March 13, 2020
Dear Mount Vernon Christian School Community,
We are continuing to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and we want to communicate with you and let you know that we are working to ensure the health and safety of our staff and students. We have been in communication with other school districts, both public and private, the Skagit DOH, the State of Washington DOH and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Yesterday, the Skagit DOH was not recommending school closure. However, we as a school can make decisions that are best for our community.
According to the Skagit County Department of Public Health:
The risk that you might be exposed to COVID-19 in Skagit County and Washington State will increase with time. It is essential that we prepare now so that we can reduce the negative effects in Skagit County. Most people will experience only mild illness but we need to slow the spread of disease and prevent exposures to people at greater risk of serious illness.
In order to better enable social distancing Mount Vernon Christian School will be closed on Monday, March 16 for an indefinite period of time. The following items are some things that we have in place or that we know as of today at 12:00pm.
- Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 Mount Vernon Christian School will be closed and not in session. Faculty and Staff will be meeting on these days to plan for the implementation of a remote learning model for all students K-12. Preschool is cancelled until further notice.
- Starting, Wednesday, March 18 Mount Vernon Christian School will begin using a remote learning model for all students K-12. The specific details of this will be shared with students and parents early next week.
- We have prepared a needed materials list for all students in grades 6-12. This list will be provided for students today and they will have all the materials they need.
- We sent a survey to all parents and we will work to sift through that information over the weekend so we can provide all families the tools they may need to work within a remote learning model. If you have not completed the survey please do so ASAP. Only one survey is needed per household.
- All MS and HS activities have been postponed or cancelled until further notice. This includes the postponement of the musical and athletic contests, as well as the cancellation of all practices.
- After the school day today, the campus will be closed until further notice, with the exception of faculty and staff as needed to plan and execute our remote learning.
- We will await the Skagit DOH reports and pass on information as it becomes known to us.
- We will again fully disinfect all areas of campus prior to our return date.
- Our Faculty and Staff training time will begin Monday, March 16 at 8am. We will be opening with a time of devotions and prayer. We invite you to pause in your day Monday at 8:15am and join us from wherever you are as we pray for wisdom, healing, understanding and grace.
From the Contemporary Testimony Our World Belongs to God:
As followers of Jesus Christ,
living in this world—
which some seek to control,
and others view with despair—
we declare with joy and trust:
Our world belongs to God!
On a personal note, I am so grateful for the hope we share in Christ. I am blessed daily to work with the best team of teachers and support staff, who have already prepared many things in advance, so our students continue to feel loved and continue to grow as disciples of Jesus.
In His Service,
Jeffrey A. Droog, Superintendent
March 11, 2020
Mount Vernon Christian School Families:
As we listen to questions, seek proper information and see how schools and communities are reacting to the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, we want to update you on what we are doing. We are in communication with local school districts daily and we are basing our decisions on information we gather from the Skagit County Department of Health, the Washington State Department of Health, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.
Please find in this communication the following information:
- Mount Vernon Christian School’s Action Steps
- Ways in which the MVC Community can help
- Links to organizations and information
- Parting thoughts
Yesterday the Skagit County Department of Health made a presentation to the County Commissioners updating information. The Skagit County Public Health Officer, Dr. Liebrand, is not recommending school closures. The Health Department made additional recommendations during their presentation yesterday.
Aligned with and in response to those recommendations, the Mount Vernon Christian School has taken or is taking the following steps.
- We had all school buildings sprayed with an approved disinfectant over the mid winter break.
- We continue to do our normal daily cleaning with the teachers and staff wiping down all contact areas each day.
- Middle School Athletics are cancelled until further notice.
- All non-essential school and committee meetings are cancelled until further notice.
- Our teachers and administrators are putting plans in place if recommendations for school closures are given. These plans include remote learning opportunities and possible pick up of materials for families.
- We are making plans to make up our school hours if there is a mandated closure. Our plan currently is to add minutes to the beginning or ending of each day, rather than add days to the end of the year. If this becomes necessary we will send the information to families. We have built our school calendar with extra instructional hours so that only a long closure (two weeks or more) would create the need for additional minutes.
We will make a decision regarding the musical after we receive information from the company we purchased the rights to perform from. We receive daily communication from the WIAA regarding HS Athletics and will continue to keep coaches, parents and athletes updated. At this time there is no recommendation to cancel outdoor sports.
How families and the MVC community can help:
- If your student is sick (fever over 100 degrees F, vomiting, diarrhea, cough), please keep them home until they have been symptom free for 72 hours. Call your doctor if you are concerned about your student’s symptoms.
- If your child is considered high risk (heart/lung disease, diabetes, medically fragile), please consult your physician for instructions.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash hands.
We will be providing updates as necessary on our website and social media pages. The Skagit County Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call the DOH Call Center at 1-800-525-0127 and press #. You can also check their webpage at Skagitcounty.net/coronavirus. Skagit County Public Health: 360-416-1500.
Other links to Information:
- Center of Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- Washington State Department of Health
- Many of the preventive recommendations are helpful for all seasonal viruses. Consider how much healthier we all could be, and how vulnerable populations would be better off, if we practiced this level of hygiene and followed the guidelines for social distancing, when we or our children were ill. As a matter of discipleship, consider this a practical way to demonstrate how to love your neighbor as yourself. While we may think some of this is extreme, please consider how much of it could be normal.
- We continue to trust God who is faithful in all things and we continue to respect and follow the guidelines of those placed by Him in positions of authority. Let us not allow public opinion to replace science and God’s created order.
- Please consider the power of prayer and the importance of our faithful testimony as Disciples of Jesus in times when many are uncertain.
Psalm 46 God Is Our Fortress (ESV)
1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Jeffrey A. Droog, Superintendent
March 3, 2020
Students and Families of MVC,
In order to best inform you of what the Washington State Board of Education, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), and the Washington Department of Health are recommending for schools we are passing on the following information.
One of the main recommendations at this point is that people get and process the correct information. Here are a few links which will help to inform you about what is going on and how to best deal with this virus and other seasonal flus.
Here are some actions steps that we have taken at MVC:
- All Faculty and Staff read the information provided by the Washington Department of Health regarding Coronavirus for Schools.
- Teachers are having students wash their hands with soap and water for at least the duration of saying the ABCs. This is done prior to snack or lunch, and after using the restroom or after times like recess. MS and HS teachers are offering reminders to our older students to do the same. Hand sanitizer is available and okay, but not as good as soap and water.
- Our custodial staff is making sure we have all the soap and supplies we need.
- Daily Cleaning/Disinfecting and Sanitizing: Faculty and staff are wiping down all surfaces at the end of each day in their room/office area. Light Switches, door handles, desks tops, the arms of chairs and other counters as well. This daily cleaning will go on until further notice.
- Our custodial crew is doing the same in all shared or common areas with special attention to high contact areas like door handles, etc.
- Employees who are ill will stay home. If students appear ill, they will be sent to the office and then home. Cough, fever and shortness of breath are the three most common symptoms of this particular virus.
- Over the break faculty and staff will be clearing as many counter and desk surfaces as possible, including office and teacher desks. Chairs will be left on the floor and pulled out from the desks. Our contracted custodial service is coming into school to use a mist disinfectant/sanitizer on all surfaces. This will be at the proper dilution rate and guarantee proper wet contact time.
- Currently, school closure is not recommended in any areas in spite of what some schools have done. We do have contingency plans in place if this is required.
I think it is important that we get our facts from the WHO, DOH and those who have the best information. News outlets have not proven to be the most reliable. We should expect that the virus will spread similar to a bad flu season. It is also important that in times when others may panic, that we demonstrate an understanding of God’s sovereignty while responding in obedience through our due diligence to follow the instructions of those in positions of authority and expertise.
Praying for health and wellness in Christ,
Jeffrey A. Droog, Superintendent