A Parent’s Plea To Keep Schools Open!
November 26, 2020
The following letter, written by a TSF parent to the Montco Board of Health, outlines the facts that a “one size fits all” approach doesn’t lend credit for those who have gone above and beyond to make face to face instruction work. The author requested to remain anonymous however feels there are many with similar views and we wanted to share this with you.
Subject: Appeal Decision to Close Schools
Dear Board Members,
I respectfully request a reconsideration of today’s decision to close all schools. This decision will be a severe detriment to not only my children, ages 3 and 5, but also to our school and teachers who have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of our children, teachers, and staff. Twin Spring Farm Camp and Day School (TSF), located on Butler Pike in Ambler, has instituted strict protocols regarding attendance. I’ve included an overview below for your reference, though this list is not exhaustive of the measures our school has taken:
- We receive a daily health screen each morning in carline which includes questions for parents regarding exposure to persons diagnosed with COVID, recent travel, symptoms, and a temperature scan of each student. The health screen questions must be passed and each student must have temperature below 99.0 degrees in order to be allowed to exit the car each and every day.
- Each student above the age of 2 wears a mask at all times when indoors and when outside where proper distancing cannot be maintained.
- Stairways, sidewalks, and carline are all one-way and clearly labeled.
- Schedules are made to minimize cross-traffic between classes.
- Playgrounds are assigned daily such that only one classroom is allowed per playground per day. Playgrounds are entirely sanitized following their use using CDC approved disinfectant fogging.
- Tables and other outside areas are assigned per classroom and are sanitized daily.
- Floor markers are used to maintain social distancing between students during circle time.
- Students use hand sanitizers before beginning an activity and when leaving an activity.
- Desks and surfaces will be sanitized during the day.
- Each student’s desk is equipped with clear dividers to aid in separation between students.
- Classrooms and bathrooms are cleaned and sanitized daily.
- No outside individuals are permitted access to any school buildings at any time, including parents.
- The on-site nurse is available at all times for evaluation of any student exhibiting symptoms, and is empowered to send students home at their discretion.
Since our children returned to TSF in early July, there has been ONE positive case of COVID, not transmitted through school or (to my knowledge) to any other students or staff. In this case, TSF took swift action to notify the entire school population and in coordination with the Montgomery County Department of Health, closed the classroom of the infected (asymptomatic) student for 14 days and required all children and staff of this classroom to quarantine at home during this time.
TSF has also proactively contacted all parents to advise of the risks of gathering during the Thanksgiving holiday and encouraged parents to share their travel plans. They have also recommended quarantining for 14 days after return from travel to high risk areas in order to limit the risk to other students and staff upon return to school after the holiday.
The mandate to close all schools directly disregards the intense level of planning and consideration TSF has undertaken to ensure it remains a safe, COVID-free environment for our children and staff. We should be holding up institutions such as TSF as exemplars within our community instead of punishing them for poor choices made by others.
A TSF parent voicing the view of many!