We write once again to give you an update to our response to the COVID-19 situation that is currently affecting the city of San Francisco. As you can all appreciate, this is a dynamic and complex situation, and we are responding to new information as quickly and deliberately as we can. We know that it is a moment that might cause anxiety and concern for our students and for our community, particularly given how difficult it is to anticipate exactly what will happen over the coming weeks. We seek to maintain a calm and thoughtful approach to this situation, and we strive to keep you apprised of our thinking and decision-making as we respond to evolving circumstances.
In this communication, our aim is to explain how we are making decisions that impact the regular functioning of school activities, to announce some decisions that have been made with regards to upcoming events and programs, and to share with you our plan for Online Learning in the event our campus needs to close.
Our Decision-Making Process and Template
We are working with a number of local and national health agencies including the CDC, California Department of Public Health, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). Drew School has developed a COVID-19 Response Plan that provides general guidelines for decision-making. This plan is based on guidance and recommendations from appropriate health agencies and governmental authorities. We are currently operating within Level 2-3 on the
Based on guidance from the SFDPH and other agencies, Drew has implemented a number of actions and made decisions about upcoming activities and events as communicated in yesterday’s newsletter. Drew has canceled all non-essential school activities through the end of March and all athletic activities through March 24. We will communicate if and when additional steps are taken.
As included in previous communications, Drew has implemented heightened cleaning protocols including the hiring of additional staff. We have also emphasized best practices for health and hygiene as issued by the CDC.
After thoughtful consideration and consultation with colleagues and program partners, and with guidance from local health officials and the CDC, Drew has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s DEALL programming. While we do so in an abundance of caution, we believe that this is the responsible course of action given the rapidly-evolving circumstances surrounding the spread of COVID-19. We do so to prioritize the health and safety of our community, as well as to protect the well-being of our partner communities around the city and the world.
We know that this news may come as a disappointment to many. Please know that we too are disappointed. Please also know that we are currently in the process of reviewing all of this year’s DEALL programs and exploring the potential of running them in the future. We will be communicating with each individual DEALL group to outline these options as more information becomes available. If you have already made payments toward this year’s DEALL programming, please also look for further communication about that in the coming days.
In sharing this news, we want to recognize the amount of effort your students, and you as families, put in to making DEALL a successful and invigorating program each year. We also want to recognize the incredible amount of time and planning effort that our faculty and staff members put into creating and making these wonderful activities possible for our community. We thank our whole community for working together to ensure a healthy and vibrant learning environment for our students.
With no DEALL programming during the week of March 30th - April 3rd, we will be holding a normal class schedule that week. We are working on ways to have students engage in experiential learning opportunities either individually or collectively before the end of the year and will communicate more information in the future.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Maren Anderson, our Director of Experiential Education.
Approach to Possible School Closure and Drew’s Online Learning Plan
This document is designed to describe the approach Drew School will take in the event of a campus closure. This plan has been developed in response to the current COVID-19 outbreak that may impact the school and its community. If necessary, Drew School’s Head of School and the Board of Trustees would announce campus closure and designate a future date when Online Learning would begin. Please note that this is a general guideline of a plan which may need to change or be amended as circumstances evolve.
If the Drew School campus is closed and this Online Learning Plan is implemented, the Head of School will send email communications to parents, students and faculty/staff making this announcement and delineating a timeline for implementation. An exact date will be designated when Online Learning will begin for Drew School students. The two school days preceding this designated date will be classified as work days for Drew School faculty and staff in preparation for Online Learning. Students will not attend school or be required to begin Online Learning until the date designated by the Head of School. During the two preceding work days, the Deans will prepare to share more specific information and guidelines with parents, while teachers will arrange to relaunch their classes online.
The Head of School will periodically send email updates to parents and faculty/staff with pertinent information about when and how Drew School might reopen for regular classes. As with the decision to close campus, the decision to reopen school will be made in consultation with the school’s Board of Trustees and will follow the guidelines of local health and other appropriate government agencies.
In the case of a school closure, the campus will be fully closed with the exception of certain staff. Any access to the campus must be scheduled ahead of time with the CFO. There will not be a resource for general enquiries. Any questions or concerns should be emailed to appropriate faculty or staff (see “Roles and Responsibilities for Administrators and Faculty/Staff” for details). Email addresses can be found on the Drew School website.
With thanks for your understanding.
Head of School
After weighing all risks and benefits, and in light of Friday’s Alert SF announcement which reads, “To reduce the spread of coronavirus SF health officials advise canceling non-essential large community events for the next 2 weeks,” we have made the decision to cancel certain Drew events. Please refer to our webpage for up-to-date information regarding changes in events. We understand these events, meetings and trips, are important to our students and our community, but we must make the health and safety of our community our highest priority.
Please be on the lookout tomorrow for a more comprehensive communication about contingency planning including information about DEALL and distance learning.
The following events have been cancelled.
March 11 - DEALL Overnight Meeting (we will be communicating more tomorrow)
March 11 - Battle of the Classes at Booker T.
March 12 - COT Board of Trustees Committee Meeting
March 12 - BCL Central/West AD Meeting
March 12/13 - Freedom From Chemical Dependency student & parent meetings
March 12 - PALS & Former Trustee Reunion
March 13 - LGBTQ Parents’ Night Out
March 16 - Curriculum Review Day - this was a planned NO STUDENT day, faculty will still plan to meet unless otherwise notified
March 19 - 21 - Spring Musical
March 31 - PG/A General Meeting - State of the School
Starting tomorrow, all athletics, including practices and games, will be cancelled through March 24th.
Effective immediately, all field trips are cancelled through Spring Break.
Dear Drew Families,
We are writing to provide an update on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Drew’s leadership team has been working hard to put in place a number of plans to respond to the various contingencies. We wanted to reach out to you as we enter the weekend. We are aware that several schools in the Bay Area have closed. Drew School continues to monitor the situation and remains in contact with local public health officials and, as of today, remains open, with most events occurring as scheduled. If there are any updates, we will notify you immediately.
We are aware that many of you have questions about DEALL - we are still monitoring all locations and will make decisions on Monday as necessary and communicate them in our next communication as well as at the scheduled DEALL Overnight Trips meeting on Wednesday, 3/11.
Preparing for Remote Learning
In the event of school closure, we will implement online learning options. We are completing the final details of this plan and will communicate it early next week. Imperative to the functioning of this plan is that all families will need access to broadband internet, and every student will need access to their own computer. Families with multiple students should ensure that each child has the ability to work on their own computers simultaneously. If you have concerns about either of these necessities, please be sure to complete the survey form linked here
. Teachers have been engaged in training to build online classroom experiences. Students spent time in advisory groups learning and reviewing how to use Google Meet to conduct one on one check-ins and group meetings.
The School-Home Partnership for Wellness
Students were instructed in advisories on how to take everyday preventative measures recommended by the CDC – washing hands frequently; avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth; covering a cough or sneeze with a tissue – to help combat the spread of respiratory diseases. We urge you and your children to take these everyday preventive measures.
Please keep your children home from school when they are sick. Students must be fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of medication before returning to school. In addition, if you or a member of your family may have been exposed to the coronavirus or recently traveled to countries identified by the CDC as high risk (currently Italy, Iran, South Korea, or China), we ask that you notify Emily Duttonimmediately so we can work with you with guidance from the local public health agencies.
Additional Campus Disinfecting
Drew has currently implemented a heightened cleaning & disinfecting protocol. Hand sanitizer stations have been ordered and will be deployed throughout the building. Bulk sanitizer and cleaning supplies have been ordered to ensure enough inventory for more frequent cleaning. Additional trained janitorial staff have been hired to clean and sanitize all surfaces and high-touch areas (e.g., chairs, railings, and door knobs) every evening.
At this time, all Athletics practices and games (home and away) are continuing as scheduled. Carlos Reed is working closely with all of the schools we compete against to ensure that they are practicing the same hygiene we expect of our own teams. In addition, Athletics have made the following adjustments as a precaution:
- No water bottles will be provided. All athletes (home and visiting teams) are to bring their own water bottle and are not to share with anyone.
- All visiting teams have been asked to bring their own equipment to minimize risk of exposure.
- There will be no pre/post game hand shaking, but rather elbow to elbow contact or verbal thank yous.
Near-Term Schoolwide Events
The following events are scheduled as planned, for now, and more information can be found on the DrewNet calendar
- Winter Formal - March 6, 2020 - 8pm-10pm
- DEALL Overnight Trips Meeting - March 11, 2020 - 6pm-8pm at Drew
- Freedom From Chemical Dependency (FCD) Parent Event - March 12, 2020 6pm-8pm - Drew
- LGBTQ+ Night Out - Friday, March 13, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m., at the home of Kevin McCarthy and David Bui
Additional details will be included in next week's comprehensive communication. As a reminder, in order to keep our community informed about this evolving situation, we have set up a special website
Head of School
Dear Drew Families,
We write to provide an update on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Our leadership team has been hard at work putting in place a number of plans to respond to the various contingencies that this rapidly changing situation could present. As of now, we continue the normal operations of the school although we will closely monitor information from the CDC
, and SFDPH
, that will inform any changes that we may need to make in the future.
As we remain focused on general illness prevention, your help is essential. We ask for your continued dedication to flu prevention and containment
We recognize that this may be a scary and disruptive time for our students who might have concerns about the virus and its transmission. Drew's counselor is available to meet with students to address questions and concerns.Our next update to the community regarding this situation will be on Tuesday, March 10th unless an earlier update is warranted.
Dear Drew Community,
As you may be 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), saying it is not clear when it will arrive and how severe an outbreak could become. In addition, San Francisco’s mayor, London Breed, declared a local emergency.
Drew continues to actively monitor the situation along with local and national public health officials, including the CDC and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Drew will communicate any changes in procedures or programs in addition to contingency plans should additional preventative measures be necessary.
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 the number of cases across the US 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.
To help prevent the flu and cold, best practices include washing hands frequently, covering mouth and nose when sneezing, and avoiding contact with those that are sick. Symptoms of the Coronavirus are similar to those of the common cold and flu, such as a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, headache, and stomachache. If you are experiencing such symptoms, we strongly encourage you to stay home and if symptoms worsen, contact your healthcare provider.
Additional sources of information include:
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.
Head of School
2/3/2020 Drew Weekly
We are closely monitoring developments regarding the outbreak of the Coronavirus. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) and the San Francisco Department of Public Health, there are currently no reported cases in the Bay Area and the likelihood of the virus spreading locally remains low at this time.
As always, to help prevent the flu and cold, best practices include washing hands frequently, covering mouth and nose when sneezing, and avoiding contact with those that are sick. Symptoms of the Coronavirus are similar to those of the common cold and flu, such as a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, headache, and stomachache. If you are experiencing such symptoms, we strongly encourage you to stay home and if symptoms worsen, contact your healthcare provider.
We will continue to actively monitor the situation along with local and national public health officials and provide updates as ap