Trinity Valley School is keeping a close eye on issues related to the Coronavirus.
- Re-Entry Plans Forthcoming July 8
- A Community Message from Blair Lowry
- School Closing
- Virtual Learning will Continue Through May 1
- Note from the Business & Admissions Offices
- COVID-19 Check In and Telemedicine Options
- Virtual Learning will Continue Through April 9
- Virtual Learning will Continue Through April 3
- Technology Recommendations
- Event Cancellations as of march 19
- Communication from the TVS Counselors
- Coronavirus Update March 16
- Accessing the Internet During the Coronavirus
- Coronavirus Update - Virtual School through March 27
- Spring Break Letter to Parents
- TVS Clinic - Coronavirus Preparedness
- March Letter to Parents
- February Letter to Parents
- Virtual Learning Will Continue Through April 3 With Assessment on Week-to-week basis Following
June 10, 2020
Dear TVS Families,
I hope you are having a happy and healthy start to your summer. I am thrilled to be on campus at Trinity Valley School at last! I have looked forward to joining this special community for many months. Seeing students on campus for the summer Xplore program gives me goosebumps – the children are back!
The October announcement that I would be joining Trinity Valley School seems like an age ago. Little did any of us know last fall that we would soon need to adjust our lives so dramatically in the wake of COVID-19.
Throughout the spring, I followed the extraordinary work and outreach of the TVS faculty and staff. I am truly proud of these dedicated educators and of the TVS community for your patience and adaptability.
Since arriving in Fort Worth, I have had several conversations with parents and students who are curious to know if we will return to school in August and, if so, what adjustments will be made to ensure that we keep children and adults as safe as possible.
I am writing to share that we are committed to re-opening school in the fall for in-person, place-based learning. I have assembled a school re-entry task force of key leaders at TVS, and our work is well underway to map out a safe, mission-driven, rigorous, and joyful educational experience for our students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
Our division directors and faculty are engaged in professional learning and planning for the upcoming school year. Operationally, we are examining internal schedules, facilities usage, health protocols, and dining, to name a few.
Trinity Valley School is also working with the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) as we develop a return to play plan for our school with the goal that TVS athletes can look forward to healthy and rewarding competition seasons.
We are, of course, monitoring state and federal guidelines and requirements as we plan and carry out this vital work. TVS, like our peer schools, must adhere to these criteria.
You will receive a more detailed outline of Trinity Valley School's Reopening Plan in July. I look forward to sharing this important information with you. Our team is hard at work to make this an extraordinary year at Trinity Valley School.
Head of School
Dear TVS Families,
Each morning when I wake up and get to my desk to start the day, out of habit I read the calendar first. Formerly it was a source of inspiration, as in, what I get to do today. It might be a Lower School play, a visiting author, afternoon athletic contests, a theater production, or maybe it's simply taco basket for lunch, and that's pretty great, too.
These days it's much more challenging as I get to see real-time what we're missing, and what we're missing the very most are the kids and our daily interactions. While I work from home for the sake of safety and to be a role model for our dedicated faculty and staff, it's also because school, frankly, isn't much fun without the kids.
The bright spot, however, has been the incredible dedication of our faculty and staff in turning on a dime toward distance learning, and the incredibly positive and supportive stance from our TVS students and parents.
Consequently, as I saw Governor Abbott's decision to close Texas schools through May 4, and extending social distancing through April 30 (https://www.kcbd.com/2020/03/31/governor-abbott-texas-covid-response-press-conference/), I knew that we were prepared as a school and as a community.
While we have little choice but to announce that we will follow his orders and remain closed through May 1 and continue distance learning, I know that we will continue to rally.
That also means that we will look closely at the calendar and maintain as many events and traditions as possible, albeit virtually in some cases, so please look for more detail on that front.
Grateful to be in this community at this time,
Head of School
As we approach the May due date for the first tuition installment, the business office anticipates sending out statements on Friday, April 24. These statements will include 2020-2021 tuition installments for those that elected the 60-40 payment plan. For those of you who elected a monthly payment plan, payments are scheduled to begin on May 1 or May 15, depending on the selection made when the enrollment contract was completed.
We recognize that the pandemic has had an enormous economic impact. If you need to discuss your payment options, please contact the Business Office by emailing email@example.com.
I hope this email finds you well, I miss taking care of your sweet children! As you are in the process of juggling online learning for your children while trying to work from home, you certainly may encounter a need for a physician visit whether it be for an illness or injury. Due to COVID-19, the pediatricians offices as well as primary care offices are asking that you call first before going to the office to discuss your need for a visit. I have been keeping in touch with our Cook Children's Telemedicine Program and wanted to share a few links to provide you with more information on virtual physician visits.
Additionally, I have included the link to the CDC to keep you up to date on the latest information regarding COVID-19 and what to do if you experience symptoms.
Please notify me if your child or anyone in your immediate family has COVID-19, it is very important for us to keep track of any positive cases as we look forward to the possible return to school on 4/14/20.
Stay home, stay well, and keep washing hands!
Amy Coats, RN, BSN
Dear TVS Families,
I hope my email finds you well.
With the extended stay-at-home restrictions recently announced by the City of Fort Worth (http://fortworthtexas.gov/COVID-19/) I am writing to let you know that Trinity Valley School will be closed and continue with virtual learning through Thursday, April 9.
We will continue to be 'off' on Friday the 10th through Monday the 13th as was previously scheduled in order to give faculty and students a respite, and the opportunity to catch up. Ideally, we will be returning to campus on Tuesday the 14th.
Thank you for your continued fortitude and support. As always please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Head of School
Good Afternoon Parents,
Thank you all for your incredible support throughout what has been an unprecedented time for our school, and for our country.
Some of you may have seen the orders given this afternoon by Governor Abbott that effectively closes all public schools through April 3.
We have learned that The Texas Private Schools Association has been in touch with the Governor's office and the Executive Order that was established this morning does include private schools. Private schools may not reopen until midnight April 3rd. Consequently, we will plan to continue virtual learning through that time period.
I could not be more proud of the innovative approach that our faculty and staff have taken during this difficult time, of the flexibility that our students have demonstrated, and of the incredible faith in the school from our parents.
Head of School
Dear TVS Parents,
Due to the coronavirus, people around the world are working from home while children attend virtual school resulting in an unprecedented demand for bandwidth.
If your family is experiencing issues with reliable connectivity for all of your family members, please visit the resources provided on the TVS Coronavirus Updates page. Many cell providers are allowing phones to be used as a hotspot and removing some data restrictions during the closures. Please check for specifics with your carrier, as offers may vary and could change.
Our teachers are recording their classes, and they will be happy to schedule an appointment to review any questions or review material that may need clarification. Be assured that they are here to support your child. Please encourage your child to reach out as needed. Teachers can also record videos for any specific questions your child may have. That way, your child can download and watch them without having to stream them.
Here are some additional tips and tricks that you can do that might improve your home service:
Work As Close to Your Router As Possible
The closer you are to your router, the better the signal will be.
Reboot Your Router
If you can't remember the last time you restarted your home WIFI router, now is the time to do so. A simple reboot can often improve the signal of your home system.
Turn Off "Smart Devices" That You Are Not Using.
These days all of your "smart devices" access your WIFI signal at all times. These include TVs, Gaming Systems, Digital Assistants (Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.). Keeping these off when possible will improve overall WIFI performance.
Make Sure Your Router is Located In a Good Location
Not all places are equally suitable for your router. Avoid placing your router close to metal objects and appliances that emit electromagnetic waves. Metal is the top disrupter of a WiFi signal, and its presence close to a WiFi router can easily create a large dead zone.
Strictly speaking, all household appliances emit electromagnetic waves to some degree, even fluorescent lightbulbs, circuit breakers, and electric razors. The biggest emitters of electromagnetic waves are typically in the kitchen, and they include stoves, microwave ovens, and dishwashers.
Other problematic appliances are washing machines, tumble dryers, televisions, cordless phones, and radiant heaters. If you have any of these appliances at home, keep your WiFi router as far away from them as possible.
Keep Your Router Updated
If you have not been keeping your router updated with the latest firmware, follow the instructions from your router's manufacturer or your Internet Service Provider to update it. Routers with old firmware perform worse than routers that are appropriately updated and are more susceptible to malware attacks.
Get a Stronger Antenna
Most home WIFI routers come with small, weak antennas. It's not that manufacturers want to save every cent they can, but powerful WiFi antennas tend to be hideously large. Compared to the antenna that came with your router, which probably is just a few inches tall and has around 4 dB gain, a 10-dB antenna can be anywhere between 10 to 15 inches tall. But if you don't mind the size, a new, powerful WiFi antenna is a great way how you can boost WiFi at home or office without buying a new router.
The standard "rubber duck" antenna is an excellent solution for improving a home's WIFI signal. These antennas use the same RP-SMA connector, and there are many different models available on Amazon and other online stores. Some even come with a handy extension cable that allows you to place the antenna farther away from your router to achieve optimal signal distribution.
Purchase an antenna with more gain than your current one. Most home routers come with small antennas, whose gain tends to be between 4–5 dBi. Replacing such antenna with a 9 dBi antenna should provide an excellent signal boost.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
Chief Technology Officer
Senior/Junior Dinner Dance
US theatre productions
Trojan Day March 24
ISAS Arts Festival April 2-4
7th grade TOE Trip
Aussie Exchange (inbound; April 3-May 2)
Scottish Exchange (inbound: April 10-May 1)
International Fair (April 15)
Aussie Exchange (outbound; July 3-Aug 3)
60th Anniversary Gala - Rescheduled for November 14
Grandmother Coffee March 25
Patron Party May 6
Welcome Parties for New Families
Chess Tournament May 9
Adult Enrichment Experiences (varied spring dates): most postponed, some cancelled
Dear TVS Parents,
TVS Counselors recognize that the disruption to life and state of unrest caused by COVID-19 will bring with it mixed emotions, confusion, and distress. Children and teens who are susceptible to symptoms of anxiety and depression may feel particularly unsettled. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to TVS Counselors Karen Peninger and Kellie McLarty by email for questions and conversations regarding keeping your kids healthy and comfortable during the distance learning period. We have remote access for meeting with you and/or your child as needed for the duration of the distance learning period and are happy to set up appointments during school hours.
You can set up appointments with us through email or the bookme links below:
Trinity Valley School has a resource page https://www.trinityvalleyschool.org/coronavirusupdate with a list of useful links to use for talking to your kids about COVID-19. We will stay in touch with you in the coming days as we learn more on how to best support kids through distance learning and separation.
In the meanwhile, enjoy taking advantage of this time to spend quality time with your family members, practice staying in the moment, and practice self-care. Do what you love to do outdoors while staying at a safe distance from others, create how you love to create, and stay connected to your friends and extended loved ones through phone and online accesses. We can use this time of distancing to unite as a community. Our thoughts are with you as we navigate new ways of learning, functioning, and being virtually together. Please connect with us as needed.
Kellie McLarty and Karen Peninger
Good Afternoon TVS Families,
As we begin a very surreal day on campus without students, our teachers have proven their deep commitment to our students by engaging in distance learning of their own as we prepare to teach students in a virtual fashion for the next couple of weeks. Our primary goal through instruction is to create as much normalcy as possible during this uncertain time.
At the same time, we are continuing to look at all of the events on the calendar in light of recent CDC guidelines that caution against gatherings of more than 50 people. To that end we will unfortunately proceed as though we will be unable to move forward with scheduled theater productions that are currently on the calendar. Should circumstances change, we can certainly pivot and change course accordingly.
As for other events, we are monitoring all options and will continue to communicate as changes necessitate.
For the next two weeks, while campus is closed to visitors, administrators will be on campus or working remotely, so please reach out to your division head or me with any comments, questions, or concerns. Also, know that our counselors, Kellie McLarty (US) and Karen Peninger (LS/MS), remain available to videoconference with students in order to be able to lend their support for students who may need them. (Please look for a separate communication from our counselors.)
In the meantime, please do exercise caution, keep hands washed, and take the advice of the experts by staying home and limiting as much human exposure as possible.
Sprint COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).
T-Mobile COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).
Dear TVS Community,
We have been monitoring closely the developments related to the coronavirus, and we have been in contact with local health organizations and following national recommendations. Additionally, we have been in conversation with our peer schools and those in higher education.
Given a directive this morning from the Tarrant County Health Department, we will follow its guidelines, and not bring students and faculty back to school for the next two weeks to allow for the incubation period to run its course. This will include all school-related activities.
Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 will be faculty inservice days as we prepare to launch school virtually, and then Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27, teachers will engage students in virtual learning. We would hope to have students and faculty back on campus on Monday, March 30. Should students need to retrieve materials from school, please email your division head.
The recommendation from the health department is that students do, indeed, stay home, and avoid public areas such as the mall, movie theaters, and the like and avoid gathering for social occasions such as birthday parties or study groups. Failure to do so will only heighten the spread of the virus.
We understand that this will present some significant challenges for our families. Know that we made the decision with all due diligence and all of the available information at hand at this time. Our goal is to prevent the spread of the virus within the TVS community, and beyond, for the long-term health of all of our community members.
Please look for individual communication from each division head over the next several days regarding the particulars related to online learning.
While this is certainly a trying and unprecedented time for all of us, I commend the faculty who have been preparing over the past several weeks for this eventuality in order for our students to have the least disruptive experience.
We appreciate your continued support and patience as we navigate this challenging time with the health and safety of all in mind.
Grateful to be in such a strong community,
Head of School
Dear TVS Community,
As we continue to monitor the situation with the coronavirus I wanted to take a moment to share the letter that was sent out at the end of the last week, and ask families to pay particular attention to the section in blue if you have been traveling.
With so many families traveling for spring break, we are in discussion about what next week might hold relative to our students returning, or whether cancellation is in order, and for how long. Our goal is to communicate any changes for next week by Friday afternoon or Saturday morning in order for families to be able to plan accordingly.
During a briefing with the Tarrant Healthy Department last week, we were updated on school preparedness should we begin to see positive cases within the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It appears the children are somewhat protected from severe illness possibly due to their overall general good health, active immunity (vaccination), passive immunity (recent illnesses that boost their immune system). We are gaining new knowledge daily on how this virus operates.
We understand that travel is often a major part of family time over the spring break. However, we have concerns about everyone returning from various travels and their exposures that they may have encountered. Please be aware of the CDC’s travel restrictions and bans before ultimately heading out on your travels. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
While the situation remains dynamic, as of today, the CDC has placed a number of countries on Level 2 or Level 3 travel alerts. CDC guidelines for travelers returning to the United States from these countries currently states, “travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning to the United States and practice social distancing.” Please know that self-quarantine would apply to students and employees in our community and include staying home from school and work. We are eager to help any student in a quarantine circumstance with distance learning. Please contact Amy Coats if your family is affected by any such travel quarantines so we can help.
Important for your child’s return to TVS following Spring Break:
1. Remember that the majority of Upper Respiratory Illnesses are currently NOT Covid19.
2. Regardless of travel history, children with cough, fever, shortness of breath need to stay home and contact your pediatrician’s office for further instruction and medical evaluation. If siblings of these children are a TVS student, please notify the school nurse that a sibling is sick. PLEASE, do not give your child Tylenol/Motrin and then send them to school if they have a fever (100 degrees or higher). This is part of our standing “return to school policy.” If your child seems off in the morning before school or not eating breakfast as they normally do, please keep them home and continue monitoring.
3. If your child becomes symptomatic at school they will be sent to the nurses office, be asked to wear a mask, and you will be notified to pick them up in a timely manner. Depending on the travel history and symptoms, the health department will be notified.
4. Please educate your child on proper handling of their own germs but balance that with kindness to others. No one wants to be sick. Moreover, no one wants to be ostracized for potentially being sick.
5. The virus can spread by droplets in the air (estimated 5-6 feet). Please continue to educate proper cough etiquette, which included covering your cough with a disposable tissue or the sleeve of your arm. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.html
6. The virus can also be spread by touching surfaces with those droplets on them and then touching your face, eyes, and nose.
7. Remember that your primary care provider or pediatrician is a great source of information as if you have questions or concerns about coughs and colds.
MOST IMPORTANT TIPS TO STAYING HEALTHY FOR STUDENTS:
- Frequent hand washing will be encouraged at school, WASH your hands!
- Do NOT touch your face (eyes, nose, and mouth), chew on a pen, or share drinks/food/utensils
*There is currently no reason for asymptomatic students to be wearing masks
In summary, the information is changing daily. We will try to keep you posted, but the best source of information are the following links as listed on the TVS website:
Head of School
Amy H. Coats, RN, BSN
Hannah Smitherman, MD
TVS Medical Director
- If you are traveling over Spring Break we would ask you to consult the CDC for the latest recommendations on travel and plan accordingly; a good idea no matter when or where you travel
- Regarding our Trojans Abroad and TOE Beyond Abroad trips, we will follow the most up-to-date CDC, State Department, and WHO recommendations and act accordingly. We will also make these decisions while considering refund deadlines and the like. We will communicate directly with the families who have signed up for the trips.
- With a number of TOE trips planned for the spring, we will also use the latest recommendations as our guide, and know that Blake Amos is looking at ways to alter itineraries in order to have the safest possible experience for our students and chaperones.
- We have set up a resource page on our website in order to keep parents informed, and to list useful resources as they become available. It can be found HERE.
- As children can sometimes have anxiety about such issues, there are resources for children listed on the resource page as well. Counselors Kellie McLarty and Karen Peninger are also standing by to assist in any way that they can.
- We are also carefully planning in the event that school might need to be closed, as has happened in a number of states. With our ample resources we would be able to hold school virtually, and we would clearly communicate those details with families and students should we need to.
- We will continue to deep clean the campus and the school vehicles, and we will continue to have hand sanitizer available in public areas.
- In the meantime, it’s incredibly important for all students to follow basic precautions such as washing hands frequently, covering one’s mouth when coughing and sneezing, and staying home when sick, especially with a fever (as is school policy).
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any comments, concerns, or questions. We do appreciate your support as we navigate this issue.
Head of School
As news of the coronavirus increases, schools across the country are being thoughtful about the potential impact, and we are certainly no different: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/zahrahirji/cdc-schools-businesses-coronavirus-covid19
In upcoming department and divisional faculty meetings, we will devote some time to the topic, but in the meantime, we have asked teachers to give thought to the question, how would I conduct my class if I received a call at home tonight that school was ordered closed tomorrow?
Through the technological resources we have, we would be in an enviable position through the use of GoogleDocs, Canvas, and Renweb, but teachers will have to determine how they would develop and structure assignments, navigate online assessments, and the like. What if students did not have the time to bring their textbooks home?
For some courses it would be fairly easy to be able to plan accordingly. Thinking about how an art class would move forward might be a slightly more challenging exercise, however.
In a previous school I was on the sideline coaching a lacrosse game and received a call from the CDC that we had the first documented case of Swine Flu in the state and were immediately shut down for a number of days. Through the use of our technology, we were able to move forward without having to add days at the end of the year. We are similarly positioned here at TVS.
Whether we develop a plan that is utilized in this case or not, the exercise is a useful one as there may be an issue in the future that is related to weather or another unforeseen circumstance when it might prove beneficial.
Additionally, with all the global travel that will happen in our community over spring break, it is a particularly relevant issue. While there is still no reason to cancel our trips based on CDC and State Department Travel Warnings, we are watching this daily.
Hoping none of the above will be relevant,
Ian L. Craig
Head of School
I hope you all are well amidst these trying times. Just as our faculty have really stepped up to the plate, our students have been amazing in their response to this new frontier in virtual learning.
You may have seen the Fort Worth ISD decision to close schools 'until further notice.' While we closely monitor the ISD's decisions, they are certainly a different operation relative to transportation, size of the district, and the like. We have a bit more flexibility and can be more nimble.
As a result we will make decisions on a week-to-week basis regarding school remaining open or closed. At this point we are continuing with virtual learning until April 3.
On April 1 or 2 we will communicate what the next week holds based on the most current recommendations by the CDC and Tarrant County Health Department. Consequently, it makes sense to plan for a longer closing period, while knowing that we will do everything we can to have our wonderful families and teachers back safely.
Head of School