Selwyn School’s COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Emergency Preparedness Plan

March 1st, 2020

Selwyn School strives to be prepared in times of emergency and crisis. As the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States becomes more likely, we want to be able to enact a plan that ensures the health and safety of our children and staff. The school’s administration and Board of Trustees have met to understand how Selwyn will respond should COVID-19 become a reality in our area. With the plan we have created, we believe we can mitigate the effects of disease in our community, should they arise, and keep the health and safety of our children as our top priorities.
Due to the amount of unreliable information regarding COVID-19 online, Selwyn will rely solely on information that is disseminated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. If you feel concerns about the spread of COVID-19 or want resources on the disease’s prevention, we encourage you to visit these sites.
The CDC recommends that if you are sick, or feel sick, you should stay home—regardless of the reason. We encourage you to take this precaution seriously: if your child feels sick, he or she should stay home until well again. During the winter and spring seasons, other viruses that can cause respiratory illness are common. Precautions that are recommended for avoiding colds, flu, and other respiratory illnesses include good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene: covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently and thoroughly, and staying home when sick. We are a safer and healthier community if each of us closely adheres to these guidelines.
Our community’s health and safety are our top priorities. We are actively monitoring communications from the CDC, WHO, and Texas DHHS, and will notify you immediately of any developments related to COVID-19 as they affect our school. We take your concerns seriously and will continue to follow public health guidance from the applicable organizations. Please reach out to me if you have questions or concerns.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prevent getting COVID-19?

If you are traveling overseas or visiting a major airport, please follow the CDC’s travel guidance. Additionally, the steps you can take to prevent the spread of the flu and the common cold will also help prevent COVID-19:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid contact with people who are sick
  • stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing

What should I do if I have close contact with someone infected with COVID-19?

If you believe you have had contact with someone infected with COVID-19, you should follow the CDC’s guidelines, found here.

Is Selwyn taking any measures to fight against the spread of illness?

Yes. We take public health seriously. Selwyn employs a cleaning crew to come in to disinfect student desks each night, and our staff encourage students to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently. Nothing can fully eliminate the risk of illness, especially during the cold and flu season, but our preventative measures can help in mitigating those risks.

What are the circumstances that would cause Selwyn to close for quarantine?

School closure will be guided by directives from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control.

Currently, if an individual student or staff member at Selwyn is diagnosed with novel coronavirus, then the school will close for disinfection for 24 hours. If multiple students or staff members are diagnosed, then Selwyn will be quarantined for either fourteen days or until cleared by a local health agency, whichever is shorter. Updates on campus closures will be communicated to all parents via email and also can be found at

What are the circumstances that would cause a student or staff member to be quarantined while school remained open?

If any staff member, student, or member of a staff member’s or student’s immediate family is diagnosed with novel coronavirus, then he or she will be asked to remain off campus for fourteen days, per the guidance of the CDC. Until the CDC recommends otherwise, students who travel to China will be asked to remain off-campus for fourteen days from the date of their arrival in the United States. Areas of the campus that any quarantined person regularly visits will be disinfected during a 24-hour quarantine, but the school will otherwise not close for an extended period of time.

How will classes continue during a school closure or quarantine?

In the event of a school closure, we will make every effort to continue offering high quality instruction and learning with minimal disruption. All Selwyn staff will be available during virtual office hours that they establish and via email during normal school hours.

Specific instructions for coursework and virtual meeting times will be communicated to parents and students if and when a quarantine occurs.

Upper School and Middle School Academy
Selwyn’s Upper School and Middle School Academy students will work remotely in an online, synchronous learning environment. Teachers will offer instruction via the web on an online platform for students at established times. The A/B Day Schedule will be modified so that students receive a half-hour of direct instruction followed by a period of guided instruction as they perform their schoolwork. These modifications will allow classes to continue indefinitely without loss of instruction quality or unnecessary risk of exposure to students or staff. Complete instructions for online courses and coursework will be communicated promptly to students and parents if Selwyn closes for quarantine.

Lower School
Selwyn’s Lower School will operate so that we continue to use screen-time in a developmentally appropriate way. Students in the Upper Elementary will have their school-issued iPads with them to take home, while students in the Lower Elementary will not.

Teachers in the Specials Courses (Art, Music, Drama, Spanish, etc.) will prepare modified lesson plans for students to work on at their own pace.

Upper Elementary
For students in grades 4-6, teachers will use a blend of instruction via our designated online platform, guided online instruction time for schoolwork and self-directed, off-screen time for students to complete classwork. 

Lower Elementary
For students in grades K-3, teachers will prepare work packets that students can take home and work on at their own pace; some parent guidance on this type of coursework may be necessary. Students will receive printed instructions for their coursework that may be communicated to parents via email.  

If you have questions about an individual course or lesson in the event of a school closure, please reach out directly to your student’s teacher.

If you have questions about technology use in a remote learning environment, please reach out to Melissa Murphey at

If you have questions about how a COVID-19 quarantine will affect your student’s coursework or ability to complete coursework, or if you have questions about Selwyn’s policies in the event of a school closure please reach out to Deb Hof at

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