Health and Safety

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A Message from the Executive Director

October 14, 2020
 
Dear ASD Staff,
 
I hope those of you who participated in yesterday’s conversation with the Department of Public Health enjoyed the session and came away better informed about COVID-19 and the recommended safety protocols. I am grateful to Thomas St. Louis and Dr. Lynn Sosa from the CT Department of Public Health, as well as Aimee Krauss from our local West Hartford/Bloomfield Public Health Department for taking time to meet with us and answer so many questions directly from our staff! 
 
Student Health Center
 
I am pleased to report that ASD’s campus remains free from COVID-19. We are aware of several students who are currently experiencing upper respiratory symptoms consistent with fall colds. These students are not presenting with fevers and are being closely monitored by the Student Health Center. 
 
Connecticut’s COVID-19 positive test rate has increased to 2.4% in recent days. This increase was discussed during yesterday’s public health webinar, and it seems that this increase is stemming from small gatherings. Aimee Krauss also reported that should individuals within the same household become infected with the virus, each individual is counted separately. For example, if a family of four becomes infected with COVID-19, four separate positive cases are reported rather than one case for the entire family. The State is monitoring the increase and public health officials are reminding everyone that the best way to mitigate the spread of the virus is by following the established safety protocols, including wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
 
Health Screening Protocols
 
We have had several internal discussions regarding the continuation of health screening protocols for students on campus. As you know, staff will no longer be required to participate in the daily health screening process after next Monday, October 20th. However, because some of our students are unable to clearly communicate if they are feeling ill, temperature screenings for students will continue beyond October 20th
 
Should a student present with an elevated temperature upon arriving to school, that student will remain at the temperature check site until a nurse can meet him/her and evaluate further. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Andrea Dillon
 
In regard to the staff health screening questionnaire, we have received reports that not all staff are reporting their travel honestly when completing the form. I am asking all staff to please be honest when answering the health screening questionnaire, especially regarding out-of-state travel. Not doing so jeopardizes the health and safety of our students and staff. If you have recently traveled to a state listed in the CT travel advisory as a “hot spot,” you are required to undergo a COVID-19 test either 72 hours before returning to Connecticut, or within 72 hours of your return. 
 
Cafeteria Procedures
 
Our cafeteria procedures have been re-evaluated and will be modified going forward to prevent students from congregating together while waiting for their meal. Beginning immediately, students will enter the cafeteria through the door across from the library and go directly to a table of their choice. Students will then be directed to the food service line by table. 
 
Winter Sports
 
ASD continues to evaluate the feasibility of hosting winter sports this year. The question has been asked about whether we will hold winter sports, and if so, whether games would begin in December or January.  We will hold off on making a decision in order to monitor the progress of the pandemic. 
 
Holiday Student Travel
 
Every year, several of our PACES students return home for both the Thanksgiving holiday and the December winter break. We are currently evaluating the feasibility of students returning home for Thanksgiving, especially those students who must fly home and travel to a state listed on the CT travel advisory as a “hot spot”. Because the Thanksgiving break is only a few days in duration, we are discussing whether it is feasible for students to return home for that short time only to then be required to quarantine for two weeks upon their return to ASD. In regard to the December break, we are considering allowing students to return to campus during the second week of the break to begin their quarantine. Doing so would allow students the opportunity to participate in one week of online learning (rather than two) during their second week of quarantine. A final decision has not yet been made regarding student travel for either the Thanksgiving holiday or the December break. Regardless of the decision, however, decisions will also be made for each student on a case-by-case basis as necessary. 
 
Family Visits
 
We will soon be resuming family visits on campus. Visiting hours will begin Friday afternoon (after school) and will continue through the weekend. Family visits will be kept to a two-hour time limit, and as the weather gets colder, these visits will move to the Student Lounge. Tables will be set-up for these visits and cleaned after each family’s visit. A deep cleaning and sanitization of the student lounge will occur on Sunday evenings and Monday mornings before the space is made available to students and staff. If you have any questions, please contact Kristin Feldman
 
Thank you for all you do to keep our students happy, healthy and safe. Enjoy the rest of your week!  

Executive Director VLOG

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Camp Isola Bella Projects

Motivation Thursday
 
Now this is supposed to be my Thursday communication, even though I know it is Friday! This week, I will be sharing a video of some of the animals and wildlife that we have here at Isola Bella—I hope you enjoy the video!

Camp Isola Bella Finds

As promised, I have developed a second v-log today to share a few interesting artifacts found in the basement at Isola Bella!  Please enjoy taking a step back in time with me! 
Below is a list of artifacts included in the v-log:
 
  • Apron with clothes pins
  • Boat bumpers (from the 1940s!)
  • Garden tools
  • Life jacket (it still floats, too!)
  • Insect repellant from 1943 used during WWII 
  • Bench seat
  • Old pump
  • Portable grill
  • Hose
  • Archery bow
  • Paddle tennis court (thank you to Denise Graziani for discovering this find!  Maybe we could transform this into a 1:1 pickleball court!)  
ASD Staff Parade - May 13, 2020
10-Minute Loosen-Up Chair Exercises  

These days, many of us are sitting for longer periods of time, maybe on the computer or in Zoom meetings.  You should take short breaks every once in a while -- go for a walk, put on a song and dance, or do this short video of easy exercises to loosen up the whole body from head to toe.  
 
Just remember:
 
1. IF IT HURTS OR STRAINS, DON'T DO IT.  
 
2. Keep your back straight, shoulders down/back, chin back, and tummy pulled in.  
 
3. Keep all movements small/light/soft/easy.  
 
There is no sound and no speaking, and there are minimal signs -- JUST COPY THE MOVEMENTS.

10 Minute Chair Exercises

Superman Bradley!

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  • Visitor Communication Policy

    VISITOR COMMUNICATION 

    The health, safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority. ASD has established strict protocols in compliance with all statutes and guidance issued by the Department of Public Health, Department of Children and Families and the Centers for Disease Control, including the adoption of a mandatory health screening and safety measures for all staff and anyone else entering the ASD campus.

    ASD must follow the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and the funding and licensing agencies that oversee their services, regarding visitation and restrictions of all non-essential personnel. To minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 at ASD, protective measures and mitigating procedures related to visitors are as follows:

    • Visitation restrictions are communicated by ASD staff to families and guardians and posted on our website. Communication with their children and family members is supported and encouraged by visiting remotely using available technology, such as phone, videophone, relay interpreting services, Zoom, etc.

    • ASD makes a variety of technological options available that support the family/child connection so that they may maintain regular contact. 

    When visitation guidance is revised by the agencies listed above, ASD will develop and issue communications to all potential visitors, family members, and funding agencies regarding any changes.

    In addition, students returning from off-campus locations are required to be in quarantine for 14 days (after each occurrence), and per CT Governor Ned Lamont, any person coming into Connecticut by any mode of transportation for any reason is strongly urged to self-quarantine for 14 days. At this time, on-campus housing and quarantine is not permitted for anyone other than ASD students.

ASL Covid 19 Resources - FROM CDC

Executive Leadership Team 
Contact Information
 
Jeff Bravin
Executive Director
(860) 944-7644 (cell/text)
 
Liz DeRosa
Director of Institutional Advancement
(413) 695-4985 (cell/text)
 
Kristin Feldman
Director of Student Life
(860) 944-9365 (cell/text)
 
Paula Morabito
Director of Education
(860) 471-4787 (cell/text)
 
Jennifer Pizzoferrato
Director of Finance & Operations
(860) 970-9675 (cell/text)
 
Patricia Schoenfeld
Director of Human Resources
(347) 213-8479 (cell/text)
 
Karen Wilson
Director of Clinical Services/Director of PACES
(860) 485-7043 (cell/text)