As we have all seen, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all of our lives. Pacific Christian Academy is monitoring any new information about the spread of COVID-19 in our area.
Below is a compilation of useful resources to help keep parents and students informed and proactive during this time.
Updates From PCA
Resources For Parents and Students
This has been a trying few weeks for our state, as we have seen the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread through our communities, and witnessed the devastating toll this can take on vulnerable populations. There is still so much we don't know about the virus, and those uncertainties make it more challenging to manage the spread of this disease. We are all concerned about the health and safety of our families and loved ones. The best thing we can all do is stay home, which will slow the spread of this virus and protect the elderly and vulnerable.
I wanted to provide you with another update on COVID-19 as the virus spreads to other places in our state and country. To make sure that you get future updates, make sure you sign up for my e-newsletter here: https://schrier.house.gov/contact/newsletter
I share many of your grievances about the availability and ease of testing. As frustrating as it may be to not know if your illness is from coronavirus or not, testing shouldn’t change most of how you manage your illness. It may, however, inform when you are able to return to work. And, of course, if you are a person at high risk or live with a person at high risk, the knowledge can help you be extra vigilant for worsening symptoms.
Schools and "Social Distancing"
All of the schools in the state are closed until April 24th, the Governor has announced that all restaurants, bars, and gyms must close for at least the next few weeks, and there is federal guidance now to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people. These are extremely difficult decisions. But we are at a critical point where we need to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable among us. It might seem like an overreaction to stay home when you are not sick, but acting now could prevent virus spread like we've seen in other countries. Slowing the spread will help avoid overwhelming our hospitals and medical infrastructure, and will save lives. There are only so many hospital beds and ventilators, and we need to make sure that hundreds of people don’t need them all at once.
Telephone Town Hall
Last week I held a telephone town hall with former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, to talk about what Congress has done so far, and to answer questions from concerned members of our community. Here are a few questions we got and the answers from me and Dr. Frieden:
Question: What is its lifetime on hard surfaces, does sunlight kill it, and can your kids get it off the ground? That sort of thing.
Rep. Schrier Answer: "Great question, and this is going to make us all a little hygiene-oriented – so, we know that this virus can live on surfaces, and numbers that have been thrown out there have anywhere from one day to nine. Happily, it is easily killed by typical household cleaners – like bleach, for example, even dilute bleach. By cleaning the surfaces in your house, changing your clothes when you come in, washing your hands, you can avoid a lot of that. It seems to survive on smooth surfaces more than rumpled surfaces. But I think you make an excellent point – if your mailman is feeling sick, hopefully they stay home. But perhaps you want to wash your hands after opening your mail. Please be careful not to touch your face. You’re not going to get infected by this unless it goes in your eyes, nose, or mouth; if you avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth you should remain healthy."
Dr. Frieden: "You’ve covered all the information we know. There are a variety of organisms that do live in the environment for a long time but don’t jump off the walls or and make us sick. There are some that spread widely that way; I’ll give you two very contrasting examples: the Norovirus, gets onto doorknobs and elevator buttons and other surfaces – most notably on cruise ships – and can spread very widely. And that requires intensive efforts to clean those ships very carefully because that virus happens to be extraordinarily infectious, just a few viral particles will infect you... But for all (pathogens) of them, there are certain things we can do that are sensible. Wash our hands regularly. Anytime you are going to eat anything, wash your hands. Cover your cough, cover your sneezes with the crook of your elbow – not your hands, do not go out if you’re sick, and it’s an excellent idea to stop shaking hands. We’ve seen in other countries where folks have used these tactics that instances of COVID 19 have gone down as well as other illnesses, such as the flu."
Question: “If you’re not running a fever, does that mean you don’t have the virus?”
Rep. Schrier Answer: "We don’t know. We think that classic symptoms are having a fever and a dry cough. We also know that kids seemingly have no symptoms. This begs the question: How many people out there have mild to no symptoms but could still pass the disease to others? This is why it’s so important for everyone to practice careful personal hygiene. We presume, like other viruses, you are at your most contagious while exhibiting these symptoms. We also know people are contagious before they manifest symptoms. This is what makes it so difficult to deal with."
Question: “I’m curious, my wife is taking chemotherapy and so we’re keeping her away from things, but I’m just curious – if one does start to display symptoms, how is the best way to gauge medical services. Drive to the emergency room or call 911, or how to keep the community safe yet engaged."
Rep. Schrier Answer: "First of all – best wishes to your wife and I hope for her speedy and complete recovery. I think the question of when you go to the doctor is an important one. Because, going to the doctor could put you at risk if you don’t really need medical care yet it could also put other people at risk if you go and you do have coronavirus. If you exhibit mild symptoms, a fever and a cough, stay home. If you exhibit severe symptoms, such as being short of breath or exhibiting chest pain, always call your doctor if you are on the verge of making that decision and they can guide you. Let your doctor know if you are coming in so you can get a face mask and not expose other people. Another great resource is the WA state Department of Health, their website or their phone number. They can help with that decision-making process. Also, how to go about notifying before going in."
To make sure you get notified about my next telephone town hall, which will likely be during the week of March 23rd, sign up
This week I was also on CNN talking to Chris Cuomo about COVID-19 and what we know so far. You can see the appearance here.
What Congress is Doing
Last week I introduced a bill (No Cost for COVID-19 Testing Act) that will require all health insurers to pay for the test and doctor's visit at no cost to the patient. This builds on the great work Washington state's Insurance Commissioner has done to have state health plans and people who are un-insured receive the test for free as well. We do not want cost to be a deterrent.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which the House just passed and included the No Cost for COVID-19 Testing Act, will also provide 14 days of sick leave for people who cannot work because they are sick or in self-quarantine, and additional time for paid family leave, if you need to care for a sick family member or child. As a doctor, I want to make sure that people who are sick are staying home to rest and recover, and not going to work and spreading the virus.
We know that school and business closures are going to take a big toll on the economy, possibly for months. This short term pain is designed to avoid a much larger economic hit. So the bill we passed this week is just the first of several legislative actions we will be taking to help families and businesses recover.
As always, please contact any of my offices if we can be helpful in anyway. Contact information is below or you can reply to this email.
Kim Schrier, M.D.
Member of Congress
Speed-Cleaning to Kill Household Germs
In the ongoing battle between you and household germs, you may think germs have the advantage. Unlike you, they can be just about everywhere at once. And when it comes down to hand-to-hand combat, you may be too rushed or tired or just have better things to do. They don't.
Yet keeping household germs at bay helps keep colds, flu, and other infectious illnesses from spreading. This on-the-go cleaning guide can help you get the upper hand with germs by focusing your efforts on the places where they lurk the most.
Where the Germs Are
As a rule of thumb, any area of your home with high traffic and surfaces that get touched a lot is a germ bank.
Not all germs are harmful. But where there are germ strongholds, the conditions are favorable for disease-causing viruses or bacteria to lurk.
One study found the kitchen sink had more bacteria than the toilet or garbage can. The only bathroom hotspot in the study's top 10 was the toothbrush holder. Why? Toothbrush holders are often near the toilet, and flushing sends a fine spray of mist onto them. Plus its easy to forget about them if you're focused on cleaning the toilet and more obvious germ hotspots.
Getting Started: What You Need to Kill Germs
Cleaning with soap and hot water removes dirt and grime and gets rid of some germs. It's usually enough for many surfaces. But you may want to disinfect areas that are home to a lot of germs.
A cleaner-disinfectant can be good for speed-cleaning because it combines the two steps. You can use it for most kitchen countertops and bathroom surfaces.
Clean areas with sticky spills and dirt you can with soap and water. Then disinfect. To make an cheap, effective disinfectant, mix up to 3 teaspoons of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Never pair bleach with ammonia or vinegar.
Apply it and leave on for three to five minutes. Rinse and let air dry to save time. Or dry with a clean towel.
Always wear gloves and open some windows when you use products with bleach.
if you're using store-bought disinfectants, trynot to breathe in the chemicals. Also remember to wipe down areas afterward with water or let cleaned areas, such as countertops, fully dry before you prepare food on them.
White vinegar or hydrogen peroxide are effective homemade cleaners. Never mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together, however. And if you use hydrogen peroxide, test it first on an unseen surface to make sure it doesn't discolor or fade it.
Daily Speed-Cleaning for Germs
You can take down some serious germ strongholds in a half-hour or less a day. If you don't have children or pets, it's even faster because you get to skip the last three steps. Start in the kitchen:
- Clean and disinfect countertops, sink faucet and handles, refrigerator handles, and cutting boards. Check the manufacturer's directions for specialty countertops.
- Clean with dishcloths you can throw in the washer with hot water. Replace towels and dishcloths daily.
- Clean spills on the kitchen floor so they don't attract more dirt and bacteria.
- Empty bathroom wastebaskets and those with dirty diapers. Take out the garbage. Spritz the containers with sanitizing spray.
- Clean and sanitize the bathroom sink faucet and handles.
- Put pet dishes in the dishwasher.
- If you have a child in diapers, clean and disinfect the changing table.
- If your child uses pacifiers, put them on the top shelf of the dishwasher if they're dishwasher safe. Otherwise, wash it and any toys your child mouths with soap and hot water. Check toy cleaning labels first.
Weekly Speed-Cleaning for Germs
Doing a daily speed clean makes weekly cleaning easier and faster. Once a week follow these steps to wipe out more germs:
- Put the kitchen sink strainer in the dishwasher.
- If possible, remove and hand wash the stove knobs.
- Clean and disinfect the kitchen sink.
- Wash the toothbrush holder and wipe with a disinfecting wipe or put it in the dishwasher if it's dishwasher safe.
- Gather bathroom towels and bed linen. Don't fluff or shake them to so you don't spreadi germs and dust. Wash in hot water, if possible.
- Mop the floors and vacuum carpets.
- Clean the bathroom sink, bath and toilet.
- Disinfect computer keyboards, light switches, telephones and remote controls with a disinfecting wipe that doesn't contain bleach. Squeeze to remove excess moisture first. Always turn off computers before you clean them.
Monthly Speed-Clean for Germs
These monthly chores take hardly any time:
- Wash pet toys: For hard toys use hot, soapy water and disinfect. Rinse well before you let them dry. Wash soft toys on hot with other laundry.
- Pour a solution of 1 teaspoon bleach and 1 quart water down the kitchen sink drain to sanitize the drain and garbage disposal. Or pour white vinegar down the drain.
- Clean the coffeemaker.
Clean Sweep Shortcuts
For super speedy cleanups, try these shortcuts:
- Keep cleaning products together in a pail or basket. They're ready when you are and easy to carry from room to room.
- While a disinfectant is sitting, tackle another chore.
- Use a plastic can liner to help control trash spills and leaking. It'll also speed up wastebasket and garbage can cleaning.
- Clean and sanitize refrigerator and floor spills as they happen. That way they won't turn into a bigger mess.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on December 10, 2019
NSF International: "Top 10 Germiest Places in the Home" and "NSF Scrub Club Germ
Experiment Featured on Good Morning America."
Healthcare News: "Combating Household Germs."
Colorado State Extension: "Cleaning and Sanitizing the Kitchen."
Environmental Working Group: "Safe Cleaning Tips for Your Home" and "EWG's Guide to Infant Formula and Baby Bottles: Safe Baby Bottle and Formula Guide." Alliance for Consumer Education Disease Prevention Program.
Family Doctor: "Benefits and Risks."
Washoe County: "Diaper changing and soiled clothing procedures."
Apple Inc.: "How to disinfect the Apple internal or external keyboard, trackpad, and mouse." Public Health, Delta and Menominee Counties: "Infection Control at Home, School & Workplace."
© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Secret to Keeping Your Kids Happy, Busy and Learning if Their School Closes Due to Coronavirus
As millions of children are displaced from their schools due to the coronavirus, a sub-crisis has risen for American parents: What will the kids do all day? The widespread school closures have sent a ripple effect into parent communities as many scramble to find ways to smoothly transition kids into at-home life. It’s one thing to entertain them all day on the weekends. It’s another when you have seven days a week to fill for an indefinite period of time.
The secret is one that schools know well: Make a routine. Kids are used to following a
schedule, so making a blueprint for the day will help everything fall into place. It’s a lot easier than you might think. Grab a pen, paper and actually map out how the days will look at home. The goal is to keep kids busy and learning while allowing you to get other things done too.
Here’s how to set a routine for your child:
Start with their school routine
Use school as the framework and honor what had been your child’s routine:
- When are they used to having breakfast? Snack? Lunch?
- When is recess?
- Break the day into small chunks much like school does with subjects.
- If your child has assigned schoolwork, do they work best in the morning or afternoon?
Dedicate time for play
Once you’ve mapped out times for things like food and school assignments, you’re ready to fill in the rest of the day, and actually carving out time for dedicated child-led play is huge for kids. When a child is imagining, creating, building or inventing, they are doing some serious learning.
In your new daily schedule, have a few 15- to 30-minute blocks (more or less time depending on your child’s age and play development) of dedicated child-led play. The more a child plays, the more they learn to play.
A few tips for effective playtime:
- Weed out the unused and broken toys: If it’s hard to find the good toys, it’s hard to find the good play.
- Move the “open-ended toys” to the front: Toys with lights and batteries that sing and talk won’t hook your child into play as well as simple toys (think toys from your childhood – blocks, cars, dolls, kitchens…).
- Limit adult involvement: play is the child’s job, not the adults. Accept some play invitations, but don’t feel guilty about skipping others. Kids need to play independent of adults (independent doesn’t mean unsupervised).
Schedule in some easy indoor activities
While you can just put out toys for unstructured free play, kids also get excited when parents facilitate some of the fun. Think of activities as “invitations to play.” Easy indoor activities can be a lifeline, a great way to practice school skills and a way to quietly entertain kids. These activities do not need to be complicated or take hours to set up. As you plan your schedule, think of places where an activity might be helpful to transition from one time block to the next, like after snack time or before dinner.
Here are four easy indoor activities perfect for breaking up a day:
Box Road – Flatten out a box and draw a road in marker. Add blocks, trucks and other toys for kids to build a city.
Toy-Washing Bin – Let your kids wash their plastic toys. Add tear-free bubbles, sponges, towels and other supplies.
Trash Art – Find some recycled materials and let your kids paint them. Kids love painting random objects and making beautiful creations from them.
Sticky Match-Up – Draw shapes, letters, numbers, words or math problems on sticky notes and hide them around the house for your child to find. Then have the child match them up on a “key” that hangs on the wall.
Build in reading
Study after study shows the importance of reading to kids. Being home all day is a great chance to increase that habit.
Put in reading blocks. Fifteen to 20 minutes a day is a great place to start (remember, that’s total minutes, not all at once. Break it apart). Consider structuring this reading block in a few different ways: parent reads aloud, child reads aloud (if the child can read), and family silent reading time. And if your child wants to extend a reading period, don’t worry too much about messing up the schedule. There’s no such thing as too much reading, and you can always save a planned activity for the next day.
If possible, add in two to three recess times for your child to explore outside. Remember that recess time is a part of school life and kids are used to a little cold and a little rain. While there is no official guidance in the U.S. on how much time to spend outside these days, some experts have recommended open spaces like parks over playgrounds, where the equipment isn’t necessarily the most hygienic. Or, if you have a backyard, let the kids run around there. Outdoor time has lots of benefits for kids – and a key one for you: If they burn off steam, they may be more tired and willing to go to sleep at night.
Make a screen time routine
If you choose to have screens available to your kids while school is closed, use them wisely, as a parenting tool.
To keep your kids from “over-indulging” on screens:
- Make screen time predictable: have a set time in the schedule so children know when to expect screen time (like while you make breakfast or before nap time) and for how long.
- Turn it off: Follow through when the scheduled time for screens is over, and don’t leave TV on as background noise. If the house feels too quiet, turn on some music instead.
- Outside of the scheduled time block, only use screens when you (the parent) chooses it because you need it. Save screens for big moments, like when you have a conference call or dinner prep isn’t going well.
Of course even with the most perfectly planned schedule, you will still have days when you just can’t muster the energy to come up with even the simplest activity and instead let them watch another episode of their favorite show. That’s O.K too. Do what you need to do to get through that day. You’ll have your routine to go back to the next day. And the one after that, too.
Online Learning via Zoom and Google Class
Memo to Parents and Students
Re: Online Learning
Date: March 18, 2020
From: Mrs. Schindler
We are off on an adventure! We walk secure, knowing God is sovereign and we can fully trust Him.
The teachers had a profitable meeting Tuesday as they prepared to offer an excellent home-learning and online education to our students. Please read and let us know if you have questions. As you can imagine, we are learning as we go, as you are. We are praying for you, and ask that you pray for us.
Our reception desk will be open 7:30am to 2:00 pm Monday – Thursday.
- We will be taking attendance daily beginning Monday, March 23.
- Grade K-3 students/parents will receive an email/communication from the teacher and will be recorded “present” when the student gives a response.
- Grade 4-6 students will open Google Classroom and will see a Daily Question. When they respond, their attendance will be recorded as “present.”
- Grade 7-8 students will respond to a daily question in Science.
- Grade 9-12 will respond in Bible in order to be recorded as “present” for the day.
Students have from 9am to 2pm to check in. Parents may email their classroom teacher (K-6) or Science teacher (7-8) or Bible teacher (9-12) if your student is ill or was not able to access a computer until after 2pm to get the student excused.
- A tutorial for accessing and setting up Google Classroom was emailed yesterday. Students were given class codes at school to join each of their classes; email the class teacher if you need those codes again.
- A class schedule with instructions was sent in a separate email yesterday.
- We are creating a platform for parent support. More news on that soon….
- Teachers of K-3 will be collecting completed papers/assignments on Tuesdays. You may leave the work in a special box with your teacher’s name in the PCA lobby. We ask that if you are ill, have a fever, etc., that you not enter the building or leave student work. Let the teacher know and we will receive the finished work from you another way. If you cannot leave the work at PCA on Tuesday, you may leave it another day and the teacher will receive it the next Tuesday.
- We plan to end the quarter March 27, on time. All academic work will be due before or on March 26 so that grades can be completed. K-3 students should turn in their papers by March 24, Tuesday, as the quarter ends that week. Please contact teachers if you have questions.
Guidelines for Secondary Online Learning
March 16, 2020
This is definitely an adventure for all of us! But known by God. We have some great opportunities to pray and ask “What can I do to help others, to share my faith in this new learning environment.” Since this is a new adventure, expectations and guidelines are listed below. Please note that as we learn more about online learning and what works for you and for the teachers, expectations may change.
Our desired outcome is this: At the end of six weeks, you will be at the same (or close) place in your learning that you would have been while attending traditional school. This is not a vacation – this is school. Do not allow yourself to establish late nights and late sleep-ins. Your Easter vacation will be April 2-10, when no academic work will be expected. (AP classes may be the exception.)
Get yourself set-up on Google Classroom. Your teacher will invite you to the various subjects; you will need to join the classroom. You can do this with any email. You will hear from your teacher by Thursday, and instruction will begin either Thursday or Monday, March 23. Most likely, you will receive a beginning assignment you can do at home and upload to your teacher by Friday afternoon as a beginning to your learning.
Create a schedule. It will be important for you to establish a schedule that works for you. We are going to begin our school day at 9am, which will give you time for more sleep. Part of staying healthy is getting at least 8 hours of sleep nightly. So establish a bedtime and wake-up time. Eat a good breakfast. Your bodies and brains need to continue to work well, as you are learning how to respond to a new learning platform.
Create a place in your home where you can best engage and complete academic work effectively. Establish a , quiet workspace with good lighting, supplies, free of distractions.
Take this seriously. Our learning platform is different, but the goals to engage in a meaningful Bible-centered education is the same. Your teachers will be working diligently to make this work, so interact with them in a mature, helpful way. Remember, in Google Classroom others can see and hear you.
Be positive. Everything is new in some way. There will probably be unforeseen glitches, so choose to stay positive and be part of the solution. Keep your communication with your teachers positive.
Know where you stand academically: Check FOCUS often and make sure your grades are what you expect and that the teacher has recorded your academic work.
Instructional time: The best we know at this time: You should plan to be online at 9am and work until about 1:00 or so. Days may vary. If teachers want to have a conversation as a class, they will most likely do that at the time your class normally meets during the school day. Plan on being available for instruction through Google Hangout-Meet or another format. Your teachers will be giving assignments which you will complete and turn in within the Google Classroom Platform. Some days you will have instruction to watch and others, reading and an assignment to finish. Some learning will become more project based. It will be important to be online EVERY DAY so you do not get behind.
Grading. Assignments will be graded and entered in to FOCUS. Teachers will decide what to do about quizzes and tests. They may use projects to assess learning instead of tests for some subjects.
When you do not understand. First, email you teacher. If the question is more for the administration, send us an email. We want this to be a great learning experience for you.
We do not know at this moment all of what this will mean. I am absolutely sure that we will have learned much about life, learning and each other by the end of our online classes. We will have a deeper appreciation for our community. We will know more about God’s work in our lives and families. You are loved by the PCA teachers and staff.
~Mrs. Schindler, Ms. Hall~
How To Setup A Google Account
Dear K-12 Parents:
We have been working diligently to get our online learning ready for you! Our 4-12 grade teachers will be in touch with you by tomorrow, if they have not already contacted you, with invitations for your students to join their Google Classroom. Most students should be able to join their classes, but if they need support, a video to help them join Google Classroom is found in the attached video and is located on Focus in the Messages section. We suggest that you check your student’s progress, with them, each week.
We are waiting for more permissions/licenses for grade K-3 and specialists so they are not in Google Classroom yet. Those teachers will be in touch with you through Zoom. Zoom will allow your students to see each other and interact, so we are excited about this. Zoom accounts are easy to set up and directions will be emailed shortly. All K-3 teachers will begin online teaching on Monday on this schedule:
- K: 9am
- 1st: 10am
- 2nd: 11am
- 3rd: 12 noon
Instruction will include Bible time and other subjects as needed. Our teachers are learning how to video and post the lessons for parents who cannot access the lesson at the time it is shared. Some teachers may have connectivity issues, so please be patient. Remember, you can ALWAYS email them for help and support between 9-2:00 on school days.
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
Matthew 4:23 - New King James Version (NKJV)