Letter to CoaH Families – March 11, 2020

Dear CoaH Community,

I am writing to provide an update on City on a Hill’s response to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We know there are many questions that you may have about how we are preparing as a community. The Senior Leadership Team has created the below FAQ to help address your questions:

Under what circumstances will City on a Hill close? 

We will continue to monitor and evaluate recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). At the moment, there are no plans to call an emergency closure.

While we will consider the decisions of our charter peers and host districts of Boston Public Schools and New Bedford Public Schools, we will make a final decision based on the needs of our community in conjunction with medical and public health professionals.

What will our students do if City on a Hill decides to close for an extended time?

School Leaders are preparing plans to share at-home work with students in the case of an extended closure. Our goal for at home work is that it will be independent and not require the use of the internet, a computer, or a phone. Additional information will be shared around student expectations in the case of a closure.

Will we be rescheduling and/or cancelling large events and school trips (eg. prom, graduation, sports games, DC Trip, etc.)?

At the moment, we are evaluating all large events and school trips on a case by case basis. As part of our ongoing monitoring of recommendations from the WHO, CDC and Massachusetts DPH, we will be also considering the current status of any outbreaks in other communities where we plan to attend events or trips.

Due to recommendations from the DC Department of Public Health and out of an abundance of caution, we will be cancelling this year’s junior trip to Washington, DC. We know this is a highly anticipated trip for our students, and we will be looking into other opportunities to connect our students with similar experiences. Students who have already provided CoaH with their trip payments will be refunded.

We will continue to update our community members on an ongoing basis as we approach other spring events and trips. If you have questions about specific events or trips, please contact your student’s principal for additional information.

What are we doing to prepare staff and students to prevent an outbreak of coronavirus in our community?

Operations staff will be ensuring all bathrooms and classroom spaces have signs reminding folks of the best practices to prevent transmission and maintain health. These include:

  • If you are sick, stay home until you have been without fever, vomiting, and/or diarrhea for at least twenty-four hours without the aid of medicine.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least twenty seconds.
  • If you are unable to wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid sharing drinks, utensils, or other personal items.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and in the elbow of your sleeve – not with your hands.

Operations staff will also be monitoring bathrooms throughout the day to ensure handwashing areas are stocked and working properly in all student and staff bathrooms.

Furthermore, we have contracted with a cleaning company to sanitize the schools and our administrative offices during the weekend of March 13-15. We will sanitize all restroom faucets, urinals, sinks and partitions, all stairway railings, elevator buttons, all student desks and chairs, conference tables, cafeteria tables, water fountains, computer keyboards, all door knobs and any other accessible surfaces.

In addition to the above health and logistical concerns, we want to acknowledge that due to its origins in Wuhan, China, this virus has been racialized. There have already been incidents nationwide of increased racism and xenophobia against those of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. We want to acknowledge that CoaH community members of Asian or Pacific Islander descent may experience this, and that discrimination of any kind is not tolerated in our community. 

For additional information, please feel free to utilize any of the following links:

  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH): www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus
  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Thank you for your help to keep our community healthy and safe. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact any school leader.


Kevin T. Taylor

Chief Executive Officer

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To read our most up to date information, please visit the Our Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

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