As you are all aware at this point, Governor Cuomo has declared a State of Emergency given the cases of Coronavirus that have been confirmed in New York State. As of this date, Tiegerman Schools has not been informed by the Department of Health of any individuals that have tested positive for Coronavirus. We are continuing to manage our facilities and buildings given preventative measures to reduce the chance of exposure to the virus. We have implemented our Pandemic Plan, and we want to assure all of you that we are part of a healthcare network with other schools and the New York State Department of Health, the New York City Department of Health and the Nassau County Department of Health concerning updates on the status of the virus within our communities. We also have an extensive plan in place to deal with the possibility that there will be a school closure for our children and families.
We have also received additional guidance from the New York State Education Department which provides direction in the case of a confirmed individual who has been in contact with either a staff member and/or a student. Tiegerman Schools, along with other educational institutions, has been directed to close for 24 hours in order to provide appropriate management of the building and/or facility for cleaning and risk assessment for a longer period of closure. It is important to understand that the Department of Health remains the lead agency for generating and enforcing any decisions concerning closure and quarantine.
1. School Planning: To limit the exposure of our children and staff, we will reschedule any activities that involve large group exercises such as travel training and/or events. We are reviewing all of our upcoming events in school in particular to provide alternatives to these educational experiences. Please note that our Food and Wine Annual Event has been rescheduled, and we will provide you with the exact date in May for that event. Tiegerman Schools engages in extensive cleaning protocols that meet the State’s guidance requirements. Additional hand sanitizers and dispensers have been installed in all high traffic areas in all of our buildings and in classrooms.
2. Remote Learning Instruction: Administrative Teams have been charged with the task of developing and implementing a Remote Learning Program for our students. This is a very complex process, given the fact that many of our families do not have emails and computers at home. In the event of a school closure, Administrative Teams have been directed to send instructional materials home to families so that educational programming can be continued within the home. The educational staff will also be preparing to develop a networking schedule to provide parents with direction and instruction so that they can appropriately utilize the materials which have been sent and/or emailed to the home.
3. Preventative Closures: This issue has been under consideration by the New York State Department of Health which has indicated that preemptive closures are only effective in preventing the spread of illness if they are implemented for an entire region and for longer time durations (i.e., such as multiple weeks). These closures can only be initiated by a County or a State. The guidance document which was issued by New York State on 3/9/2020 does not include preventative steps beyond program planning and facility management.
4. We will continue to network with our families to provide updated information and we encourage all of our families to contact us with specific concerns and/or family-based issues. Please do not rely on social media for information on the Coronavirus. There are multiple credible sources of information that can be accessed from the CDC: Center for Disease Control, NYS DOH: New York State Department of Health and/or NCHD: Nassau County Health Department. Information concerning school closure and/or changes to school programming will come directly from Tiegerman’s Administration.
5. We have been directed by all Health Department agencies that children who present with flu/virus-like symptoms should not remain in school. If your child exhibits these symptoms, you will be required to pick him/her up from school immediately. Your child will not be permitted to return home on the school bus. In addition, you must obtain medical clearance to return to school from your physician and/or medical practitioner. Finally, do not send your child to school if he or she is sick; it presents a health hazard to other children and staff members in our building.
6. We have been meeting with Administrative Staff members on a daily basis concerning educational and instructional issues that present challenges to our daily operation. I would like to acknowledge and applaud the efforts of the Administrative Teams in each of our buildings for their hard work and extraordinary dedication to the children and families that we serve at Tiegerman Schools. I know how stressful this is for our parents and teachers. I want to assure all of you that we will work together and manage this crisis as we have in the past.
Dr. Ellenmorris Tiegerman, CEO
Dr. Christine Radziewicz, COO
Dr. Jeremy Tiegerman, Educational Director