As we saw today from President Cordano’s live address and email, Gallaudet has made the decision to transition to online education for undergraduate and graduate students effective March 23. Today the Clerc Center Leadership Team (CCLT) met to review what this means for our programs. The team is reviewing:
- Considerations and legal requirements for special education students (students with IEPs).
- Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization
- Non-Instructional days already in our calendar (e.g. spring break, professional development days etc)
- Quickly changing availability of flights and other modes of transportation for students in the event we need to close.
- The challenge of balancing the impact of a closure on families, teaching and learning, with the health and safety of our community.
No decisions have been made at this time about whether we will extend breaks for both schools. The discussion will be continued tomorrow and additional updates communicated at that time. We recognize that many of you are concerned about this issue and we will be making decisions and communicating as soon as we are able to do so.
We will respect the decisions of all families. If you wish to keep your child home for this reason, all absences will be excused. Please communicate as you normally would about student absences. This situation is evolving quickly and we also encourage families to start thinking about and planning for what a closure might mean for them.
To minimize the possibility of COVID-19 on campus, effective immediately we will be taking the following actions:
- Visitors/Tours: We will not be providing tours or opening the schools to visitors. Parents, of course, continue to be welcome in our schools. We ask that everyone continue to take normal precautions and not come to school if you are feeling ill.
- Field Trips: We will be suspending all field trips and keeping students on campus during academic time.
We continue to encourage everyone to maintain healthy habits and good hygiene practices. We also recognize that during any situation like this, rumors are common. Please also be sure you reach out to your school leadership team to verify any information. We will be communicating regularly and are committed to transparency to ensure our community remains safe.
Please watch for more communication on this important topic tomorrow.
Marianne Belsky, Chief Academic Officer
Nicole Sutliffe, Chief Administrative Officer