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Impending Storm

Kingdom East School District Dispatch

March 24, 2020   

A regular newsletter for the public education community of Burke, Concord, Lunenburg, Lyndon, Millers Run, Newark, Sutton

2019-2020 Calendar ; 2020-2021 Calendar KESD COVID Landing PageDaily Health Department update

In 1995 I worked in a small independent boarding school that overlooked Lake Champlain.  As the newest dorm parent I was relegated to the tippy top 5th floor. Behind the cramped kitchen galleyway, a short wall separated a four-step flight of stairs that led out to the fire escape which met the bottom of the pitched roof. After an uphill bear crawl I often found myself on the roof. 

A place of excitement and solace, we could watch the 4th of July and New Year’s Fireworks, see planes adjust their flight pattern over Lone Rock Point toward the Burlington airport.  The Adirondacks, Giant Mountain, Sawtooths, Marcy, all loomed in the distance. The ferry crossing to New York left a soft white wake rippling wide to the shore. 

One sweltering summer afternoon my 4 year old daughter and I could feel the dense, heavy air.  We smelled kinetic energy sucked into a blanket of humidity. At a dreadfully sweaty moment we climbed the steps, creaked open the door and stepped onto the wrought -iron slatted landing, then climbed past my large Christmas cactus.  The plant was in a 5 gallon terracotta pot.  We settled onto the ridge and looked at the southwest sky. Distant rumbling echoed up the lake. The water became still, like glass reflecting the expanse of itself. Then slowly from way down at Crown Point, we could see bolts of light, reaching from the sky, touching the earth, then instantly disappearing. The heat was debilitating. It took forever for the storm to ooze its way up the lake.

We would count.  One Mississippi. Two Mississippi.  Three Mississippi…… each second that passed meant the storm would take longer to arrive.  We waited, counting. The air got thicker. A group of starlings rushed by. Calmed lake, a still surface.  Silence.

Then a light drizzle. Wind.  Cooler air. Breeze. kaBOOM. kaBOOM……  Torrential downpour. We scurried down the roof and into the kitchen when the lightning got too close.  The horizontal rain pounded the window, we could hear limbs of trees cracking and thrashing against the lower part of the building.  A window below shattered. My daughter shivered, then slid onto the floor and snuggled with our black lab.

The next day, venturing out of the fire escape, my Christmas cactus was gone.  On the basement floor, we walked out the back of the building and there, in the storm remains, strewn about, were shattered terracotta chards and shredded plant pieces.  Gently wading through the debris, we salvaged some cacti stems, brought them upstairs, and re potted them. Today, 25 years later, the Christmas cactus in my house is a granddaughter of that original plant.

Just like a storm, making its way north, is the Covid 19 pandemic.   We sit back and watch, we make preparations, take precautions, we count our one Mississippi two Mississippis. Oh the air is thick!  Then we go inside. We don’t know what flower pots might careen off the 5th floor fire escape, or what small seedlings will endure for 25 years beyond this impending storm.  We do know we have each other, our friends, colleagues, our family, our dogs (and cats), and others whom we may not be able to hug, but know the hugs are there. Write letters, play games.  Zoom. Laugh. Wash your hands. Assure, comfort, breathe, rest, and love we shall. Thank you for all you do and continue to do.

Q & A When COVID -19 is confirmed in our community

Vermont Agency of Education Covid 19 Guidance Page – the latest  education updates

Vermont Department of Health Covid 19 Page – the health info

Notes from Central Office

Our building has been officially closed to the public by the Lyndon Select Board. We will continue working mostly offsite.  Contact us by email or 2nd choice is to call and leave a message. We will be checking our email throughout the day and calling in to retrieve our messages.  We will do our best to get in a timely manner. There will be times we will need to make a trip to the office in order to answer your questions and it might take a little longer than usual.  We will let you know if that is the case.  

Accounts Payable: Administrative Assistants & Principals:  Please make sure you follow the current schedule for A/P.  All deadlines still apply.  

Payroll: Administrative Assistants & Principals:  Please make sure you follow the current schedule for Payroll. All deadlines still apply.   Approvals will need to be completed on time for payroll to close.

mtherrien@kingdomeast.org   Payroll / TimeclockPlus Questions

ewelton@kingdomeast.org  Payroll / TimeclockPlus & A/P Questions

eellis@kingdomeast.org  A/P Questions / Course & Workshop Questions

kaubrey@kingdomeast.org  Human Resource Questions

Current Open Positions in Kingdom East School District – please click on this link to see all open positions. 

District Linked Pages

Daily Update on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

March 24, 2020

New information is in red

This update is also available at healthvermont.gov/covid19 under UPDATES

Everyone strongly encouraged to engage in their activities while keeping a safe distance from others – and to stay home when possible. This is critical to helping slow the spread of the virus and protect our vulnerable populations.

The Department of Health wants Vermonters to know:

  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), CALL your health care provider. Many people who are mildly ill can manage their symptoms at home with rest, drinking fluids and taking fever-reducing medicine, when needed.
  • Testing is currently limited and is prioritized to healthcare workers, hospitalized patients, and vulnerable populations.
  • Not everybody needs to be tested. Do not call the Health Department. Do not go to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation.
  • If you need to go food shopping, to the pharmacy or do other essential activities, keep a distance of 6 feet between yourself and others. Six feet is about the length of a 3-person couch or a bed.
  • Please connect with family, friends and your community in responsible ways ­­such as using technology, going outside, learning a new skill or helping others in need. We encourage social distancing, not social isolation!

Vermont’s Response

Gov. Phil Scott declared a state of emergency in March to help ensure Vermont has all the necessary resources to respond to this evolving threat. 

The strategies include:

  • Restricting visitor access at long-term care facilities.
  • Prohibiting non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Ordering the closure of all bars, restaurants statewide, effective 2 p.m. Tues, March 17 until April 6. Establishments can continue to offer takeout and delivery service.
  • Making a Continuity of Education Plan for the orderly dismissal of all schools, and cancellation of all school related activities, which began March 18. It will last through April 6, but may be extended for a longer period
  • Directing childcare centers across the state to close normal operations but encouraging continued operation exclusively where needed to provide childcare services for workers who are essential to Vermont’s ongoing effort in community mitigation of COVID-19. See March 18 guidance on Supporting the Child Care Needs of Essential Persons During a Novel Coronavirus Outbreak.
  • Governor Scott on Monday signed an order directing all businesses and not-for-profit entities – to the maximum extent possible – to put into place telecommuting or work from-home procedures, no later than 8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23. He also told Vermonters to prepare for a forthcoming announcement on further restrictions and a stay-at-home directive.
  • Ordering “close contact” businesses, including gyms, fitness centers and similar exercise facilities, hair salons and barbers, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors to close all in-person operations no later than 8 p.m. on Monday, March 23.
  • Approximately 10 asymptomatic and short-term patients of Burlington Health and Rehab are being moved to appropriately adapted rooms at the DoubleTree by Hilton Burlington. This is a cooperative effort by the State, the UVM Medical Center and Burlington Health and Rehabilitation Center to ensure the center’s patients can receive the care they need, in comfort, and isolated from further possible exposure to COVID-19. These patients will receive care by UVMMC clinicians and be discharged directly to their home after they are clinically determined to be well enough.

Case Information

Current COVID-19 Activity in Vermont

As of 1:00 p.m. on March 24, 2020

*Includes testing conducted at the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory, commercial labs and other public health labs.

+Death occurring in persons known to have COVID-19. Death certificate may be pending.

Please note: Due to the increasing number of cases and investigations, detailed demographic information is no longer able to be compiled by our epidemiology and investigation teams in time to match the posting of case numbers. We are looking at alternative forms of reporting this detail.

As we begin to see community spread and cases increase, public health epidemiologists investigate cases, provide education on isolation actions they should take and guide them on information they should relay to their close contacts. Epidemiologists also follow up on situations in which vulnerable populations may have been exposed to a case.

Who can be tested? If you are ill, call your health care provider to find out if you can be seen for evaluation. Testing is not treatment and not everyone needs to be tested. Do not call 2-1-1 or the Health Department about testing.

All specimens submitted by health care providers to the UVM Medical Center will be tested. However, testing resources in Vermont and in the U.S. are currently limited. For now, Vermont testing will prioritize samples from health care workers who are symptomatic, patients who are hospitalized, long-term care facility residents, those who are incarcerated and other high-priority groups. All other specimens will be tested as quickly as resources allow.

Guidance for Vermonters

When to call:

  • If you have questions: Dial 2-1-1. If you have trouble reaching 2-1-1, dial 1-866-652-4636.
  • Travelers returning from Chile, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Europe, United Kingdom, Ireland, China, Iran, South Korea, Malaysia, or from a cruise: Call Health Department Epidemiology at 802-863-7240.
  • If you are sick or concerned about your health: Call your health care provider by phone. Do not go to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation.

Fact Sheets

The Health Department has fact sheets translated into nine languages on its website What You Need to Know About Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

You can also find links to translated videos created by the Spectrum Multicultural Youth Program, Howard Center and other Burlington community members.

Find these at healthvermont.gov/covid19 under “Translated Materials.”

Stay up to date at healthvermont.gov/covid19