Coronavirus (COVID-19) live updates: Archer


Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This image posted by the CDC is a magnified picture of the Covid-19 virus.

By Lola Lamberg, News and Features Editor

COVID-19, also known as the novel Coronavirus, is a respiratory illness that originated from the Hubei province in China in 2019 and has spread to over 100 countries including the United States which has over 576,000 confirmed cases. In the promotion of awareness of this outbreak, this is a live news feed of any COVID-19 related situations on campus. Originally published March 9.

Update April 24: Upper School Director Gretchen Warner announces overall grades will not decline for rest of semester due to virtual learning shift. 

In a community-wide email sent this afternoon, Upper School Director Gretchen Warner announced that students’ overall grades will “not go down since entering the remote learning space.” Warner said the administration is “mindful of the many challenges and opportunities of remote learning” and their goal is to “support your effective effort, agency and self-direction.” Warner added that students will ultimately be asked to “reflect on [their] learning process” and “offer input into how [they] are navigating [their] remote classroom experience.” Warner says teachers were asked to “maintain flexibility” and “de-emphasize grades and anxiety.”

Update April 16: Head of School Elizabeth English announces campus closure for rest of school year. 

In an email video sent this afternoon to the Archer community, Head of School Elizabeth English announced that students will not return to campus for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.

Update April 12: Athletic Director Kim Smith announces spring sports competition cancelations and new virtual athletic platform. 

In an email sent to Archer athletes on April 12, Athletic Director Kim Smith announced that due to the stay-at-home extension until May 15, the Pacific Basin League and California Interscholastic Federation canceled all spring sports competitions. This cancelation will affect all Archer spring sports including swim, equestrian, beach volleyball, track and field, middle school tennis and softball. Smith also announced that all fall and winter athletes will be participating in “challenges” for the next 5 weeks in order to “sharpen” competitive mindsets and be “more connected.” This new platform will be revealed on April 13 at 3:30 p.m. on Instagram Live (@archerathletics).

Update April 12: Dean of Students Brianna Coughlan announces new schedule. 

In a community-wide email sent out April 12, Dean of Students Brianna Coughlan shared an adjusted schedule that Archer students will follow after spring break. Classes now begin at 8:00 a.m. rather than 8:30 a.m. and school will end at 2:30 p.m. on “Purple Day” and “Green Day” unless a student partakes in office hours which lasts from 2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on “Green Day.” There will also be an hour span for lunch and club meetings which lasts from 12:15 p..m. to 1:15 p.m. The revised schedule also allows 75 minutes on “Green Day” from 1:15 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. for “connection time.” This includes advisory time, class meetings, human development and assemblies.

Update March 20: College Board announces shorter online versions of Advanced Placement exams. 

In an announcement earlier today by the College Board, the organization which oversees the Advanced Placement [AP] program, due to the COVID-19 threat, AP exams will be shortened to an online exam with a duration of 45 minutes that can be taken at home. The exams will only cover topics that students have been taught by early March and before. Story here.

Update March 20: California Governor Gavin Newsom announces statewide “stay-at-home” order to all California residents. 

An hour after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “stay-at-home” public order announcement for Los Angeles County, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide order similar to Garcetti’s which orders all California residents to stay home unless essentials are needed such as groceries or medicine. Venues such as bars, night clubs, fitness studios and dine-in restaurants will be closed whereas pharmacies, gas stations and banks will remain open. This order went into effect last night at midnight and will affect just over 39 million people.

Update March 20: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti puts Los Angeles residents on emergency “stay-at-home” public order. 

In a press conference yesterday afternoon, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a “stay-at-home” public order to all Los Angeles residents that went into effect last night at midnight and will affect over 10 million people. This order requires Los Angeles residents to stay in their homes unless necessities are needed such as groceries or medicine. Garcetti said this order will end on April 19 but that end date is subject to change.

Update March 12: Ninth Arrow Week canceled, seventh grade Arrow Week under review. 

In a community-wide email sent earlier this afternoon, Head of School Elizabeth English said that ninth grade Arrow Week is canceled and seventh grade Arrow Week is “under review.” Story here.

Update March 12: Students will move to remote learning as campus shuts starting Monday, March 16. 

In a community-wide email sent earlier this afternoon, Head of School Elizabeth English said that starting March 16 “students will not come to campus.” There will be no late busses tomorrow and English encouraged students to “bring home all books and supplies she will need for remote learning.” On Tuesday, March 17 remote classes via Zoom will begin with an “Orientation Day.” Wednesday, March 18 will be the official start of the first day on the remote learning schedule. English says administration will “continue to evaluate the situation” and that they “hope that we can return to campus after spring break.” Story here.

Update March 12: No students allowed at this afternoon’s faculty show of upper school play “Every Brilliant Thing.” 

The upper school cast of “Every Brilliant Thing” is running a faculty show this afternoon that previously had 50 spots for student attendance. Theatre teacher Tracy Poverstein said in an email earlier this afternoon that due to a recommendation from Mayor Garcetti announcing the recommended cancelation of events more than 50 people, “we can no longer allow students to attend the performance today.”

Update March 12: Archer Abroad trips to France and Mexico canceled. 

As of last night, President Donald Trump announced that all travel to and from Europe will be suspended for 30 days. Due to this, the Archer Abroad course to France is canceled. Upper School Director Gretchen Warner said in an email to students planning to go on the trip that Archer will “look to run this course again in the future” and that administration will “be in touch in the coming days/week with further details about this cancelation.” The trip was originally scheduled to leave March 28 and return on April 4. In a separate email from Warner, she states The U.S. Department of State raised the worldwide travel advisory to Level 3 meaning “reconsider travel” therefore the course to the U.S./Mexico border is also canceled. The trip was originally scheduled to leave March 26 and return on March 30. Story here.

Update March 12: Message from Athletic Director Kim Smith on spring sports. 

Athletic Director Kim Smith sent a community-wide email this afternoon detailing the “precautions” the athletic department will be taking regarding all spring sports. Varsity swim, varsity beach volleyball, varsity softball, varsity track and field, middle school tennis, middle school track and field and the equestrian team will continue as usual. Smith said she shared the “best practices” advised by the California Department of Public Health with the spring coaching staff including asking athletes to stay home if they are unwell, asking athletes to cover their mouths with their arm when they cough or sneeze and washing their hands with soap before and after practices. Smith finished her email by stating the athletic department will “monitor the details and communicate any practice or competition cancellations/restrictions that may arise.”

Update March 12: Message from Head of School Elizabeth English. 

Head of School Elizabeth English sent a community-wide email last night addressing the several independent school closures in the Los Angeles area including Windward School, Harvard-Westlake School and Milken Community School. English said that “we are following closely the guidance of state and local public health agencies, including this advisory from the California Department of Public Health which does not indicate school closure unless we have a student, faculty, or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19.” English said Archer’s campus will close if “a student or employee tests positive for the virus” or if there is a “significant local community transmission.” Additional measures Archer is taking to keep the “community safe” includes “prohibiting visitors to campus” as well as “moderating the size of student meetings and assemblies.” English said that faculty are preparing for “a possible switch to online learning” and  faculty “will begin giving students practice with video conferencing this week.”

Update March 11: Literature &… Conference postponed. 

The annual Literature &…Conference also known as Lit &, is postponed until further notice. The conference’s original date was March 12. Story here.

Update March 11: Head of School Elizabeth English sends COIVID-19 preparedness email.

Head of School Elizabeth English sent a community-wide email March 10 detailing the possible Coronavirus threat. English notes that according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health [LACDPH], “the immediate health risk of COVID-19 to the general public in Los Angeles remains low.” English states however that the administrative team is “poised to act quickly” if COVID-19 presents a threat to campus. The conditions that would result in school closures would be “if a student or employee tests positive for the virus” or if there is a “significant local community transmission.” Faculty are currently being trained for the use of Zoom, a video-conferencing site, in case of school closure. Upcoming events via Zoom will consist of the senior parent evening tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. as well as the APA meeting on March 18 at 7:30 p.m. English said if Archer knows of any direct exposure to COVID-19 we will “expect to close for a few days in order to sanitize the School.” English notes an “important reminder” as anyone who traveled to a CDC Level 3 country consisting of China, South Korea, Iran and Italy “may not come to work, attend school, or otherwise visit Archer’s campus until they have been symptom-free for 14 days since the date of last possible exposure.” English also maintains the “reminder” that “calm is contagious.” Archer does not plan to close campus as of now.

Update March 10: Freshmen Arrow Week will take a bus to Arizona instead of airplane travel. 

Ninth grade Arrow Week begins on March 20 and lasts seven days until March 27. Typically students in seventh, ninth and eleventh grade fly to their designated states from Los Angeles International Airport, but due to the threat of COVID-19, the ninth graders going to Arizona will take a coach bus instead. As of now, ninth grade arrow week will take place.