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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Fay School is tracking news and information about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Houston, TX. We ask that all Fay Families check this page for updates on The Fay School's proactive response and action steps to mitigate health risks from  COVID-19. 


 
Archived Fay Communications on COVID-19​
Community Email: April 30, 2020

Dear Fay Family,

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, The Fay School relies on tuition-revenue and philanthropy to annually support your child’s education and leadership development through emotional intelligence. Schools and other organizations across the world have implemented or will implement measures to alleviate the financial strain for their families. Fay is no different. Given the range of offerings on the independent school landscape and myriad other variables, relief measures taken at Fay may not make sense at another school and vice versa. As a commitment to support Fay Families and ensure that their child continues to learn and develop in Houston’s premier early childhood and elementary school, we have implemented the following relief measures: 

  • Fay has re-directed the proceeds from our Secret Garden Online Auction, a part of our annual Gala celebration, to expand the amount of Tuition Assistance available to families facing economic hardship. To the extent any Fay family could use help with next year’s tuition, we urge them to consider applying for Tuition Assistance. If you think you will have difficulty making your tuition payment, please contact the Business Office at controller@thefayschool.org to inquire about Tuition Assistance.
  • Fay has offered four additional weeks of remote learning during June at no cost for current families. This significant financial investment by the school is being offered to extend the value of your tuition dollars and is characteristic of Fay’s commitment to putting your child first.  Programming will be based on the availability of teachers, whose annual commitment to the school typically ends in May.
  • Fay has disbursed prorated refunds of fees for Stay at Fay, Early Day at Fay, and After School Activity programs where the value did not reasonably translate to a remote platform.
  • Fay is now offering a new bi-monthly payment plan to help Families spread out 2020-2021 tuition payments.  This option is reflected in your most recent tuition invoice and there is no additional cost for the new bi-monthly plan. As with the quarterly plan, your invoice will include tuition refund insurance. If you would like to switch to the new plan, we ask that you contact the Business Office at controller@thefayschool.org by Friday, May 8, to allow for prompt processing without causing a delay in payment.

Fay will do our part, to the best of our ability, to offer and provide financial support to families during this time of economic disruption. Nothing is more important to Fay than to continue to deliberately build and educate the next generation of leaders for our world.

Sincerely,

Morgan B. Scoville, M. Ed.

Community Email: April 23, 2020

Dear Fay Family,

All of us care deeply about The Fay School, a school “where children come first.”
 
We miss seeing your child on campus each day as we continue to make decisions with them as our primary focus.  Please continue to carefully read each broadcast email to stay engaged and learn how Fay is planning for your child’s future. To the extent any family could use financial assistance for the 2020-2021 school year, as communicated in the previous two Fay Flyers, we urge them to consider applying for Tuition Assistance. This resource is meant specifically to help families facing economic hardship.  Also, if you have not already done so, please submit your responses to the Academic Continuity Plan Survey or submit new feedback through the Feedback Form accessed through My Portal. The more we can streamline responses regarding concerns many parents share, the more our time can free up to best manage and plan for the complexities this pandemic has created for the school world.
 
Fay has been at the forefront of dealing with this pandemic’s impact on educating your child. We will continue to lead and innovate.  We will be proactive and do our levelheaded best to communicate transparently with you.  Fay will communicate plans as and when they are finalized. 
 
Please know that the Board of Trustees, which includes current and former parents who also have significant institutional knowledge, has been working closely with our Head of School and the Leadership Team. Fay is proceeding in a manner consistent with the approach our peer schools are undertaking, though Fay has continued to lead.
 
Given all the unknowns, at this time, we simply cannot and will not determine the academic structure or leadership development programming for all our children this Fall. With that said, we can share with you that our current planning and thinking have centered around the following three areas: completing this school year; scenario planning for this Fall; and transitioning to the 2020-21 academic year.

  • Completing this school year in a way that achieves the best student-learning outcomes for your child is our first priority. This requires continuously, carefully, and deliberately adapting our Academic Continuity Plan (ACP). Questioning the long-term viability of an initial remote learning offering is not unique to Fay. While the ACP began as a crisis contingency plan, it is evolving into a viable long-term plan as it includes subtle and constant innovation on a daily basis. As early as last week, we began piloting enhancements and evaluating their broader impact. One example is the use of smaller groups on Zoom, a request that came directly from ACP Survey feedback. In a normal year, cutting-edge pedagogy takes much longer than a few weeks to properly implement. Moving to remote instruction in a matter of days was a colossal shift in pedagogy, and we began slowly with the mantra “less is more.” We expect to, and will continue to, adapt and improve as we learn. As an affirmation of our commitment to the education and leadership development of your child, Fay will offer four additional weeks of remote learning during the month of June at no cost for current families. This will come at significant financial cost to the school and the programming will be based on the availability of teachers, whose annual employment otherwise ends in May. We will share additional details of this plan in the coming weeks.  We want each of you to know that Fay is doing this because we care deeply for all of those in our community, especially the wonderful children who call our campus home. The ACP Survey confirmed that most children will benefit, at least for an additional month, from our remote learning because it provides them with some sense of normalcy and routine.
  • Fay is actively analyzing three scenarios for this Fall. Each comes with its own challenges and opportunities. While we join you in craving for certainty, no school knows what August or September will definitively look like from our late-April vantage point. Each of these three scenarios outlined below concludes with your child returning in-person to the campus and the school that we all love. In each of the subsequent scenarios, we will be following strict social distancing and cleanliness procedures and guidelines.
    • The first scenario is to resume in-person learning and leadership development through emotional intelligence as normally scheduled in August. From a timing standpoint, we are hopeful that in about four months we enjoy the realization of this scenario. When this happens, we will immediately begin with formative assessments. These are assessments that we conduct with your child at the beginning of every year to identify areas for their growth. We will then adjust our curriculum to meet the needs of your child.
    • The second scenario is to open fully remotely in August with the benefit of nearly four months’ worth of aggregate enhancements made to our ACP. Having operated for only four weeks within the new pedagogy of remote learning, an academic plan put forth today about August will not resemble future iterations. At the moment, your child’s long-term education is most benefited by Fay correctly taking the steps in front of us right now instead of trying to script steps that are months out. This second scenario concludes at some point in the Fall when your child returns to our green and outdoor-oriented campus for in-person learning and leadership development. This conclusion is a significant advantage for your child after the increase in time spent indoors and in front of a screen.
    • The third scenario would be to open the school year in August as a combination of the first two scenarios. This scenario is the hardest for which to plan because of all the variables it invites. Having firm enrollment numbers will further inform decision-making and limit these variables.
  • Transitioning from this school year to the 2020-2021 school year with maximum support will take extra care as your child begins a new grade level with a different combination of classmates, regardless of scenario. Even though your child is resilient, we all need to be ready to help them process their experiences while living through the months of this pandemic.

We will implement strict social distancing and cleanliness guidelines and procedures to protect your child and our staff when we return to Fay’s campus. Having firm enrollment numbers will help us best implement these current guidelines and procedures, and they will be revised as needed:

  • Position desks no less than 6 ft. apart.
  • Children to play in small groups of three to five from the same classroom.
  • Handwashing and hygiene every two hours.
  • Staff members to wash high touch areas and surfaces (toys/knobs/school supplies/tables/desks) at least twice daily. Disinfecting of toilets must be done after each use.
  • Food will not be shared.
  • Carpool will be done in intervals.
  • Outdoor spaces to be utilized as much as possible.
  • All persons above the age of 10 must wear a facemask that covers their nose and mouth.

We know how much The Fay School means to your child and how much your child means to us. We know this communication is not a cure-all and does not answer all your questions, but we certainly hope that it provides some level of comfort and clarity in these trying times.
 
While the challenges of the day have opened a new world of opportunities in remote teaching and learning, we will not live in this remote world forever. This pandemic has amplified the value of emotional intelligence. Your child will resume learning and leadership development through emotional intelligence on Fay’s campus when it is safe and prudent to do so. That is something we all know with 100% certainty.

Sincerely,

Jared I. Levinthal
Chairman, Board of Trustees

Morgan B. Scoville, M. Ed.
Head of School

Parent Email: April 20, 2020

Dear Fay Family,
It is with significant regret and tremendous disappointment that we write today to announce that The Fay School has officially canceled all regularly scheduled school functions and programming for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. We were holding out hope to return, but Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order that “schools shall remain temporarily closed to in-person classroom attendance by students and shall not commence before the end of the 2019-2020 school year,” has officially forced our hand. While in-person attendance by students shall not commence, The Fay School will continue to execute the Academic Continuity Plan. Above all, your family’s health and wellness remain paramount.

We apologize for the disruption that this causes for each of you. We will not cease in our planning as we identify and create solutions that bridge this year to next year. We will continue to focus on adapting our Academic Continuity Plan to serve your child best while sensibly balancing the needs of each member in our Fay Family. At the same time, we are looking ahead to the beginning of next year, despite the lack of clarity. Our planning and thinking about next year have centered around the following four areas:

When our plans solidify, we will prudently communicate with what we know and can reasonably do. Our planning and thinking have centered around the following four areas:

  • Finishing the remainder of this school year in a way that allows for optimal student-learning, given the situation, for your child.
  • Scenario planning, with limited information and certainty, to open the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Examining how best to transition from this school year to the 2020-2021 school year with minimal disruption.
  • Establishing logical internal procedures and guidelines that protect the health and wellness of your child and the adults on our campus for when we do return.

We know how much The Fay School means to your child and how much your child means to us. Your expressions of support and encouragement keep us tirelessly working to find a path forward so that your child will continue developing into a future leader for the world. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we approach the future one day at a time.

Sincerely,

Morgan B. Scoville, M. Ed.

Parent Email: April 9, 2020

Dear Fay Family,

We write to express empathy for each one of you. We also write to shed more light on The Fay School’s thinking as it pertains to confronting the short term and long impacts of this pandemic. We want to acknowledge that we will all continue to have important questions when no immediate nor easy answers exist.

The realities of this worldwide crisis have forced each of us to navigate a set of interrelated complexities that comprise our daily lives. Each set is vastly different in each of our homes. A concession for one family is an unwelcome disruption for another. There is no path forward that fully alleviates every Fay Family’s individual challenges. The combinations of how we are all experiencing the effects of this pandemic are infinite, and we empathize with all of them. Like each of you, the amount that The Fay School does not know keeps us from moving too far or too rapidly in any one direction.

What The Fay School does know is that our overall approach to mapping a path forward has become exceeding clear: The Fay School must respond and not react. Responding requires leveraging meaningful data and information to guide a course of action that could exceed its potential. We know that responding demands patience at a time when our patience has likely worn thin. Reacting, on the other hand, is immediate and usually only addresses a single opportunity or point of view. Reacting does not necessarily invite a meaningful amount of data or information. The Fay School will continue to respond with patience so that desired outcomes exceed expectations. Thank you for accepting the level of sustained patience required for us to thoughtfully respond over the coming days and weeks.

As we lead the way with the best intentions in our responses, we gently share the information below. We acknowledge that stressors are prevalent and will affect each of you in different ways and at different thresholds. We recognize that our solutions are not ‘one size fits all.’

  • Each one of us is doing the best that we can, given the current circumstances. Please take your time when thoughtfully completing the Academic Continuity Survey posted below because we need this survey to be informed by your emotionally intelligent insight. Given the range of feedback we expect to receive, we know that every Fay Family’s preferences for a certain path forward will greatly differ. Please submit your survey results by Monday, April 13 at 10:00am. 
  • We continue to remain in constant communication with officials from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS), and the Houston Association of Independent Schools (HAIS).
  • From our continued communication with school leaders across the country, we have learned that one of the most valuable characteristics for all parties and all potential paths forward is this: sustainability. Many of us are extremely taxed, or may become extremely taxed, in the days or weeks ahead. Courses of action must be sustainable for teachers, families, and your child if we are to keep moving forward each day.
  • Every Fay Family should expect to have their child promoted to the next grade level for the 2020-2021 school year. The Fay School encourages each family to follow the advice and guidance of the Academic Continuity Plan (ACP). Doing so will best prepare your child for the 2020-2021 school year. However, the underlying belief in the ACP is to “Do No Harm.” The health and wellness of each family should not be sacrificed for the sake of a desired educational outcome. Only you can judge your family’s state of health and wellness.
  • Our campus remains closed to anyone who is non-essential because of the Stay at Home, Work Safe order. Until the order is lifted or modified, we will not consider opening our campus for any additional supply pick-up because of the increased levels of exposure that it would create for all parties.
  • To open the 2020-2021 school year with staffing that meets the needs of our vision, mission, and projected enrollment, we have kept in place the tuition lock-in deadlines and parameters outlined in your 2020-2021 Re-enrollment Contracts.
  • In anticipation of a rise in the demand for our need-based Tuition Assistance, The Fay School has increased the amount of Tuition Assistance budgeted for the 2020-2021 school year. We will use proceeds from this year’s Secret Garden Online Auction to support this increase. If your family is facing economic hardship that makes future tuition payments untenable, please consider applying for need-based Tuition Assistance here.
  • While we optimistically still plan to resume normal school functions on Monday, May 4, we will also continue to follow the guidance of government officials at local, state, and national levels. We acknowledge that the pandemic could continue to disrupt our regularly scheduled school functions through the end of this school year. We will pragmatically communicate updates in our overall responses as we continue to execute our Academic Continuity Plan.
  • At this time, we do not have plans to extend the current school year any further than originally scheduled because of the need to ensure that our path forward remains sustainable for everyone: for teachers, for your child, and for you.
  • To honor our current employment contracts during this crisis and because we are still offering our educational services to the best of our ability, The Fay School is unable to offer any tuition refunds for the 2019-2020 school year nor future tuition credits towards the 2020-2021 school year. Again, we have increased our Tuition Assistance budget for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Regarding Stay at Fay, we will evaluate potential refunds when we have a clearer picture of school reopening, or if the decision is made to not resume school for the remainder of the year. 

On Monday, you will receive an email that shares a Zoom invitation to attend a “Head of School Huddle.” The intention of these virtual huddles are to walk through the information outlined in this Fay Flyer and to connect parents. These huddles will take place by department (Primary School, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary). If you would like to submit a question or would like to share advice with other parents about how to navigate this new normal at home successfully, then please use the Feedback Form in My Portal ahead of time. We will do our best to balance addressing questions with having other parents share their successful strategies with the larger group.

 
The virus has forced The Fay School to make complex decisions that impact each one of us in different ways. Communicating the information above is meant to best address, with the information that we have, the evolving impact of the virus on all of us. We hope that sharing our current responses to confront these new challenges serves as an act of continued transparent and emotionally intelligent leadership. Nothing has been easy as we all navigate this worldwide health crisis together.

This is a time of unity and pulling together. This is a time to be a father, a mother, and a friend. This is a time for the entire Fay Family to model the type of leadership and emotional intelligence that we all aspire to instill in your child, who will become a future leader of the world. This is especially true as we each face unprecedented aggravation alongside the acceptance that we must now change the way we lead our lives.

Sincerely,

Morgan B. Scoville, M.Ed.

Parent Email: March 30, 2020

Dear Fay Family,
The unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic keeps evolving, as does Fay’s response. With that, we write to announce that The Fay School will extend its campus closure through Thursday, April 30. At this time, The Fay School plans to reopen on Monday, May 4, 2020, while using Friday, May 1, 2020 as a transition and preparation day for faculty.

Please know that we have not made this decision lightly. We are sorry for the disruption and potential stress that Fay’s extended closure will cause you and your family. However, we must do all we can to “flatten the curve.” We continue to use resources provided by the CDCHouston Health Department, and Harris County Public Health as our guide. For a complete summary of The Fay School’s proactive response and action steps to mitigate health risks from COVID-19, click here.

After our first full week of our comprehensive Academic Continuity Plan, we will circulate a formal Academic Continuity Feedback Form to all parents. We will use data collected from this Academic Continuity Feedback Form to evaluate ways to enhance our Academic Continuity Plan further. In the meantime, if you have questions or feedback, please use the Feedback Form in My Portal.

Likely, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be disruptive and will present each of us with challenges and opportunities to respond positively. Fay's COVID-19 Task Force, the Leadership Team, and our Board of Trustees continue to collaborate to carve out and communicate the best path forward for Fay.

We encourage all of you to check on the Fay Family Seesaw class! You should have received an email over the weekend. The Fay Family Seesaw class will be a Seesaw class similar to the one your child’s teacher uses for newsletters and home learning. We intend to add school spirit activities and other enrichment activities to keep your family connected to the broader Fay community and to provide extra entertainment and hands-on learning. We hope you will contribute by interacting with us through responses to our posts. If you did not receive the Fay Family Seesaw invitation email, please email faytechsupport@thefayschool.org.

Please remember that we are all in this together, Fay Family. Thank you for your understanding, resilience, and patience as we continue to put the health and safety of your children first. Lastly, leadership is not about ability. It is about RESPONSE-ability.

Stay safe and healthy,

Morgan B. Scoville

Community Email: March 17, 2020

Dear Fay Family,
The unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic keeps evolving as does Fay’s response. With that, I write to announce that The Fay School campus will close through Monday, April 13. At this time, The Fay School plans to reopen on Tuesday, April 14. Please know that this difficult but necessary decision was not made lightly. I am sorry for the disruption that Fay’s extended closure will cause you and your family but recognize that we must do all we can to “flatten the curve.” Please read below to learn more about our updated plans and other pertinent information about the coming weeks. 
 
Supply Pick Up Day
In order to best provide uninterrupted learning to students during the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers have prepared bags of materials for your child to use at home.  To streamline distribution, on Tuesday, March 24, please pick up your child’s materials bag during the assigned window. If there is more than one Fay student in your family, we ask that you collect all students’ bags during the oldest student’s assigned time. The curbside pick-up will take place along the normal afternoon carpool route.

  • 8:00-9:00am:  Primary I and Primary II
  • 9:00-10:00am:  Kindergarten and First Grade
  • 10:00-11:00am:  Second and Third Grade
  • 11:00am-12:00pm: Fourth and Fifth Grade

First Day of Academic Continuity Plan: Thursday, March 26 and Friday, March 27
In an effort to quickly establish a routine and provide our families with a longer runway to familiarize themselves with our new Academic Continuity Plan platforms, all Lead and Assistant Teachers will conduct a 20-minute Zoom session on Thursday, March 26 and Friday, March 27 with their classes. The schedule for these sessions can be found here.  On Monday, March 30, 2020, we will follow the schedule highlighted on the Academic Continuity Page to include Specials.
 
School Year Extension
We have fielded a few questions regarding extending the school year into the summer. Given the unprecedented impact and significant fluidity of the evolving situation, we will not make any sort of decision at this time about an extension of the school year. If this changes, we will communicate thoughtfully and transparently. 

Self-Report Exposure and Diagnosis
It is not a requirement for anyone to complete this online form, rather we are asking for your help by providing this information to us so that we can do our part to flatten the curve. Please click the below button to self-report any confirmed cases or exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Fay School treats all medical information as confidential.

Self Report Exposure or Diagnosis

How will Fay communicate if there is a confirmed COVID-19 case or exposure in the Fay Community?  
Should a confirmed diagnosis or exposure occur within the Fay community, The Fay School will appropriately send communication via email in a timely manner as soon as information becomes available while also adhering to privacy laws. In addition, The Fay School will inform the Houston Health Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services. Should an infected community member visit the campus, The Fay School will conduct thorough campus decontamination and will close campus for the recommended time. If the spread of the virus becomes more widespread in the Fay community, we will continue to operate with transparency while also practically approaching our communications.
 
Fay Resources
Please know that resources provided by the CDC,  Houston Health Department, and Harris County Public Health remain our guide. For a comprehensive summary of The Fay School’s proactive response and action steps to mitigate health risks from COVID-19, click here.  If you have questions or feedback, please use the Feedback Form in My Portal. 
 
Later this week, we will circulate an email from our Principal, Melissa Sherman, who will share information on establishing routines, thinking beyond the screen, and balancing parental responsibilities.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be disruptive and will present each of us with unique challenges. At the same time, there will be plenty of opportunities to identify silver linings, to model positivity, and to think creatively. As an independent school, our independence will likely serve us in unexpected but powerfully helpful ways. I will keep regularly working with Fay's COVID-19 Task Force, the Leadership Team, and our Board of Trustees to carve out and communicate the best path forward for Fay. As we navigate this liminal space together, I share my appreciation for the outpouring of support, patience, and grace.

Sincerely, 

Morgan B. Scoville, M. Ed.

Parent Email: March 16, 2020

Dear Fay Family,
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic evolves and continues to impact our lives in disruptive ways, The Fay School continues to remain flexible while we respond. At this time, The Fay School community has NO confirmed cases of COVID-19. Should this change, we will communicate immediately.   

Daily, we monitor the evolving guidelines put forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fay’s Leadership Team is in close communication with other Houston-area independent schools, monitors decisions made by HISD, and regularly communicates internally with Fay’s COVID-19 Task Force to navigate the best path forward for our Fay community.  

That said, given the new information announcing HISD school closures until April 10 and other precautionary measures taken by the city of Houston, The Fay School is going to evaluate the right timing and roll-out of our Academic Continuity Plan. We will announce the timing and specific schedule by the end of the day on Tuesday, March 17.  

Please know that resources provided by the CDC,  Houston Health Department, and Harris County Public Health remain our guide. For a comprehensive summary of The Fay School’s proactive response and action steps to mitigate health risks from COVID-19, click here. Thank you in advance for your patience as we prepare, revise, and adjust our approach to best respond to the evolving situation. 

Until tomorrow, please practice social distancing to flatten the curve while staying calm and logical. Our actions as a community will go a long way in addressing this unprecedented and dynamic situation. If you have questions or feedback, please use the Feedback Form in My Portal. 

Sincerely, 

Morgan B. Scoville, M. Ed.

Community Email: March 12, 2020

Dear Fay Family,

As of this morning, The Fay School has NO confirmed cases NOR presumptive positives of COVID-19 in the Fay community. This includes All Staff, Students, and Fay Families. However, considering the threats that the COVID-19 pandemic presents, The Fay School has made the decision to extend Spring Break one additional week. All regularly scheduled school activities have been canceled during the entire week of March 23, 2020. We will do our best to reschedule all canceled school activities. Currently, we plan to resume regularly scheduled school and school activities on March 30, 2020. Resources provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Houston Health Department, and Harris County Public Health remain our guide. What follows is updated and important information as it pertains to Fay’s preparation and response. Please read it carefully. 

Friday, March 13, 2020

  • The Fay School will be closed tomorrow, Friday, March 13 so that Leadership, Faculty, and Advancement can take additional time to ensure that Fay has the tools available to deploy our Academic Continuity Plan if needed. All scheduled campus events and programs for Friday, March 13 at The Fay School will be canceled or postponed with the exception of Stay at Fay, which will be available from 12:30 - 6:00pm on Friday, March 13. With questions on Stay at Fay, please contact Extended Day Coordinator, Rachel Rubin.

Spring Break Travel 

  • We encourage families to adhere to CDC recommendations regarding travel to local, national, and international destinations. 
  • To best help the school assess community movement during Spring Break, we ask that everyone in our community fill out our 2020 Spring Break Travel Survey.
  • During Spring Break, we will continue to monitor the guidelines and resources provided by the CDC, Houston Health Department, and Harris County Public Health to help guide our cautious decision making. 
  • If you travel to a geographic region defined with Risk Assessment Level 3 or Level 2 for COVID-19 that you and/or your family follow the CDC’s 14-day self-quarantine directive upon returning to the United States. While the situation remains dynamic, the CDC has placed China, South Korea, Iran, Japan, and most of Europe at Level 3 or Level 2. Further, we ask you to seek and provide a doctor certification for your child to return to school if you or your child is diagnosed with COVID-19. 

Communication 

  • During the week of March 12, 2020, we do not intend to send the Fay Flyer. However, the Fay Flyer will resume the week of March 23, 2020. 
  • Should the need arise to convey updated or important information, we will immediately do so using our broadcast system. Please continue to monitor your email. 
  • During the week of March 23, the Leadership Team and Fay’s COVID-19 Task Force will conduct daily meetings to review any new information or updated advice from the CDC. 
  • An open line of communication has been established between the Head of School and members of Fay’s Board of Trustees who will continue to communicate daily. 
  • We encourage families to have age-appropriate discussions with your children regarding COVID-19, reassuring them that we all care for their safety and well-being. Most importantly, remind them that they can control most aspects of their health and safety
  • If The Fay School closes for an extended period of time due to COVID-19, we will determine requirements for reopening and/or extending the school year with direction from the state and our accrediting body, Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS).
  • Please use our Feedback Form, accessed through My Portal, as the official communication tool for any questions you may have. 

Academic Continuity in the Event of Extended School Closure 

  • If this closure extends beyond the week of March 23, 2020, we intend to enact our Academic Continuity Plan beginning March 30, 2020. 
  • On Friday, March 13, 2020, we will be conducting additional training on campus for our teachers to support the deployment of our Academic Continuity Plan.

Campus Cleanliness 

  • The Fay School remains prepared to authorize appropriate deep cleanings of campus buildings and public spaces on campus. Our custodial service is giving extra attention to disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. We will follow all the advice and guidelines put forth by the CDC. 

Gala Activities 

  • All activities associated with Gala have been postponed to an undetermined date. This includes tonight’s Gala Underwriters Celebration, the launch of our online auction, the Gala, and any Gala-related events that have been publicized. We will communicate future plans for Gala once they become more concrete. For specific questions, please contact Director of Advancement, Laura Dols

Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 If You Are Sick 

  • If you suspect you are sick with COVID-19, please follow the current steps outlined by the CDC, found here, to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. 

Archived Communication 

  • Please remember that we have created this landing page on our website containing The Fay School’s continued preparation and response to the impact of the coronavirus and COVID-19.

In this time of unprecedented uncertainty and disruption, I am proud of our collective willingness and ability to stay calm, logical, and understanding. I want to extend special appreciation to Fay’s teachers for their exceptional commitment to your child’s learning despite our calls to quickly adapt. Lastly, I know we can count on your continued support, encouragement, and creativity during this time of challenge. As a school focused on Leadership Development through Emotional Intelligence, I cannot think of a better community to partner with as we navigate the days and weeks ahead together.

Sincerely,

Morgan B. Scoville, M.Ed.

Community Email: March 11, 2020

Dear Fay Family,
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic evolves and continues to impact our lives in disruptive ways, The Fay School continues to remain flexible while we respond. At this time, The Fay School has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Fay community. However, we have prepared, revised, and adjusted our approach to best respond to the evolving situation. Guidelines and resources provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Houston Health Department, and Harris County Public Health remain our guiding resources. Additionally, we have been in close contact with other schools in Houston, nationally, and abroad. What follows is important and updated information as it pertains to Fay’s preparation and course of action.

Spring Break

  • We encourage families to adhere to CDC recommendations regarding travel to local, national, and international destinations.
  • To best help the school assess community movement during Spring Break, we ask that everyone in our community fill out our 2020 Spring Break Travel Survey.
  • During Spring Break, we will continue to monitor the guidelines and resources provided by the CDC, Houston Health Department, and Harris County Public Health to help guide our cautious decision making.
  • We ask that if you travel to a geographic region defined with Risk Assessment Level 3 or Level 2 for COVID-19 that you and/or your families do not return to Fay’s campus for 14 days once you return to Houston and instead self-quarantine. Further, we ask you to seek and provide a doctor certification for your child to return to school if you or your child is diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • We plan to conduct our scheduled All Staff In-service Day on Monday, March 23rd.

Event of Extended School Closure

  • If The Fay School closes for an extended period of time due to COVID-19, all activities will be canceled, including all Extended Day programming and social functions.
  • If The Fay School closes for an extended period of time due to COVID-19, we will determine requirements for reopening and/or extending the school year with direction from the state and our governing body, Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS).
  • At present, we are not planning on closing the school nor extending the school year to make up any missed days.

Academic Continuity

  • If The Fay School closes for an extended period of time due to COVID-19, we will enact The Fay School Academic Continuity Plan to the best of our ability. This plan will be emailed to your family very soon.

Communication

  • The Fay Flyer will continue being sent every Thursday at 4:00 pm CST, except during regularly scheduled breaks.
  • When pertinent information arises that requires your immediate attention, we will communicate immediately via our email broadcast system.
  •  We encourage families to have age-appropriate discussions with your children regarding COVID-19, reassuring them that we all care for their safety and well-being. Most importantly, remind them that they can control most aspects of their health and safety.

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick

  • If you suspect you are sick with COVID-19, please follow the current steps outlined by the CDC, found here, to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.

Parental Prerogative

  • The Fay School understands that there are varying degrees of concern from parents during this uncertain time, and we respect those differences. As such, some parents may feel that it is in the best interest of their child and family to voluntarily remove their children from school for an uncertain amount of time. It is important to note that The Fay School will be unable to provide distance learning alternatives for families with a healthy child, if the school remains in session.

Archived Communication

The next few weeks are likely to have more volatility, but we’ll work through it.  Our highest priority is the health and safety of your child, you, and your families. Therefore, we’re going to follow government recommendations and best practices regarding travel, social distancing, and workplace health and hygiene.  The Leadership Team at Fay plans to continue to work from our offices in the Fay House until further notice.
 
If I develop any cold or flu-like symptoms, I’m going to stay home and contact my doctor for further instructions. I’ve encouraged All Staff to do the same.  As the Head of School at Fay, I’m going to check-in daily with the Board and Fay’s Leadership Team about COVID-19 so that we can keep you all informed.
 
If you take away one thing from this email, it is this – stay calm & wash your hands. The Fay Family is stronger together and we know how to lead.

Sincerely, 

Morgan B. Scoville, M. Ed.

Parent Email: March 11, 2020

Dear Fay Family,
We write to share more information regarding Fay’s precautions and proactivity with the evolving impact and new developments of the Coronavirus and COVID-19 on Houston. I want first to express appreciation for the daily calmness and logical approach we are all displaying. This goes a long way in allowing us to focus on appropriate preparations and cautionary courses of action. Thank you to everyone for their patience and composure during this time of uncertainty.

Due to the increase in the impact of the Coronavirus and COVID-19 in the city of Houston, The Fay School will be closed this Friday, March 13 so that Leadership, Faculty, and Advancement can take additional time to ensure that Fay has the tools available to deploy our already crafted Academic Continuity Plan. This Academic Continuity Plan is crafted to minimize the amount of disruption to your child’s learning should the need arise for an extended school closure. All scheduled campus events and programs for Friday, March 13 at The Fay School will be canceled or postponed.
 
We would like to offer our families the opportunity to attend Stay at Fay this Friday, starting at 12:30pm. Students already registered Stay at Fay on Friday are invited to attend and should arrive already having eaten lunch.  Families who are not already registered for Friday Stay at Fay may attend as a drop-in free of charge but must register online to allow us to manage numbers. You may register by clicking here for the Extended Day Registration Module. Please select SAF Drop-in (under Extended Day 2019-2020) and selecting 3/13/20. To learn more about drop-off and pick-up logistics for Stay at Fay on Friday, March 13, please see the Afternoon Carpool Logistics section below.
 
Tomorrow’s regularly scheduled Fay Flyer will include more information and action steps we need from you to help Fay prepare for Spring Break. It will include an organized method to collect your travel plans during Spring Break, advisory information of travel zones from the CDC, and other steps you can take to keep your children and families safe. Please carefully read Thursday’s Fay Flyer.

Sincerely, 

Morgan B. Scoville, M. Ed.

Parent Email: March 10, 2020

Dear Fay Family,

As we stated we would, we are writing to inform you of some updates related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Houston community. Tonight, it was brought to our attention that there have been two Joy School community members who have had some level of contact with people who have confirmed COVID-19 cases. As a result, The Joy School has announced that it will be closed until March 25, 2020. That said, we write to ask that if you think you or your family members may have had direct contact with anyone in The Joy School community in the last 14 days, that you carefully review and follow the guidance provided by the CDC found here. Following the regularly updated guidance of the CDC is the best way to proactively protect yourself and others from the Coronavirus.

To remain updated on all of Fay’s action steps related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please click here. Please know that many of the best practices being encouraged by healthcare professionals are already taking place at Fay, and we hope that you trust that we are keeping a watchful eye on the situation. Thank you for your continued partnership as we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our entire school community. 
 
Sincerely,

Morgan B. Scoville, M. Ed.

Parent Email: March 6, 2020

Dear Fay Family,

The purpose of this email is to share more critical information regarding The Fay School’s continued preparation for the potential impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), after collaborating with Houston Area Independent Schools. The sustained media attention, coupled with the national and local concern and the presence of COVID-19 in the Houston area means we must stay vigilant to the evolving circumstances and logical in our responses. At every step of the way, The Fay School is prepared to revise, monitor, and adjust our response in accordance with guidance from our local and national health experts. Updated information is below: 

COVID-19 Task Force 

  • The Fay School’s newly created COVID-19 Task Force is charged with planning, evaluating, and communicating plans that proactively address the evolving situation.   

From our Health Clinic 

Attendance 

  • We encourage families to maintain a sense of normalcy by keeping children in their regular routines, including daily attendance at school. 

Campus Cleanliness 

  • At this time, The Fay School is prepared to authorize appropriate deep cleanings of campus buildings and public spaces on campus. Our custodial service is giving extra attention to disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.  

Closure 

  • If The Fay School closes campus for any reason associated with COVID-19: 
    • All activities will be canceled including all Extended Day Programming and social functions. 
    • We will determine requirements for reopening and/or extending the school year with direction from the state and our governing body, Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS.) 
    • At present, we are not planning on closing the school nor extending the school year to make up for any missed days. 

Communication 

  • You can expect the Fay Flyer to continue its regular schedule of being sent every Thursday at 4:00pm CST, except during regularly scheduled breaks. If any matters arise that require your immediate attention, we will communicate immediately via our email broadcast system. 
  • We encourage families to have age-appropriate discussions with their children regarding COVID-19, reassuring them that we all care for their safety and well-being. Most importantly, remind them that they can control most aspects of their health and safety. 

Distance Learning 

  • Fay’s Principal, Technology Administrator, and Department Heads have been working together to implement a distance learning plan that leverages online resources to reduce the disruption in your child’s learning if we were to close campus for an extended amount of time for any reason associated with COVID-19. 

Parental Prerogative 

  • The Fay School understands that there are varying degrees of concern from parents during this uncertain time, and we respect those differences. As such, some parents may feel that it is in the best interest of their child and family to voluntarily remove their children from school for an uncertain amount of time. We do not encourage that plan of action based on the direction of local and national medical experts. If a family chooses to remove their healthy child from school or school activities, such absences will be classified as “unexcused absences.”  It is important to note that The Fay School will be unable to provide distance learning alternatives for families if the school remains in session. 

Precautions 

  • At the first sign of illness, please contact your family’s medical professional. 
  • Students or adults who are ill should not come to campus until they are healthy. 
  • If members of your family discover that you have been diagnosed with or experience primary exposure to COVID-19, please notify the school. 

Spring Break 

  • We encourage families to closely monitor the CDC recommendations regarding travel to local, national, and international destinations. 

To help keep all of our communications organized and easily assessable, please know that we have created the following landing page on our website containing The Fay School’s continued preparation for the potential impact of COVID-19. 

Despite the uncertainties we are facing, we hope you will trust in your strong immune systems to stay healthy this next week and through Spring Break.  

Sincerely,

Morgan B. Scoville, M. Ed.

Parent Email: March 2, 2020

Dear Fay Family,
Out of an abundance of caution, we write to keep the lines of communication open given the considerable media attention on Coronavirus (COVID-19,) especially as The Fay School continues to monitor the situation closely.  

The Leadership Team met first thing Monday morning to discuss information being communicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as it pertains to the COVID-19 situation. Please continue to rely on data sourced from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The Houston Health Department and Harris County Public Health are also valuable resources.  

As of the writing of this email, we want to report the following during a time of fluidity: 

  • There are currently zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city of Houston or Harris County. 
  • If a case of COVID-19 is confirmed in our community, the Houston Health Department and Harris County Public Health will promptly inform the public. 
  • The Fay School has been proactively working on scheduling an appropriate deep cleaning(s) of campus buildings and public spaces on campus, should the need arise.
  • The Fay School has begun to internally examine how best to reduce the disruption in your child’s learning in the unlikely event that you, your child, or The Fay School needed to pause normal activities for an extended amount of time. 
  • The Fay School intends to remain fully operational while continuing to examine precautions for everyone’s safety. 

As a reminder, here is a list of guidelines on how you and your child can best prevent illness:  

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. 
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. 
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and for people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility.) 
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least as long as it takes you to sing Happy Birthday, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 
      • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if visibly dirty. 

Please join us as we all logically and carefully monitor this situation to keep our Fay Family safe and informed.  

Sincerely, 

Morgan B. Scoville, M. Ed.

Community Email: February 27, 2020

Dear Fay Family,

Always with an eye towards your child’s safety, we wanted to communicate information regarding Fay’s proactive planning and thinking as it relates to the Coronavirus.  Currently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention stands by its statement that “this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States.” Nevertheless, The Fay School is taking measures now to prepare should that situation arise.

The Leadership Team, in close conjunction with Nurse Riley and others, want to share some of Fay’s existing good health practices that we use to keep your students healthy and other action steps that we can all take to keep our community prepared and healthy. 

  • Fay monitors student visits to the Nurse's office and absences for patterns, not only those who we see with the flu, but also stomach bug, common rashes, lice, etc.
  • Our Nurse’s Clinic sends communication notices every time they have a known infection pattern that is confirmed by a physician as communicable. Each communication has a section on how to monitor for signs of infection and habits we can pursue to remain healthy.
  • The Fay School routinely monitors this CDC site, which is the national authority for tracking communicable diseases in the United States. When we read anything in the news media, we double-check the report on the CDC site for accuracy.
  • The National Association of Independent Schools created this website, Understanding Coronavirus: What Schools Need to Know, as a resource for all schools and Fay is actively engaged in the content and with other schools in Houston and across the country.
  • The Fay School is ordering more hand sanitizer units to space across campus for ease of use. Please consider boosting the amount of hand sanitizer in your own home and vehicle.
  • Please join us in encouraging your child to frequently handwash, at Fay and at home, with soap and warm water for as long as it takes your child to sing the Happy Birthday song.
  • We requested that the Houston Area Independent Schools (HAIS) open an official line of communication so that all HAIS Head of Schools can easily collaborate on this topic and any future action steps. This established line of communication will serve as another resource to inform any additional measures should they arise. Please also carefully monitor any listserves to which you may have access.
  • Please use our Feedback Form, accessed through My Portal, as a channel for any questions you may have.

We want to reiterate that many of the best practices being encouraged by healthcare professionals are already taking place at Fay, and we hope that you trust that we are keeping a watchful eye on the situation. Fay is committed to examining the situation and creating an informed plan of action moving forward. We encourage you to be mindful of responding to any medical situation with logic and trust.

Sincerely,

Morgan B. Scoville, M.Ed.



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