Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updates

The Parish School leadership team and Board of Trustees have continued to closely monitor the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on our community. Due to the significantly more restrictive guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local government officials, we have decided to transition out of Spring Break into remote learning. Remote learning began Tuesday, March 24. Campus-based instruction will tentatively resume on Monday, May 4. Please continue to check this page for regular updates.

Dear Parish Supporters,

What a crazy time this has been! Never did I think I’d be writing a letter to Parish supporters during a world health crisis that seems closer to a real-life apocalypse movie than reality. Yet here we are. But here we are together! And that’s why I’m reaching out to you today – because you’re an important member of the extended Parish community. And together we will make it through this thanks in large part to your support. Thank you!

Here’s a little of what The Parish School and Carruth Center have been up to…

While I wouldn’t call current circumstances anything close to business as usual, we are continuing to fulfill our mission to educate children who have communication delays and learning differences, empowering them with the tools to succeed! Starting last week, we began working with Parish students in virtual classrooms and seeing Carruth Center clients in telehealth sessions, which we’ll continue until at least May 4.

And not only are we empowering students “with the tools to succeed,” but parents, teachers and administrators are using tools some have never used before. Like parents teaching their 6-year-olds to “zoom,” and teachers working on becoming overnight YouTube sensations! Everyone has come together so quickly and beautifully, and we couldn’t have done it without you, our supporters.

So, from all of us at The Parish School and Carruth Center, thank you for being together with us. I look forward to seeing you in person again soon!

Until then,

Amy M. Tanner, MBA
Director of Advancement

Dear Parents,
It is with a very heavy heart that the Arts team, along with Cheval and Amy Richard, have come to the decision that we must cancel the Upper and Lower Elementary Musical scheduled for early May. I have been a part of this rite of passage at The Parish School for 28 years—through fire, floods and unholy traffic jams—but it seems that this novel virus is the one thing we can’t conquer. I know many children, particularly the commencing students, will be saddened by this news, as is our schoolwide community. It seems as if grieving losses is a part of this virus, and for me, this feels like one more wound that needs to heal.

I plan to tell the children about the cancellation this Friday in their morning live-lesson time. Please don’t hesitate to have your student or you reach out to me via email or zoom.

While canceling the musical is an enormous loss, nothing—and I do mean nothing—can take away from the amazing personal growth that we have seen in your children. They have blossomed into amazing actors, singers, artists and humans! I so wish that we could have all seen them shine on stage in this musical…

Until next time,
Terri Garth
Director of Integrated Arts & Sciences

Dear Parish and Carruth community,

I’m so excited about the successful implementation of remote learning and teletherapy, especially since we will have to settle into this new way of teaching and learning until May 4, at the earliest, due to Governor Abbott’s order today that Texas schools remain closed until that date.

I have enjoyed watching recordings of live lessons and how teachers and students have been so flexible, creative and resilient. As parents, I hope you are all getting into a rhythm of being able to support your children’s learning. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher if you need additional guidance. As I speak to some of you during this time, please know that I hear your feedback and it is valued. We will continue to evaluate the process and make necessary adjustments. I don’t anticipate any major changes, but there may be minor tweaks along the way as we learn more.

In more serious news, as of today, we have two confirmed-positive cases of COVID-19 in the Parish and Carruth community. Two staff members are actively combating the virus and both were diagnosed within the last five days. They are recovering well at home. Since we are now beyond the 14-day window since we were last together, if you have not exhibited symptoms, you were likely not exposed on campus. I will remain in contact with them to assess their health and well-being, as well as track their timeline for a safe return to work as we get closer to that elusive date.

If you or a member of your household has been exposed to COVID-19 or for any reason feel they should be tested, please do not hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider. We ask that any positive results of any family member be conveyed to me immediately, especially if your incubation period corresponds with school/clinic being in-session on campus. Your information will be kept confidential.

As always, I am available to all of you if you have questions, concerns, feedback, or just need to chat. I’ve heard great stories about forts being built, snacks being prepared, virtual field trips, and virtual beach outings. Please continue to share.

Until we meet back at our beautiful campus…be safe and well!

Cheval

Hello Carruth Center Families,

I hope that all of you and your families are safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. It is hard to believe that Spring Break was only two weeks ago. While we all had an ominous feeling the campus would not re-open after Spring Break, when we left, no final decision had been made. Now, a few short week later, we have shifted our service delivery from in-person to telehealth, as many other therapy providers have done. The therapists at The Carruth Center have spent the last week learning and planning therapy sessions using a platform none of us ever would have imagined we would be utilizing so widely. I am so impressed with the Carruth therapy team’s dedication to their clients and willingness to pivot to a new service delivery model so quickly. Like all of you, they have done this while managing their own family’s needs. We understand that continuing your child’s individual therapy sessions is a commitment that we ask in a time when you are very busy parenting, teaching and caring for others while likely juggling your own work commitments. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for taking this leap with us.

Your therapy team has likely emailed you a Consent for Teletherapy Services. This form must be completed before or when we initiate teletherapy services with your child. The form can be printed out and completed or can be signed digitally. Please return this to your therapist asap so we may begin services for your child.

The form can be found under “Fees and Forms” on The Carruth Center website. This is a direct link to download it: https://www.carruthcenter.org/media/1985/consent-for-telehealth-at-parish-and-carruth-rext.pdf

There is a separate form necessary for children receiving Play Therapy that can be downloaded from here: https://www.carruthcenter.org/media/1984/consent-for-mental-health-tele-treatment-at-parish-and-carruth-rext.pdf

There is nothing more we would like than to see your children at our clinic before the end of the school year. We miss them dearly! At this time, the campus is closed until April 13, however we are all aware of the fluidity of the situation and are prepared to continue to see your children via the teletherapy platform through the end of the school year or longer, if we are unable to return to the clinic. At this time, all summer programs we administer (Kaufman-Apraxia Boot Camp, Camp SuperWriters, Camp Social Superheroes and Camp Connect) will continue as planned. We will keep The Parish School and Carruth Center community informed of any changes. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns during this time. We look forward to seeing all of you as soon as this crisis has passed.

Thank you,
Mimi Branham
Clinic Director

Dear Parish Parents,

Thank you all for your patience and dedication this week as we transition to remote learning and telehealth. I realize this is an adjustment for all of us – faculty/staff, students and parents. The good news is that there is a palpable level of commitment to doing what’s right for our students even during this time when everyone is off balance. Because of this commitment, we are making this transition beautifully. Even with the bumps, kinks, uncertainty and ongoing adjustments, we are just where we should be in this process after only one week.

By now, each of our students should have engaged in several live lessons with their teachers and peers. Since this week has been a slow roll-out, you will find that each day, the remote schedule will develop further. We are committed to providing all students with high-quality academic, social and language intervention each day, as well as including some arts and sciences in this new virtual manner. We will provide a combination of live class meetings and assignments for the children to work on independently or with you all. We would like students to participate in all live class meetings, if possible. However, we understand with your work schedules and the schedules of other children in your home, that this may not always be possible. Therefore, we will also be recording all classes and posting them to the Parish Portal on our class topics page so you can access them when it’s most convenient for you. At minimum, we would like to have face-to-face contact with each student in our virtual classrooms twice per day.

In addition, we have created a Parish Portal resource page that you can access to support the remote learning environment in your home.

We appreciate the fabulous feedback from many of you this week and have considered every single thought in our decision-making process. Since there are so many different scenarios and situations within our community, it is impossible for us to meet the individual needs of each and every family. As such, we are offering a comprehensive day of learning that will be spread throughout the day. Please engage at the level that fits with your individual situation. Remember, all lessons will be recorded and available to you for your convenience.

Again, I want to thank you for your support and engagement during this new journey of remote learning. Remember, we are ALL learning together!

Best,
Cheval

Dear Parish Families,
To keep our community safe and slow the spread of COVID-19 in our area, in addition to canceling in-person classes through April 10, all previously scheduled events through April 10 are also canceled. Unfortunately, due to the continued uncertainty regarding this outbreak and being the end of the school year, many events are unable to be rescheduled. It is our hope that school will resume normal operations on Monday, April 13 and the majority of events remaining for this school year will take place as planned.

We are formulating a plan for unfulfilled Teachers' Treasures and Birthday Announcements purchased in the September Cyber Auction. We will be reaching out to those families individually regarding how to proceed.

Although campus is closed, faculty and staff are working diligently to provide remote learning opportunities as possible and appropriate for each class. These efforts begin tomorrow, March 24. You will be hearing from your child's teacher soon with a class schedule and learning plan. Thank you for your partnership and continued patience as we navigate this situation together.

Class Pictures - March 24 & 25
CANCELED - RESCHEDULE PENDING

Life After Parish - March 26
CANCELED

Spring Family Garden Day - March 28
CANCELED

Spring MAP Testing
CANCELED - RESCHEDULE PENDING

Parish Play Day - April 5
CANCELED

Camp for All Trip - April 8 & 9
CANCELED - RESCHEDULE FOR FALL 2020 PENDING

PTO Meeting - April 8
MAY BE HELD VIRTUALLY

Hello Carruth Center Families,

I hope this communication finds you and all who you love healthy and well.

We at The Carruth Center are dedicated to continuing your child’s therapy services during these unprecedented times. Last week during our Spring Break, you should have received an email from Cheval Bryant, head of school at The Parish School, regarding the closing of The Parish School and Carruth Center campus until at least Monday, April 13, 2020.

While campus is closed, we are dedicated to finding ways to continue your child’s therapeutic goals and prevent loss of skills during this break. As staff returns from a well-deserved Spring Break, we are working hard to implement ways to provide some of the services your child receives using alternate methods. Your child’s therapist(s) will reach out to you by Wednesday, March 25 to discuss options for continuation of services.

Please see below for specific information about the different ways services will be affected:

GROUP THERAPY

All group therapy services, including Social Learning, Empower Hour, Language Learning Tools and Language Development Class will be suspended until The Carruth Center re-opens. Starting today, we are developing resources for families of children participating in these groups to help maintain skills at home. We are exploring the option of extending sessions past their scheduled end dates so your child receives the full benefits of their program. 

INDIVIDUAL SPEECH THERAPY, OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY, PLAY THERAPY AND MUSIC THERAPY

For many of our clients, teletherapy will be an option to continue services while the clinic is closed. Teletherapy has been widely adopted in speech, occupational and mental health therapies, and studies show that it can be as effective as face-to-face services. Your therapist will be in touch with you soon to discuss how this may work for your child. Below is a video link from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association that helps to explain telehealth services. While the video is specific to speech therapy, many of the basics of teletherapy for speech are the same for the other therapies we provide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=169&v=CgxH69CqPbM&feature=emb_logo

PHYSICAL THERAPY

Our physical therapists work with clients outside of The Carruth Center who may be immunocompromised. Because of restrictions imposed by their full-time employers, they are not seeing clients outside of their places of primary employment. Our therapists are developing individualized home programs for their clients and will send them to families shortly after spring break.

I understand the uncertainty and fear that COVID-19 has caused. Please be assured that The Carruth Center is doing everything that we can to serve your child and keep their schedule as normal as possible  during this unpredictable time. Thank you so much for your patience and cooperation while we navigate the unknown. We look forward to resuming business as usual and seeing children in the clinic as soon as possible. Until then, please take precautions to stay healthy and safe. Again, please expect to hear from a Carruth staff member by the end of this week for a plan for your child’s continued care.

If you have any questions or concerns or would like your services suspended while our campus is closed, please email me at mbranham@carruthcenter.org.

Best Regards,
Mimi Branham
Clinic Director

Parish and Carruth Community,

The Parish School leadership team and Board of Trustees have continued to closely monitor the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on our community. Due to the significantly more restrictive guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local government officials, we have decided to transition out of Spring Break into remote learning. Remote learning will begin next Tuesday, March 24 and continue through Friday, April 10. Campus-based instruction will tentatively resume on Monday, April 13.

Teachers will engage in a virtual meeting on Monday, March 23, to plan for remote learning which will begin on Tuesday, March 24. On Tuesday, March 24, parents will be contacted by their child’s respective teacher to discuss the details and expectations of remote learning. Your child is fully equipped for remote learning if they have a computer, tablet, and/or smartphone and internet access. If your child does not have access to one of the aforementioned devices or the internet, please communicate this to your child’s teacher as soon as possible so that we can discuss other options.

In addition, The Carruth Center will be closed to face-to-face clients. However, we will be offering some therapies via telehealth or home visits as appropriate. Clients will be contacted by their respective therapists no later than Wednesday, March 25, with more details about their options.

Because we know the impact a significant break from routine has on our student population, this decision did not come easily. However, we feel obligated to do our part in minimizing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting our community.

At this time, there are still no presumed or confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Parish and Carruth community. Our primary motivation is to protect the health and safety of all members of our community, their families, and all individuals in the Houston area and beyond.

My commitment to prompt and transparent communication will continue. In the meantime, I encourage you to follow the CDC, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the latest COVID-19 updates.

Be safe and healthy!

Cheval

Dear Parish and Carruth community,

As you know, the school and clinic will be closed for spring break next week (March 16-20). During that time, I will continue to monitor the events related to COVID-19 and provide an update about whether school will resume or remain closed for the week of March 23rd. Since many of the area public school districts will be closed during the week of March 23rd, faculty and staff’s ability to report to work may be adversely impacted due to lack of childcare. Please know that a school closure will be the last resort, and teachers are prepared to provide some level of remote learning in the event we are closed beyond spring break.

Please look for a decision near the end of next week. Stay safe and healthy during the break!

All the best,
Cheval

Parish and Carruth community,

Last night, around 11:45 PM, I was informed that the person our student’s teenaged sibling had contact with was confirmed positive for coronavirus. Everyone in the student’s household remains asymptotic at this time. The fact remains that no one in the Parish or Carruth community is suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus. As such, our original plan to remain open for the remainder of the week stands. Again, I understand that every family is processing the current events in their own way, and I encourage you to make the decision that you believe is best for you and your family. Absences will be excused. I will continue to be in contact with our student’s family and reassess the situation daily. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to do what’s in the best interest of their own health and that of their families.

I will continue to honor my commitment to be completely transparent and prompt in my communications to you so you can make timely and informed decisions. I will keep my eye on this situation throughout Spring Break and continue to provide updates as I get them. Instructional teams are planning for the possibility of a prolonged school closure so that we can provide some type of remote learning to our students if that becomes a reality.

I appreciate all of your support and kind words as I continue to navigate these very uncertain and quickly changing times.

Cheval

 

Parish and Carruth community,

Thank you so much for your patience and commitment to bringing your students to school and therapies. Today was another great day of learning!

The Parish School and Carruth Center will remain open with normal hours for the remainder of the week unless otherwise notified. To minimize students sharing common spaces, art, nature studies, music, and drama teachers will transition from class to class to the extent that makes sense and is feasible. We will continue to take each day as it comes and provide updates as we monitor news and reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

Also, I would like to confirm that there are still no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in the Parish/Carruth community.

I look forward to a strong finish to the week as we head into Spring Break.

All the best,
Cheval

Dear Parish and Carruth community,

As many of you are probably aware, the Mayor of Houston is issuing an emergency health declaration for the City of Houston. I have a conference call with board members this evening, where we will continue discussions, including whether or not a school closure will need to take place and when. Please know that we are taking these matters very seriously and that the health and safety of our students and staff are our primary concern. I plan to send an update later tonight, after our discussion.

In preparation for a possible temporary closure, moving forward, I am requesting that staff take their laptops and materials home with them each day. We want to ensure that students continue to engage in learning. More details will follow regarding home resources in the event of an extended school closure.

Additionally, we have reached out to our school lunch catering company, The Simply Fresh Kitchen, for an update on measures they're taking to protect against coronavirus. Please see their statement below, which is also being sent home in Good News Books.

Again, I will provide updates in a timely manner as things continue to unfold. Thank you for your continued support.

Best,
Cheval

simply fresh logo


Re: Coronavirus/COVID-19 Related Concerns

With the continued Coronavirus/COVID-19 concerns, SFK has implemented the following steps and precautions to keep in front of this situation:
 
  • Disinfectant is being used throughout the meal preparation period on the tables, and serving utensils are being switched out every 30 minutes
  • Every 30 minutes, employees are required to wash their hands
  • Gloves are to be changed between task changes
  • We have reiterated proper hand-washing techniques
  • We have adopted a more thorough wellness check protocol to include temperature checks and monitoring employees for flu/cold symptoms
  • We are requiring a doctor’s all-clear for employees that are out due to illness
  • Drivers are carrying hand sanitizer and using between each delivery
  • We have contingent plans and menus in the event we need to operate short-handed



Parish and Carruth community,

Thank you for handling this anxiety-producing day with such care and grace. Despite the current circumstances, we had a relatively smooth day. We will continue normal school and clinic hours tomorrow and take each day as it comes. As soon as I have new information, I will share it promptly with you. Feel free to continue to contact me with your questions and concerns. I look forward to a wonderful Wednesday!

All the best,
Cheval

With the recent concerns over the Coronavirus outbreak, our goal is to limit exposure of our students, faculty and staff to the wider community. With that being said, we will be limiting visits for upcoming campus events. Community groups/volunteers will not be allowed on campus, and community visitors will be required to RSVP for upcoming events.

All events planned for this week are still taking place, but please see the updates detailed below.

Additionally, we are evaluating each event planned for the remainder of the school year. Currently, no events have been canceled and we plan to move forward as scheduled. However, we will update The Parish School community on whether they will take place for certain as the events come nearer. Thank you for your patience!

Adult Education: Camp for All Info Session (for upper & lower elementary parents)
Wednesday, March 11
8:15-9am | Staff Lounge
At this time, the upper and lower elementary overnight field trip to Camp for All is taking place as planned. Camp for All has assured us that there will be no other groups in attendance while we are there, and that their facilities are cleaned using hospital-grade disinfectants. Attend this info session if this is your child's first time to attend or if you have any questions for the director of elementary.

RSVP here...


March PTO Meeting
Wednesday, March 11
9:15-10:15am | Staff Lounge
This month's meeting will be an open forum Q&A about COVID-19 (coronavirus), where we'll be fielding questions and discussing implications for the remainder of the school year. All parents with concerns are welcome to attend.

RSVP here...


Adult Education: Elementary Preview
(for pre-primary parents)
Thursday, March 12
9:15-10:15am | Staff Lounge
This preview event is for current pre-primary parents (Armadillos and Dinosaurs) who are interested in learning more about the elementary program at Parish. The morning will include a short presentation, opportunities for question and answer and a quick peek at the primary level classes. 

RSVP here...

Spring Break
March 16-20
No School

Dear Parish and Carruth community,

On the evening of Monday, March 9th, we were informed that one of our early childhood families has been indirectly connected with the coronavirus (COVID-19). The teenaged sibling of our student in the Munchkins classroom, although not symptomatic, is currently under a 14-day quarantine after coming into contact this weekend with someone who today started showing credible symptoms of the virus. The symptomatic individual was previously in contact with a confirmed coronavirus patient.

The quarantined sibling of our student was in contact with the symptomatic individual on Saturday, March 7th. The family was not aware at that time of the potential COVID-19 connection. The Parish student attended school yesterday, Monday, March 9th. Once it became aware of the concern, the family responsibly contacted me. At my request and with the family’s full agreement, beginning today, the student will be quarantined for 14-days. If the student or anyone in the household does not exhibit signs or symptoms of the virus on or before March 23rd, the student will be allowed to return to school on Tuesday, March 24th. Out of an abundance of caution, the Munchkins’ classroom will undergo additional deep cleaning prior to the start of school tomorrow morning.

I feel deep admiration for this family for being brave, prompt and transparent in their communication with us; and the apparent care and concern they have for our school community. As we continue to navigate this fluid situation, it’s important that we communicate with one another clearly, thoroughly, and promptly.

This type of world-wide health concern does not come with a play book. And we cannot unilaterally control it. We are committed to the education, safety, and health of our school. The Parish and Carruth Board of Trustees and I feel that continuing to gather and educate our students is in their best interests, but we fully respect and understand that each family is processing the current health crisis in their own way. Likewise, we respect and understand that our teachers and staff must evaluate their own health decisions. We cannot be aware of all personal or family health considerations and, thus, our goal is to be transparent regardless of the perceived risk so that you can make the most informed decision for your family. 

We will continue to take reasonable precautions to limit the introduction of COVID-19 at The Parish School, and we will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis. We will make decisions as new information becomes available. We will always support our community in making decisions in the best welfare of our children and staff. 

We look forward to a positive end to this week before Spring Break, and I will continue to keep you all updated in a timely manner as things unfold. Thank you for your continued support of The Parish School and Carruth Center.

Best,
Cheval

 

Dear Parish and Carruth Center Families,

As we continue to closely monitor the situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), we would like to assure you that the safety of our school community is our top priority.  As of March 8, 2020 at 7:15 P.M., there are 5 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Harris County according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).  As such, our efforts to stay informed of the latest developments are heightened, and we will provide periodic updates and information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DSHS.

With spring break beginning March 13th, we know many families will be traveling and we want to provide you with the latest information from the CDC regarding travel to countries where there is widespread community transmission of COVID-19.  While domestic travel is not a current concern, the CDC has identified four countries (China, Iran, South Korea, Italy) for which a Level 3 Travel Health Notice has been issued, and one country (Japan) for which a Level 2 Travel Health Notice has been issued.  If you will be traveling to or through a country while a Level 2 or 3Travel Health Notice is in effect, we are asking that you stay home for 14 days after returning to the United States.  We recommend that you visit the CDC’s website for the most up-to-date travel guidance.

All students, families, faculty and staff who travel to or through a country with a Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice are asked to comply with the guidelines of the CDC.  If there are no signs of illness at the completion of the 14-day monitoring period, the student, faculty or staff member may return to school.  Parents are asked to contact the school upon return to the United States so that the 14-day monitoring period can be determined. 

As a reminder, the CDC recommends the following everyday preventive actions to minimize the spread of respiratory viruses.  The Parish School will do the following:

  • Monitor students and staff for symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, etc. Students and staff who have a fever will be sent home and asked to remain home until they have been fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication
  • Encourage parents/guardians to keep students home if they are sick. These absences will be excused.
  • Teach students and staff effective handwashing
  • Teach students not to share personal items or food

In addition, we will do the following:

  • Disinfect frequently used objects such as door handles, desks/tables, and classroom manipulatives daily.
  • Cancel all non-essential school trips (ie: field trips)
  • Notify our school community if COVID-19 directly impacts any of our students, faculty, staff, or families.

Also, as the developments regarding COVID-19 unfold, students’ curiosity and anxieties may also rise.  The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has created a great tool, Talking to Children About COVID 19 (coronavirus)-A Parent Resource, to assist parents with this conversation.

While I hope the Coronavirus will not impact our school community, we are prepared to take the necessary steps should the need arise.  Again, the safety of our students,  faculty, and staff is our utmost priority.  We will continue to monitor information from the CDC and DSHS and share updates as necessary.

Sincerely,

Cheval Bryant
Head of School

 

Parish Newsletter Message:

The Parish School follows the guidance of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the CDC with regard to all communicable diseases. More specifically, we are closely monitoring their guidance on the recent outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Harris County, we would like to remind our school community that the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are the same preventions that are recommended for the spread of the flu and common cold. As a precaution, during Spring Break, we will have our facilities deep cleaned to disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Parents, please keep your child home if they are sick and until they are fever-free for 24 hours. Their absence(s) will be excused.