A couple of our teachers have asked me what they should tell families if they are asked about Celebration Education's answer to Covid-19 concerns.
Coronavirus is a big deal and a lot of people have fears about what it may mean to them. Hearing about cancellations such as concerts and basketball games, we start to wonder what other cancellations or quarantines might be necessary. Large gatherings are canceled because they attract people from all over and they have thousands of people packed into an area. A person carrying the disease could potentially infect unknown numbers of people. There are those that have wondered if their children would be safe at their learning center.
Personally, I am not afraid. There are very few school closures in California at this time and the schools that have closed are ones where there are students or their family members have tested positive for Covid-19. No schools in Orange County, Riverside, or San Bernardino Counties have closed.
As compared to the brick and mortar schools, our classes are very small gatherings. We have less than ten kids in any of our classes and less than 20 people at once at any of our locations. Ours is a small, controlled environment. If you leave your house at all, it would be difficult to visit a place that has a smaller crowd. So unless you plan to quarantine yourself at home, our learning centers should be one of the places that you and your children can feel safe. It will take months for this disease to run its course and I know we don't all want to be locked up at home for that long.
That said, there is no reason for us to be careless. If any of our families are found to have Covid-19, we would close that location.
Meanwhile, I'm going to ask the teachers to have the kids wash their hands when they arrive and before lunch. We will remind the kids to not share food or touch their faces. I'm also asking the teachers to disinfect doorknobs and tables daily for the time being. I feel the children would be safe without all these extra precautions, but it's a good idea to be safe anyway.
We also emphasize to everyone the importance of staying home if you are ill. Whether it's Covid-19, the flu, or the common cold, we don't want to spread disease. There have been times when kids come with a little cough and we didn't worry about it, but right now we are all on high alert and it's just better to be safe.
The nice thing is that our classes are not mandatory. The heart of our program is homeschooling. Your children can count as "present" for the schools they are enrolled in, whether they are in our classes or not. This is regardless of their reason for staying away. If you decide that you do want to keep your kids at home for any reason, we just ask that you let us know when they're not coming in. A quick text to the teacher is appreciated.
Further, I feel it's important that we help our children FEEL safe, even while others panic. I believe knowledge is the greatest defense against fear. News outlets get more viewers when they share extreme cases. Seeing even one suffering person can be disturbing. I'm not saying we should shield our children from learning about what's going on, but that knowing the facts is a lot more empowering than following sensationalized stories.
Below are some interesting, educational, and empowering resources that you and/or your children might enjoy. Here's to a happy and healthy spring for everyone!
- Heather Martinson, Celebration Education
- Coronavirus map: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd
- World Health Organization (WHO) Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19):
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Coronavirus information, updated daily:
- Steps to Prevent Illness
- Glitter germs lesson plan: https://snhschilddevelopment.weebly.com/uploads/1/3/1/2/13125961/glittergermslessonplan.pdf
- Experiment to do with your kids:
- VIDEO: What Happens If There Is A Pandemic?: