A Message From Dr. Kelly - Special Update
The existence of a confirmed case of Ebola in New York City is enough to give any parent reasonable cause for concern. It is with this concern in mind that I write to share with you information about the Ebola virus as well as a handful of useful links specific to the more common enterovirus.
As we enter the influenza season, Horace Mann School takes great pride in its ability to respond efficiently and effectively when health concerns present. Our daily cleaning routines, in the Bronx, Manhattan, and in Connecticut, meet and exceed the standards most recently established by both the New York City Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Proper hygiene habits are being reinforced in our classrooms and at lunch time, and our cleaners are charged daily to use the hospital-grade chemicals necessary to disinfect doorknobs, railings, bathrooms, kitchen facilities and other common areas. In addition, and where age-appropriate, Purell stations are located throughout our School. Tissues are readily available in every division, and paper towel dispensers are returning to our bathrooms in Tillinghast, Fisher, Pforzheimer and Rose Halls.
As you will find in the information presented within this letter and in the links located to the right, compliance with basic hygiene routines coupled with an increased level of due diligence specific to travel outside of the U.S. will serve each and every member of the Horace Mann School family well. In particular:
- Avoid close contact with sick people
- Wash your hands often with soap & water
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
- Clean and disinfect surfaces
- Stay home when you’re sick
If you are required to travel to one of the affected areas, please give some consideration to involving School personnel in the discussion as to whether it is appropriate for you or other members of your family to be on campus immediately upon your return home. My office is available to offer guidance on this matter.
As per past practice, our school nurses have the authority to send any child home who presents with a fever and to refuse to allow that child to return to school until he or she is fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours. We ask for your support of our nurses' decisions.
School personnel realize how confusing and unsettling the relentless media coverage specific to the Ebola virus can be to children of all ages. To this end, you may wish to spend a few minutes reading the article from The Washington Post at right. This thoughful article offers parents several tips for discussing Ebola with children. As always, School personnel are ready to assist you if an additional question or concern presents.
With help from our colleagues at the CDC, NYC Department of Health & Human Services, and the NYS Education Department, we will continue to monitor the developing situation and share information when and where appropriate.
In keeping with our ethic of service at Horace Mann School, let's not forget to appreciate those healthcare practitioners and military personnel who have chosen to put themselves at risk while treating victims of the Ebola virus at home and on foreign soil.
Thomas M. Kelly, Ph.D.
Head of School
24-hour Guard on Duty: (917) 416-7819
Horace Mann School Core Values
Life of the Mind
A Secure and Healthful Environment
A Balance Between Individual Achievement and a Caring Community
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Seasonal Flu: A Guide for Parents
What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68
The Washington Post:
5 Tips for Talking To Your Children about Ebola
Questions and Answers on Ebola