I hope that being at home with your family is going well for you. It is a big transition, and I’m sure we are all having some trying moments! I’m grateful that to the best of my knowledge, no one in our NHS school community has tested positive or fallen ill to COVID-19. That is good news! Please do let us know if you or someone in your family has tested positive. As always, all medical information will be kept confidential.
The faculty and I have been meeting daily, and the departments have been meeting daily to evaluate how remote learning is going for NHS. We have received a lot of positive feedback from students and families. Families have said that they appreciate the structure we are providing to support their child’s learning and the personal attention that we are giving to their child’s needs. We know that there have been struggles: a few students are having trouble logging on to Schoology, some are overwhelmed with understanding the tasks, and find it difficult. For the most part, however, the majority of our students are doing a great job, asking for help when they need it, and persevering.
As a result of the feedback that we have gathered over this first week, we are making some adjustments to our on-line learning program for the upcoming week. We are introducing more “Zoom” classes led by specific teachers at specific times, during which students will meet together with their teacher and their classmates. Teachers will “host” the class, give students some time to interact with each other, and then present the day’s lesson and activities. Teachers will help students during the remainder of the class. We hope that the “Zoom” classroom environment will provide even more structure and support to your child’s learning day.
Your child will check in to each class in Schoology every day, M-F, answer the question provided by the teacher and respond to one other classmate (in each class). Your child will click on the “Zoom” link at the top of each class on the day and time the “Zoom” class is scheduled. Your child will meet with the teacher during office hours, via “Zoom” to ask questions and get extra help. Your child will turn in daily assignments as soon as possible, with Sunday still being the final deadline. Please ask the teacher if you have questions. Our goal is to for your child to be increasingly independent with the on-line learning experience.
It’s hard to imagine that just a few short weeks ago we heard about the first life lost in Washington State as a result of COVID-19. Now we are hearing about dozens in our state, hundreds in our country, and almost 10,000 globally. Our lives are changing rapidly every day, as we see our local governments, the CDC, and the WHO responding to mitigate and slow the transmission of the virus. We see these agencies reaching out to us as and to our healthcare providers trying to help us prepare.
The same principles of personal hygiene and protection apply, along with social distancing, but the most noticeable change is that we can no longer gather together in restaurants or events. This is difficult for adults and children.
To limit the spread of COVID-19, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Health Officer Jeff Duchin announced a new Local Health Order that directed public health actions effective Monday, March 16.
Under the order, events include: community, civic, public, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities. I encourage you to follow the order and help slow the transmission of the virus.
I also encourage you to plan now so that you can be ready in case many people are sick and can’t go to work. Planning and preparing your household in case of illness is a proactive step. Make sure that you have a 30-day supply of any prescription medications needed. Talk to your family, and plan ways to care for those who may be at greater risk, those who are elderly, or those have underlying health conditions. Talk to your neighbors, learn about their emergency plans, and see how you might be able to help each other. Make an emergency contact list. Identify a specific room to care for someone in your family who may need to be isolated away from the rest of your family. Learn about organizations in your community that may have resources and may provide help in case you and your family are quarantined.
Your workplace should be making plans too. Ask about how your workplace can still operate if many workers are out sick or if they need to stay home to care of their family members.
Do your part to prevent discrimination. COVID-19 is not connected to any race, ethnicity, or nationality. Misinformation creates fear, harms people, and makes it harder to help people stay healthy.
Keep washing your hands!
Marla L. Veliz
Admin March 21st, 2020
Posted In: School News
Dear NHS Families and Friends,
New Horizon School has transitioned to on-line learning to include daily check-ins with teachers, assignments, chats, video conferencing, and a variety of other learning activities on several digital formats: Schoology, ALEKS, Kurzweil 3000, Zoom, and others. Please contact the teacher if you have any questions about assignments or activities.
We are reaching out to all of our school district representatives and other organizations to extend the invitation to continue all previously scheduled meetings via Zoom video conferencing. If you have a meeting on your calendar that was previously scheduled, I will be contacting you to transition the meeting to an on-line format. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
During this unusual time, we may feel some stress related to COVID-19. We may be fearful or feel anxious which can cause some stress. Coping with this stress together can help us become a stronger school community!
Fear and anxiety about an infectious disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in both adults and children. Coping with stress together will help you, the people you care about, and your community be stronger. Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include worry about your own health and the health of your family, changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty focusing, difficulty sleeping, or a worsening of chronic health problems.
As parents and educators, we are always busy taking care of others. At this time, it’s important to take care of ourselves as well. Be sure to take breaks from watching the news; use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, stretching, or meditating; and try to eat healthy meals, unwind, and connect with your support people.
If your child is showing signs of stress, provide reassurance, let him/her know that they are safe and that it is OK to feel upset. Limit exposure to the news. Continue your family’s regular routines if possible and make time for relaxing and fun activities.
Reach out to us if you need support.
Marla L. Veliz
Marla L. Veliz, Administrator
New Horizon School
1111 S. Carr Rd.
Renton, WA 98055
Admin March 15th, 2020
Posted In: School News
March 12, 2020
Dear NHS Families,
I want to again reassure you that we have no reports of presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19. All of our staff and faculty have been present at school and healthy, and although a few students have been absent this week, they appear to be home with mild cold symptoms only. Today we implemented the CDC’s new recommendation for schools by checking temperatures and screening for COVID-19 symptoms with every staff member, student, and visitor on campus, and everyone is healthy!
As I’m sure you are all aware, the COVID-19 situation in King County and Washington State is changing daily, and new information is being shared very frequently. Public health officials announced yesterday that there is an increasing risk to individuals in our larger community, and communities are now required to use mitigation strategies to slow the transition of COVID-19.
The NHS staff members have worked incredibly hard over the past few weeks to follow the public health department’s request for schools to stay open. Despite this effort, Governor Inslee has chosen to close public and private schools in the area. The campus will be closed March 13th – April 27th, and possibly longer. I will monitor information and reevaluate during this time, and I will notify you immediately if there is a decision to close school for a longer period of time.
We are implementing our COVID-19 emergency plan, and we will be initiating on-line learning tomorrow, March 13th. Please be sure that your student logs on to Schoology every weekday during this campus closure. All teaching and learning will take place remotely, attendance will be taken, assignments will be due, teachers will grade assignments, and report grades throughout this time.
Please watch for emails from me throughout our campus closure, as I will be monitoring the situation in the community and updating you with regard to our on-line instruction as well as any potential changes to our date of re-opening.
I encourage you to continue personal protective measures within your household: promote handwashing, avoid touching your face, avoid physical contact with others, cover coughs and sneezes, practice social distancing, and avoid large gatherings in the community.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all NHS staff and faculty for the hard work and effort they have put into preparing for our on-line instruction platform and resources. I also want to thank you, our NHS families, for your patience and understanding.
The health, safety, and well-being of students, families, and staff is always my highest priority.
Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Marla L. Veliz
Admin March 13th, 2020
Posted In: School News