with the Spirit of This Approach
We recognize the importance for students to remain connected with their friends. The benefits of distance learning, however, may be undermined if students socialize in close quarters during our campus closure and we thus ask that they rely upon virtual interaction whenever possible. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has recommended the practice of social distancing to contain COVID-19. Proper hand washing continues to be another important mechanism to reduce spread of the virus. The health of our community depends upon such strategies. If you or someone in your family shows symptoms that you suspect may have been caused by coronavirus, we recommend that you contact your healthcare provider.

Caring and Flexibility
We recognize that this message may bring a sense of relief to some and disappointment to others. We recognize, further, that a shift to distance learning will place a burden on our community. Students and teachers will be working together in new and different ways. Families may struggle to find appropriate spaces for learning and adequate Internet connectivity, while working parents may be challenged to arrange supervision for younger children. We are a strong and caring community. Both the School itself and our Parents Association are available to help problem-solve and facilitate family-to-family support. Please feel free to contact any administrator, or Director of Community Inclusion and External Relations, Bobby Edwards, or Parent Liaison and Events Manager, Jen Jedrinic, if you are in need of, or in a position to offer, support.

I thank you, our parents and guardians, and our students, for understanding that we are working to further the best interests of both our school and the greater community. We would welcome your thoughts on how we might improve our approach. I am grateful to the trustees on our Board Executive Committee for their collaborative leadership and support, to the Administrative Team for their extraordinary collegiality and hard work, and to the faculty and staff for their dedication and professionalism.

Our Risk Management Team and Administrative Team will continue to review the situation a daily basis. We will stay in touch and keep you informed. Thank you for your support and understanding. You can find all of our communications and other resources on our COVID-19 webpage. We hope that you will find it helpful.

With gratitude and deep appreciation,

Michael Saxenian
March 6: Updated School Response on COVID-19 from Head of School, Michael Saxenian

As COVID-19 spreads, I wanted to update you on steps McLean School is taking to ensure the safety of our students and our community, and to provide continuity of our educational program.

Last night we learned of the first three cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Montgomery County. All three people contracted the virus while traveling abroad. Our best wishes go out to those individuals. We were reassured to learn from Governor Hogan that they are all doing well. I share the Governor’s sentiment when he said “While [this] may seem overwhelming, this is not a reason to panic. Marylanders should go to school and work, just as they normally do.”

Since my last communication with you, the School’s Risk Task Force has begun meeting at least daily to ensure that the School is fully prepared and taking appropriate steps. In light of the dynamic situation, we will continue to err on the side of care and caution, and we will modify our plans as needed. Because the virus has a lengthy asymptomatic period of incubation, and is not well understood, we are taking preventative steps now, and we will be flexible in accommodating needs of our students, faculty, and staff.

To shape our responses we rely on advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Maryland Department of Health, and other local health authorities, as well as practices emerging in the school and business communities. We have created a new Corona virus webpage that we hope you will find helpful.

According to officials, the United States presently has 164 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, with three in Montgomery County. The vast majority of the illnesses around the world are mild, with symptoms of fever and cough. Fortunately, children appear largely to be asymptomatic and have not been severely impacted by this virus, although we do understand that they can transmit it to adults. A much smaller percentage of adult cases are severe and involve pneumonia, particularly in elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions. With expanding capacity for lab testing and broadening of who is eligible to be tested, it is expected that more cases will be discovered.

Preventative Measures
The CDC continues to call for regular and thorough hand washing as a first line of defense against viruses such as the flu and COVID-19. We held assemblies in the Middle and Upper Schools this week to stress the importance of hand washing and our teachers in the Lower School continue to work with our students on this important life skill. During the school day our facilities crew is continuously cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces such as door knobs, bathroom fixtures and railings throughout the building. At night they are disinfecting desks and chairs.  We have redoubled our efforts to sanitize athletic equipment, and our transportation company is wiping down bus seats and railings on a regular basis.

While hand sanitizer is not recommended as a substitute for hand washing, we recognize that it can be beneficial and have placed hand sanitizer stations in the reception area and in the All Purpose Room, where lunch is served. We have also provided our teachers with disinfectant wipes to use in classrooms.

Our school nurses, Margarita Rosado-Payne and Pat Lincoln, have been monitoring patterns of health in our community and public health advisories for the region. Nobody with a fever—students, parents or others–should come to school until 24 hours after symptoms pass. Your help in this regard is very important. Please know that our teachers are happy to work with students on assignments missed due to illness.

Travel
We highly value the educational benefits of local and international trips.

  • Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to postpone our international Spring Break trips to Spain and Greece. We hope to run them in early June. Participating families will receive additional information on Monday.
  • All local field trips within the Washington-Baltimore region, including the optional bowling program and the trip to the Baltimore Aquarium next week during Parent Conferences for grades 2-8, are currently scheduled to proceed.  Please notify the school if you do not want your child to participate.
  • The school continues to monitor the outbreak and will decide in the coming weeks about longer domestic trips, such as to the International Robotics and Virginia Beach Music competitions
  • We are also monitoring conditions to make a determination about Grandparents and Friends Day, which is currently scheduled for April 17.
  • Students, parents, faculty, and staff members who travel to, or stop in, a country categorized by the CDC as a Level 3 High Risk Country, or whose household members have visited a Level 3 Country, may not come to campus for 14 days following their return. Currently China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran are listed as Level 3 countries. We appreciate your cooperation in this regard.
  • Visitors to Level 2 countries are asked to be extremely attentive to possible symptoms for fourteen days after their return. Please note that the CDC continues to update its travel information and parents should bear in mind possible travel interruptions or future quarantine requirements in moving forward with their Spring Break plans.

Continuity of Instruction
While our goal is to continue to educate students at the School, we recognize that continued spread of the virus may force us to close. The School’s Administrative Team and its Program Planning Group have therefore been meeting regularly to develop instructional approaches for the possibility of a school closure.  In that event, we will continue to use our Seesaw (Lower School) and Google Classroom (Middle and Upper School) platforms for instructional delivery. Each academic division has been thinking through instructional approaches, and our teachers in the Middle and Upper School are receiving additional training through an online course from the Global Online Academy to deepen their distance teaching skills. Professional development on this topic, while not new to our community, will continue and intensify in the days ahead as a precautionary measure.

Because the situation is evolving rapidly, a decision to close school may happen quickly. All students should take necessary materials such as laptops, chargers and books, home with them each day. We will open school the morning after a closure occurs for K-5 students who do not customarily take home their school computing devices and others with other materials such as binders left behind at school.

In the event of a closure, the first day will be a catch-up day. Students will not have new assignments. They should catch up on rest, and any ongoing work. They should also establish a place to do work at home. Information will be provided to you at this time on our expectations for students as well as the assistance we hope that parents and guardians will provide.

Remote instruction will begin on day two. Students should check the Mustang Portal by 8:30 am each morning for new assignments. Teachers will have daily office hours when they will be online to answer students’ questions by email, chat, or video call.

In the event of a closure, we recognize that students may be in situations that make it difficult to learn. Some students may have trouble with the format and pace of remote learning. Some students may need to take care of younger siblings. Know that we will work with students – during the closure and after – to make sure that they feel confident in their learning. Students and parents or guardians should contact the student’s teacher or advisor for support, guidance, and advice.

If students need any help with technology, please reach out to the teacher or advisor, who will try to assist directly, or will escalate the request to our Instructional Technology group if need be.  This may include simple challenges, like accessing assignments on the Mustang Portal, as well as more significant ones like inadequate access to the Internet or the lack of a suitable device at home. We are ready to provide full support to all students and families so students can continue to learn.

Student and Family Support During a Closure
If we do close, McLean’s student and family supports will continue. A School closure prompted by a virus pandemic may be stressful for students.  Our counseling professionals are available to support your children and to answer any questions you may have. You should feel free to contact them by phone or email:

Andrew Ship, Upper School Counselor
Lauren Merikas, Upper School Counselor
Zach Gordon, Middle School Counselor
Molly Love, Middle School Coordinator for Social and Emotional Programming
Sarah Havenstein, Lower School Counselor

In addition, students’ teachers, advisors, and coordinators of learning services with whom they work regularly will proactively reach out to them for the duration of the closure.

The Greater Washington Region enjoys a globally engaged population, from which our school community benefits greatly. We cannot, and would not, wall ourselves off. We must remain vigilant to possible symptoms as we learn more about this novel coronavirus, and always show compassion to others, especially any who may become infected.

With deep gratitude,

Michael Saxenian
February 27: Important Message on COVID-19 from Head of School, Michael Saxenian

The safety of our students and our school community is our absolute highest priority.

Over the last several weeks we have begun to work with faculty and administrators in preparation for possible impacts from the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Yesterday the CDC advised American businesses to begin preparing for the possibility of a larger outbreak of COVID-19 within the United States. Like other schools, we are monitoring resources such as the CDC, the U.S. State Department, and local health agencies, to stay abreast of developments and to plan for the future. Topics under review range from whether and how to run our international trips later this month (participating families will receive specific communications on these trips), to enhancing our capacity for online instruction in case of a possible future school closure.

Protective measures already in place at the School for flu season would also be protective for COVID-19. For the last several months we have enhanced cleaning and disinfection of our facilities, especially high touch surfaces. Children with a fever should not come to school until 24 hours after symptoms pass, and all community members should wash hands often with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after nose blowing, coughing, or sneezing. The CDC provides additional guidelines for prevention of COVID-19, and if your child becomes concerned about news or rumors of the virus, you may find this article, from our partner, Common Sense Media, to be helpful.

I will keep you informed as our planning for, and understanding of, the virus further develops. Please let me know if you have any thoughts or concerns on any of these topics. Thank you for entrusting your child to McLean School.

With warm regards,


Michael Saxenian

Canceled or Postponed Events & Activities beginning March 16

Click here to view list
Spring Break Camp – Canceled
Mustang After School Activities – Postponed
Community Education Series, Jen Cort – Changed to Live Virtual event on McLean School’s FaceBook
PVAC Spring Sports – Canceled
Spring Musical
– Canceled
Grandparents & Friends Day
 – Canceled

Preventing Illness

Public health officials recommend the following steps people should take to reduce their risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections. These include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.

Resources for Families

Distance Learning Plan
McLean School’s Distance Learning Plan provides a comprehensive educational continuity approach geared to the particular strengths and needs of our students in each division.

Important Contacts
IT Office

Helpline: 802.962.0854
it.support@mcleanschool.org

Health Room
Margarita Rosado-Payne, Head Nurse
mpayne@mcleanschool.org
301.291.5692

Pat Lincoln, Nurse
plincoln@mcleanschool.org
301.478.4509

Admission Office
Cathy Patterson, Director of Enrollment
cpatterson@mcleanschool.org
301.969.8744

Taryn Tenney, Associate Director of Enrollment
Director of Financial Assistance

ttenney@mcleanschool.org
301.969.2407

Schedule for Distance Learning

Friday, March 13:
·   Regular instruction and after-school programming
·   Students take home all materials at the end of the day
·   Medication can be picked up from the Health Room

Monday, March 16 & Tuesday, March 17:
·   No classes
·   Professional training for faculty and staff
·   Students should use these days to catch up on work and to prepare work space and technology for distance learning

Wednesday, March 18 – Noon Friday March 20:
·   Teachers and students pilot distance learning

Monday, March 23 – Friday, March 27:
·   Spring Break–No Classes
·   No academic or co-curricular programs
·   Spring Break Camp and trips are cancelled
·   Deep clean of facility

Monday, March 30:
·   Faculty Professional Development Day
·   No Classes for Students

Tuesday, March 31:
·   Distance learning for all students resumes and runs through at least Thursday, April 9

Friday, April 10:
·   No Distance Learning for Passover and Good Friday

Wednesday, April 15:
·   Depending upon developments in public health and other relevant considerations, McLean will announce whether we will return to school on Monday, April 27 or whether we will extend distance learning beyond that date.

Monday, April 27:
·   School reopens, unless notified otherwise on April 15

Tips for Stay-at-Home

As we begin to settle into the reality of what social distancing and distance learning means, we may begin to see signs of strain emerging. For those that are home alone the isolation can be difficult; for those who are in homes with others, too much togetherness can be stressful. And, for others it can be challenging to balance our continuing commitments with our work and family. So what to do? Here are some suggestions:

  • Try to maintain a schedule. Maintaining a schedule does not have to be elaborate or rigid. For example, read nonfiction or fiction in the afternoon. Another idea is to schedule something physical, something spiritual/meditative, and something fun like a game, or a funny movie, or show to do every day. 
  • When not connecting virtually with family and friends or distance learning, tackle that project that you have been putting off for weeks, months, or even years. How about scanning all those pictures and making a family photo album? Clean out the garage or attic? Painting a room a new fresh and bright color? Making all those windows sparkle so that the Spring sunshine can come through? The feeling of finishing a long avoided project is a great pick me up. 
  • Develop healthy habits. Boredom can lead to overeating or lead many of us to seek comfort foods which tend to be rather unhealthy. Now is a great time to try some new healthy recipes to nourish your body. Here is a website skinnytaste.com to try out. This website has a healthy version of virtually everything from tacos to lasagna. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed and your family will never know that you made their favorite meal much healthier! Why not eat outdoors, or set up a picnic in the living room. Go for a daily walk together. There are also lots of YouTube exercise videos you can do at home and no one will see just how bad you are at Zumba!
  • Reach out to others that may be lonely. There are many platforms you can use, from Facetime and Zoom to Skype. Take a walk and ring your neighbor’s doorbell and have a conversation from a distance of at least six feet. Don’t forget to check on your elderly neighbors and offer to help them with grocery shopping.  

Solidarity in social distancing!

Ways to Help Your Community

Distance Learning Activities for Students to Help Their Communities

During times like these, most of us seek to relieve the pain and suffering of others. As a nurse, that is my duty. I have been looking for ways to help my community during this pandemic. While I realize our lives can be hectic with juggling our family and school responsibilities, below are some suggestions you can utilize to aid your community. I have included things you can do both from home and outside the home. Keep in mind, all these activities are safe to do as long as you follow proper precautions and observe social distancing protocol.

Sew Facial Masks for Others

Do you know how to sew? If the answer is yes then why not sew some desperately needed face masks. Joann Fabric & Craft Stores are offering free mask making kits with instructions. You can find information here about getting the kits. 

Help Clean Up

Many of our streams, creeks, and trails are littered with trash and junk. Why not get outside and do a little cleaning up when you’re not distance learning? This can easily be done without getting close to others. REI has a great guide on helping clean up by clicking here.

Deliver Meals to Those in Need

Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteers to help deliver meals. If you have the time and want to get out of the house to help those in need, check out their website for more information. 

Make Sandwiches for a Good Cause

Shepard’s Table has never once missed serving meals in the 37 years they have been in operation. They are looking for volunteers to paint the dining room (currently not in use). This would all be done using proper protective equipment and social distancing methods. Shepard’s Table is always in need of community donated sandwiches, as well as face masks (either homemade or purchased ones). Have you thought about organizing a virtual Sandwich Making Happy Hour with your friends or colleagues to help Shepard’s Table? Eat, drink, be merry, and make sandwiches!  

Be the Best Neighbor You Can Be

If you want to be able to directly help someone in your neighborhood you can join Nextdoor. Once you join, you will be asked for information on where you live and then begin receiving notifications from your neighborhood. Add yourself to the “help map” or view the help map and see what your neighbors are offering to help with – grocery shopping, picking up prescription medication, etc. Specify what you are willing to volunteer for and start helping others when your distance learning lessons are complete for the day.

 

Solidarity in social distancing.

#Restructuring
By Former McLean Middle School Counselor Julie Baron, LCSW-C

Week 1 of Corona Virus shut down was for many a welcome relief of daily responsibilities and tasks. For teens especially, staying up late, sleeping in, chatting with friends, and plugging into screens of choice became the rhythm. By week 2 parents started getting frustrated at this passive state and the many teens I spoke with were feeling bored, restless, and unproductive (though still enjoying sleeping in). As we contemplate continued physical school closures for the foreseeable weeks ahead, it’s time to implement restructuring.

Some schools have been better than others at providing online learning opportunities. The resources range from regular daily school schedule video classrooms (some private schools), to a few virtual lessons (either daily or weekly) with assignments to be completed independently, to nothing at all (public schools at least in our area have yet to operationalize what distance learning looks like). Regardless, all of us are coping with a mostly unfamiliar state….a lot more time on our hands.

Click here to read the full article.

Physical Education Home Workouts

Lower School Physical Education Home Workouts
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8

Middle School Physical Education Home Workouts
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8

Upper School Physical Education Home Workouts
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8

Free Virtual Concerts for Families
CultureNet Expands Its Classroom Offerings To Provide Free Virtual Concerts
Click here to find out more information to watch the shows.

DC, Maryland & Virginia Kids Can Get Free Meals During the COVID-19 Shutdown

Washington, DC

DC Public Schools

They will be providing meals for all students every weekday from Monday, March 16 – Tuesday, March 31 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at these locations.

Maryland

Montgomery County Public Schools

Division of Food and Nutrition Services will provide free meals to children from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm in 20 community locations in a method similar to their Summer Feeding program.

Click here for all the locations including Elementary Schools, Middle Schools, High Schools, Mobile Locations and Bus Distribution.

Prince George’s County Schools

They will provide “grab and go” lunches at regional locations from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Monday through Friday during the closure. Students may get a sack lunch at one of the following locations.

Virginia

Alexandria City Public Schools

They will be providing emergency meals at no cost for any child under 18 and any family who needs it starting Monday, March 16. Families can get food two ways:

  • Individual Meals to Go: Any child between the ages of 2 and 18, whether or not they are eligible for Free or Reduced Price Meals, can pick up a meal to go in a bag by stopping by the Chinquapin Drive side of T.C. Williams High School (door 14) between 8:00 am – 1:00 pm You do not need to fill out any forms to pick up a meal-to-go.
  • Family Meal Packs: You can order a family meal pack online and pick it up at the drive through pick-up point outside Chinquapin Recreation Center (Chinquapin Drive side of T.C. Williams High School, door 14) between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m the following day. If transportation is an issue, please remember to check the box to request meal delivery. Fill out the form to request a family meal pack by clicking HERE.

Arlington Public Schools 

They will provide free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches starting March 16 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Monday-Friday at these sites.

These meals will be free to any child aged 2 to 18. The child must be present to receive the meals; no meals will be given to parents without the child present.

Fairfax County Schools

They will serve breakfast and lunch at specific locations, at no cost to students, with adult lunches available for purchase for $2. Breakfast will be available from 8:00 am – 10:30 am and lunch will be available from 10:30 am – 2:00 pm Monday through Friday at the following locations:

Get the Facts on Coronavirus with Dr. Peter Lin

Information about the coronavirus outbreak is spreading fast, but what do we actually know about the illness? CBC News medical contributor and family physician Dr. Peter Lin breaks down the facts about what it is, where it came from, how it spreads and what you can do to protect yourself.

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus

Kids, this comic is for you.

It’s based on a radio story that NPR education reporter Cory Turner did. He asked some experts what kids might want to know about the new coronavirus discovered in China.

To make this comic, we’ve used his interviews with Tara Powell at the University of Illinois School of Social Work, Joy Osofsky at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and Krystal Lewis at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Print and fold a zine version of this comic here. Here are directions on how to fold it.

panel 1

Malaka Gharib/ NPR

panel 2

Malaka Gharib/ NPR

panel 3

Malaka Gharib/ NPR

panel 4

Malaka Gharib/ NPR

panel 5

Malaka Gharib/ NPR

panel 6

Malaka Gharib/ NPR

Malaka Gharib is an NPR editor and the author and illustrator of I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoirabout being first-generation Filipino Egyptian American.

Coronavirus FAQ

What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 70 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). Click here to read more about the virus and its history from the CDC.

What are the symptoms?

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*

How can I prevent from getting COVID-19?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website

For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.

Source and More Information

When should I seek testing for COVID-19?

Call your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

Here is more information from the CDC about testing.

Source and More FAQ from the CDC