COVID-19 Response and InformationMarch, 2020
The safety and well-being of our entire community are always our first priority. Accordingly, as of March 15th, all students have returned home. Although we experienced no cases of COVID-19, we took this action to protect the Saint Thomas community and to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We hope that this precautionary measure will keep our community safe, help provide essential protection to individuals at risk of severe illness and support critical healthcare infrastructures.
We have been and will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 crisis and follow recommendations from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and New York State and City Departments of Health as we navigate these uncharted waters.
We are also working in coordination with our governing bodies at National Association of Independent Schools, New York State Association of Independent Schools and National Association of Episcopal Schools and remain in contact with our peer schools.
Senior leadership at the Choir School will continue to meet regularly to guide and plan the Choir School’s continued response to COVID-19, and make plans for re-opening the school when it is safe to do so.
Timeline of actions and decisions taken
March 2: The Choir School advised parents that it was closely monitoring the growing crisis, taking steps to reduce student exposure according to guidance issued by the New York City Department of Health and advised parents to be mindful of CDC travel restrictions when making Easter break travel plans. A letter and Frequently Asked Questions Guide from the New York City Department of Health with information about the coronavirus and general flu prevention measures was distributed.
March 10-15: Under the guidance of Interim Head of School, Amalia Francisco, faculty quickly developed and implemented a plan for distance learning using Zoom and Microsoft Teams in all subjects, including choir, voice, and instrument lessons. All of the boys were instructed in how to use Zoom, including a full, practice day at school prior to the boys leaving to trouble-shoot any issues and ensure a smooth transition.
March 15: All students returned home, bringing their school-supplied laptops with them. Residential faculty and staff remain at the school and are following all protocols to remain healthy and safe. All other faculty and staff are working remotely.
March 17 and 18: Ms. Francisco hosted two online meetings with parents to present more information on the Choir School’s plan, give parents instruction in how to use the Zoom platform, and address any questions and concerns from parents.
- Distance learning began with a full schedule from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. All regular classes continue with both faculty and parents reporting a successful transition to virtual classrooms.
- Father Turner reiterated the Church’s commitment and ability to maintain the Choir School and the entire Saint Thomas community during this uncertain period and into the future.
March 20: Plans for virtual student recruitment begin to ensure that prospective students and their families can continue to move forward with their applications and auditions.
We will continue to update this page and send out emails to all community members on changes to this fluid situation and appropriate responses for our community.