Our current parents have been receiving updates every couple of days about the precautions we've been taking on campus since February 28 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but we thought it might be time to update the larger community.
We are proud of how our staff & students have been collaborating to come up with "fun bubble" activities to keep us all engaged on the weekends while we continue our normal academic schedule. Marco Arce, our Medical Coordinator, has been a champ at communicating with students and overseeing that all protocols are being followed to ensure our health and safety. The rest of our staff has been positive, proactive, and collaborative in keeping a sense of normalcy to avoid panic while adapting and adjusting to any new situations and information to provide good risk management.
We are also proud of how Costa Rica reacted and responded swiftly and thoroughly to the first reported case on March 6. Because of Costa Rica's quick decisions to cancel large public events and authorize quick testing, only 41 cases have been confirmed and 615 have been discarded.
Because Costa Rica has been prioritizing prevention, the government today declared a national state of emergency. Although anyone may leave... as of Wednesday, March 18, only Costa Rican citizens and residents may enter Costa Rica through April 12. Therefore, we will not be enrolling any new students from March 18 - April 12.
We will continue our "epidemic protocols" which have been in place since February 28. Our next school break is not scheduled until May 14, so we will hunker down and keep up our academic schedule through then if all goes well. If things do not go well, then we have back up plans in place to address the various paths that this pandemic may require. We have been in with the Ministry of Health on a daily basis, have discussed our situation with the USA Embassy, and are stocked up with supplies as well. We do hope you know that the safety and health of our students and staff is our priority, and at this moment, it appears that "staying put" is our best course of action.
We will continue to keep you updated as to any significant developments in our little community as well as when we are free to enroll students again. For now, it's "school as usual" with modified recreational activities (which we've also been doing since Feb 28) to keep us within our little fun bubble to protect our community and prevent the spread of any illnesses. The students are handling it well and excited to use our "weekend rec" budget to implement some fun "leisure sports" areas on campus - like bocce ball, horseshoes, and some games I hadn't even heard of like "gaga ball"! They are being very collaborative and we are grateful that they are seeing this as an opportunity to actively engage to improve their community from the inside out!
Please reach out if you have any questions about our protocols. Otherwise, we will continue to communicate via email to our currently enrolled families every couple of days.
Dr. Heather Tracy, Ed.D.