COVID-19 Response and School Communications. Read all updates here.

Dear Families,

Today we wanted to offer school-related public health information as it pertains to the respiratory disease COVID-19 or the “coronavirus.”  In addition, we are sharing information about fundraising activities that Milestones is organizing to support our 11th and 12th grade students’ overnight trip as well as two opportunities in the community that were recently recommended by Milestones’ families.  For your convenience, please note that there are 6 informative attachments to this memo.

  1. School Information Regarding COVID-19: Given the recent media attention surrounding the COVID-19 virus (commonly known as Coronavirus), we wanted to share with you information on our processes and to point you to useful and credible sources of additional information.

We are following guidance received from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (see attached memo for details).

The Massachusetts Department of Health also recently sent guidance to school administrators. That guidance can be found here:  https://www.mass.gov/guides/information-on-the-outbreak-of-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19

Key points from these guidance documents include:

  • At this time, Massachusetts has had one confirmed case of COVID-19 and the risk to our residents remains low. Massachusetts residents are much more likely to become sick with a cold or flu than to be exposed to COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recognizes that prevention efforts offer the strongest protection from all illnesses including the coronavirus.  These efforts include vaccination, proper hand washing, coughing etiquette, washing objects/surfaces, and staying away from individuals who are sick and staying home when you are sick.  
  • We know that outbreaks of new virus infections are always of public health concern. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), other federal agencies, local boards of health, and our clinical partners to share the most up to date information available.

As DPH recommends, Milestones Day School will continue providing education about good hygiene with students and staff.   For example, next week our school nurse will be providing a hands-on demonstration re: proper hand washing technique.  We are also re-sending the attached Flu Symptom Checklist.  Please use this form to determine whether or not your child should attend school.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide additional information in a timely manner.

  1. Boston Trip 2020 Fundraising: Attached is a SAVE THE DATE for Milestones’ upcoming fundraisers for the 3rd Annual 11th/12th Grade Class Trip! Case managers will send out more specific information about each of the events, but we wanted to provide highlights so you can plan if you would like to participate in any of the upcoming events, as there are school based events, family based events, and social events!
  1. Sibling Research Study at MGH: A study for siblings of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is being offered at the Massachusetts General Hospital. At this phase, they are recruiting teens between the ages of 14-17 who have a sibling with ASD to evaluate the effectiveness of a resiliency program.  The study involves an 8 week online virtual program run by clinicians and researchers that is designed to promote resiliency and improve coping skills for teen siblings.  Participants will be compensated up to $100.00.  For more information, please see the attached two flyers (directed at the parent audience and siblings), or you may contact Lucy Fell (Clinical Research Coordinator at MGH) at:  SiblingResilencyStudy@partners.org or 617-724-8546.
  1. Free Fitness Class For Children with Disabilities this Sunday, March 1st:We would like to recommend a free fitness/gymnastics class for children with disabilities this Sunday afternoon, which is being offered by a Milestones’ sibling (and prior Milestones’ volunteer) at the Gymnastics Academy of Boston in Acton.  Participation will help support her senior project and encourage a fun and fit afternoon for students.  Details about this “Fit for All” event are attached and are available on Milestones’ Facebook page.  A link to the event can be found at:
    https://facebook.com/events/s/fit-for-all/189413435636456/?ti=icl
  1. March Save-the-Date Reminders for Families:
  • Wednesday, March 11th: Half-day (12:00pm dismissal) for staff’s professional development
  • Friday, March 20th from 10:00-11:30am: Parent Advisory Group Meeting and Presentation on Executive Functioning
  • Saturday, March 28th from 11:00am-1:00pm:  PAG Social Event for families at King’s Bowling in Burlington!

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions, and we hope you have a great weekend with your families.

Sincerely,

Kim


Resources:

Novel Coronavirus for Schools
Flu Symptom Check List