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COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Response

Information and updates about COVID-19

Thank you for your continued support and understanding as COVID-19 unfolds. The La Jolla Country Day School risk management team has been meeting daily to discuss the rapidly evolving situation and rising concerns. The health and safety of our students, families, faculty and staff are our highest priorities.

The LJCDS campus is completely closed for a week of e-learning (March 16–20, 2020) and then spring break (March 21–April 5, 2020).

For the protection of our school community, we are suspending all tours, visits and on-campus access until further notice.

Members of the leadership team will be available to answer questions over spring break. Please email leadership@ljcds.org

School Communications

List of 13 items.

  • March 26: COVID-19 Update, FAQs

    Dear La Jolla Country Day School community, 

    Maya Angelou said, “Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” When we are in the midst of trying times, it is so important to look outward for ways in which we can assist one another. Some of us thrive on information. Others simply want to stay distracted until the problems subside. Through this message, I hope to provide you with answers to frequently asked questions that are being generated by our community during this unusual time. 
    Frequently Asked Questions

    When will school reopen?

    The reopening of La Jolla Country Day School will be evaluated on a week-by-week basis. We continue to consult with local and national experts. When it is safe for students and faculty to return to campus, LJCDS will be ready to open campus as soon as possible. 

    Our decision to reopen will be based on advice from the medical community. There is still much to learn. The testing for COVID-19 is being rolled out throughout the country. This will be critical in providing information about the extent of the outbreak throughout the country and in San Diego in particular. That is the evidence that will help guide this decision. The safety and well-being of our students continue to be our uppermost concern.

    Can our children go outside?

    We have been given lots of advice on this. Yes, you can go outside. Though our lives will be very much curtailed over the coming weeks, fresh air is good. Run around, ride a bike, walk the dog, but remember to maintain a safe distance from others. You should limit your time outside due to the possibility of being around other people. Please do not allow or encourage get-togethers with other children beyond the virtual meet-ups. 

    If our child left something essential to their learning at school, can we come by to pick it up?

    Yes, please coordinate your visit with Mark Marcus, assistant head of school for operations, at mmarcus@ljcds.org.

    Will I receive a refund for enrichment and transportation?

    The information on possible refunds will be forthcoming regarding refunds for club sports, aftercare (extended day), afterschool programs, international trips, transportation and other support activities. We appreciate your patience during this period of unprecedented change.

    What will happen to all our culminating end-of-the-year events like promotion and commencement?

    Should we not return to school in May, our academic team is researching various platforms that can accommodate virtual event celebrations. More information will be forthcoming.

    May we reach out to teachers and staff with questions during spring break?

    Yes. Many of our administrators and our staff are available and delighted to connect with you, virtually. Please understand that during spring break, there may be a delay in our teachers’ responses. This is an opportunity for faculty to revitalize and restore themselves as we return to e-learning on April 6. We appreciate your patience.

    How will the school manage testing and finals?

    Our academic team is researching various platforms that can accommodate online testing. More information will be forthcoming. 

    Will there be a new schedule for remote learning?

    As a result of the feedback from our E-Learning Day on March 17, 2020, the academic team has developed a new schedule to offer a balance between synchronous and asynchronous learning. You will receive communication with our new schedules and learning expectations on Thursday, April 2, 2020. 

    The survey for E-Learning Practice Day is great but how will you collect feedback during long-term virtual learning?

    For as long as e-learning occurs, we will be soliciting weekly feedback from parents, students and faculty. Your feedback is very important to us and will help guide our e-learning plan.  

    Many people have myriad reactions to what we are experiencing as a nation and around the world. It is important that we support one another’s reactions in a way that is both compassionate and thoughtful.  

    Our next communication to families will be on Thursday, April 2, 2020, where families will receive the e-learning plan for after spring break. We will not be publishing a communication on Tuesday, March 31. I hope that you and your family find sources of joy over spring break. Thank you for the resilience, empathy and support you continue to demonstrate for our community.
  • March 24: COVID-19 Update, Spring Break

    Dear LJCDS community,

    Spring break is upon us. I hope you and your family are staying well. Despite the extraordinary changes around us, La Jolla Country Day School’s leadership and faculty remain committed to serving our community. To best position us, we have decided to honor the two-week break to allow our students and faculty the time to rest and recharge. The pandemic has required the entire community to invest a great deal of practical, mental and emotional energy to adapt to the circumstances unfolding around us rapidly. 
    Our academic leadership and faculty have been researching and designing a developmentally appropriate curriculum for remote learning that remains exciting, engaging and inspiring for our students. Students are adjusting to their new learning environment, alongside support from parents and guardians. While I have encouraged the faculty to take time to care for themselves and their loved ones, I believe that many are using the spring break to prepare further e-learning lessons. This is a testament to their deep care and love for our community of learners.  

    The reopening of LJCDS will be evaluated on a week-by-week basis. We will continue to consult with local and national experts. When it is safe for students and faculty to return to campus, LJCDS will be ready to open campus as soon as possible. 

    With the notable work of the LJCDS community, you can be assured our priority remains focused on teaching and developing your children, along with caring for their well-being. Students will be afforded the opportunity to grow and develop throughout the remainder of the year, wherever their learning environment resides. 

    Please enjoy the spring break resources below developed by the LJCDS team:

    On Thursday, I will be in touch with addressing frequently asked questions by parents. 

    I hope you and your family can tend to your wellness over the break. Let’s remind each other that this difficult time also offers greater opportunities for learning, kindness, compassion, generosity, and new trails to forge to make our world a better place.
  • March 22: LS Spring Break/E-Learning

    Dear Early Childhood Center and Lower School Families,
    Last week was filled with an abundance of joy despite the uncertain and challenging situation we are facing. Seeing the children’s smiles and hearing their giggles during Zoom meetings has been the highlight for all of us. 
    Our educators have embraced a growth-mindset and are learning new skills at a rapid pace. Our students are modeling adaptability and adjusting to their new digital classrooms with eagerness and excitement. Parents and guardians are assuming new roles as they support their children’s learning at home while juggling personal and professional responsibilities. Our community has truly exemplified what it means to lead with dignity and is inspiring greatness for a better world as we reimagine what teaching and learning will look like in the weeks ahead. I am proud to be a Torrey!
    I extend my gratitude for the grace, patience and encouragement all of you have provided our team as we experimented with different e-learning models this week. The feedback you have been providing is informing adjustments that will be made to ensure the possibility of a long-term e-learning plan is a positive and productive model. 
    We understand many of you have a desire for our educators to continue the interactive e-learning during the next two weeks. To position our teachers for success in the digital world for an unspecified period of time, we need to honor the spring break for rest and restoration.
    To help position you and your children for joy and success over the next two weeks, our hard-working educators have created additional Independent Learning Menus (ILMs) that provide enriching learning options your child can choose to explore:
    • Early Childhood Center
    • Kindergarten
    • First Grade
    • Second Grade
    • Third Grade
    • Fourth Grade
    Here is a link to a Suggested Daily Schedule for kindergarten-grade 4 students that you can use to guide your child’s learning over spring break. Please feel free to make a copy (file > make a copy) and adjust it to best align with your family’s needs. We would also suggest making a larger version of your daily schedule and placing it somewhere in the house that your child will see frequently. This will help provide some structure and predictability to their lives.
    I will be sharing a Morning Message via Zoom every day at 9:00 am over spring break to keep us all connected. 
    If you are interested in finding any of the information that was previously shared, we have created a Google Drive Folder that will give you access to all the grade-level Independent Learning Menus (ILMs) from the week of March 16 and the detailed E-Learning Plans from Tuesday, March 17. We will be using this folder as the main platform for organizing all e-learning materials for our Early Childhood Center and Lower School.
    We hope you take the time these next two weeks to enjoy the slower pace with your family and all the blessings you have in your lives.
    "Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day." -Henri J.M. Nouwen
  • March 22: MS Spring Break/E-Learning

    Dear Middle School Team,
    For those of you who have LJCDS children in the Middle School, I encourage you to read this together as a family.
    To my recollection, this is my first letter to the entire Middle School community. I’m personally touched to be writing to the students, parents, guardians, faculty, and staff at once. As I alluded to in my last family letter and my presentation to the students and faculty, this is going to require a team effort. For those reasons, I believe we all need to hear the same words as we move forward.  

    This week, we jumped into new territory, fully immersing ourselves in an e-learning model. We expected hiccups, and there were some, but they were far and few between.  

    In between the technology tickets, I received a number of encouraging emails from students and parents sharing the week’s success. Teachers shared their victories too. We all need those nourishing morsels of encouragement. Thank you for taking the time to share. I also heard stories of teachers helping teachers, students helping students, and I was even copied on a few emails where students helped guide their teachers. That is the LJCDS community that we all know and love. We make each other better people and lend a hand when we recognize a need.

    I have also received feedback from families that we’ve been reviewing and considering in the planning stages for  post-spring break. We will be looking into how to manage the total screen time, encourage physical activity and social interaction, and streamline communication. 

    Faculty have also shared their feedback. Seeing and hearing the students brings joy to their day. All of our teachers are investing a great deal of time and energy, preparing resources and activities for their students.  Naturally, some students tend to overlook written directions, which is inhibiting them to access these resources fully. E-learning is a new model for us, and with that, a new level of independence is required of each student. Students, please take the time to read each email, watch each video, and check your course pages. These are new habits and skills that we will have to build. Parents and guardians, we’ll need your helpful nudge and voices of encouragement as well. We know that eventually, the habits will form. They are all habits we want instilled long term, so the investment is more than worthwhile as they will pay dividends for a lifetime. 

    The week leading into spring break is typically tough as faculty, staff and students are mentally exhausted, but this one was like no other.  As wonderful as e-learning has been, I know our students and faculty need a break. Please honor the break and refrain from reaching out to faculty during these next two weeks. Allow our faculty the time to refresh and reset, so they are equipped to end the year strong. Students, please rest and enjoy the break but also be mindful and find ways to help out at home and unplug occasionally; your family needs you. 
    As we head into spring break, we know that there may be circumstances that arise, which could result in hardship.
    • If the online learning model has created hardship for your family, please contact Director of Financial Assistance and Enrollment Management Brian Murphy (bmurphy@ljcds.org) or 858-453-3440 x104.
    • If you or your children are concerned about the well-being of another individual, we encourage you to use the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System. Users can submit an anonymous tip 24/7 through the websiteapp or by phone.
    • Additionally, our Middle School counselor will be available if you are in need. Please feel free to contact Ashley Marlow at amarlow@ljcds.org
    Team Middle, you are an amazing community!  You’ll be hearing from me again during the second week of the break with our plans to move forward.  Until then, I wish everyone well and extra rest.
  • March 22: US Spring Break/E-Learning

    Dear Upper School Families,

    As we head into spring break, I want to acknowledge the challenges we have all faced in recent weeks and months. I am grateful for the ways we have come together as a community to work toward the common goal of maintaining connections, providing valuable learning experiences, and supporting each other. It has been truly impressive and serves to reinforce the strength of the Torrey community. 

    Our Upper School faculty rose to the occasion last week by crafting and implementing remote lessons that were engaging and effective. Their time, effort, heart and soul were palpable. The vast majority of feedback from students and parents/guardians has been very positive. In addition to teaching, the faculty were encouraged to explore different tools and processes to help them shape the best virtual classroom experiences possible. Both faculty and students emphasized the importance and positive impact of seeing each other in our virtual learning realms. 

    We appreciate the requests that we’ve received for a continued virtual learning experience over spring break. However, we are intentionally protecting this time to allow our faculty the well-earned opportunity to rest, recover and seek inspiration for the weeks to follow. Please respect the need for that experience, and do not expect them to engage over the course of our break. It is also an important time for students to decompress, practice self-care and enjoy activities outside academics. Take advantage of the slower pace to be together as a family. 

    All of us are experiencing fear, anxiety, confusion and doubt. Specifically, I empathize with our class of 2020. Many of the memorable traditions and culminating events they have worked so hard to earn are now uncertain. Please know we will work hard to preserve as many opportunities to forge those lifelong memories as best we can. As we learn more, we will communicate information and decisions as quickly and clearly as possible.

    As we head into spring break, we know that there may be circumstances that arise, which could result in hardship.
    • If the online learning model has created hardship for your family, please contact Director of Financial Assistance and Enrollment Management Brian Murphy at bmurphy@ljcds.org or 858-453-3440 x104.
    • If you or your children are concerned about the well-being of another individual, we encourage you to use the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System. Users can submit an anonymous tip 24/7 through the websiteapp or by phone.
    • Additionally, our Upper School counselor will be available if you are in need. Please feel free to contact Michelle Hirschy at mhirschy@ljcds.org.

    I am grateful to all of you for the support you have shown to each other and the LJCDS community as a whole. Parents and students alike have adapted to rapid change, provided optimism and leadership, and helped us navigate this journey.

    I wish you all a healthy, safe and positive break. Your support and patience have been invaluable and energizing. Know that it is felt and appreciated. If you have ideas, suggestions, and/or feedback, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I am so proud to be part of this community and will do all I can to support all its members.
  • March 21: AP Testing for 2020 Update

    Hello LJCDS families,
    Among the many concerns we all have to deal with during this difficult time, students that are enrolled in AP courses have been left wondering what their options will be for the AP exams. Fortunately, the College Board came out today with what seems to be a solution so students can still take the exam if they wish. For the 2019-2020 exam administration only, students can take a 45-minute online exam at home. The College Board has educator-led development committees currently selecting the exam questions that will be administered. To be fair to all students, some of whom have lost more instructional time than others, the exam will only include topics and skills most AP teachers and students have already covered in class by early March. This means that the test will be “cut back” a bit from what it normally would cover during a “full-academic year". For each AP subject, there will be two different testing dates you can choose from. All of the details have not been hashed out yet, but the specific test dates and the free-response question types will all be posted by April 3, on the College Board website. I will be sending out more information as I receive it, but in the meantime, to remain updated on AP tests for this year, please go to the College Board site section focused on this issue. Until then, stay safe and positive.
  • March 19: E-Learning Feedback Results & COVID-19 Updates

    Dear LJCDS community,

    I hope this message finds you and your family healthy and well. Even when we are physically apart, it is important to remember that the heart of a community is made up of the care, rapport and connection that we have for one another that transcends distance.  

    This week has been filled with an extraordinary amount of new information. With every update, the impact of COVID-19 on our nation grows exponentially. I feel for our nation. I will do my utmost to keep you updated on what LJCDS is doing to support our students’ academic continuity and address your concerns. 

    E-Learning Feedback
    After our E-Learning Practice Day on Tuesday, March 17, the process of adapting our lessons to remote learning is well underway. This transition is a significant adjustment for everyone. We are committed to providing this support for as long as it is needed. We will continue to leverage our expertise in the science of learning to ensure the continuity of teaching and learning. Your feedback is greatly valued.
    From the survey, here are some of the ways we plan to adjust. 
    • A balance of screen time vs. independent learning.
    • Being mindful of multiple users at home, e.g., students in various grades all on Zoom.
    • Assign projects, synchronous learning, that requires check-ins with teachers about progress on a daily basis. Ensure one-on-one connections between student and teacher.
    • Ensure all voices are heard on Zoom calls; incorporate protocols to provide for this. 
    • Communicate the next day’s lesson the night before so that students/families are prepared via the learning management site or email.  
    • Share spring break tips.
    • Click here to review a summary of the report

    Supporting Our Children 
    I want to remind you that children are often the most vulnerable in times of crisis. We suggest that you don’t rely on the news to give your child the information they are seeking. Clarify their confusion and give honest answers, but stick to the basic facts and follow up with the reassurance that their safety is most important to you. Your child will look to you not only for reassurance but also regarding how to deal with uncertainty. 
    Play, Inspire, Give Back
    Please remember to play (and laugh often). Play is every child’s natural form of communicating and processing events. 

    Allow yourself enough private time to process what you’re going through so that you have the resources to be there for them. Inspire them. Children need to rediscover a sense of personal empowerment and resilience when they feel things are out of their control. Help them direct their feelings constructively and consider what they can do to help others. 

    Having them write a card to a friend or teacher not only gives them something positive to focus on but sets the tone for giving back. Here are some other ways families can give back during this time
    Future of Campus Reopening
    Governor Newsom’s recent statement, “It is unlikely that many of these schools, few if any, will open before the summer break,” urged families with schoolchildren to make long-term plans. This conjecture was hard to fathom because so much is still unknown, as this pandemic continues to evolve at a rapid pace. We do not know when LJCDS will reopen. I do know, however, that we need to be prepared to finish the current year in this adapted model. 

    During these unsettling moments in time, we must remind ourselves that challenges are temporary and to:
    1. Remain focused on positive outcomes
    2. Model the behavior that inspires others
    3. Have faith in your community
    4. Encourage each other by sharing successes, even small ones. 

    Next week, we will share ideas to help keep everyone engaged and active over spring break. We promise to update you as we learn more about how we will shape classes and experiences after spring break. We are committed to serving you and your family.  

    Our students, families, faculty and staff are a great team. We hope these photos from e-learning bring you joy.
  • March 17: COVID-19 Update, E-Learning Feedback

    Dear LJCDS community,

    As COVID-19 continues to impact the world, I want to share that I am thinking of you and your families. I am keenly aware of the emotional impact on our students, faculty, staff and families, as you navigate the challenges and strains of this unprecedented time in our global history. 

    While we are honoring social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19, please remember that social distancing doesn’t mean isolation. Leaning on our communities and virtually staying in touch with family and friends are more important than ever. 

    I am grateful for the ways in which the Torrey community has supported one another during this difficult time. The kindness, generosity and displays of humanity have been inspiring. 

    I want to thank our faculty for their untiring efforts to create quality remote learning experiences for our students. Our entire community is adapting and making significant adjustments in the best interest of our children because it takes a village. The people in this community and their commitment to our promise of inspiring greatness for a better world will excel us forward.  

    While we have temporarily moved into a virtual space, please know the strength and impact of this community are beyond the four walls of the classroom or the gates that surround our campus. 

    E-Learning Practice Day and Feedback
    This week, we will reflect upon our E-Learning Practice Day to learn from our experience. We understand that students, faculty, staff and parents all have a lot to learn from each other as we navigate the K–12 remote learning territory. Please provide our school with feedback, so we can best serve you and your family.

    Current Status
    The health and safety of our students, families, faculty and staff are our highest priorities. At this time, we have not been notified of any student or faculty/staff member at LJCDS diagnosed with the virus. If we are notified, we will inform you and share only the person’s division to protect the anonymity of the individual.  

    Items to Note

    Emotional Support
    The school counselors are on standby and are available to support students and families. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Michelle Hirschy at mhirschy@ljcds.org or Ashley Marlow at amarlow@ljcds.org

    Resources From Our Wellness Team:

    Thank you for your notes, compassion, patience and understanding. As the situation continues to unfold, I will keep you posted throughout this week and during spring break. 

    Take good care of yourself and one another. 
  • March 12: Update: Coronavirus, No School On Campus; Learning Continues

    Dear LJCDS Community,

    Thank you for your continued support and understanding as COVID-19 unfolds. The La Jolla Country Day School risk management team has been meeting daily to discuss the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 and rising concerns. After consultation with various medical and public health experts around the nation and the world, La Jolla Country Day School is taking proactive measures and no classes will be conducted on campus starting Monday, March 16. The campus will be closed, and parents, students and faculty will not be allowed on campus.

    Plans going forward:
    • Friday, March 13
      Last day of in-person classes

    • Monday, March 16
      E-Learning Professional Growth Day for Faculty and Staff (Faculty/staff are off-campus practicing and preparing remote learning plans at home; no school for students)

    • Tuesday, March 17
      E-Learning Practice Day (Remote learning for students; remote teaching for faculty)

    • Wednesday, March 18—Friday, March 20
      Off-campus learning will continue and teachers will send independent learning plans for your child
    We did not make this decision lightly. In difficult times, difficult decisions must be made. While there are currently no cases of the coronavirus in our school community and only a handful of cases have been identified in San Diego, we believe that it is in the best interest of our local, national and global community.

    In anticipation of the possibility of the virus spreading in San Diego in the upcoming weeks, La Jolla Country Day School has a responsibility to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We believe this is a critical moment in the outbreak when such proactive measures can potentially impact the spread of the disease.

    • Middle and Upper School are amending the school schedule tomorrow, Friday, March 13, to give students and teachers the opportunity to touch base. The Lower School will remain on the same schedule with dismissal at 2:30 p.m. and Extended Day is available.

    • On Friday, March 13, all students should clean out their lockers and bring home all their belongings, including books, laptops, musical instruments and athletic gear (and anything in the athletic lockers). Faculty and staff are also encouraged to pack all of their belongings. The operations team will be deep cleaning the campus.

    • E-Learning plans for each division will be shared tomorrow.
    Next Week’s Events
    • All in-person events, practices and games are canceled next week and over spring break.

    • The CIF San Diego-section commissioner, Jerry Schniepp, has recommended that all schools that close also cancel athletics during the closure.

    • Blue Bash Goes Virtual will occur as planned online from Friday, March 13–Monday, March 16.
    Communications Plan
    • LJCDS will communicate updates with families every Tuesday and Thursday over the next three weeks.
    • In the event that LJCDS closes after spring break, we will communicate with the community in the following ways:
      1. Email
      2. Text message (You must opt-in, text the word “Alert” to 22300)
      3. Voice call
      4. Website homepage pop-up
      5. Notification on school mobile app
      6. Our full set of communications is also available on www.ljcds.org/COVID-19.
    Supporting Each Other
    We understand that this decision will cause inconveniences and challenges for our families. I, along with my leadership team, ask that you support each other during this difficult time. Out of an abundance of caution, we want to encourage parents to ask their children to practice social distancing and to avoid gathering in large groups. Also, in the spirit of caring for our students’ well-being, the CDC has wonderful resources on Mental Health and Coping with COVID-19.

    Resources and Contacts Over Break
    The leadership team will be available to support families and answer questions over the next three weeks. Please contact leadership@ljcds.org. A member of the leadership team will be monitoring this inbox Monday through Friday between 8 a.m.– 4 p.m.

    We thank you for your understanding and partnership during this important time. We wish you and your family a healthy and safe spring break.
  • March 6: Coronavirus E-Learning Practice Day

    Dear Parents and Guardians, 
    The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. As the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the nation and new developments unfold, La Jolla Country Day School is preparing for the likelihood of a mandated school closure. 

    The school will be conducting an E-Learning Practice Day on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. No classes will be conducted on campus on that day. Students will not be allowed on campus from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. 

    By shifting our education to virtual learning for one day, we can better prepare how best to continue a quality LJCDS education in the event of a long-term closure. This simulation will be a learning opportunity for the entire community—students, parents, faculty and staff. Faculty and students will practice teaching and learning remotely while additionally giving the school the opportunity to deep clean the entire campus. 
    Early Childhood Center
    We will provide our Early Childhood Center families with suggestions for learning activities that children can explore on the practice day in lieu of online learning plans to honor the developmental needs of our three- and four-year-olds. 

    Lower School
    The Lower School is preparing kindergarten through Grade 4 learning plans that will include online activities as well as activities that can be completed offline. Students will have an opportunity to check in with their teachers through video conferencing and chat rooms.
    Middle School
    Middle School is preparing to adapt lessons to an online format that fully utilizes the learning management system built into the school’s portal. The faculty will also leverage the collaborative features of Google Drive.  
    Upper School
    The Upper School will use Blackboard to support and facilitate this experience. Classes may take the form of video conferencing, instructional videos, or independent reading and practice to name a few. All of these options will be supported through interactions with the teacher via email, discussion/chat rooms, or face-to-face interactions through video conferencing. 

    Each division will communicate their learning plans with families on Thursday, March 12, 2020. 

    Items to note on March 17: 
    • No students will be allowed on campus. No childcare will be provided.  
    • All after-school programs and athletic practices will be canceled. 
    • Only previously scheduled athletic games will occur. Questions about athletics should be directed to Jeff Hutzler at jhutzler@ljcds.org.  
    • No athletic game-related transportation will be provided. 

    If the online learning model creates challenges or hardship for your family, please contact Director of Financial Assistance and Enrollment Management Brian Murphy at bmurphy@ljcds.org or 858-453-3440 ext. 104. 
    We recognize the inconvenience that this may create for families. However, we believe this strategic decision is in the best interest of our students to align the people, processes and technology in the event that we need to close our school for an extended period of time. 
    We thank you for your partnership and your understanding.
  • March 5: Coronavirus Update

    Dear Parents and Guardians, 
    We are paying close attention to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, and the leadership team is conferring daily about the extent to which developments may necessitate changes in school activities. 
    Because of the fluidity and expertise required during the outbreak of diseases and viruses, we are continuously monitoring information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for guidance, and we will be in touch with state and local health departments as needed. 
    Given the uncertainty and unpredictability of the spread and impact of COVID-19, concern is certainly understandable. We can, however, turn that concern into actions to help our community stay healthy. 
    Cleaning and Hygiene 
    • The janitorial staff has increased the cleaning and disinfection of all classrooms and common spaces with extra detail to all high-touch surfaces. Door handles, hard surfaces, keyboards, etc., are getting extra attention every night.
    • The school is also using Protexus, a handheld electrostatic sprayer to disinfect classrooms, the theater, gym, locker rooms, lobbies, libraries and other high-trafficked areas.
    • Extra cleaning supplies, including hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes, are readily available for classrooms and offices. As the stock of supplies goes into backorder, LJCDS has a partnership with Sandstrand Services, our janitorial contractor, who has access to disinfectants that may be back-ordered for the public.
    • We will be adding more touchless hand sanitizers in high-trafficked areas.
    • SAGE, our dining services, has taken proactive measures as well: 
      1. Conducting a Serve Safe discussion every day during the pre-shift meeting, along with a team wellness check
      2. Cleaning and sanitizing the entire buffet, shelves and decor items twice a day after the morning break and lunch
      3. Changing out all publicly handled serving utensils every 15 minutes
      4. Encouraging students to use the provided hand sanitizer before entering the servery
      5. Reintroducing the Take 5 training (instructional videos) about proper procedures for handwashing and glove use, etc.
    Illness Protocol 
    • We strongly encourage all employees to stay home if they are not feeling well. Substitutes and alternate plans will be provided.
    • Please keep your child at home if they are sick to help prevent transmission to others. If a student comes to school sick, they will be sent home.
    • Faculty members will provide flexibility to support students who miss classwork, tests or quizzes. Students should not be worried about missing class due to illness.

    School-Hosted Spring Break Trips 
    • LJCDS is canceling all international school trips over spring break because travel advisories and travel restrictions are changing daily. We do not want to risk a situation in which students are unable to return to the United States on schedule. For our families affected by the cancellation of the Croatia and Morocco global education programs, or any other families with questions related to our international travel, please contact Dan Wagner at dwagner@ljcds.org or 858-453-3440 ext. 322.
    • The seventh-grade trip to Los Angeles on March 10 is canceled. (The trip to the Islamic Center of San Diego on March 9 is still scheduled.)
    • Other domestic trips will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
    • During the next few weeks, we will be working with our travel agencies to minimize the financial impact of our decision. Please know that we are committed to refunding the total program cost each family has paid, and we thank you in advance for your assistance and patience as we work to sort out the details over the coming weeks.

    Other Travel
    For those families who might be traveling over spring break, we encourage you to follow the guidelines outlined by the CDC

    Future Learning Preparation
    The Lower School, Middle School and Upper School faculty and administrators conduct ongoing conversations to discuss remote learning plans to prepare for the possibility of online teaching.
  • February 26: A Message from the Head of School

    Dear LJCDS Community,

    Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gave a press conference updating the American public on the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The CDC shared that the coronavirus is extremely likely to spread in communities across the U.S. The idea of a widespread virus is justifiably alarming. We wanted to take this opportunity to share some information that may be helpful as you consider your next steps.

    First, the United States is not currently facing a coronavirus pandemic. A pandemic occurs when a disease is spreading diffusely across a large region (or multiple regions).

    The CDC’s principal deputy director, Anne Schuchat, M.D., stated that the COVID-19 is very transmissible. Our ability to limit the spread of the virus may not hold for the long term. She has also noted that the virus is not as severe as the CDC first feared. What we see regarding severe cases are primarily in the elderly, people with underlying medical conditions and those that are immunocompromised. The incubation period for the COVID-19 virus can appear in as few as two days and as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms of the COVID-19 are similar to a cold or the flu and may include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Upon further investigation, the disease may also include diarrhea and vomiting one to two days prior to the development of fever and shortness of breath. The CDC is still learning about the virus. Dr. Schuchat’s interview is at the 3-minute mark in this video.

    We know that some of you will be thinking about N95 masks or similar face coverage. It is important to understand that these are not a particularly effective strategy for protecting individuals from contracting the coronavirus. If you plan to use a mask for protection or prevention, note that masks would have to be worn almost 24 hours/day to avoid any possible contact. Instead, follow general health and wellness best practices, with a particular focus on thorough hand washing. You can find the CDC page on Coronavirus Prevention & Treatment strategies here.

    Other questions may be answered on the World Health Organization’s “Myth Busters” page on the coronavirus.

    We continue to act with vigilance and diligence in promoting overall preventative health hygiene within our schools, including:
    • Increased daily cleaning by staff and janitorial staff, with special attention to “high-touch” surfaces
    • Increased attention to and instruction on healthy hygiene practices for our students (e.g., proper hand-washing and proper coverage of coughs and sneezes)
    As always, we ask for your partnership in keeping your child home if you observe the following symptoms of a contagious illness:
    • Fever of 100 degrees or more (Children must be free of fever for at least 24 hours, unassisted by fever-reducing medication before returning to school)
    • Heavy green discharge from the eyes or nose
    • Deep cough
    • Vomiting (Children must be kept home for 24 hours after vomiting)
    • Diarrhea
    • Rash or other open sores

    We will continue to monitor the public health agencies for updated information to help protect your children and our community. We are a responsive and supportive community, and we need to take care of ourselves and each other during this time of heightened concern.
  • January 24: Influenza/Coronavirus

    Dear LJCDS Community,

    It is flu season, and there have been cases of flu reported at LJCDS. Because the influenza virus, or flu, is easily spread from person to person, we are asking for your assistance to help reduce the spread on campus.

    Seasonal flu is transmitted by droplets, which spread when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person may contract flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and touching their own mouth, eye or possibly their nose.

    People can spread the flu virus before the onset of symptoms, as well as when they are sick. The incubation period is usually one day before the onset of symptoms and up to five to seven days after symptoms begin. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated. It is not too late for this flu season. It is recommended that everyone in your family who is 6 months or older get the flu vaccine. The vaccine is available at your physician’s office, community health centers and retail pharmacies.

    Here is what you can do to help:
    • Teach your children to wash their hands thoroughly and often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Hands should be washed often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Adults can set a good example by doing this also.
    • Teach your children to cover their coughs with either the crook of their elbow or a tissue and to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Teach your children not to share personal items like drinks, food or unwashed utensils and to cover their coughs and sneezes with tissues. If tissues are not available, coughs and sneezes can be covered with the elbow, arm or sleeve instead of hands.
    • Know the signs and symptoms of flu. Symptoms of the flu virus may include fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius or higher), cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache and feeling very tired. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea.
    • Keep sick children at home until the fever is gone for 24 hours without fever-reducing drugs. By keeping children home when they have a fever, we can reduce the number of new people who may get infected.
    • Do not send children to school if they are sick. Children who are sick while at school will be sent home.

    The other virus in the news is the coronavirus that started in Wuhan, China. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak. Many cities in China have been quarantined. The CDC is recommending that people should avoid nonessential travel to Wuhan, China.

    If any students (or their parent/guardian) have been to Wuhan, China, or come in contact with someone who was there recently and has exhibited fever and respiratory illness, the parent/guardian should notify the attendance office and me.

    Symptoms of the coronavirus include headaches, a runny nose, fever, sore throat and cough. Human coronaviruses can result in lower-respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis, according to the CDC. The same precautions for the flu should also be used for coronavirus.

    There are currently no vaccines or specific treatments available to protect you against human coronavirus infection. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. Please use the above precautions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The following are suggestions for treating the symptoms of the coronavirus: 
    • take pain and fever medications (Caution: do not give aspirin to children)
    • use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough
    If you are concerned about your symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider. For more information, visit the CDC: coronavirus and influenza virus.

Free Access to Cox Wi-Fi Hotspots

We have received confirmation from Cox Communications that they have opened all their hot spots to the public to aid in the COVID-19 response efforts. You will no longer need to have a Cox account to access the hot spots. To locate Cox hotspots near you, please click here

How to connect to a Cox hotspot
  1. Turn on wi-fi and search for networks
  2. Select the CableWiFi or CoxWiFi wireless network
  3. Launch your Internet browser (if asked, choose Cox from the list of Internet providers)
  4. Follow prompts
Low-Cost Home Internet Service 
Cox Communications is also offering low-cost internet home service for $9.95/month for families with school-age children (free for first 30 days) through the Cox Connect2Compete program. Learn more here

AT&T also offers low-cost internet home services to qualifying households through the AT&T Access program. Learn more here.

List of 5 items.

  • What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that affect humans and animals. They include those that cause the common cold. A new, or novel, coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The disease it causes has been named COVID-19.
  • What are the symptoms?

    Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reported mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
    • fever
    • cough
    • shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
    At this time, the CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
  • How does it spread?

    Scientists think the main way COVID-19 spreads is through close person-to-person contact, within six feet, with someone infected with the virus. The virus seems to be spreading easily in the community of affected areas. Investigations are ongoing to learn more about how it spreads.

    The latest updates are on the 
    CDC’s webpage.
  • What can I do to prevent getting COVID-19?

    Practice everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
    • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It should be at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • If you are sick, stay home and keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. 
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
  • What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

    If you have traveled to an area affected by COVID-19* within the last 14 days or had close contact (within 6 feet/2 meters) with someone who has been laboratory confirmed to have COVID-19 and developed a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, you should:
    • Call a healthcare provider and seek medical advice—It is important that you call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room and tell them about your recent travel or close contact and your symptoms.
    • Avoid contact with others—Do not go to work, school, or travel while sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

    Your healthcare provider will work with the health department to determine if you need to be tested for the COVID-19 virus.

La Jolla Country Day School

9490 Genesee Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

© 2020 La Jolla Country Day School