Corona Virus (COVID-19)
Information and Updates
NC Governor Cooper has directed the closure of all public schools in North Carolina through Friday, May 15, 2020. New Dimensions will follow his directive.
Governor Roy Cooper declared today that all schools in North Carolina are to be closed for all students until at least Friday, May 15.
New Dimensions will use the lessons we learned last week and what we will learn this week to fully transition to remote learning beginning Monday, March 30. We will continue to learn together, support each other, and collectively make the best decisions for the students we serve.
Please know that if items are needed from the school or if a Chromebook needs to be checked out, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (828) 437-5753 to schedule a time to come to the school. Also, contact me if you need resources for possible free internet services. We have some nonperishable food if any of our families know of shut ins or other families who might need some additional food.
New Dimensions will maintain the current academic calendar the best we can. Our school will observe Good Friday and our scheduled spring break. Therefore, New Dimensions will be closed from Friday, April 10 to Friday, April 17 to give everyone a much-needed break. We will return to our current level of support and operations on Monday, April 20.
Please know that we stand ready to assist you in any way we possibly can. Rest assured that we will do everything in our power to meet the needs of our entire NDS family during these uncertain times.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Dr. David Burleson, Director
Hello NDS Families,
Thank you for your responsiveness to picking up work/chromebooks for your students to continue to learn during this time. If you have not yet picked up your students items, the school will be open until 4:00 p.m.
The following information is from Burke County Schools regarding meals. If you need additional meal help while schools are closed, please contact us via email to email@example.com.
"To ensure students continue to have access to meals while schools are closed, Burke County Public Schools has opened seven grab-and-go feeding locations. Children will receive a lunch for that day and a breakfast for the next. The lunch will include a hot or cold sandwich, milk, cold vegetable and a whole fruit. Breakfast for the next day will include milk, whole or dried fruit and a grain-based breakfast option (Pop-Tart, muffin, cinnamon roll or cereal bar.)
Here is a link to the release concerning the school systems food distribution, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_KZUoIXjQZILihXFQiko7pbzGdL90m3Q7nZjX2cD-Oc/edit?ts=5e6fe026." (Copy and paste, if it does not link)
Dr. David Burleson
As you know, Governor Roy Cooper declared that all schools in North Carolina are to be closed for all students for at least the next two weeks. Because of this directive, the New Dimensions School will be closed for students from Monday, March 16 until at least Monday, March 30.
Monday, March 16 will be a required workday for faculty and staff. Parents and students may come to the school on Monday to pick up any personal items if needed along with their workbooks. Students will also be allowed to checkout Chromebooks to allow us to do online learning. If tomorrow is not convenient for you, just let us know what day will work best. We also have some nonperishable food if any of our families know of shut ins or other families who might need some additional food.
Plans are also being developed to do virtual parent/teacher conferences and to communicate with our families on a daily basis. You will be getting calls and emails from your child’s homeroom teacher starting tomorrow. We are working on how these days will be made up if we are required to make them up.
As information becomes available, we will keep you updated. Rest assured that we will do everything in our power to meet the needs of our students even in uncertain times like these.
You and your family is in my thoughts and prayers.
Dr. David Burleson
Due to the directive that has just been announced by Governor Roy Cooper, all schools in North Carolina are to be closed for all students for at least the next two weeks. Because of the Governor’s directive, the New Dimensions School will be closed for students from Monday, March 16 until at least Monday, March 30.
Monday, March 16 will be an optional workday for faculty and staff. Parents and students may come to the school on Monday to pick up any personal items if needed. Students will also be allowed to checkout Chromebooks to allow us to do online learning. We also have some nonperishable food if any of our families know of shut ins or other families who might need some additional food.
Plans are also being developed to do virtual parent/teacher conferences. We will also be working on how these days will be made up if we are required to make them up.
There will be more information to come and rest assured that we will do everything in our power to meet the needs of our students even in uncertain times like these.
Dr. David Burleson
I realize that there are many questions and concerns about the coronavirus and its impact on not only our school but also daily life. We are committed to providing our staff and families with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. As you know, we have made several decisions in order to implement social distancing practices and help mitigate the spread of coronavirus. As a result, and as a preemptive measure to protect everyone’s health and wellbeing, the decision has been made to postpone and/or suspend all off-campus field trips from March 16 to after April 1. This also includes off campus professional development, meetings and conferences for staff. New Dimensions is following the recommendation of the NCHSAA and the Burke County Health Department and is suspending all extracurricular activities planned for outside of the school and classrooms until further notice. This includes any parent nights, performances, academic competitions and practices. After school clubs and tutoring can continue at this time but be sure to practice best practices in social spacing.
New Dimensions continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) and continues to work with and take advice from local officials as we remain committed to doing our part to help slow the spread of the virus and protect those most at risk.
By implementing these social distancing practices immediately, it is our hope that this protocol will keep more people safe from illness. These decisions are not easy. However, our first goal is the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.
As a reminder, here are a few things we need to do to be proactive regarding coronavirus, as well as the flu, colds and other illnesses, to keep students and staff healthy:
· Teachers should review hand-washing techniques with students and handwashing instructions are being posted in each of our restrooms.
· Have students wash their hands before eating lunch.
· All staff should monitor our students for health-related issues, especially in cases where students exhibit symptoms associated with the virus.
· Our custodial staff is using antibacterial products on high-touch surfaces -- including desks, knobs, tables, etc. -- daily and frequently cleaning the school with effective cleaning products labeled specifically for coronavirus.
· When students have finished drinking from the water fountain, staff are to use the spray bottles located at the fountains to sanitize them.
· At the end of the day, all staff are to use anti-bacterial wipes for rub down their classrooms or offices, including student desks, Chromebooks and iPads.
· We continue to communicate with health officials regularly to stay current on the facts and proven protocols and procedures. We are committed to sharing overall school strategies for dealing with the spread of the virus should our school be impacted. We also pledge to treat each other with compassion, respect and openness.
Here are some useful tips for you to keep you and your family healthy:
· Wash your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds. Wash your hands before you eat, after you use the toilet, after coughing or sneezing or blowing your nose, and after petting animals. Warm water and soap are preferred over hand sanitizer.
· Cover coughs and sneezes. Throw away used tissues.
· Don’t touch your face, mouth or nose with unwashed hands.
· If you are sick, stay home. Students should stay home if they have cold or flu symptoms and not return to school unless they are fever free for 24 hours without medicine. Staff should also stay home if they have cold or flu symptoms.
· Avoid close contact with someone who is sick.
· Practice good hygiene when preparing food. Cook food thoroughly. Don’t cross contaminate foods. Don’t eat or drink after others.
· Help keep yourself healthy by eating right, drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of sleep. Call your doctor or medical provider if symptoms arise and share any recent travel history.
Here are some helpful links for more information:
At this time, any decision about closing schools will be left to the local health departments and school officials. Even though it is unlikely in Burke County at this time, we want to be prepared. Our school has just sent out a survey to our parents to determine their ability to access the internet. Preliminary results show that the great majority of our families have access to the internet.
If we are forced to close schools, we will do as much on line as possible. Here are the ways we can continue instruction and assignments remotely.
○ Every NDS student (K-8) has a school assigned email address that can be accessed from any computer or device that can access a browser. Students can send and receive emails to teachers as needed.
● Google Classroom
○ Once a teacher creates a Google Classroom, it could be used in various ways. Examples include:
■ Posting assignments (students submit electronically through Google Classroom; through GSuite, students have access to all Google Apps - Google Docs, Google Slides, Google
Sheets, Google Drawings, etc. and would have no need for any specific computer programs on
home computers in order to complete assignments).
■ Posting or embedding videos from a video creation tool such as Moovly
■ Live chatting by posting times for students to be in Google Classroom to receive help or to
simply connect as a class
● Google Hangouts
○ Hangouts is a free way to make voice calls, send text messages, and even have group video chats from your mobile device or computer. Instructions can be sent out to families for use, and teachers can email times that he or she plans to use.
○ Create your own video lessons, presentations or explainer videos with this easy video creation tool for teachers and students.
○ Engage students with creative video assignments
○ Make e-learning videos
○ Have students present a project using his or her own Moovly creation
■ Take it a step further and have total class participation by posting in Google Classroom and requiring students to post comments and/or questions
● Online Programs for lessons and testing
○ Assign students work within the educational platforms we have subscriptions to and/or are free to educational entities. A portal can be set up on our website for families to use for easy access to each site. Any applicable credentials can be emailed out to parents for access to those programs that require them. Examples of educational platforms we currently use and can be easily used from home include:
■ Mystery Science
■ Renaissance Learning
■ Khan Academy
For those families who may not have use of a computer or to ease of use better for the student, NDS could also implement our AUP to allow for all students to take home his or her Chromebook. Currently, only the NCVPS students are allowed to take them home. If a family has no access to the internet, we would plan to take paper, work packets to the home.
If you have any questions about how to utilize the technology we have to implement online learning, please see Mrs. Lookado or Mrs. Auton.
I realize this is a lot to consider, but it is very important that we be proactive in how we handle any threat to the safety of our students and staff.
The email and attachment below is the latest update from the Governor's Office.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Dr. David Burleson
Dear NDS Parent/Guardian,
The New Dimensions School is closely monitoring and is in constant contact with the local health department concerning the Coronavirus. The containment of the virus has been a major concern not only in North Carolina, but also around the world. Our primary concern is that our students and staff are in a safe learning environment and that we follow all recommendations of the health department. It is critical to work together as a community to keep everyone safe from any type health concern.
Please know that New Dimensions is making the necessary preparations in case the COVID-19 becomes more prevalent in our community. For now, there have been no indications of a coronavirus outbreak, but that could change as time goes on.
It is important to understand that we all play a role in reducing the likelihood of a coronavirus outbreak in our school community. We encourage everyone to practice good habits, including:
- Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food. Wash for 20 seconds, using soap and water.
- Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your arm.
- As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
- If children are feeling sick, please keep them home from school. Allow them some time to feel better so that they do not risk infecting others.
For our middle school parents and students that are planning to go on the Washington DC trip, know that we are in constant communication with our tour company that is closely monitoring the situation. If there are any concerns about travel to our nation’s capital, the tour company will make us aware.
The state of North Carolina continues to be proactive in preparing for a potential outbreak of the Coronavirus. Here are some suggestions for education facilities from the Governor’s Office on how to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus:
· Make sure all students, faculty and staff are aware of and practicing good hand hygiene and taking common-sense precautions to protect from the spread of respiratory illnesses.
· Review absenteeism policies and procedures to make sure students or children, faculty and staff are not being encouraged to attend or work if they are sick.
· If you have not already, establish a relationship with your local health department and communicate with them if you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19.
· Learn more about COVID-19 on the CDC website, and look for updates and information for schools, colleges and childcare.
All North Carolinians can better prepare for COVID-19 by getting up-to-date information directly from reliable sources like NCDHHS and the CDC. The COVID-19 outbreak has been accompanied by a global flood of misinformation from unreliable sources. Be thoughtful about what you read or hear about the virus and make sure you are separating rumor from fact before you act.
For more information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/coronavirus. North Carolina resources can be found on the Division of Public Health website at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus. If you have questions or concerns, call the COVID-19 Helpline toll free at 1-866-462-3821. To submit questions online, go to www.ncpoisoncontrol.org and select “chat.”
New Dimensions will continue to communicate with you in the days and weeks to come. It is possible that we may need to cancel classes if it appears the coronavirus has affected our community in a significant way and it is recommended by the health department. If this occurs, New Dimensions has plans to continue providing instruction by using available technology.
As always, the safety of our students, staff and families remains our top priority. We will act out an abundance of caution to protect everyone’s health and wellbeing. We hope that you will never hesitate to contact the school when you have a question or problem concerning your child. If there is anything else that we can do, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Again, thank you for your spirit of cooperation and your concern for our students.
David C. Burleson, Director