COVID-19 Updates


Page updated 06/17/20

A Message from Rob Hair to MSB Families

Dear MSB Families,

We look forward to the day when students will return to school on the MSB campus. In the meantime, we continue planning for opening school safely. I want to provide a video update with you on the thinking behind our planning and what to expect during the reopening the campus in the fall.

As you know, we are consulting with the medical community in our return to school plan. The biggest challenge we face is in determining appropriate safety plans and acquiring the right protective equipment for working with students who cannot maintain safe distancing or wear masks on their own.

With that said, I want to point out that school will look very different when school resumes on campus. There will be a more medical look and feel at MSB. There will be daily health screenings for students, staff and visitors and staff will wear surgical masks and often face shields when working with students.

As I mentioned before, we continue to consider whether we will need to have alternating weekly schedules, some groups coming on campus on a given week and others at home for remote instruction (A weeks/B weeks). This is a strategy to keep safe distancing of students in classrooms and in the residential program more manageable. This is complicated for many reasons, and we are giving it a great deal of thought.  

We also continue sourcing and acquiring the necessary protective equipment and sanitizing supplies. This includes masks, face shields, gowns, and hand sanitizing gel among other things which have remained in short supply since the beginning of the pandemic. Some materials we have been able to purchase in advance, others are projected to be delivered late in the summer and still other materials are not yet available. If anyone has resources or connections with medical supply providers, please let me know.

And we are acquiring electrostatic misting equipment to assist in quickly sanitizing handrails, door knobs, and other high-touch surfaces more frequently throughout the day. They are scheduled for delivery in August.

We would like to again ask for your assistance with three things:

  1. Thank you for your participation in the survey. It’s not too late if you would like to submit your thoughts. Your concerns and insights regarding what safety looks like for your child are invaluable as we design our plan.
    1. This is a summary of the results so far:
      1. The majority parents trust that we will design a good safety plan.
      1. Many parents express concern that their children may contract COVID and be at risk due to their medical status.
      1. Others are concerned about exposing elderly family members/medically compromised individuals who live in their home to the virus.
      1. Others expressed concern that if there is an A/B schedule, work and childcare would be very challenging to manage.
      1. Others want school to reopen as soon as possible.
  2. Your answers to that survey prompted another brief survey which we would appreciate your help with. We would like to know:  
    1. How many parents plan to keep their children home, even if schools open in the fall.
    1. Are any parents willing to volunteer to be part of the team which will review and provide feedback for the return-to-school plan.
  3. Finally, again, in preparation for reopening school, please have your children practice wearing masks if it is appropriate and safe for them to do so. Remember, children who cannot safely remove their own masks should not wear masks and there is no expectation for them to do so. (Our safety guidelines take this into account.)

Thank you for your continued support and thoughtful feedback as we continue to make plans for the fall.

With appreciation,

W. Robert Hair, Superintendent

Previous Updates:

MSB Publishes Continuity of Learning Plan. Link to PDF below:

https://www.marylandschoolfortheblind.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Plan-for-Continuity-of-Learning-1.pdf

The state of Maryland is operating feeding programs at multiple locations state wide. To find the location nearest to you go to:

https://www.mdsummermeals.org

  • CDC Website Resources:

COVID—19 Summary

COVID—19 Factsheet

COVID—19 Clinical Criteria

COVID—19 Infection Control

Other Resources:

https://rems.ed.gov/docs/REMS_K-12_Guide_508.pdf

https://health.baltimorecity.gov/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-conrnavirus-2019/situation-reports/

https://openwho.org/courses/COVID-19-IPC-EN/items/5ZMmyYO6KlmlVXm7Ep4MwE

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/cfid-19-sprp-unct-guidelines.pdf