While we obviously feel that coming to school and being part of a real-time, in-person community is critical for social, emotional and cognitive development, the health and safety of our community is our first priority.
In Lower School, we are using the SeeSaw family app, which some of you may be familiar with already--it’s a platform for sharing content in which teachers, students, and families can review work (photos, drawings, writing, etc.) and comment on it. Most Middle and Upper School students are already familiar with sharing content in Google and on MyBUCKLEY. Additionally, teachers in those divisions teachers are using Zoom conferencing, which allows for real-time “classroom” instruction and conversation to complement the asynchronous applications already in use. We have also created daily schedules for classes and engaging activities that will be developmentally appropriate and support meaningful learning.
Our Health Office is well-versed in these topics and our school nurse Christine Smolyanskiy welcomes any and all questions. She is in regular contact with our liaison at the Los Angeles Department of Public Health and is closely monitoring all health and travel advisories.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of thorough hand-washing with soap and water. We repeatedly hear from medical professionals and the CDC that wearing a mask is not recommended as a preventative measure. They are only recommended by the CDC for healthcare workers and those who have active coronavirus. They can provide a false sense of security and when not removed properly can spread germs rather than block them.
In terms of the virus’s impact on the social and emotional well-being of our community, this article by child development and behavior specialist Betsy Brown Braun offers good advice for framing the topic for young children. In a nutshell, she advises not to be afraid to discuss the topic with your child at any age -- better you get to them first! Hearing the facts about germs, hygiene, and immunity can address anxiety and arm them with real information!