Check back at 7:00 PM, April 8, for a Special Easter Message from Mr. Smith
Dear EHS Family,
We continue to monitor updates on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its potential impact on the EHS community. Please check this webpage frequently for updates and information about EHS operations. We recommend the resources below to stay informed about the developing situation at home and abroad.
Thank you for your patience and support of our plans.
Head of School
- Expectations During a Campus Closure
- For Questions and Support
- Daily Schedule for Virtual Classes
- Coronavirus Planning Update (#7) - 4/1/20
- Past Correspondence
This method of learning and instruction involves a lot of self-discipline, maturity, patience, flexibility, and a high level of responsibility. With your cooperation and focus, we will be able to have productive and engaging classes with high levels of participation as we would if we were on campus! To help you understand what is expected of you, here are some guidelines.
- Be available to return to campus within one day for the reopening.
- Check your EHS email at the start of the school day at minimum. An email will be posted each morning at 7:30am that will provide the day’s schedule and any announcements. Use only school email and school-approved text services.
- Meet each class by period, following the normal daily schedule, unless otherwise specified. Attendance will be taken at the start of class and during advisory, Chapel, and class meetings. Students should remain available during class, though teachers may not require students to actively participate in a meeting for the entirety of the class period.
- Participate in Chapel, advisory, extracurricular, and grade level meetings.
- Appropriate clothing should be worn at all times, especially whatever may be visible in video conferencing. For instance, pajamas are not acceptable.
- During class, students should be seated in an appropriate workplace (such as a desk or table).
- During class, teachers will check in with students periodically. Students should remain available for chat or video conferencing and respond as quickly as possible when prompted.
- In general, students should mute their microphone during meetings and video conferences unless asking a question or responding to the discussion. If the camera is on, it is recommended that all participants utilize the “blur background” feature in video conferencing.
- Abide by the EHS Honor Code and Code of Conduct at all times, especially in regard to appropriate computer use and cyber-security.
- At the start of class, sign into Microsoft Teams and join our class “meeting” (video conference) for attendance and to receive instructions for class that day.
- The teacher may request that your camera be turned on or off. He/she may ask that you turn your camera on at different points in the class or to share your screen so that we may collaborate.
- Your microphone should be muted and remain muted during class, except when you are actively talking (i.e. asking or answering a question).
- Throughout class your teacher will periodically check in with you and will be available for you to direct chat or video conference to ask questions.
Stepping Away During Class
It is best to take care of your needs outside of class time, but if you must step away for a moment, please choose an appropriate time to do so and change your availability status by clicking on your profile icon in the top right corner of the Teams screen and setting your status to “Be Right Back”. Reset your status to “Available” when you return.
Student or Parent Concerns: The Grade Level Deans are available for academic or student life concerns. In addition, if you or your family is in need of help, let them know:
Eric Lerch, 9th Grade Dean firstname.lastname@example.org
Meghan Moake, 10th Grade Dean email@example.com
Mark Mitchell, 11th Grade Dean firstname.lastname@example.org
Jess Adams, 12th Grade Dean email@example.com
Business Office Concerns: If you have questions for the business office, please contact Accounts Receivable Accountant, Kimberley Pavalock (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Health-Related Questions: For health-related questions or to report a positive coronavirus diagnosis, please contact School Nurse, Mrs. Connie Thomas (email@example.com).
Pastoral Care: Rev. Beth Holden is available to offer care and assistance by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and for scheduled virtual conversations or prayer via Microsoft Teams. Alternatively, you can complete the Prayer and Pastoral Care Request Form to submit prayer requests.
Choices Support: Ms. Mary Secrest (email@example.com), Choices Counselor at EHS, will be providing support to the EHS community via “Teletherapy,” which is the same as a visit in her office but will be done via Microsoft Teams. Conversations will follow the same guidelines of confidentiality as they would on campus. If you or your child wants to sign up for a time with Ms. Secrest while we are virtual, please do so via This Link . Ms. Secrest will then send additional information via email prior to your scheduled times. For students under 18 years of age, Ms. Secrest will be sending an online consent form to the parent/guardian which allows for Ms. Secrest to have an appointment via Teletherapy.
In addition to all of those above, you can count on support from advisors, teachers, and coaches. Know that we are here, and we care. If you need help, reach out!
Good Afternoon, EHS Community!
Congratulations to all of us on the successful start to our eLearning portion of this school year. With patience, collaboration, and a positive outlook, we continue to provide a Four Pillars education true to our mission, and we are well-positioned for further success.
Following the federal guidelines and the recent executive order by Governor Greg Abbott, the EHS campus will remain closed until May 4. Thus, we will continue with our eLearning initiatives until further notice. Please visit our website Quicklink for detailed information and other updates.
From the feedback obtained thus far from students, parents, and faculty, there is high praise for our readiness and desire to maintain some normalcy. From that same feedback, we have also taken note of the challenges and concerns: amount of screen time, limited physical activity, regular daily schedule, length of school day, and quantity of homework. Adjustments to alleviate these concerns have been adopted and are being implemented.
Here is the new eLearning daily schedule, to begin on Monday. Since the next two weeks are shorter for observation of Easter, we will follow a block schedule for the four days of each week. For next week specifically,
April 6: Tuesday/Thursday schedule
April 7: Wednesday/Friday schedule
April 8: Tuesday/Thursday schedule
April 9: Wednesday/Friday schedule
Our weekly program remains committed to providing appropriate time slots for Chapel, advisory, and class meetings. To further reduce the overall amount of screen time, we are providing homework guidelines for our faculty and will continue our discussion on assessments.
Still facing uncertainty, we remain optimistic and encouraged by the affirmative response of our community. Your support and thoughtful feedback are certainly valued, as we continue to welcome your suggestions. I hope that you and your family will remain safe and well.
All the best,
Coronavirus Planning Update (#6) - 3/26/20Dear EHS Family,
With the end of the first week of virtual classes approaching and a great deal of uncertainty ahead, I write to commend and thank our faculty and staff, students, and families for a strong start. In this extraordinary moment, it is how we respond that defines us. As always, the EHS community has responded with thorough planning, respect and love for one another, and enthusiasm. Thanks to each of you for the sacrifices you are making and for your heroic response to these extraordinary circumstances.
The good news—attendance has actually been higher on our first few days back from Spring Break than it was on the same days the year before. In fact, each period was lower in absences and tardies than each period last year. Faculty report that students are attentive, engaged, and patient as our teachers navigate new waters. Both faculty and students are identifying and adjusting to new learning techniques that will prove invaluable in the years ahead. Chapel keeps us grounded and reminded of what matters, and advisory and grade level meetings allow us to connect with one another.
Yes, in this difficult time, we miss the daily contact with one another over a walk to Chapel or a cinnamon roll at break, but we are a strong community and will emerge even stronger. It is particularly wrenching for our seniors, who have made so many wonderful contributions to the community over the years, but be assured that no matter how the spring unfolds, we will honor and celebrate them.
As we approach our second week, we would like to hear from you. Please let us know through the feedback link here what you consider to be working well in the first week and in what areas we might improve our delivery of online learning. Please also let us know your questions. We look forward to hearing from you.
As we move forward in the coming weeks, please know that we are here to assist you in any way we can. You may contact your grade level dean with tech-related or other school issues and also Principal Kim Randolph, Head of School Ned Smith, or me. Although none of us expected or chose to spend the spring at home, we are Knights, we are all in this together, and as Mr. Smith told us in Chapel on Monday, "Joy cometh in the morning."
I want to thank each of you for all you are doing in this unusual moment. I couldn't be prouder to be a Knight! Stay safe!
Nancy L. Eisenberg
Associate Head of School
Coronavirus Planning Update (#5) - 3/20/20
Dear EHS Family,
Welcome back as we prepare to launch school in a virtual environment this coming Monday, aiming to resume instruction in the best way that we can in the face of the ongoing uncertainty and anxiety around COVID-19. Although we'll miss being together, we believe that our strong EHS culture of flexibility, creativity, and resilience will triumph over the inevitable setbacks and challenges.
Currently, we are not aware of any school or employee family with a positive diagnosis for the virus. If you or any member of your family test presumptive positive or positive for COVID-19 or have direct exposure to someone who has tested positive, please reach out to Nurse Connie Thomas to report the diagnosis or direct exposure. Respecting individual privacy, we will provide what information we can to the community in the event of a presumptive positive or positive test. Most importantly, we encourage you to continue to follow the guidance of our local, state, and national authorities to keep yourselves and our community healthy!
Out of an abundance of caution and in coordination with those authorities, campus remains closed through Monday, April 13. Our Quicklinks page will provide the most up-to-date information. We continue to hope for the best and plan for the worst.
We have modified our Weekly Schedule to leave the whole school free for lunch at the same time; classes regularly scheduled for 5A and 5B will be combined into a single period 5 followed by lunch. We provide a summary of our expectations for students here.
We understand that there remain many unanswered questions about what lies ahead. Please know that we are working to answer those questions and provide you with as much information as we can as quickly as we can regarding AP tests, SAT and ACT tests, spring performances, spring tournaments, graduation, baccalaureate and many others. Do know that 3rd Quarter grades are delayed one week and will not be available on Wednesday, March 25.
Above all, care for yourselves and for each other. We may not be in close physical proximity, but as EHS Knights we continue to be strong and will emerge even stronger having overcome these current challenges together. We stand ready to support you as we can in your learning and otherwise in the weeks ahead. We have created a Questions and Support Guide to help access school resources should the need arise at any time.
Thank you once again for your optimism and energy as we move forward, stronger together.
All the best and be well,
Head of School
Coronavirus Planning Update (#4) - 3/17/20
Dear EHS Family,
Please know that we will follow the advice of the state and local authorities and extend the full campus closure through Monday, April 13. The campus will reopen Tuesday, April 14.
Virtual classes begin as scheduled on Monday, March 23. Please expect another more thorough update by Friday this week, and please continue to check Quicklinks on the school homepage for the most current information.
Let's stand together in following the CDC's guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Stay safe and healthy,
Head of School
Coronavirus Planning Update (#3) - 3/12/20
Dear EHS Family,
We write today with an update on our planning for the coming weeks and with the health and well-being of the EHS community at the fore. We remain diligent in this planning and in training our faculty and students. While we recognize there remains great uncertainty, we aim to continue our lives as best we can with as little disruption as possible. In all that we do, we continue to follow the guidance of local and national health authorities. Thank you for your continued flexibility and forbearance.
At this point, all school-sponsored trips outside of Houston planned through the end of March have been cancelled. As to international travel, all who travel to a country designated by the CDC as 'Alert Level 2' or 'Warning Level 3' for COVID-19 must follow the CDC's 14-day self-quarantine directive upon returning to the United States. This, of course, includes remaining off campus for the 14-day quarantine period. While the situation remains dynamic, as of this morning the CDC has placed China, South Korea, Iran, Japan, and most of Europe on Level 2 or Level 3 travel alerts for COVID-19. Families affected must contact the appropriate Grade Level Dean's office as soon as possible, and all absences during this quarantine will be excused. The School will provide instructional continuity for students during that time via the appropriate Grade Level Dean.
On the School's home page, under the Quicklinks menu, we have created a webpage that will offer the most up-to-date information in the event of a campus closure. Parents, we invite you to sit with your children to have them walk you through the log-in process to see the resources that are available. Students, we invite you to be patient with your parents through this process. All students and faculty now have laptops and wireless access, and we have additional laptops in reserve as needed. Students have already participated in an average of four online classes. As of this morning, all students have participated in at least one online class.
If we do close campus for an extended period, we anticipate proceeding on our regular school schedule as if we were present on campus; this includes regular block days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays as well as observing both 5A and 5B classes and tutorials. All attendance procedures will remain in effect, so parents should still call or email the School if a child is ill or absent from class for any reason. Students will check in online with their teacher at the start of each period, and teachers will remain available online during their entire class period and again during tutorials. There is no need to check in during free periods or at lunch. We will modify our Chapel time as follows:
- All-School Chapel meetings on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only
- Advisory meetings on Tuesdays - no Chapel
- Grade Level meetings on Thursdays - no Chapel
Grade Level Deans will coordinate attendance for all-school Chapel, advisory, and grade-level meetings. These will be important gatherings in the event of an extended campus closure.
Lastly, please bring all your class materials, laptops, and chargers home each night for the foreseeable future. We plan an additional communication by email during spring break regarding the weeks to come.
I am proud to be a Knight and appreciate your hard work, creativity, flexibility, and patience these last two weeks. In the face of significant uncertainty, we continue to live the School's Mission to the fullest, inspiring each other and the greater community.
Head of School
Coronavirus Planning Update (#2) - 3/6/20
Dear EHS Family,
We write today with an update on our planning for the coming weeks. Of course, there remain some unanswered questions, and we certainly hope there will be no need for a campus closure, but we outline first steps here so we are prepared.
With an eye toward the weeks ahead, including spring break and travel, we continue to follow the guidance of local and national health authorities.
There are several school-sponsored domestic trips planned in both the Arts and the Athletics Pillars in the weeks ahead, and those trips are proceeding as planned for now and without restriction. Rest assured that we are carefully monitoring the areas to which these trips are planned as well as domestic travel advisories, and we will adjust accordingly as necessary. There are no school-sponsored international trips planned in the coming months.
As to international travel more generally, all who travel to a country designated by the CDC as 'Alert Level 2' or 'Warning Level 3' for COVID-19 must follow the CDC's 14-day self-quarantine directive upon returning to the United States. This, of course, includes remaining off campus for the 14-day quarantine period. While the situation remains dynamic, as of today the CDC has placed five countries on Level 2 or Level 3 travel alerts for COVID-19: China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, and Japan. Families affected must contact the appropriate Grade Level Dean's office at their earliest convenience, and all absences during this quarantine will be excused. The school will provide instructional continuity for students during that time via the appropriate Grade Level Dean.
We also continue with our contingent planning for an extended campus closure should one become necessary. We have two primary mechanisms for teaching and learning when campus is closed. One is the portal, already widely used. The other is the suite of Microsoft cloud services for schools. More information will be forthcoming in the days ahead. This expanded capacity will potentially allow for video conferencing sessions for teachers to meet in real time with their classes, for grade levels to meet together, and even for us to come together virtually for Chapel or all-school meetings.
For this effort to be successful, students are asked to remember the following:
- Bring laptops, power cords, and peripherals home every night.
- Be available to return to school within one day for the reopening following a campus closure.
- Check email at the start of the school day each morning at minimum. Use only school email and school-approved group text services.
- For virtual classes, teachers will take attendance at the start of each class period on the same schedule as if at school, including all classes that would normally meet (arts, PE, etc.). Classes may meet for a full period or partial period depending on the day's lesson, with teachers available online during the full class period. We will reach out as we always do in case of absences.
- Before spring vacation, upload all necessary materials into OneDrive.
- Let the appropriate Grade Level Dean know if you have any technical issues that might prevent you from working at home, including Internet accessibility. The school will work with you to find a solution.
Faculty and staff met together and by department earlier this week to continue their training in eLearning, and lunchtime training will continue next week as it has this week every day at lunch. Faculty will, in turn, train their students in class next week. Whether on campus or off, in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, we are committed to helping students #FindInnerGenius at EHS.
Thank you in advance for your patience and support.
Head of School
Coronavirus Planning Update (#1) - 3/2/20
Dear EHS Family,
As the health, safety, and well-being of our students is always our top priority, we write following today's Chapel with an update on the School's efforts to prepare ourselves for coronavirus. Although we cannot predict the trajectory of the virus, we are taking steps toward prevention in our community. These steps are informed by local and national health authorities: Harris County Public Health and the CDC.
Our current understanding is that the virus spreads primarily between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. While the primary means of transmission is person-to-person direct contact, the virus may also spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
The preventive measures the School has taken at this time include providing regular guidance on how to avoid the spread of illness, including the 'regular' flu, which we battle this year and every year. Since each of us has a part to play in preventing the spread of illness, please remember the everyday preventive measures including:
- Voluntary Home Isolation - Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms.
- Respiratory Etiquette - Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
- Hand Hygiene - Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
- Environmental Health Action - Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
Routine use of these measures will increase community resilience and readiness for responding to an outbreak.
In addition, throughout the year the School cleans nightly using EPA-approved disinfectants with emphasis on high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, restroom stalls, faucet handles, and student desks. During the winter months of flu season, we typically perform monthly campus-wide disinfections with a spray product that adheres not only to the top surface but to all sides of our furniture. We have increased the frequency of these deeper cleans so that each building will be cleaned once per week with this Clorox 360 product.
Finally, we continue to plan for the possibility of a prolonged school closure. Our faculty and staff are working diligently, as they do when a hurricane approaches, but with the further understanding that it is likely that power and internet/cell phone service will continue uninterrupted throughout this closure.
Beginning today, all faculty, staff and students must bring their laptop computers, power cords, and necessary peripherals home each evening, and all in the community must check their school emails at least once each day as email will be our primary means of communication in the event of a school closure. Should school closure be necessary, students and faculty must be available to return to campus within one day of school reopening.
With our laptops in hand, we have all that is necessary to run school almost as usual in a virtual environment. Our goal in the event of a prolonged school closure is to continue with our regular class day schedule each day. As an important reminder, all of us students, faculty and staff need to avoid using personal email accounts for any school business. As texting is also a popular way to communicate, please remember that employees must communicate with students through school-approved providers. Students, if you do not have internet access at home, please alert your grade level dean immediately.
We know that there remain many unanswered questions, and we certainly hope there will be no need for a school closure, but we outline first steps here so that we are prepared. In the days ahead, students and faculty will train and practice in virtual schooling so that we are as prepared as we can be. More information will be forthcoming, but in the meanwhile if you have specific questions please reach out to any member of school leadership or directly to me.
Thank you in advance for your patience and support of our plans.
Head of School
Student Health at EHS - 1/24/20
Dear EHS Family,
As you may have read or heard in the past 48 hours, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently confirmed the nation's first case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCoV) in the state of Washington, and officials in Brazos County are monitoring the progress of a Texas A&M student who was examined for the disease. The initial outbreak apparently occurred in Wuhan in the Hubei Province of China.
Since we have had a group of students and adults visit China during Interim Term, although not in the Hubei Province, we felt it would be prudent to inform and advise our community. The health and safety of our community is our focus, so we want to make sure you are aware of how we can work together to minimize illness on our campus.
If you feel sick with fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical care right away. Before you go to your doctor's office, please call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
The best guidance to date is to maintain regular cold and flu season practices regarding personal hygiene. EHS School Nurse, Connie Thomas, will send a list of best practices in Monday's Windows e-newsletter as a reminder for our students, faculty, and staff, so that we can minimize transmission of sickness on campus. If a student develops cold or flu-like symptoms, please keep the student at home, call your doctor, and inform Ms. Thomas.
Have a good weekend, and Go Knights!
Head of School