Dear St. Stephen of Hungary Parents,
I have had many inquiries in recent days about how the school will handle a potential Coronavirus outbreak, the options we will have for instruction, and how we are treating students who have recently travelled to a contagious zone. Parents are concerned - understandably - and as a principal, these types of issues receive a great deal of consideration and planning long before the event happens, as someone who has lived most of her life in a "hurricane zone", can attest to.
St. Stephen of Hungary School is one of the largest school systems in New York, and we have the added advantage of the expertise of our Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Office. They are in communication with civil authorities and healthcare experts to monitor the situation, make preparations and guide decisions for our schools.
Attached to this post is a communication from our Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Michael Deegan to our faculty and families. This letter not only contains information about monitoring the situation, but also contains specific guidelines for children who have recently travelled internationally, effective March 2, 2020. Mr. Deegan's letter also contains valuable information for families made available to us by the Department of Health. Please read this carefully.
As the situation evolves and new information becomes available, we will communicate with you quickly. If you do not receive communication, you can rest assured that we are monitoring the situation, but have no new news to pass on to you. This does not mean that we are not making plans.
It is important with young children that we remain vigilante and err on the side of caution, without letting our own fears escalate the natural anxiety that children feel when they are around worried parents. Children pick up on everything, so please be careful about what you communicate to them, even inadvertently.
There are many things about this virus that we cannot control. Let's concentrate on the parts that we can control and on supporting our children and their classmates.