COVID-19 Update from the Head of School

Dear Good Shepherd Families,

Thank you for the outpouring of support for the school and our faculty member during these unusual times. Certainly, last night, our goal was to get the school suspension information to you as quickly as possible so you could plan for the implications to your family. Today, we would like to follow up with some additional information in an effort to ease concerns and keep everyone updated.

We understand the uncertainty of this situation. We can share one of our faculty members has an extended family member, with whom he/she lives, who has been exposed to COVID-19. The family member does not have any symptoms at this time. It was out of an abundance of caution we suspended school. 

We do understand everyone’s valid concerns for the safety of your children and your family. The school has suspended all learning and activities for these two days prior to spring break as a precautionary measure. It is always recommended to contact your personal medical professional for guidance on what is best for your family and for any specific questions. You can also look for guidance and support from other reliable sources, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS)

In response to some of your questions, we have created this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) reference section below so you may scan the information provided and focus on what you feel is most relevant to you. 

Which faculty member was affected? Did my child have direct contact with the teacher? 
We cannot share the name of the faculty member, for obvious privacy reasons. This is a faculty member who acted responsibly, and with the utmost care and concern, by notifying the school as soon as the extended family member had been contacted by the CDC. We appreciate this immediate action taken by our faculty member so we could make decisions about the well being of the entire community. The faculty member had minimal contact with his/her extended family member, and the extended family member is asymptomatic.

Is there any exposure to grandparents or to the people who attended the 60th anniversary celebration?
The extended family member had not returned from traveling prior to Grandparents’ Days or the 60th anniversary celebration. 

What is the impact of this indirect exposure to my family’s planned travel over spring break?
Our recommendation continues to be to follow CDC guidelines around both your travel and day-to-day habits. Please refer to your family’s medical professional(s) and/or the CDC link for information and guidance. We encourage everyone to be diligent about washing hands thoroughly and often, avoid touching your face, and sneezing or coughing into elbows.

My child is immuno-compromised or my child feels ill. What should I do? 
Please confer with your own personal medical professional. Feel free to share the contents of the school’s email information with your medical professional, and allow him/her to make a decision based on his/her extensive medical background and understanding of the virus. 

How are you tracking direct/indirect exposure to the virus among the community? 
To our knowledge, this is the first indirect exposure to our community. As a normal course, our clinic staff attempts to keep informed on illnesses, and to maintain general wellness procedures each and every day. If a student is absent, clinic staff try to identify whether the student is ill, and if so, whether the child has a specific diagnosis. If they identify trends in a class or grade level, they will notify the Leadership Team, and a special deep clean will be completed for those areas. We attempt to continually monitor for widespread illnesses. 

Again, we are at our best as a community when we all work together around these types of situations. We will continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and send communications to our community as necessary. Please watch for a specific email from me on Friday, March 20th to inform you about plans for our return to school on March 23rd. 

Best Regards,
Julie McLeod, Ph.D.
Head of School