Updates & Information

Concerning COVID-19

We thank you for your continued partnership and understanding during this challenging time. Below please find updates, recent communications, remote learning plans across all grade levels, and links to helpful resources.

Please keep a close eye on Oak Grove School communications (emails/texts) to stay updated with this evolving situation.

LATEST UPDATES

ANNOUNCEMENT TIMELINE

Latest at the top

View the complete “Safely on Campus” reopening plan here.

As communicated previously, Oak Grove intends to follow our published school calendar for the 2020-21 academic year. As we finalize our reopening plans, we remain focused on our desire to have our students return to our physical campus.

Times like these require us to be patient as we continue to navigate through emerging facts about the virus and await clear, regional guidelines on how and when to reopen the campus. As we continue to wade through the myriad of reports, school webinars, and epidemiological science, Oak Grove has continued to actively prepare for every possible 2020-21 school scenario — to be fully back on campus, to continue remote learning, to stagger schedules, to toggle on and off of remote and in-person learning, and a hybrid approach.

Our preference is to have school safely on our campus come August 26. If it is safe for any school in the Ojai Valley to be on their campus, Oak Grove will be on ours. If it is not safe, however, we are actively upgrading the remote aspect of our learning plan to offer our students an ever more engaging academic program delivered by thoughtful, sensitive, and highly skilled educators.

We are working directly with the support of the California Association of Independent Schools, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Ventura County Office of Emergency Services, and in partnership with local and state officials.

Our reopening plans are currently in the process of being reviewed for approval. Our operations team has already begun implementation of many aspects of this plan, which include:

  • Replacing drinking fountains with additional touchless water bottle refill stations
  • Adding outdoor hand-washing stations
  • Cleaning and replacing HEPA air filters throughout campus
  • Renovating and reassigning classrooms to comfortably provide proper physical distancing
  • Implementing advanced cleaning protocols which will include electrostatic disinfectant spraying
  • Providing face coverings for all staff
  • Integrating new technology for daily health screenings
  • Adding visible safety reminders throughout campus
  • Re-imagining outdoor spaces to maximize physical distancing in learning.

Throughout the past several weeks, our students have displayed a consistently high level of resilience, which is evidenced in the many examples of compassionate work in support of others, quick adaptation to a new way of learning, and most recently, the incredible creative work shared through the virtual HS Showcase this past Friday. I am so deeply touched and amazed by what our students have collaboratively put together.

What our children are learning from this precarious time is far beyond what they will learn from a book. It has required endless flexibility, increased independence, and a new level of resourcefulness. Our students have demonstrated an ability to meet this pandemic as a new moment for learning.

“When intelligence is active in our daily life it will tell us when to cooperate and when not to. The very nature of intelligence is sensitivity, and this sensitivity is love. Without this intelligence there can be no compassion. Compassion is not the doing of charitable acts or social reform; it is free from sentiment, romanticism, and emotional enthusiasm. It is as strong as death. It is like a great rock, immovable in the midst of confusion, misery, and anxiety. Without this compassion no new culture or society can come into being.”

— J. Krishnamurti

Dear Parents,

As we closely monitor the emerging reports and directives communicated by our state and local government, we have no other choice than to continue with remote learning/teaching from May 18-29. This block will bring us up to our final week of the school year. Although it is unlikely we will be cleared to return to school that week, we hold out hope that we might find a way to celebrate the end-of-year activities, even if partially, in person. Our next materials pick-up date will be Friday, May 15.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced this week that California may begin to move into Stage 2 of modifying the stay-at-home order. As per the Office of Governor’s website, the announcement for Friday does not include schools. As the Governor noted last week, the state is working with school districts and the California education community to determine how best and safely to reopen, and his announcement does not move up this timeline.

Although we are unable to be physically together during this time, we continue to be in this together. In a world that has changed, teachers are here to support students with compassion and calm. This is an opportunity for children to discover that they can go through difficulties – even school closure, no play-dates or hang-outs, and endless hand-washing to repel a mysterious virus – and find their way out the other side. As children beckon parents to be close and fully present, we at Oak Grove hold a vision of supporting families and coming through this stronger, sturdier, and more connected.

We are currently working on a plan for the closing events for the final week of school, which will include HS Graduation, 8th Grade and Senior Gateways, Field Day, and the all-school End-of-Year Assembly. For those of you who have paid for Hot Lunch this year, we will begin refunding your prorated reimbursement beginning on May 25. Please be on the lookout for these communications.

As we plan for the end of this school year, for summer and the 2020-21 academic year, we would like to hear your thoughts. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey below.

With affection,

Jodi

Dear Parents,

Following the guidelines set by our state and local governments and in consultation with the medical community, Oak Grove will continue with remote learning through Friday, May 15, for the next learning block. The materials pick-up is scheduled for Friday, May 1, between 1:00-3:00pm. Please see your family’s pick-up time outlined in this email.

As I shared in this week’s email and blog, since none of us (students, parents, teachers, staff) chose remote schooling, it will never be ideal. What we have been able to provide, however, is truly astonishing. Although we deeply miss being together on our campus, our decisions about continuing and our approach to remote learning will continue to be driven by our mission, centered on our community, and informed by data.

On Tuesday, April 28, our Program Directors Ron, Russ, Laurie, and I will host a parent meeting at 7:00pm. Please join us for an opportunity to connect with us and other parents to receive and offer support.

In learning and health,

Jodi

Dear Parents,

We are so grateful to our entire community of teachers, staff, parents, and students who have worked together and made sacrifices to make our distance learning possible. Given the current situation, Oak Grove will continue with our Remote Learning Plan through the next decision block: April 20-May 1. Although being remote is not the way we wish to engage with our students and families, it is necessary during this time.

I am awed to witness our community as we meet this uncertain time with adaptability, determination, and creativity. The Oak Grove School Board and I are impressed with how quickly and gracefully our community adapted. I am humbled to be a part of this amazing school.

Some of you have wondered about our plan for the next school year. I want to assure you that Oak Grove School will provide our academic program as planned for the 2020-21 school year. Our intention is that all of those days be in person and on our incredible campus. Please know that if other schools in the Ojai community are safely able to be on their campuses, Oak Grove will be on ours.

Below you will find important information regarding our next materials pick-up day. Please note that the plan differs from the previous pick-up. Additionally, please find a new parent feedback survey. Your responses help us to meet your needs.

Warm wishes,

Jodi

Dear Parents,

The Oak Grove community continues to be connected and strong. We are attentive to the burden that falls on families with children, the disruption of routines, and the technological and logistical challenges of implementing a distance learning plan.

The Remote Learning Program aims to bring Oak Grove to our students’ homes. We are devoted to meeting curricular and co-curricular learning objectives while offering a safe space for inquiry and affectionate communication. Teachers aim to infuse this learning with a sense of ease and joyfulness.

We want to minimize, where possible, the burden on parents to act as teachers. That said, parents will play a role in this process, even more so for younger children. The parent-school partnership has never been more essential.

While we offer structure to the home learning environment, we also want to be flexible. After all, this is new to all of us. We actively seek feedback from the entire community – our students, parents, and colleagues – to make improvements to the Remote Learning Program as we move forward.

It is our goal at Oak Grove to limit technology and media for students in grades 3rd-12th, and to avoid the use of technology and media altogether for younger students. However, given the current circumstance, we realize that the use of technology is a fundamental tool for connection. Technology is being thoughtfully and consciously used to deliver “real-time” learning, as well as maintaining face-to-face connections among peers and educators.

These decisions have an impact on each of our families. In partnership, we continue to make possible the intent left by Krishnamurti. The mission of Oak Grove School is to assist students in developing those qualities of mind, heart, and body that will enable them to function with excellence, care, and responsibility in the modern world. In addition, it is the intention of the school to offer a place where the whole community can inquire together into the perennial questions of humankind and explore an approach to life that is whole, mindful, and intelligent.

Although we are unable to be physically together during this time, we are all in this together. In a world that has changed, teachers are here to support students with compassion and calm. This is an opportunity for children to discover that they can go through difficulties – even school closure, no play-dates or hang-outs, and endless hand-washing to repel a mysterious virus – and find their way out the other side. As children beckon parents to be close and fully present, we at Oak Grove hold a vision of supporting families and coming through this stronger, sturdier, and more connected.

With affection and compassion,

Jodi

Dear Parents,

I know there is a lot (too much) information coming at you just now. Please take a moment to read this all the way through. It is important.

When will school reopen? 
As you likely suspected, we will be continuing remote learning/teaching from April 6 through 17. The decision regarding the following two weeks will be communicated to you on Friday, April 10.

We so deeply want to return to Oak Grove life as normal. Like you, we are watching this situation unfold and are not sure what is coming next week, next month. Many schools have already made the call to finish the school year remotely. Although that is a highly feasible scenario, we have chosen to take this slowly and continue hoping for a miracle.

Therefore, decisions about extending distance learning will be made in two-week decision blocks. We will approach our distance learning, budgetary considerations, event postponements, and care for our campus in two-week blocks.

Please share your feedback
Oak Grove teachers quickly moved their teaching practices from the classroom to remote learning. We learned a lot during those first few days and have many thoughts on how we might improve our remote learning practices moving forward. Please share some of your thoughts about how it went on your end. We will take time over the Spring Break to upgrade our remote teaching plan to the best of our ability. Respond to the remote learning survey here.

How we can support you?
I know this situation has turned your life on its head. You are doing what you can to support your family while sequestered close to home. You are also navigating real financial concerns and the safety of loved ones.

If you’re feeling a little wobbly as you digest the onslaught of information about coronavirus and practicing social distancing, join us. Our intention is simply to create a safe space for parents to come together and find support.

We have established the following emergent Parent Education video calls with Program Directors and me via Zoom:

  • Early Childhood (Preschool-Kindergarten)
    Monday, March 23 • 8:00PM

  • Elementary School (Grades 1-5)
    Tuesday, March 24 • 8:00PM

  • Middle School (Grades 6-8)
    Wednesday, March 25 • 8:00PM

  • High School (Grades 9-12)
    Thursday, March 26 • 8:00PM

Gratitude for our Day of Reading
Although remote, we shared books and videos and check-ins throughout the day. I am so grateful to our students for sticking with this annual event, even though we could not be physically together.

With affection and compassion,

Jodi

Dear Oak Grove High School Parents and Guardians,

As you know, Oak Grove has decided to move to a remote-learning model due to the current coronavirus situation. The health and safety of our students, staff, and families are our greatest priority. I realize this may present difficulties and raise questions for you as parents. The intent of this communication is to provide as much information as possible at the current time.

While this is new for all of us here at Oak Grove, please rest assured that we’ve spent countless hours already consulting among ourselves, with other schools, and with state and national school associations in order to design a remote-learning model that will still deliver the type of education your students are used to at Oak Grove: engaging, interactive, and inquiry-based. We may have to ask for your patience at the beginning as teachers and students learn to effectively use the technology and as teachers design online lessons, but we’re convinced it will be a quick learning curve.

Below are the essentials that hopefully answer many of your questions:

  1. Technology:

    1. We are implementing a highly-regarded platform called Zoom to orchestrate the online classes. Students and teachers will be able to see and hear each other and ideally mimic the classroom atmospheres that they’re used to.

    2. In addition to Zoom, we will keep using JupiterEd and Google docs. Students are already highly familiar with both of these platforms.

  2. Scheduling:

    1. In accordance with our accreditation agencies’ (CAIS and WASC) guidelines, students will be engaged in online learning for a minimum of 3.5 hours each school day. Extra classwork and homework will be in addition to that.

    2. This Monday, March 16th, the teachers and students will spend the morning going through a “trial run” of their classes. The goal will be to iron out any kinks and get everyone used to the process. A schedule for that will be sent to all students and families before Monday. Students should keep 8:30am to 12:30pm free on Monday.

    3. This Tuesday, March 17th, we’ll start an actual academic day online. A schedule for that is still being finalized and will be sent to all students and families shortly.

    4. In this schedule, each of the morning’s five academic classes will be given equal time, and the students will also have dedicated times with their elective teachers.

    5. There will be breaks in between each class to allow students time to clear their minds and move their bodies.

    6. Attendance will be taken just as it is now: at the beginning of each of the classes. Students will be expected to remain online until the teacher closes the class.

  3. Communication:

    1. Students will be expected to check email regularly; invitations to classes, one-on-one sessions, and other instructions will arrive via email.

    2. Our plan to communicate with parents is to keep using Jupiter and email. Jupiter allows each teacher to easily contact the parents of all students within any specific class. Please check your email regularly during this period of change.

    3. You may continue to contact any teacher or administrator via email or from within Jupiter.

  4. Learning Materials:

    1. Students will be expected to have a functioning computer with a webcam.

    2. Students will need their textbooks and binders for each class.

    3. Students will need any to-be-determined materials for their elective classes.

    4. Students will need a designated, well-lit, learning space at home (we highly recommend this space not be the student’s bedroom).

  5. General Student Expectations:

    1. Arrive on time to each online class.

    2. If a student is too ill to attend a class, a parent must (as usual) email HSOffice@oakgroveschool.com.

    3. Hold yourself to the highest level of academic integrity.

    4. Be patient and flexible.

    5. Use academic breaks to stretch, take a walk, or do something physical.

While no online atmosphere can fully replicate the experience of being together on campus, we’re confident that this online period will be a success with the proven track record of our staff and students. I thank you all for your patience and support during this transition. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

If you have questions regarding campus closure or how Oak Grove is responding to the COVID-19 health crisis, please visit our website page. Jodi Grass, Head of School, is also happy to answer any questions as well.

Yours in (temporarily-online) learning,
Russ
Director of the High School

Dear Middle School parents,

During times like these, times which can seem overwhelming and out of control, it’s important to remember that we are a community. In working together we can provide the best possible outcomes for one another.

The Oak Grove Middle School team will be collaborating with you to provide all the resources we can during this school closure, through our remote portals and online learning opportunities. We acknowledge that disruption like this can be very hard on everyone involved. We encourage you all to find ways to support and enjoy one another in the closeness that this situation requires.

  • The plan moving forward will be that students are expected to be connected and online from 8:30am-12:00pm, Monday through Friday.

  • Students may use their own (or a family) laptop, iPad, or other tablet with internet connectivity to access the online platforms used in the Middle School. This is the best option, because they will be most familiar with the technology. We do not recommend a phone for online class activity. Internet-enabled devices (classroom iPads) can be checked out if needed on Monday between 12:00 and 4:00pm near the Main House.

  • If you need or want to check out an iPad (or chromebook in 6th grade), please email Kalli, Aaron, or Darrell and we will make one available for you on Monday.

  • Students will be expected to check in each day at 8:30am and at 11:30am with their homeroom or advisory teacher, through Zoom (our online portal). Attendance will be taken at this time each day.

  • Students will receive an email inviting them to the Zoom meeting each morning by 8:20am. They need only click on the link provided and may be prompted to download the software.

  • Academic instructional materials will be provided through Google Classroom. Pencils, papers, and of course an internet-enabled device such as a laptop or tablet will need to be available to students (see above if you need a device for student use).

  • 6th Grade:  Darrell Forthe – darrellforthe@oakgroveschool.org

  • 7th Grade:  Kalli Gedwed – kalligedwed@oakgroveschool.org

  • 8th Grade:  Aaron Gardner – aarongardner@oakgroveschool.org

  • The Middle School will be using Google Classroom and Google docs to distribute and collect student work, give feedback, and hold online “discussions.” Students are already familiar with these platforms.

  • Students will need a designated, well-lit, school learning space at home. We highly recommend this space not be the student’s bedroom.

  • Specialist teachers will have materials ready for pick-up on campus at the Main House on Monday between 12:00pm and 4:00pm.

  • Teachers will be available for support by email from 7:55am to 4:00pm each school day, for students or parents.

Thank you for working with us through this uncomfortable time. While nothing can replace the joy, comfort, and familiarity of being together on campus, we are hopeful that this week will provide unusual learning opportunities and some quality time together. We recognize that this will not be without its challenges and hope that our partnership, communication, and flexibility will help guide this process.

If you have questions regarding campus closure or how Oak Grove is responding to the COVID-19 health crisis, please visit this page on our website. Jodi Grass, Head of School, is also happy to answer any questions you have.

Your Middle School team,
Kalli, Aaron, and Darrell

Dear Parents,

Oak Grove Elementary School is committed to working in partnership with all families through this transitional period. Parents and students will have access to all of their teachers, to me, and to all of the resources the school can provide remotely during the period of time of school closure. We recognize that this is a tough situation for all parties, however our strength of partnership will come from open lines of communication, patience, flexibility, and trust in the process.

The Plan for 1st-4th grades:

  • Your child’s teacher will send a daily email communication with a detailed academic plan for each day of the week.

  • Teachers will schedule daily parent/student check-ins online using ZOOM or phone or email with each family. This is how we will take “attendance.”

  • Teachers will have a KIT of materials (books, workbooks, school supplies) ready for pick-up on Monday from 12:00-4:00pm in the Main House.

  • Ron will be in communication with all parents via ZOOM or phone or email with updates and specific communication.

  • Teachers will be available from 8:00am-4:00pm, Monday-Friday, to answer emails from parents/students. (Teachers are not available on weekends or after school hours.)

Chris Elmore (1st grade) – christineelmore@oakgroveschool.org

Carole Sylvester-Gray (2nd grade) – carolesylvester-gray@oakgroveschool.org

Serra Benson (3rd grade) – serrabenson@oakgroveschool.org

Aron Van Alstine (Music) – aronvanalstine@oakgroveschool.org

Dass Richardson (Art) – dassrichardson@oakgroveschool.org

Eva Iacomini (Spanish) – evaiacomini@oakgroveschool.org

Eric Cowen (Group C Aide) – ericcowen@oakgroveschool.org

Louise Everett (4th grade) – louiseeverett@oakgroveschool.org

The Plan for 5th grade: 

  • Roll call will be done live, in real time, during “class” meeting through ZOOM; attendance will be taken daily and recorded on the normal attendance platform.

  • Google Classroom will be used, as many students are already familiar with Google.

  • Mary will provide a KIT of materials (books, workbooks, school supplies) for each child.

  • Mary will communicate with parents through email and share Google Classroom and Google passwords/usernames.

  • She will use Zoom as a social touchpoint when needed.

  • Ron will be in communication with all parents via ZOOM or phone with updates and specific communication.

  • Mary will be available from 8:00am-4:00pm daily, Monday-Friday, to field emails from parents/students. (Teachers are not available on weekends or after school hours.)

*** Homeroom teachers will be using ZOOM as a communication tool, and they will be sharing their personal cell phone numbers with the parents in their class.

1st-5th grade Parents’ To-Do List:

  • Actively check your emails

  • Utilize the teachers as a resource during normal working hours

  • Communicate with Ron via email or cell phone (805) 889-4452 whenever needed during normal working hours

  • Provide student with a designated, well-lit, school learning space at home

  • Make arrangements to pick up your child’s ”Kit of materials” (books, workbooks, school supplies) on Monday between 12:00-4:00pm in the Main House.

While no online atmosphere can fully replicate the experience of being together on campus, we’re confident that this online period will be a success with a proven track record by our staff and students of working together. I thank you all for your patience and support during this transition. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

If you have questions regarding campus closure or how Oak Grove is responding to the COVID-19 health crisis, please visit this page on our website. Jodi Grass, Head of School, is also happy to answer any questions you have.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Please stay tuned for more information from your homeroom teacher.

My best,
Ron Schindel
Director of the Elementary School

Dear Preschool and Kindergarten families,

Our Early Childhood Program is committed to working in partnership with all of our families through this transitional period. Parents and students will have access to their teachers, to me, and to all of the resources the school can provide remotely during school closure. While nothing can replace the joy, comfort, and familiarity of being together on campus, we are hopeful that this week will provide some quality time together, engaging in the wonder of learning and play with your child. We recognize that this will not be without its challenges and hope that our partnership, communication, patience, and flexibility will help guide this process.

Teachers will be working to put together “school bags” that include art and sewing projects, journals, books, and other learning materials. Those bags will be available for pick up on Monday, March 16th, between 12:00 and 4:00pm. If you are not available to pick up your child’s bag during that time, please let me know; we can arrange another time for pick-up.

In addition to the school bags, Preschool and Kindergarten will be using Google Classroom as a platform to share information and ideas with our students and families. You can expect to hear from your child’s teachers on Monday to explain details of the upcoming week and help walk you through how to join the online community. We understand that families have different values around technology and want to honor your own personal approach to how you engage with your child with this online community.

ECP Parent Ed will also move online to a Google Classroom, and we will share resources to support families in the weeks to come.

Preschool and Kindergarten teachers will be available via email Monday through Friday, 9am-3pm, should you want to connect about anything. If you prefer to have a phone call with one of your child’s teachers, please send an email to them and they will arrange a time to talk.

I am available to all of our families throughout the next week, as well as during Spring Break. Continuing our partnership and offering support to our wonderful children and families is our primary focus during this uncertain time.

If you have questions regarding campus closure or how Oak Grove is responding to the COVID-19 health crisis, please visit this page on our website. Jodi Grass, Head of School, is also happy to answer any questions you have.

In love and partnership,
Laurie

Dear Parents,

After an enormous amount of thought and input from the California Association of Independent Schools and following the advice of several health organizations, we will move to remote learning as of Monday, March 16, 2020. Spring Break will be scheduled as planned. We thank you for your continued partnership and understanding during this challenging time.

This is a proactive closure: There is no confirmed case of COVID-19 in our school community. Still, in an abundance of caution, like many of our peer independent and public schools in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, we are temporarily suspending in-person learning. 

We are mindful of the burden that falls on families with children, the disruption of routines, and the technological and logistical challenges of implementing a distance learning plan. Still, the health and safety of our school community are foremost in our minds.

On Monday, you will receive an email from your child’s Program Director with detailed information for the remote learning plan.  We have worked with our teachers to create and administer a distance-learning program that is both developmentally appropriate, continues to build on the relationship with teachers and classmates, and meets our academic learning objectives.

With Spring Break approaching, we understand that families may have plans to travel domestically or internationally. We strongly urge all families to consider their travel plans carefully and pay special attention to the CDC travel advisories.

We will soon be asking all Oak Grove families to complete a form to identify their travel plans over Spring Break. We are asking for your cooperation to complete this form and will work with families on an individual basis regarding students returning to campus.

We will continue to monitor the situation. Please keep a close eye on Oak Grove School communications (emails/texts) to stay updated with this evolving situation. 

Dear Parents,

We continue to closely monitor COVID-19 (coronavirus) and today announced new actions designed to further protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and parents. Importantly, there are no confirmed cases in Ojai at this time; however, we recently learned that one case has been identified in Ventura County, and 22 people are on home quarantine with no symptoms.

Oak Grove is proactively taking steps to protect our campus community: 

  • We are reducing the number of people on campus at any given time. Therefore, we are canceling and/or postponing gatherings that bring non-essential visitors to our campus.
    • “Matilda” is officially postponed (tentatively moved to April 10,11,12).
    • “Matilda” volunteer appreciation reception is postponed (will be rescheduled).
    • All-School Assembly planned for Wednesday, March 18, is canceled.
    • Parent Education on Thursday, March 19, is canceled.
    • “Day of Reading” assembly on Friday, March 20 will be a student- and staff-only event.
    • Reflective Classroom yoga, dialogues, and chanting are canceled until further notice.
  • Removing the option to self-serve at lunch; food will be served by approved kitchen staff only.
  • Reinforcing the policy of immediately sending home students, teachers, and staff who are present with fever and/or respiratory infection symptoms.
    • Separating them from others until they go home.
    • Instructing that they remain at home for 7 days after contracting a cold and until fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
  • Encouraging all students, families, and staff to take everyday preventive actions:
    • Stay home when sick.
    • Reinforcing proper “respiratory etiquette.” Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve.
    • Wash hands frequently (for 20 seconds).
    • Providing adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and no-touch trash cans.
  • Discouraging travel:
    • Canceling school trips on a case-by-case basis.
    • Parents of residential students are cooperating with the school to curtail their student’s travel plans.
  • Communicating with our county emergency operations center if it has been established or local public health department immediately if we notice any concerns about clusters of respiratory disease or spikes in absenteeism.
  • Preparing our students, staff, and faculty for potential school closure:
    • Taking laptop and charger home daily.
    • Taking any essential materials home.
    • Finalizing our remote learning plan should we decide to close the campus.

We understand that implementing these changes with such limited notice may be challenging and disruptive, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation. The safety of our campus community is our highest priority. We are grateful to the community members throughout our campus for their tremendous efforts during these challenging times, especially our front-line staff who serve in health care, custodial, and food service roles.

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, and we will provide updated information as it becomes available. To review our prior and ongoing communications on COVID-19 and for additional resources, please visit the dedicated “Health” page on our website.  LINK. I have also included a resource from the National Association of School Psychologists with helpful information about how to talk with children about COVID-19.

In health and safety,
Jodi

Dear Parents,

As you are likely aware, on Tuesday, February 25th, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gave a press conference updating the country on the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We wanted to share with you some of the steps Oak Grove is taking to prevent the spread of illness across our campus, and our plan for preventing the spread of the coronavirus if a case was to occur in our community.

As the CDC emphasized, there is not currently a coronavirus pandemic in the United States. A pandemic occurs when a disease is spreading from a variety of sources across a large region, and at this point the number of cases across the U.S. is still small. However, given how quickly the global situation is evolving, we are monitoring new developments and will continue to reevaluate our steps and actions daily.

In the meantime, the most effective way to stay healthy and minimize the spread of any infectious disease is to follow basic health best practices:

  • Practice good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette – washing hands thoroughly and covering coughs and sneezes with an elbow as opposed to hands
  • Stay home and keep your child home when experiencing symptoms of the flu

Students and families traveling to or receiving visitors from an area that is currently at risk, or an area which becomes at risk before the end of the school year, will be required to self-isolate in the United States for a period of 14 days before being readmitted to school. Oak Grove is not accepting visitors from any area that is currently at risk which, as of today, per the CDC, includes the following countries.

  • Warning Level 1: China, South Korea
  • Alert Level 2: Japan, Iran, Italy
  • Watch Level 1: Hong Kong

Other destinations with Risk of Community Spread: Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
It is important to remember that handling the spread of a serious contagion like the coronavirus is primarily a task for public health agencies. Any directives from the World Health Organization, CDC, or local governmental organizations should be followed. We will communicate any changes as they arise.

In times like this, we are particularly grateful for the strength and togetherness of this community. Please continue to look for further communications from us on this matter.

Sincerely,
Jodi Grass

USEFUL RESOURCES

Articles

Carol Castanon

Helping Children to Feel Safe During COVID-19

by Carol Castanon, CarolCastanon.com
Former Executive Director of the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center, Carol has been working with families and schools, including Oak Grove, for over 40 years. Family and school clients span the age range of childhood 0-18 years. In this article, Carol shares ideas for holding hard life experiences with empathy and endurance, including:

  • Reassurance
  • Observe, Listen and Reflect
  • Ritual and Structure
  • Understanding Behavior
  • Releasing Tension and Calming Activities
  • Media
  • The Helper Child

View PDF »

Talking to Children about COVID-19

Talking to Children About COVID-19

National Association of School Psychologists & National Association of School Nurses
General and specific tips about talking to children, including links to additional resources.
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Tips for Managing the Stress of Social Distancing as a Family

by Linda Flanagan, KQED MindShift

  • How does the fear and uncertainty of what’s to come affect all of us?
  • What can parents do to help themselves during this period?
  • How can parents help their kids?
  • What should we be on the lookout for with our kids?
  • Is there anything positive for families to come out of this crisis?

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Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus

by Betsy Brown Braun
Different age children will require different degrees of information.  You may have to have one conversation with your 4 year old and quite a different discussion with your 8 year old. Here a few tips to help…
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How to Talk to Children About the Coronavirus

by Jacqueline Sperling, PhD, Harvard Health Publishing

  • Provide just enough information about the new coronavirus
  • Four questions children may have about the new coronavirus
  • Model calmness about the new coronavirus
  • Limit news exposure on the new coronavirus
  • Keep an eye out for reassurance seeking

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Online Resources

John Hopkins

Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Resource Center

Johns Hopkins University & Medicine
This website is a resource to help advance the understanding of the virus, inform the public, and brief policymakers in order to guide a response, improve care, and save lives.
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parent resources

Parent Resources

Other than tasks that teachers directly assigned to do over spring break, let’s give our kids the downtime they deserve over these next few weeks. Rest, relax, play, restore and spend quality time together if you can, particularly outside! That said, we’ve put together a few resources that you and your kids might enjoy exploring together.

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Free Online Events and Activities for Kids at Home

by Frannie Ucciferri, Common Sense Media
A super resource for a broad range of media and activities!
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Wide Open School 

Powered by Common Sense Media
Another super resource for a broad range of media and activities!
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At-Home Learning

PBS SoCal | KCET, LAUSD, California PBS Stations
Resources to expand learning and family engagement with At-Home Learning on-air programming.
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Susan Stiffelman MFT

Online Support Meetings & Webinar Replays
“Keep your parenting cool, end the power struggles, and stay calmly and lovingly in charge.”