March 6, 2020
Dear Bullis Community,
I want to update my previous letter from earlier this week. Please see additional details for those who have upcoming international travel plans, especially in light of the three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery County.
- Director of Facilities, Bob Butland, ordered and has on hand antiviral wipes. They will be used on tables in the Dining Hall as described in my earlier email, and applied to one table at a time, rather than wiping with cloths used for general cleaning.
- Students need to clean their tables at the end of their lunch sessions, and facilities will then assist in wiping the tables down.
- Serving protocols in the Dining Hall will continue as detailed earlier this week.
- Clorox wipes will be used in the Athletic Center workout rooms to wipe shared equipment, especially handles and bars, etc.
- Both of our cleaning companies have had thorough orientation and training in preventative measures. Currently, they are making sure to wipe doorknobs and desktops in classrooms and offices, and external keypads.
- Facilities has special fogging bombs that are typically used in hospital surgical rooms if there is a need to disinfect the school to a greater degree.
- We are developing plans to handle a variety of different scenarios. Part of the plan is to use the March 13th delayed opening to offer technology training to staff to support remote learning.
We are taking precautionary measures to protect our Bullis community—students, staff, and families—as well as the efficacy of our day to day operations. We are monitoring every aspect of developing situations as closely and carefully as possible. At this time, we are also monitoring instances of household members who travel outside the country—however, only those in the Bullis community who are directly traveling will be required to quarantine themselves. Please note that in this constantly changing situation, conditions may require us to update our policies with little or no notice.
If your international travel is not absolutely necessary at this time, we encourage you to reconsider plans in order to minimize exposure to yourself, your family, coworkers, and students. The nation and the world are experiencing unique and unfortunate circumstances right now. This is possibly an unsafe time to travel, certainly to some locations, and a good time to assess how you might help prevent the spread of COVID-19, an unusually fast-moving illness.
Staff is closely monitoring scheduled Bullis sponsored trips and making determinations as to whether the trip will be permitted to occur. The primary factor influencing this decision is the location of the trip and the safety and welfare of our students.
Potential School Closing Decisions and How You Can Prepare
The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority and drives our decision-making on closing school. Much as you would for winter weather events, I encourage you to think about your family's plans in case of an unplanned school closing, such as arranging emergency child care or discussing telework options with your employer. A school closing is not ideal; however, it is a possibility if deemed necessary to protect the safety of our students and staff. As far as continuing education, we have successfully conducted online snow days in the past and we are currently preparing plans as well as additional support and teacher training.
Our primary objective at Bullis is to protect and keep our students and members of our community safe. Please follow this link for information and updates from the Maryland Department of Health. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. The wellbeing of everyone at Bullis is as paramount as the wellbeing of our families and of the world.
Gerald L. Boarman, Ed.D.