Updated 3/13/2020 at 2:20 pm

COVID-19 Information for Tara Performing Arts High School Community

The Colorado State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Colorado, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email them at COHELP@RMPDC.org to get more information and ask questions about COVID-19. Information is available in English and Spanish. Given the complex and rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, we encourage you to visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Colorado State Department of Health, and Public Health of Boulder County for the most detailed and up to date information on COVID-19.

 

Please bookmark this page. We will update this page with information about COVID-19 as it relates to Tara Performing Arts High School.

COVID-19 Messages from Tara Performing Arts High School

Message to the Tara Performing Arts High School community March 8, 2020
Message to the Tara Performing Arts High School 9th, 11th and 12th grade
Message to the Tara Performing Arts High School 9th, 11th and 12th grade families regarding spring trips
Message to Tara Parents March 13, 2020
Message to Tara Students March 13, 2020
Message to Tara Parents March 15, 2020
Message to Tara Students March 15, 2020
Distance Learning/Parents March 18, 2020
Distance Learning/Students March 18, 2020
Distance Learning/Parents March 22, 2020
Distance Learning/Students March 22, 2020
Distance Learning/Community March 24, 2020
Monday Memo
Community Update, April 22
Community Update, May 14: Students/Parents/Faculty/Staff
Community Meeting, May 27
Community Meeting, June 24

Resources:

Health Organizations

       Boulder County COVID-19 Updates

       Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

       Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

       World Health Organization

Additional Resources

       New COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations: How Do These Affect Schools?

       Coronavirus Basics: A Medical Expert Gives Us a Foundation for Understanding

       Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission

       How to talk to children about difficult news

       Explaining the News to Our Kids

       How to Talk to Kids About the Coronavirus Outbreak

       How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus

Frequently Asked Questions

Tara Performing Arts High School Events and Travel:

Information about Tara’s upcoming spring trips will be communicated to families directly by email, and the whole school through the Tara Memo. Links to these communications will be collected and posted here.

Is Tara Performing Arts High School Closing in Response to Coronavirus?

Classes are suspended effective immediately.

- Tara will suspend classes effective Friday March 13, 2020. Within 24 hours, you will receive more information about the length of time for this closure along with plans for managing current classes and/or a possible extended period of suspended classes.

 

Important note: The rehearsal for the 9th grade play will continue on Friday March 13th from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm at the Nomad Playhouse. The individual musical hearings for Les Mis scheduled for Friday 2:30 - 7:00 pm will continue as planned in the Annex.

How would the decision be made to close the school?

The health and safety of our students, staff, and families is our top priority. While Tara monitors other school closings, including the Boulder Valley School District and other independent schools, Tara makes decisions independently based on the school’s unique needs and circumstances, as well as guidance from external agencies such as Public Health – Boulder County, the Colorado State Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in our community, the Leadership Council, in partnership with the Board of Trustees will make a decision.

Under what circumstances might the school close?

The following circumstances might support a decision to close the school for a period of time:

       An order to close from a county, state, or national public health agency (Public Health – Boulder County, the CO State Department of Health, or the Centers for Disease Control) or from the Governor’s office.

       Closure of Boulder Valley School District public schools.

       A confirmed case of COVID-19 in a student or faculty/staff member.

       Significant faculty, staff, and/or student absence.

       An exponential rise in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county.

What can a parent do to prepare for a school closure?

We encourage you to follow the advice of Public Health – Boulder County:

       Plan alternative childcare arrangements in case school is dismissed early and/or closed.

       Follow recommendations from local health agencies about maintaining social distance; find alternative ways to stay in contact with friends and extended family.

       Prepare for distance learning (set up a workspace at home, secure technology devices and accounts if needed).

       Talk to your employer about working from home or shifting schedules.

What about events and gatherings?

We will make decisions about holding or canceling events with an abundance of caution and based on the updated information from Boulder County Public Health. Please watch our school calendar for updates. Boulder County Public Health does advise that to increase your chances of staying healthy, it is best to avoid crowded settings, especially if you are over 60, or have chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or a weakened immune system.

What can a parent do to prepare for an outbreak of COVID-19?

Although the current risk to people in Boulder County from COVID-19 remains low in children and healthy adolescents, the situation is rapidly evolving. We recommend that individuals prepare now in order to reduce the number of illnesses and negative effects that could occur in our community. We encourage you to stay up to date with the latest information and recommendations from health officials (see list of Health Organizations, above).

How will my student’s education continue in the event of an extended school closure?

Tara faculty are committed to the school’s position that the use of technology should be an accessory to high school learning, not a central means of educating adolescents, and that in these times of a public health crisis, excessive screen time is not in keeping with our philosophy for a healthy lifestyle for young people. We are asking our faculty to consider creative approaches to distance learning as well as meaningful and inspiring assignments for students that do not involve the use of the internet. If school closures continue after our spring break, we will revisit this request and consider the usefulness of specific and limited screen time that will allow our educational program to continue in the event of an extended school closure.

When should I keep my child home from school?

Do not send your child to school if you suspect he or she may be ill, and has exhibited any of the following signs or symptoms:

       An elevated temperature of 100 degrees or more during the last 72 hours.

       Vomiting within the last 72 hours.

       Repeated episodes of diarrhea within the last 72 hours.

       Chills, loss of appetite, unusual fatigue, and/or lingering headache.

       A significant amount of nasal discharge, particularly if the discharge is yellow or greenish in color.

       Shortness of breath or cough.

       A significant sore throat.

       An earache.

Individuals who believe they have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 but are not currently sick should monitor their health for fever, cough, and shortness of breath for 14 days following close contact with the diagnosed person. These individuals should not go to work or school, and should avoid public places for 14 days. The CDC definition of “close contact” is a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case or b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).

If your child has a serious communicable disease, you must notify the school so we can comply with reporting requirements.

What happens if my child feels sick while at school?

If a student is ill at school given the current circumstances parents will be immediately called to pick up their student as quickly as possible. Sick students will be separated from public spaces and other classmates.

What can families, students, and school personnel do to keep from getting sick and spreading COVID-19?

The CDC recommends the following preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

       Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, have gone to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Always wash hands with soap and water when your hands are visibly dirty.

       If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. 

       Avoid close contact (six feet or less) with people who are sick.

       Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

       Stay home when you are sick (and do not return to school until you are fever-free for 72 hours without medication). We ask you to strictly adhere to this policy.

       Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash hands.

       Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. (List of EPA registered products.)

What additional steps is the school taking at this time?

The school is taking extra care with cleaning and disinfection processes, with particular attention to common surfaces.

       Additional cleaning of common surfaces by faculty and staff is happening daily.

       The weekend cleaning crew has implemented a disinfectant protocol in addition to the regular cleaning. Deep cleanings are scheduled as needed on weekends.

       All faculty and staff are required to maintain appropriate hand washing and sanitizing protocols upon entering the building and throughout the day.

We continue to closely monitor the situation and will keep you updated as things change.