DATE: MARCH 20, 2020
I hope this finds you safe and healthy. Let me begin by saying thank you for working with us to ensure your children have access to meaningful learning opportunities and educational experiences during this unusual time. Without your partnership, this would be impossible for our staff and teachers. We talk about team and family often-we couldn’t be more grateful for the thousands of KIPPsters who make up our team and family.
In just one week, our teachers and regional team have created and distributed learning materials to our 5,500 students, our clinical services teams have staffed a mental health hotline and worked to provide free access to telehealth services for families, and our operations team has been part of a city-wide effort to provide food to families. Thank you for reaching to let us know that you appreciate and feel our hard work. It means more than you know. As we settle into this new normal, I want to share some information with you concerning ways to stay safe and connected, important academic updates and resources for you.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
As I’m sure you are aware, the number of positive Coronavirus cases continues to grow in our city. While our health care leaders continue to work to slow the spread and find ways to combat this disease, it is important that we take the following key steps to avoid infection:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water (for at least 20 seconds);
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
As a community, we must all engage in the practice of social distancing, as it is a proven method to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Some tips include sheltering in place and limiting close contact with anyone. For more information and a list of frequently asked questions on social distancing, please check out this NPR article.
Anyone with virus-like symptoms should be checked out by a health provider immediately. Please visit cdc.gov/coronavirus for more information about the virus.
DAILY AND WEEKLY UPDATES
Follow us on Instagram (@KIPPNewOrleans) and Twitter (@KIPPNO) and like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/KIPPNewOrleans) for updates. Additionally, we are continuing to share text messages and update our website (kippneworleans.org/coronavirusupdates) with important information. Be sure to stay connected to get all of the latest updates concerning all KIPP New Orleans schools.
Teachers are hosting office hours every day from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. to provide academic assistance for students and to make sure work is being done correctly.
As you know, report card distribution and conferences were originally set for Friday, March 27th. We are currently working on an updated plan for this. Please be on the look-out for communication from your school next week.
Additionally, please continue to find time to ensure your kids are being educated at home. It is important that our parents are creating safe learning environments for students to continue learning. Some tips include creating a daily schedule, helping kids create a learning environment and taking breaks. We also encourage you to set work blocks together where everyone in the house will do the school work at the same time. For more ways to create a meaningful educational experience during this time, please check out this Today article.
RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES
We know that your mental health is important now and always. To offer support, we have set up a hotline for emergency mental health support for families. If you or anyone in your family are experiencing a mental health crisis - any situation in which a person's feelings and behaviors can lead to them hurting themselves or others – please direct them to 504-373-6269, extension 1061.
Telehealth services are now available for KNOS families. You can get more information and also schedule an online visit with a health care professional between 9am-5pm by visiting lahclinics.com.
The City of New Orleans is providing text alerts related to the crisis. You can sign up for texts by texting COVIDNOLA to 888777.
Additional support services available include:
- Louisiana Department of Health Hotline: 855-523-2652 or 211
- LCMC Health/Children’s Hospital: 504-962-6202
- Ochsner’s COVID-19 Nurse Care Line: 844-888-2772
- Severe Medical Emergencies and Crises: 911
In collaboration with many charter school leaders, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORD), local non-profit organizations, faith-based partners and private businesses, NOLA Public Schools launched a full-scale Citywide Feeding Program. This program currently consists of numerous Community Feeding Distribution sites across New Orleans that ensure families can easily access breakfast and lunch during this prolonged school closure. Families wishing to access information on child nutrition resources should visit the NOLA PS’s webpage at https://nolapublicschools.com/covid19/nutrition.
COX is now offering a low-cost internet service, Connect2Compete, free for 30 days including premium remote desktop support. They have also partnered with PCs for People where families can purchase discounted refurbished computers. More information can be found at cox.pcsrefurbished.com.
We encourage you to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Lastly, let's keep all of those directly impacted by COVID-19 in our thoughts. Thank you for your support and collaboration during this time. Together, we will get through this.
Chief Executive Officer
KIPP New Orleans Schools