When we at Keystone learned of the spread of the COVID-19 virus earlier this year, we began preparing our response to this, or a future pandemic. Our Safety Committee created a multi-phase plan that sets out different actions with the aim of reducing risks to our students, faculty, staff and their families.
Phase 1 took place shortly before the break. It called for increased awareness and reminders to all members of the Keystone community to take greater hygiene precautions, and it asked our staff to prepare for the possibility of conducting classes remotely. We asked parents to notify us if they were traveling out of the country during Spring Break. Now, we are asking you to let us know if you traveled outside San Antonio and where you went.
During Spring Break, we spoke with several physicians, officials from the Metropolitan Health District, public health authorities, other independent schools, and colleges and universities to gather information and select the best path forward for our community.
Right now, there is much we don’t know about the COVID-19 virus and we all are working with a limited set of facts. After many discussions, an abundance of caution, and in the interests of the health and safety of our community, we have come to a decision:
Keystone School will extend Spring Break for students by one week. During that time, faculty and staff will have time to prepare for the possibility that we will transition to distance learning for a short period of time.
Beginning this afternoon, all extracurricular practices, rehearsals and group meetings are cancelled until further notice.
By next Thursday, we will decide whether students can return to campus on March 23 or if we will implement remote learning. Please take this coming week to prepare your family and make childcare arrangements, if necessary.
If we return to school on March 23, we will implement Phase 2 of our plan, which includes social distancing on campus to help reduce the risk to students and others while still allowing students to attend classes. If we do not return to school on March 23, we will move into either Phase 3 or 4; these will involve closing campus for either a week or more and going to online learning. Either way, we will share more information next week as we continue to learn about the status of COVID-19 here in San Antonio.
Please continue to remind your children to wash their hands frequently, use hand sanitizer and cough or sneeze in either tissues or the bend of their elbow.
As I am sure you’re aware, this is a very fluid situation and we will notify you of changes as soon as we can. These are complex times for all of us in San Antonio, and the world in general. At Keystone, we will meet this challenge together as a community.
William B. Handmaker
Head of School