3/29/21-Program Update from Executive Director, Brad Boardman
Below is a summary of our progress and future plans to move back on campus.
Good news: Our return to campus is underway. We have set a goal to have on-campus programming available to any student whose family wants it by April 26. I have been reaching out to parents/caregivers to establish an individualized re-entry plan based on needs, parent timing preferences and staff availability. Between now and April 26, we are asking for staff volunteers who are comfortable with current protocols or have completed their full vaccine regimen. On campus programming will be offered as a hybrid, running Monday-Thursday 8:55-1:00 pm with distance learning during the remaining school hours.
A few other items of note:
- Staff will continue to observe all COVID related safety protocols. Students will be encouraged to observe protocols as they are able.
- Each classroom is considered a “stable group” and will not have contact with other classrooms in order to minimize exposures.
- Parents will be required to fill out COVID related paperwork before their student will be allowed back on campus.
- Transportation will be addressed on a case by case basis to suit family preferences and to adhere to stable classroom groupings.
- Full-time online options for school programming will likely remain through our summer session ending July 30th.
Morgan Autism Center is prepared to go to distance learning exclusively if COVID conditions warrant.
At this time, we have very little information about a return to campus for adults due to a lack of guidance from the Department of Developmental Services. However, we do believe this guidance will be coming within the next few weeks. As soon as we have it, we will examine the requirements, apply what we have learned from the school program and tailor our protocols to fit our adult program. Additionally, we will be reaching out to families to discuss the near-term options that work best for individual circumstances.
Our goal is to return to campus with safety as the primary focus. We will do everything we can to create a tailored plan with each of our families until the vaccine is widely available. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by phone or email.
3/19/21-Updated COVID Documents
2/26/21-Program Update from Executive Director, Brad Boardman
The pandemic seems to finally be moving in a hopeful direction. This allows us to begin implementing our plans for a gradual, phased approach to bringing options for instruction back to campus. Because there are still significant COVID transmission concerns, we will be following a plan that prioritizes safety first and allows a return to distance learning if warranted. A few details that will help you understand our planning priorities:
- Return to campus will target school program first. There are no immediate plans for regional centers to approve on-campus adult day programming (updates as we receive them)
- On campus activities will start with only a very few students in each room (2-4)
- Classrooms will be opened systematically (see table below)
- Until staff have had the opportunity to be vaccinated and have been given the requisite time to build immunity, we will be asking for staffing on a voluntary basis, limiting the number of students we can serve on campus in the near term
- Due to the complicated nature of keeping all safe, factors such as health vulnerabilities, ability to follow safety precautions, family situation, transportation, etc. must all be considered as we gradually bring students back to campus
- On campus options will be offered on a modified schedule running Monday-Thursday, 8:55-1:00. All other programming will be offered in a distance learning format
- At this time, we believe distance learning will continue to be a full-time option through the summer
Below, please find a tentative schedule. We will be updating this schedule as information becomes available. We predict that information will be changing on a weekly basis.
2/22/21-Updated COVID Documents
1/12/21-Update: Next Phase of On-Campus Learning
In December, Morgan Autism Center successfully completed our first, limited, short duration, on-campus pilot program. Our carefully crafted safety plan and screening procedures worked as intended and we learned much about both how to further improve safety procedures and the challenges of running a hybrid program (online and remote). We will be applying the lessons we learned to our next phase of on-campus activity. Teachers, staff, students and parents alike were very pleased with this pilot program.
Unfortunately, in the interim, health conditions in Santa Clara County have deteriorated significantly (limited ICU space, arrival of a more transmissible strain of the virus, and a substantial increase in the number of cases). While we are confident of the efficacy of the safety procedures we have developed, our Board of Directors has decided we must wait for the situation to improve to launch our next phase of on-campus learning. We will continue to monitor the situation in the coming weeks with an eye on hospital capacity and vaccine availability. While we are anxious to begin a phased return to campus, safety and health continue to be our top priorities. For now, Morgan Autism Center will be delivering services remotely. Please look forward to an update in early February or sooner if the situation allows.
12/7/20-Update: Pilot Program
Morgan Autism Center will be operating a very small pilot program from December 7th-18th. More details to follow.
11/2/20-Update: Return to Campus Plans
Dear Morgan Autism Center Community:
We are currently laying the groundwork for a limited, phased return to campus for our school program. Our first phase of on-campus activity will be limited to a very small pilot program (1-2 classrooms, each with a limited number of students) to help us further refine plans that can be scaled over time. Please look forward to the start of this pilot program within the next month.
Our staff members have done truly amazing work throughout this turbulent period to deliver a distance learning program that provides the high level of engagement and care our students and clients require. But not all our students and clients can take advantage of this virtual programming. To meet our mission objective to serve, it is time for us to start working toward a return to campus.
Planning will emphasize an abundance of caution regarding COVID-19 health protocols that will keep our students and staff as safe as is reasonably possible. Our students present special challenges when it comes to following safety protocols, which increases risk factors for staff and students alike. This will require a need to implement additional measures to help ensure staff and student safety.
We realize and respect that people have very different ideas about timing a return to campus. Our comprehensive survey of parents and staff revealed a wide array of needs. What is clear, is that a quick, one-size-fits-all solution will not serve our community best. We must be flexible, honor diverse needs, and create a model that can offer gradations and change over time. We will be offering a hybrid model for the foreseeable future- with most students online to start and a gradual increase in on-campus programming over time.
This is a complex issue but it is not impossible. Implementation will benefit from a measured, closely managed approach, which is open to change. It will also benefit from full transparency with parents and staff alike. Please feel free to contact either of us with concerns, questions, ideas, and input. We are anxious to see our students again in person, but we are very mindful of the important safety precautions we must implement to make that happen.
6/25/20-Update: Summer Programming
Dear Morgan Autism Center Families and Supporters,
Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, our programming will remain online throughout our summer session. We will continue to monitor state and county mandates and will re-assess program options for our fall session throughout summer.
The last day of programming will be June 24. Our first day of summer programming for the Adult Program will be July 13. The first day of summer programming for the School Program will be July 20. As mentioned above, programming will remain online.
Unfortunately, it looks like our Adult and School Programming will be very different for the foreseeable future. We know that our students, clients, families, and caregivers are eager for a return to on-campus activities. We are too! We can’t wait to be reunited in person, safely. Until then, please stay well.
5/1/20-UPDATE: “Shelter-In-Place” Extended
The Santa Clara County Health Department has extended the shelter-in-place directive through May 31.
There will be no on-campus activities through that time period. We will continue to share information on changes to this directive as it becomes available.
4/20/20-Helpful family/caregiver resources and virtual tours.
We have gathered some resources to support families and caregivers of individuals with special needs.
Parents Helping Parents in San Jose has put together a collection of links to essential resources, financial help, meal delivery and more. Comfort Keepers website helps support seniors while sheltering in place. While you are at home, take a tour of the Monterey Bay Aquarium or visit a farm.
Essential support resources:
Parents Helping Parents
Financial Resources related to Covid-19
Silicon Valley Crisis Needs
Comfort Keepers – Support for Seniors Sheltering in Place
San Diego Zoo
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Museum of Modern Art
Other tour experiences:
Boston Children’s Museum
Travel to Mars
Rainforest virtual tour
Yellowstone National Park
The Grand Canyon
Visit A Farm
4/9/20-UPDATE: School/Adult Programs closure dates
While we are anxious to return to regular on-campus activities at Morgan Autism Center, we have been doing our very best to support our student/s and families as we all shelter in place. Morgan Autism Center will continue to comply with the shelter in place order which is currently scheduled to be in effect until May 1st.
Below we have listed information for both our Adult and School programs.
- The California State Superintendent of Schools has ordered closure of schools through the regular school year. We are waiting for further guidance on what this means, as Morgan Autism Center’s calendar is longer than most public schools. We will update you as information becomes available.
- Morgan Autism Center will continue to observe our regular school calendar. We will have spring break from April 13-17, resuming distance learning on April 20.
- San Andreas Regional Center is now adhering to the latest shelter in place recommendation. Their current expectation is that adult programs will resume on-campus activities on May 4. As school programs have now been ordered to continue distance learning through the remainder of the school year, it is well within reason to expect this May 4 date to change.
- Morgan Autism Center will continue to observe our regular Adult Program calendar. We will be off from April 13-14, resuming distance learning on April 15.
4/2/20-AAC Teaching Resources
Thank you to Morgan Autism Center Speech Pathologist, Katie Kassab, for sharing these wonderful teaching resources. To view PDF with links, CLICK HERE.
Morgan Autism Center will continue to observe the shelter in place order until it is lifted. Currently, it is scheduled to lift on April 7. However, the situation regarding public health recommendations is fluid, and this timeline is subject to change. Please monitor this page for upcoming announcements about the resumption of on-campus activities. Though our physical site is closed, our teachers, staff, and administrators continue to work to support student and client needs remotely. While we will miss working with our students and adults during this time, the health and safety of our students, adults, and staff must be our number one priority.
Morgan Autism Center will be closed from
Monday, March 16 to Friday, April 3.