EBGIS Coronavirus Update
Dear EBGIS Families,
While this has been an immensely challenging time for everyone, we are thankful for how our community has come together to ensure that our children’s education continues without interruption. In the space of a week, teachers, students and families alike have adapted quickly to the Remote Learning Program. We are monitoring what other schools are (or are not) offering and are proud to say that our program is among those leading the way. We will continue to fine-tune and improve our program as we strive to provide the best support we can under the circumstances for the entire EBGIS community.
When can we return to campus?
At the moment, the answer is unclear. Public school districts have just extended their school closure until May 1. This was a decision by the school districts and not an order by public health departments. It applies to public schools only. The county-wide shelter-in-place order is currently still set to expire on April 7. It may be extended but no decision has been made yet. The governor’s state-wide stay-at-home order is in place until further notice and would supersede any county decision. Authorities are assessing the situation on an ongoing basis and may revisit the state-wide order including its scope and time frame. Based on what we know right now, we are not permitted to return to campus before April 7 and we may not be permitted to return for some time after that depending on what the governor decides. The Alameda County Public Health Department has published a useful list of frequently asked questions regarding the county- and state-wide orders.
What does the stay-at-home order mean for schools?
Under the state-wide order, we and other schools are not permitted to provide in-person instruction. We are, of course, offering our Remote Learning Program until we are permitted to resume in-person classes.
What does the stay-at-home order mean for childcare?
Under the state-wide order, we may only provide in-person childcare to children whose parents require it to perform “essential” work. The categories of work that qualify as “essential” are described here, and include a variety of jobs in the health, food, transportation, information technology, government, finance and manufacturing sectors, among others. As we have previously communicated, we are offering emergency childcare between 8am and 2pm for qualifying families who depend on it. If this applies to your family, please let us know by Friday, March 27 via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alameda County Public Health Department issued specific guidelines for childcare programs that we will comply with, in addition to the stricter conditions under the state-wide order. In accordance with those guidelines, any emergency childcare is to be provided in stable groups of twelve or fewer children; children are not to switch between groups; multiple groups are not to share rooms; and teachers are not to move from group to group.
General infection control measures will also be maintained, including strict enforcement of our policies requiring sick children and adults to stay at home. Families are, of course, expected to continue complying with the stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines.
What about Extended Day?
For the time being we are not able to offer Extended Day program nor enrichment classes. We will not charge fees for Extended Day during the time the program is not operating. Fees for enrichment classes will be adjusted to account for canceled classes.
The coronavirus situation remains in flux and the current response by health and government agencies is subject to reassessment. We will continue to monitor developments and provide updates as the situation evolves.
Wishing all of you good health,
Your EBGIS Team
Dear EBGIS Community,
As you know, many public school districts and a growing number of private schools have announced complete closures due to the evolving coronavirus situation. At EBGIS we have been monitoring and evaluating the situation thoroughly, including through telephone consultations with Alameda County’s Public Health Officer, and have carefully considered guidance from public health authorities, health risk assessments and research data. We have also considered the considerations guiding our peer institutions and have, as always, been listening to the concerns of families and faculty within the EBGIS community.
Based on these factors, we decided today that we will not continue regular operations starting Monday, March 16. Starting Wednesday, March 18, we will be open on a limited basis to provide emergency care and supervision for those of our families who are most in need of our support. We will provide distance learning for students remaining at home.
We believe that a complete closure of EBGIS would not strike the right balance between our responsibility to protect the health and address the concerns of families and staff, and our responsibility toward those of our families who would suffer significant personal and economic hardship as a result of a complete closure. We emphasize that complete school closures are also not recommended by public health agencies under current circumstances (including the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the California Department of Public Health, and the Alameda County Public Health Department).
We ask for your cooperation and goodwill as we implement the following procedures:
1. We will be closed this coming Monday and Tuesday to allow faculty and staff to prepare our distance learning program and our staffing schedule during the time of reduced operations.
2. Beginning Wednesday, March 18, EBGIS will be open on a limited basis to provide emergency care and supervision for those of our families who are most in need of our support.
- If you are able to do so without hardship, we urge you to keep your child at home. For example, please do not send your child to school if you have the ability to arrange for alternate childcare. To mitigate the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19 we will operate on a limited basis to provide emergency care for those families who are most in need.
- This includes reduced daily staffing and a rotation of teachers on campus, while others will work remotely.
- Like most of us, many of our teachers are concerned about their own health and the health of those close to them. They nonetheless embrace their responsibility to support families in our community who rely on EBGIS for childcare. Please help us maintain this ability to provide support to those who truly need it by keeping your children at home if you can.
- If you do foresee needing to send your child to school, please inform us by email no later than Sunday night (March 13). Please specify the days and times you require care.
- We will continue to implement recommended preventative measures on campus, such as reinforcing proper handwashing practices; working to ensure the cleanliness of frequently touched surfaces; and sharing prevention information with students, families, and staff.
3. Do not send your child to school if he/she feels sick, especially if he/she has respiratory symptoms (coughing or sore throat) or a fever.
- Teachers will be instructed not to allow children showing any such symptoms to participate in the limited program at school.
4. We will provide distance learning for all students.
- We will provide distance learning for all students on the same basis, whether they are at home or are physically on campus. Children who need to be on campus in accordance with the guidelines above will participate in the same distance learning programs using the same technologies as those who are participating from home. Supervision will be provided but typically not by the child’s grade or subject matter teacher. Students learning remotely will not be disadvantaged in any way.
- We will provide detailed information on our distance learning program and how your child can access materials and participate in class projects from home. Your child may have brought home workbooks and other materials today. Materials not yet at home can be picked up at school in the next few days.
- Preschool and kindergarten children who are in school will be provided supervision by Early Childhood faculty and age-appropriate activities and materials.
5. Enrichment programs will not take place and Extended Day hours may be reduced
- We will make every effort to provide extended day care for those in need, but hours may be reduced.
- Enrichment classes will not take place.
- There will not be other programs on campus at this time (in particular, ECDC and the Girls Chorus will not be present).
We will provide additional guidelines on practices we will ask you to follow to maintain social distancing at drop-off and pick-up.
This operational schedule will remain in place until further notice as we regularly reassess the situation.
These are challenging times for all of us. We are tremendously proud of and grateful to our faculty and staff who have met this immense challenge with courage, thoughtfulness and – above all – profound concern for our students and families. After thorough discussion among the entire EBGIS team, we decided not to simply shut down, leaving families in the lurch, but to craft a solution that is right for our community.
Your EBGIS Team
- Governor Newsom's "Stay at Home" Order (March 19, 2020)
- Governor's Stay at Home Order FAQs
- List of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers (March 22, 2020)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Coronavirus (COVID-19) main page
- CDC: Considerations for School Closures
- California Department of Public Health (CDPH): COVID-19 Updates
- CDPH: School Guidance on Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 (March 7, 2020)
- Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) - Updated Shelter at Home Order (March 31, 2020)
- ACPHD - FAQs About Shelter at Home Order (March 31, 2020)
- ACPHD - Guidance for Child Care and Preschool Programs (March 19, 2020)
- ACPHD - Order to Shelter in Place (March 16, 2020)
- ACPHD: Coronavirus (COVID-19) main page
- ACPHD: Guidance for Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools (March 6, 2020)
- ACPHD: Statement on School Dismissals (March 13, 2020)