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Consider doing these things now

By March 8, 2020COVID General

Preparing for an appropriate, phased emergency response can take quite a bit of time. As you develop those plans, consider these actions to be taken immediately.

  • Acquire and learn a video meeting tool that could be used by all faculty at the same time. One popular choice is Zoom, who has special pricing for schools.
  • For families with students who will need online access to remote instruction. Create a set of minimal home technology requirements. Be prepared to help get WiFi hotspots / laptops for some families whose homes are are not online. Comcast Internet Essentials is one possibility for income-qualified households. It provides very low cost Internet and laptops.
  • Have all faculty and staff bring home laptops and chargers each night
  • Create a primary and secondary offsite Business Office
  • Bring home blank checks (2 places); work out co-signatures if required
  • Have a decent, multi-function laser printer that can scan. Learn how to scan documents on it.
  • Create a COVID-19 status, plan and response page on the school’s website. Let families know that this is where you will be posting all important communications from the school, including student responsibilities, updated class schedules, and school accessibility status.
  • Update and learn your emergency communication system. Export a complete list of all students, with parent emails and contact phones. Ensure that the system is updated with a new and complete list of students.
  • Get off-campus access to your school’s telephone system. Create “holiday greetings” for school closure information, including school status. Consider a general voice mailbox that you will monitor where concerned families can leave messages.
  • Consider getting an electronic efax number. Two providers include Fax.Plus and
  • Create an incident management team to lead the planning, triggering and execution of the many plans that will be required as you prepare for and work through this emergency. Create small teams to develop each plan
  • Communicate to your community to check with sources for information about preparing homes for self-quarantining. This video from the Today show gives some examples. Have more than 2 weeks of food, medicine, pet food, and supplies on hand.
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