Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Page last updated: 4/3/2020, 2:00 pm

National Cathedral School is carefully monitoring the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and responding swiftly to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors in this evolving and unpredictable situation. As information and plans change, we will update our community directly through email. This page serves to gather messages sent to parents from the school and other related information.
 

Questions? Comments?

Please send your comments or questions regarding COVID-19, including about planning and preparedness measures, directly to NCSHealth@cathedral.org.
On Tuesday, March 31, NCS enacted our Remote Learning Plan for student instruction. Faculty, staff, and students will remain off-campus and connect online through email, MyNCS, and other online tools.
 

Our Remote Learning Plan
is available online for your review.

 
Under this "hybrid remote-learning model," learning is taking place asynchronously and synchronously. The NCS plan was developed with a focus on community and continuity, and we are grateful to school administrators across the country who have shared their plans and what they have learned after moving to online learning environments throughout the month of March.
 
We will systematically review the remote-learning plan, solicit feedback from students and faculty, and adjust the plan if needed. We ask for your flexibility and presumption of good will as we live into this plan during a time of extreme uncertainty.

A Message for Students

NCS Updates

List of 14 items.

  • April 3, 2020: A Message From the Head of School

    Dear NCS Community,
     
    National Cathedral School welcomes you back from spring break! As we metaphorically reopened the doors to education this week, we began a new journey together that includes a whole new way of teaching and learning remotely! Please be assured that, although each day will look and feel very different from what we are all used to in a normal school year, we are here for you. We are excited to begin this new academic adventure, as well as to embrace the possibilities for community connection, collaboration, and innovation.
     
    Students – We realize that these next several weeks will not match what you had anticipated when you began this school year. Our aim is to sustain a strong educational program for you, as well as to plan for and schedule the traditional gathering times that ground us and unite us as a community: Cathedral, clubs, homerooms, advisory, and special events. Seniors, our leaders, the Class of 2020—you are in the forefront of our minds. Please know that we are thinking of you and will work collaboratively with you to plan for a wonderful, if highly unique, spring term! We know that many pinnacle NCS traditions take place in the spring—including Flag Day, prom, and Commencement. We want to consider all options—and perhaps even some new traditions—as we move through the next several weeks. (Your ideas are welcome!) All grades have important milestones, and we will work to offer meaningful virtual experiences across the grade levels, as well.
     
    Faculty and Staff – Thank you for your tireless and innovative work to prepare the Remote Learning Plan, to keep the departments in the school moving forward, and to plan for a productive and meaningful spring term. We are grateful for your strong expertise and comprehensive experience, which have enabled you to pivot to a new academic delivery methodology for our students, one that remains mission-driven and will provide continuity and community over the next several weeks.
     
    Families – As we begin delivering a remote-learning educational experience, know that NCS continues to prioritize our core values of excellence, service, courage, and conscience. Our educational plan includes an incremental rollout, as each child learns to utilize new educational tools and familiarize herself with remote learning. The teaching and learning plans differ, depending on your child’s grade level, but everyone will be learning new strategies and skills to maximize learning in these first several days, and the process will begin to feel more routine over the next couple of weeks.
     
    We will closely monitor our educational plan and assess its various components on an ongoing basis. We want to meet the needs of each student, provide an appropriately challenging academic program, support students in their studies, and present a holistic learning experience that recognizes the appropriate social and emotional needs of children at each grade level. We will seek feedback soon, from our students and families, after we all have experienced this initial adjustment period.
     
    NCS's team of administrators, as well as the grade deans, homeroom teachers, your child's advisors and teachers, the Teaching and Learning Center co-directors, counselors, chaplains, college advisors, coaches and more, are always available to you as resources. We want to keep in touch with you and will offer various opportunities for parents to join us remotely for morning prayer services, Cathedrals, coffees, events, and more. I welcome your input at any time, including your suggestions, questions, and/or general feedback. Also, please let us know if you need our help and support. Please send your thoughts to sbosland@cathedral.org.
     
    I look forward to the NCS halls being filled once again with students laughing and sharing stories, the morning dining room tunes wafting up the Hearst Hall stairs, classrooms engaging in thoughtful discussions, and parents joining us in Hearst Auditorium and the Cathedral for coffees and special events! Until then, I hope everyone stays well and weathers this difficult time in the smoothest and healthiest ways possible. Please know we profoundly miss seeing you and will continue to work diligently and with care to provide an outstanding remote-learning education for your children during this global pandemic.
     
    Warmest regards,
    Susan C. Bosland signature
    Susan C. Bosland
    Head of School
  • April 1, 2020: A Message From the Chaplains

    Dear Members of Our NCS Community,
     
    As we remain in separate spaces during this time, we continue to be buoyed by the strength of the meaningful relationships we share with one another in our community. Even during this time of physical separation, we continue to share our thoughts, prayers, and love with each other. Your chaplains are praying for the health and safety of our community.
     
    We are each experiencing drastic changes to our routines and patterns of life. Some of us are caring for sick or vulnerable family members, and others are juggling life at home while trying to work. We have had to pause some of our meaningful activities and adapt to others online. We are navigating friendships without our usual rhythm of being together. There is grief in letting go of regular activities that we enjoy and in prolonged physical distance from friends, family, neighbors, teachers, and colleagues. We may find ourselves feeling more isolated and disoriented by new demands coming from school or work. Through all this, we are not alone. We share this as a community, both here at NCS and across the world. The news we hear each day reminds us that each life matters immensely. At this challenging time, we hope that you find moments to care for yourself as you also care for your loved ones.
     
    We are writing today to let you know some of what we offer to stay spiritually grounded and connected during this time:
    • On school days, students, faculty, staff, parents, and friends of NCS are welcome to join us for a daily service of Morning Prayer at 8:00 am on Zoom. [Contact NCS for information on how to join these meetings.]
    • Regularly scheduled all-school Cathedral services will be held on Zoom at 9:15 am on C Days. Our first will be April 7 at 9:15 am. [Contact NCS for information on how to join these meetings.]
    We look forward to the creative ways that we will use technology to support our chapel and Cathedral services throughout our time of distance learning.
     
    Next week is a very holy time for Jews and Christians. Passover begins next Wednesday evening;  Holy Week and Easter will be observed by many Christians. We are aware that these observances will be quite different this year, and we pray that these sacred days will be a meaningful and blessed time for all. For those interested in Holy Week and Easter worship options,  we commend the  online worship offerings of Washington National Cathedral.
     
    We are living through an unprecedented time, and we may all find ourselves needing support or spiritual comfort at one time or another. We'd like to share the Cathedral's online resources page, and the Aspen Institute also provides prayer resources from several faith traditions. If you have intentions for prayer that you would like to share with us, either for our individual personal prayers or for the prayers said during our chapel services, please use this form.
     
    Finally, please know that we are here for you and available. Please reach out to us via email or phone if we can be helpful to you in any way.
     
    Holding you in our prayers and love,
     
    The Rev. Cameron Soulis (LS): 202-495-0724, csoulis@cathedral.org
    Ms. Rachel Mumford (MS): 202-556-1345 rmumford@cathedral.org
    The Rev. Eva Cavaleri (US): 202-695-2981, ecavaleri@cathedral.org
     
    Prayer for People Who Are Facing Great Uncertainty
     
    God of the present moment,
    God who stills the storm
    and soothes the frantic heart;
    bring hope and courage to all
    who wait or work in uncertainty.
    Bring hope that you will make them the equal
    of whatever lies ahead.
    Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
    for your will is health and wholeness;
    you are God, and we need you. Amen.
     
    —Adapted from New Zealand Prayer Book, p. 765
  • March 26, 2020: A Message From the 3 Close Schools

    Dear Parents, Caregivers, Faculty, and Staff of Beauvoir, National Cathedral School, and St. Albans:
     
    In these closing days of spring break, we are looking forward to next week’s return to learning. This has been a break that no one in our Close community will forget, our annual time for rejuvenation and relaxation irrevocably altered by the coronavirus pandemic. We pray for the return to health of those afflicted over the past month and that all in our community may find peace, grace, and courage in this troubling time. Most of all, we eagerly anticipate being once again with the wonderful people who fill our schools.
     
    Unfortunately, that reunion will be further delayed than we had thought even a week ago. As you may know, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has prohibited public gatherings of 10 or more people through Friday, April 24. Beauvoir, NCS, and St. Albans will extend the closure of our school buildings until Monday, April 27.
     
    Each school is excited to share more about its remote learning plans later today. Remote learning classes will run through Friday, April 24. As that date approaches, we will continue to reassess the situation.
     
    We know that you have questions about school events in the days and weeks to come, and whether they will occur as scheduled. Throughout the break, we have continued to ask the guidance of public health and safety experts, and we hold hope that our calendars will be affected as little as possible. Yet at this unpredictable time, we must dedicate ourselves, first and foremost, to protecting the health and safety of students, families, faculty, and staff. Please be assured that each school will communicate with you on schedule changes as soon as is possible.
     
    Thank you for your continuing support and good wishes as we navigate this uncharted path together.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Cindi Gibbs-Wilborn
    Head of School
    Beauvoir School
     
    Sue Bosland
    Head of School
    National Cathedral School
     
    Jason Robinson
    Headmaster
    St. Albans School
  • March 23, 2020: A Message to Lower School Parents

    Dear LS Families,
     
    I was talking to a friend the other day, and he was lamenting how hard it is to keep his two kids occupied. We chuckled that he is teaching his kids more than I am teaching at the moment!
     
    I realize we are on spring break and our return to academics begins on March 31, but you are still home with your families and likely looking for things to do to occupy their time since playdates are not happening. Below I offer some suggestions and resources for you to use now or anytime in the next few weeks.
     
    First, I would encourage you to allow your child to FaceTime or video chat with friends each day. It is so important to maintain that contact with friends, particularly in times like these! Perhaps we need to rephrase to physical distancing rather than social distancing ... socializing is needed, even if virtually.
     
    Here is a brainstorm list of things kids can do with and without parents:
    1. Make a milk carton birdhouse.
    2. Cook with a parent or sibling.
    3. Learn to code: Here are some free resources:
      1. https://code.org/
      2. http://www.crunchzilla.com/code-monster
      3. https://scratch.mit.edu/
      4. https://www.apple.com/swift/playgrounds/
    4. Play a board game.
    5. Do a puzzle (I am currently working on a 1000-piece puzzle.)
    6. Listen to a podcast. Here is a link for the 25 best podcasts for kids: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/the-best-podcasts-for-kids
    7. Create a scavenger hunt or obstacle course for yourself, a parent, or a sibling to complete.
    8. Write a play and then act it out—record it and send it to family in other places.
    9. Start a garden.
    10. Build something from old boxes.
    11. Visit a museum virtually.
    12. Hike a national park virtually.
    13. Go for a walk, collect some good flat rocks, and when you get home, paint them.
    14. Have you tried geocaching? Here are four recommended FREE geocaching apps.
    15. Take a virtual field trip.
    16. Try a science experiment using items found at home.
    Here is a good local resource of what to do while still maintaining social distance.
     
    And, lastly, I found this list of ways to engage your child in some educational work as well.
     
    Friday, I walked in my neighborhood to see the cherry blossoms, and I loved seeing families out riding bikes, walking, and playing outdoor games. Being outside improves one’s mood incredibly. Rainy days like today can be a little harder. Hopefully one or two of the suggestions above appeal to your child.
     
    Wishing you all health and happiness during this very unusual time.
     
    Fondly,
    Becca Jones
    Head of Lower School
  • March 21, 2020: An Update on NCS Reunion 2020

    Dear NCS Community,
     
    NCS and St. Albans have made the difficult decision to cancel this year's Reunion weekend, which had been scheduled for May 1-3, 2020.
     
    We regret the necessity of this, as Reunion is always a highlight of our spring schedule. It is a joy for the NCS faculty and staff to welcome you back to the Close, where you can revisit favorite spots, reconnect with classmates, and celebrate the paths of your lives.
     
    Still, we feel a responsibility to provide you as much notice as possible, especially those who would be traveling to Washington, in light of the continuing unpredictability of the global health picture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidance against large gatherings. You may have also seen the All Hallows Guild's recent cancellation of Flower Mart. We are committed to the health and safety of all members of the Close community as we all strive to mitigate and contain the spread of coronavirus.
     
    I am grateful to all who made plans to attend this year's Reunion, and I particularly want to thank the Reunion volunteers who generously invested time and energy into planning the weekend. Our Development team will be refunding Reunion registration fees during the coming weeks.
     
    We look forward to finding a future time to be together and to honor our special anniversary classes. If you have any questions, please contact Associate Director of Alumnae Relations Carly Schofield by email or phone (202-537-6667).
     
    I wish health and peace for you, your family, and your neighbors at this challenging time. Thank you for your ongoing support of NCS as we care for this wonderful community.
     
    Yours sincerely,
    Susan C. Bosland
    Head of School
    National Cathedral School
  • March 17, 2020: Children and Social Distancing

    Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Students,
     
    We hope your spring break is off to a safe and healthy start.
     
    We realize you have received a number of communications from us over the past week, but we are sending this supplemental note to ask for your help with a very important issue.
     
    All of us are being urged to do what we can to mitigate and contain the spread of coronavirus. Those steps involve what the experts call "social distancing." Schools are closing as a public health precaution. So, too, are restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms. And federal health officials now recommend that we all avoid non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people.
     
    The combined message is clear: Social distancing is imperative, and it is the best hope we have of avoiding an even more serious situation. Yesterday, one public health expert specifically asked young people for their help with the outbreak, by not gathering socially while they are away from school.
     
    This can be difficult advice to hear, especially in communities like ours, where close personal relationships are fundamental. It is a hardship not to see friends or to enjoy the sense of camaraderie and connection with one another, especially during an extended break from school, when so many activities have been canceled.
     
    Still, we need to heed the experts: Students should not congregate together socially—even in private homes—outside of school while on spring break and during the first two weeks after break. We hope your children will understand that, by practicing these measures, they are helping others in our community and in the broader world. For some of our youngest students and their families, we realize, it is not easy to deal with the reality of reinforcing social distancing. But please know that avoiding social gatherings at this critical time, whether a play date among our youngest students or socializing among our older students, increases everyone’s safety and health.
     
    You need not feel or appear sick to become a carrier of COVID-19, public health experts tell us, and no one wants to unknowingly infect others with this disease. The surest way to protect those around us‚ including the elderly and people with serious health conditions, is to practice social distancing.
     
    As Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health has repeatedly said in recent days, one of the greatest challenges during a pandemic is that we are always one step behind where we think we are. What feels today like an extreme measure may, in the fullness of time, turn out to be exactly what was needed to avoid more serious public health complications. We want to be ahead of that curve, not several steps behind it.
     
    A sincere thanks to our students of all ages for being thoughtful in your choices and to our parents for reinforcing this message with your children. Partnership between our schools and families is especially important at a time such as this.
     
    Dr. Fauci also said that, until a COVID-19 vaccine is ready and available, our only safeguard against this virus is our good judgment, our empathy for others, and our sense of collective responsibility. Our community possesses these qualities in abundance, and they have never been more important than they are at this moment.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Cindi Gibbs-Wilborn
    Head of School
    Beauvoir School
     
    Sue Bosland
    Head of School
    National Cathedral School
     
    Jason Robinson
    Headmaster
    St. Albans School
  • March 13, 2020: A Message From the Head of School

    Dear NCS Parents, Faculty, and Staff,
     
    Thank you for your gracious support this week. This is a unique and stressful time for everyone as we face an unprecedented situation. My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with each of you as we navigate these rough waters. I hope, as a school community, we can help to smooth the next several weeks for you in ways that are thoughtful, caring, and productive.
     
    I ask your forbearance for the length of this message. It is filled with details that will be useful to you, your child, and your family in the coming days, and I urge you to hold onto this email as a resource. You can also find it and other messages from the school related to COVID-19 online.
     

    School Reopening Date

    Our foremost responsibility at the Cathedral Close schools is protecting the health and safety of our students, families, faculty and staff. Following the recommendations of public health and safety experts, NCS, St. Albans, and Beauvoir have agreed that our schools intend to reopen to students, faculty, and staff on Monday, April 13.
     
    Athletic practices, scrimmages, and games before this date are canceled, as are musical and theater rehearsals and performances. Hopefully, school events scheduled before April 13 will be moved to dates later in the spring, but some may need to be canceled. We are reviewing calendar options now, keeping in mind the special traditions that are an important part of our spring. (The Junior/Senior Prom, for instance, has been moved to Friday, May 29.) Regrettably, though, there is not enough time left in the school year to reschedule all events, and some important ones may have to be canceled. We will follow up with more information on any calendar changes.
     

    Educational Plan/Athletics Schedule

    After spring break, NCS will move to a remote-learning model. Monday, March 30, will be a planning and organization day for faculty and staff, and instruction will begin on Tuesday, March 31.
     
    This model cannot replicate the in-person classroom experience; nor will it provide synchronous instruction for the full length of a school day. Rather, our goal is to maintain connection and continuity by engaging students in independent projects, reading assignments, and the like as well as in short intervals of online learning, adapted to the varied needs of Lower, Middle and Upper School students. We will also schedule advisory, class meetings, chapels, and other opportunities that engage our community online while our buildings are closed.
     
    We will provide a remote-learning guide to students, parents, faculty, and staff before we return from spring break.
     
    Although an online educational experience is quite a change from our normal school days, we will take great care to normalize the academic experience for your children. The teachers are committed and have been preparing diligently for this contingency, in case we could not return to school as scheduled. In fact, faculty devoted the day today to refining our plan. We are grateful for their talent and dedication! Our robust technology and connectivity capabilities thankfully make possible today what could not occur even a decade ago.
     
    We suggest that parents use spring break to talk with their children about ways to ease the transition to learning at home. For example, where might be the best place to work with minimal distraction? Do families feel that they are equipped with the appropriate technology and remote connection? (Please let us know if you would like assistance navigating this topic.) In addition, sustaining the relationships among our community is important. Parent discussions around how best to keep your children's friends connected would be comforting, as well.
     
    NCS and the other schools in the Independent School League (ISL) are talking daily about the impact of COVID-19 on the league schedule. The Athletic Department will also work with US Rowing and the Combined Cathedral Crew Rowing Club. Further information will be supplied shortly to coaches and Upper School athletes.
     

    Travel/Medical Protocols

    As the global travel picture keeps changing, we are getting questions about family travel over spring break.
     
    If you have travel plans, we urge you to check regularly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and consider their assessment for any destination—international or domestic—that you may visit. Keep in mind that travel restrictions may change with little notice, and those returning from areas deemed by the CDC to be high-risk may face unexpected difficulties, particularly now that the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic.
     
    People have asked whether going to particular locations would create a difficulty for returning to campus. Unfortunately, with new outbreaks being reported daily, it’s an impossible question for us to answer. Instead, we are relying on the CDC's assessment to guide our response: Families who travel to areas the CDC has designated at Level 2 or 3 must notify School Nurse Virginia McCreight RN before their children can return to campus. Please know also that the CDC urges those who have visited Level 2 or 3 areas to limit interactions with others for the 14 days following travel.
     
    If you or a family member acquire COVID-19, you must notify Nurse McCreight.
     

    Cleaning Protocols

    During spring break, we will do a deep clean of hard and soft surfaces in our buildings. We will finish installing new, higher-rated air filters in the Athletic Center and complete our steam-cleaning of upholstery and carpets.
     
    Before break, we had begun spraying a chlorinated-water disinfectant in each room and common area. This is a complement to our longstanding daily practice of cleaning high-touch surfaces throughout the school, including desktops, dining tables, banisters, switches, knobs, and handles, with disinfectant wipes.
     
    Please join me in thanking our facilities team for their hard work in this effort.
     

    Self-care

    I wanted to share with you some self-care tips from our Health & Wellness team.
     
    Washing hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, is the best method of protection against coronavirus. Hand sanitizer is effective, but not as effective as proper handwashing at preventing the spread of a virus. If you are outside of your home, use a paper towel to pull open a restroom door to exit.
     
    Carrying a personal water bottle daily can be helpful. The early spring means that plants are blooming, which signals that allergy season is right around the corner. Staying well-hydrated can relieve allergy symptoms, such as coughing and sneezing, that may be misunderstood at the moment as flu symptoms.
     
    Keep tabs on family members about what they are thinking and feeling. If it would be helpful to talk to one of our counselors or chaplains about questions or concerns related to COVID-19, I encourage you to reach out. They are available to students, parents, faculty, and staff.
     
    The NCS Administrative Team and members of the greater Close community are conferring daily about the latest guidance from experts and adjusting our response as needed. Be assured that NCS will keep you informed on steps we take. Information continues to be updated online at ncs.cathedral.org/coronavirus. Please email any questions you have to us at NCSHealth@cathedral.org.
     
    I am heartened by the generosity the NCS community has shown at a complex and difficult time. As we all practice our social distancing over the next two weeks, I am really going to miss seeing our school community each day!
     
    I will be local all spring break, so please feel free to reach out: Email NCSHealth@cathedral.org and/or email me directly at sbosland@cathedral.org if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions.
     
    Thank you for your ongoing partnership and support.
     
    Warmest regards,
    Head of School
    National Cathedral School
  • March 12, 2020: A Message From the Head of School

    Dear NCS Parents, Faculty, and Staff,
     
    At NCS, we hold dear the sense of our community being part of a shared Cathedral Close community. In that spirit, I am sharing a message today from Dean Randy Hollerith, who says that a member of the Cathedral's worship team has tested positive for COVID-19.
     
    This news is obviously a concerning development for everyone on the Close, and I know that we keep this member of our community in our hearts and in our prayers. At the same time, this person was asymptomatic (showed no symptoms of coronavirus) while on the Close, and DC Health's assessment is that the risk of contagion is low.
     
    I urge you to read Dean Hollerith's message carefully and to consult a doctor if you should have questions about what this might mean for your family.
     
    Sincerely,
    Head of School
     
    * * *
     
    Dear friends,
     
    We want to share the news that a member of the Cathedral’s worship team has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. This person was at the Cathedral, participating in our worship services, at 8 am, 9 am and 11:15 am on Sunday, March 8. This person also participated in some Cathedral staff meetings on Monday, March 9, and in a small-group setting on Wednesday, March 4.
     
    On each of these occasions at the Cathedral, this person was not exhibiting symptoms and did not feel ill. When symptoms started to develop later, on Tuesday, March 10, this person immediately sought medical help and received a COVID-19 test. We learned late last night that those results are positive.
     
    We consulted with an infectious disease epidemiologist at the DC Department of Health, who informed us that because this person was not exhibiting symptoms while at the Cathedral, the risk of contagion is very low in this circumstance.
     
    We wanted to share this information so that everyone in the Cathedral community can make informed decisions that are right for them. Please consult your doctor if symptoms develop, and follow the guidance of public health experts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidance on evaluating the various levels of exposure risk.
     
    As you are aware, the Cathedral has joined other parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington in suspending operations through March 25 in order to limit large gatherings and to protect the most vulnerable among us. We invite you to join us online for a virtual Sunday service on March 15 and 22 at 11:15 am, where we can praise God and pray for one another and for our world.
     
    In these difficult times, our faith becomes more important than ever. “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid,” Jesus tells us. So, let us trust in the Lord and together, through God’s grace, we can conquer any fear.
     
    With every blessing,
     
    Randy+
     
    Dean, Washington National Cathedral
  • March 10, 2020: A Message From the Heads of School

    Dear Parents, Caregivers, Faculty, and Staff of Beauvoir, National Cathedral School, and St. Albans:
     
    While our schools have instituted several precautionary measures and changes to our daily routines to maintain normal operations amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), events around us continue to unfold unpredictably and swiftly.
     
    Out of an abundance of caution, Beauvoir, NCS, and St. Albans will begin spring break three days early, starting Wednesday, March 11. Our buildings will open only from 7:00 to 10:00 am on Thursday, March 12, so that students, faculty, and staff may collect what they'll need for spring break and the days ahead. At all other times this week, our schools will be closed.
     
    Thank you in advance for your help and understanding during this challenging time. We will be in touch with more information as soon as possible.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Head of School
    Beauvoir School
     
    Head of School
    National Cathedral School
     
    Headmaster
    St. Albans School
  • March 9, 2020: An Update About Our Daily Food Service

    Dear NCS Parents,
     
    As NCS continues to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, you may have questions for the school that we have not yet addressed. To simplify your ability to get answers, we have created a new email address — NCSHealth@cathedral.org — for questions related to our coronavirus. In addition, we have created ncs.cathedral.org/coronavirus as an online resource, collecting emails NCS has sent you over the past couple of weeks and other information.
     
    Today our food-service provider, Flik Dining, is introducing changes to our dining service as a health-protection measure.
     
    Beginning with today's lunch, Flik employees, rather than students, will place hot food on plates. As students move through the line, they may ask for particular items from that day's offerings. In addition, three different types of pre-packaged salads and three different types of pre-made sandwiches will be available daily, as will fresh fruit with inedible peels (oranges and bananas). And individually packaged cereal is now available for breakfast.
     
    Other self-service food options have been removed from Davis Dining Room, including the bagel station, deli and PB&J stations, soup station, and build-your-own salad bar. We recognize that these are popular items in the dining hall and that their removal may disappoint some students. This new dining arrangement follows federal recommendations to institutions of higher education regarding food service, to minimize the likelihood of infection.
     
    These changes will remain in effect until further notice, and there will be refinements as the new arrangement is introduced.
     
    Thank you for your ongoing partnership and support in sustaining the health of our community.
     
    Sincerely,
    Sue Bosland
    Head of School
    National Cathedral School
  • March 8, 2020: A Health Message From the Schools

    Dear Parents, Caregivers, Faculty, and Staff of Beauvoir, National Cathedral School, and St. Albans:
     
    We look forward to greeting your children at school tomorrow morning. Given the news reports this weekend concerning the first confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Washington, D.C., we want to assure you that we are monitoring the health situation diligently, continuing to make changes to our schools' daily routine, and preparing to adapt as needed. The health and safety of your children, as always, is our most important concern and responsibility. Our faculty and staff remain vigilant about our community's health and continue to provide a calm and welcoming environment for our students.
     
    We remain in close touch with infectious disease experts, whose recommendations we are following.
     
    Based on their recommendations, we ask that children who exhibit any symptoms of any illness stay at home. In addition, we ask that any adult or child who has had close contact within the past 14 days with someone who has contracted coronavirus disease seek medical advice before returning to school.
     
    Our schools are committed to supporting any student or employee who misses classes. Any information provided to our Health & Wellness/Nursing staff will be kept confidential. Our faculty and staff are following these same recommendations.
     
    Our counselors recommend the following resources for parents and students:
    We have increased cleaning at all our campuses and will continue to work calmly with students about personal safety, wellness, and prevention.
     
    We will continue to review this situation daily, monitor the health and welfare of our community, and be prepared to adapt as new information emerges. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions or concerns. Our schools are continuing to address issues that arise, and we will continue to keep you updated. We are deeply grateful for your partnership and understanding as we strive to protect the health and well-being of our Close community.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Head of School
    Beauvoir School
     
    Head of School
    National Cathedral School
     
    Headmaster
    St. Albans School
  • March 6, 2020: Handling Children's Questions About Coronavirus

    Dear NCS Parents,
     
    Given the headlines this week, members of your family may be feeling worry related to the coronavirus outbreak. It is important for all of us to remember that this is the first time our young people have seen a virus affect so many communities around the world. Further, through social media, we are being updated constantly about this outbreak, whether we want to be or not. It's no wonder that anyone might feel worried!
     
    Here are some tips about how to discuss the situation with your child in a way that is informed and supportive and also accepts her feelings:
    • Validate her worries. Acknowledge how it can be scary to see so much media coverage and that so much remains unknown. Continue to validate and empathize, "I understand why you would be worried!"
    • Remind her that the best way to stay healthy is to wash hands regularly, especially before eating, and to avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.
    • Answer questions about the virus with facts from accurate, reputable media sources. If you need this information, too, do some research together with your child so that she can see you checking reputable sources.
    • Remind her that the adults in her life are staying well-informed and constantly evaluating our safety precautions. We will not put her in harm's way!
    • Keep your own anxiety in check. Children look to the adults in their lives to try to understand how "big of a deal" something is. The calmer you can be, the more they will be able to settle down and listen.
    • If needed, help your child to manage her in-the-moment anxiety with mindfulness strategies. Some strategies to consider:
      • A focus on breathing with square or triangle breathing: Breathe in for three seconds, hold for three seconds, breath out for three seconds.
      • Movement: Regular exercise and movement breaks can improve focus and reduce worry.
    Please let the Health & Wellness staff know if we can help you in conversations with your family or in discussing your own feelings about this outbreak. We are here for you, too!
     
    Sincerely,
    Director of Counseling/ Middle School Counselor
     
    Director of Health and Wellness/Upper School Counselor
     
    Lower School Counselor
     
    School Nurse
     
  • March 5, 2020: A Message From the Heads of School

    Dear Parents, Caregivers, Faculty, and Staff of Beauvoir, NCS, and St. Albans,
     
    Nothing is more important to each of us than protecting the health and safety of all our students, faculty, and staff on the Cathedral Close. The coronavirus outbreak is a situation we take seriously, and it has led us to make the following decisions together.
     
    1. Beauvoir, NCS, and St. Albans are canceling classes on Friday, March 13, so this can serve as a professional-development day. We are developing remote-learning plans as a contingency so that learning is not interrupted if we should have to close our schools. Faculty and staff need time to review these plans and undertake their important preparations for teaching students online. We hope we will not need to close, but we wish to be ready, and we are confident the skills gained will have long-lasting value for our teachers and students.
    2. To safeguard the health of students and their faculty chaperones, NCS and St. Albans have decided to cancel overnight, school-sponsored spring break trips, including the Chorale and Orchestra trip and athletic trips. We will reach out to families whose students are affected by this change to discuss the financial and logistical implications and alternate athletic practice plans.
    3. In this highly unpredictable situation, anyone planning to go abroad should be aware of the potential for quarantines facing travelers returning from a high-risk area. If you have travel plans, we urge you to check regularly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and consider their assessment for any destination—international or domestic—that you may visit. Those who choose to travel where there has been a coronavirus outbreak need to notify our schools’ Health & Wellness personnel before they can return to our campuses; schools may ask those who have traveled to areas with coronavirus outbreaks not to return for 14 days.
    Please know that our schools are committed to supporting any student or employee who may miss classes because of illness. Any information provided to our Health & Wellness/Nursing staff will be kept confidential.
     
    Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions or concerns. Our schools are continuing to address issues that arise, and we will continue to keep you updated. We are deeply grateful for your partnership and understanding as we strive to protect the health and well-being of our Close community.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Head of School
    Beauvoir School
     
    Head of School
    National Cathedral School
     
    Headmaster
    St. Albans School
  • Feb. 26, 2020: A Health Message From the School

    Dear NCS Community,
     
    NCS continues to monitor developments involving coronavirus and the latest guidance from health experts on how to prevent the spread of this virus.
     
    The latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention echoes the agency's earlier statements: Coronavirus is not currently spreading in the United States, and common-sense actions offer the best protection: washing hands often with soap and water; using hand sanitizer when soap is not available; and refraining from touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Most important: If you or your child has an elevated temperature or feels nauseous, please stay home, rest, and recover.
     
    We are confident that NCS's health protocols provide students, faculty, and staff with ample protection against the spread of disease. Still, we join health officials in regarding the COVID-19 virus with seriousness. NCS administrators are closely reviewing the school's protocols and discussing potential adjustments that would best protect the community if the broader health situation were to change. We hope the review will ultimately prove unnecessary, but in any event, this is useful work for us to undertake.
     
    Should you have questions, please contact our school nurse, Virginia McCreight RN, your child's division head, or me.
     
    Sincerely,
    Head of School

Prevention

Schedule Changes

The following events have been postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak:
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Parent Conversation (March 31) - POSTPONED TO APRIL 23
  • Upper School Small Vocal Ensembles Concert (April 1) - CANCELED
  • Heritage Night (April 3) - CANCELED
  • Junior/Senior Prom (April 4) - POSTPONED TO MAY 29
  • ACT Test (April 4) - POSTPONED TO JUNE 13
  • D.C. Science Olympiad State Tournament (April 4) - CANCELED
  • Lower School Guild at Cherry Blossom Parade (April 4) - CANCELED
  • Good Friday Cathedral Service (April 10) - CANCELED
  • Grade 11 One Love Foundation Program (April 14)- POSTPONED; NEW DATE TBD
  • Grade 12 Consent/College Transition Program (April 14)- POSTPONED; NEW DATE TBD
  • Diversity Forum Parent Dinner (April 14) - CANCELED
  • Middle School Spring Play (April 17-18) - CANCELED
  • Washington-Area Independent School College Fair (April 22) - CANCELED
  • Writer's Day (April 27) - CANCELED
  • NCS Reunion 2020 (May 1-3) - CANCELED
  • Flower Mart (May 1-2) - CANCELED
  • SAT and SAT Subject Tests (May 2) - CANCELED
  • Middle School Chorus & Orchestra Trip (May 9) - CANCELED
  • Stotesbury Regatta (May 14-16) - CANCELED