COVID-19 Response Plan

Heritage Hall is closely tracking news and information about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our region. This is a quickly evolving situation; please check this page regularly for updates.

Event Updates
All on- and off-campus school events/activities through at least Sunday, April 5 have been canceled or postponed.

Campus Closure
Heritage Hall's campus is closed through April 5. Remote learning will begin on Tuesday, March 24.

School Communications

List of 8 items.

  • March 28: An Update From Heritage Hall President Guy A. Bramble

    Dear Parents:

    When I wrote to you on March 16th to announce the temporary closing of our campus, slightly more than 4,600 Americans had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. By this afternoon, that number has swelled to 105,000 of whom 1,700 have died; and the medical community indicates that the epidemic will not peak, at the earliest, for two or three more weeks -- perhaps longer. Sadly, all the data suggest that it will be unsafe to open the campus as soon as we had initially hoped.
     
    Consequently, I am moving our closed-campus status back to at least April 19; and, like you parents, we will anxiously await the "all-clear" signal from the Oklahoma State Health Department, the CDC, or the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Please know that I will give you as much advance notice as possible regarding the timetable for reopening our campus. 

    Meanwhile, as we conclude our first week of "virtual school," you and your children have been overwhelmingly supportive of our efforts to move forward with our educational program. Each day, we receive generous and touching emails from parents who appreciate our teachers for their creativity and devotion to their students. We realize that the virtual school experience differs from teacher to teacher and from household to household; but we believe that with each passing day teachers, students, and parents alike are becoming increasingly confident in their individual and collective abilities to make distance learning a more effective educational tool.

    Although it may be counter-intuitive, virtual school is actually more challenging and time-consuming than conventional classroom learning for families and teachers alike.  Distance learning requires our technology team, teachers, administrative staff, and support staff to invest countless hours to ensure that students have an optimal remote learning experience under ever-changing circumstances that are anything but optimal. Nevertheless, our virtual school has made it possible to continue teaching and learning at Heritage Hall. Remotely or not, our teachers are distinguished by their commitment to delivering their best effort to each student each day. Recognizing that not all schools benefit from the breadth of resources available to Heritage Hall students, we are thankful to be in a position to provide the continuity in learning that will allow our students to complete the school year. 

    Shifting topics, some of you have expressed concerns of a financial nature, so allow me to respond anecdotally. When I was in the ninth grade, my father's business failed. As a result, one evening in the spring of 1961, he told my mother that I would have to return to public school the following September. Mom decided that withdrawing me from Cranbrook was a last resort, and so she made an appointment with a school official to explore whether anything might be done. She learned that she could apply for financial aid, and my life-changing educational experience at Cranbrook continued without so much as a pause.

    I mention this episode from my own life to reassure Heritage Hall families who may be experiencing financial hardship associated with either the current state of the energy sector or the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. I get it! At Heritage Hall, we talk about being a community -- a family -- and it's at times like this when families have to look out for each other. 
     
    Those of you whose finances have been severely affected by the events of the past few months should contact Genifer Ring for information about restructuring your current payment plan or about financial aid for SY2020-21. We will work with you to build an educational bridge to the future for your child, just as my mother worked with Cranbrook to build a bridge for me. 

    Similarly, we rely on those patrons who have the ability to make their spring tuition payments to continue doing so. Why? Because most of our teachers are part of an economically vulnerable population; they don't have a financial cushion if they miss one or two paychecks. We need your financial support to take care of them. I reiterate: families look out for each other.

    We're in the early stages of one of the great challenges that the United States has faced in my lifetime. The hardships will make us better, both by revealing character and by building it; but there is rarely gain without pain, and so we're going to have to grit our teeth and remember again what it means to be a good neighbor. I promise to do all in my power to take care of your children. I ask that you reciprocate by helping me take care of the very people who are taking care of your children.

    These trying and fearful times will be in our rearview mirror one day; and when we get to the other side of the present hardships, the question we will all have to answer is this: did I measure up? Did I rise to the occasion? Did I do all that I could to take care of my friends and neighbors when they were in need? All the great religions of the world urge us to be some version of our best selves: Good Samaritans and mensches -- doers of good deeds. Now we have the opportunity to walk the walk. Arm in arm, together, we can do this.

    With warm regards and Charger Pride,

    Guy A. Bramble
  • March 24: Day One of Virtual School

    Dear Parents:

    This has been an unprecedented day for Heritage Hall, as students and teachers came together for the first day of virtual school. I've proudly watched our faculty and staff demonstrate a can-do spirit while taking part in training sessions, testing various platforms, and preparing their virtual classrooms to teach your child(ren) remotely. When faced with the unknown, they have accepted the challenge with confidence and enthusiasm.

    While the first day of virtual school unfolded with mixed emotions and a few technical gaffs, we ended up celebrating many small victories; most importantly, our teachers made it possible for learning to continue and for students and teachers to remain connected.

    As we continue to navigate these uncharted waters, be assured that we are continuously working to refine our remote learning techniques and resources. Our teachers are prepared to use a wide spectrum of technology tools and platforms to engage and connect students at every level as they continue to learn and build upon their skills. 

    I encourage you to check in with your child(ren) at the end of each day to ensure that their experience with virtual school is going as smoothly as possible during the transition period. In the days and weeks to come, we will continue to post updates and resources on the COVID-19 Response Plan resource board on the Portal

    I recognize that the pandemic which began as a mild inconvenience to Americans several weeks ago has begun to lay a heavier hand upon our nation and our community. Few, if any, of us in the Heritage Hall family have been infected by the Coronavirus yet, but many are beginning to feel overwhelmed by new responsibilities and new constraints. Mr. Lincoln once remarked, "The best way to predict your future is to create it." During the weeks ahead, that will be our task at Heritage Hall, and I hope that it will be yours, too.

    Appreciatively,

    Guy A. Bramble
    President
  • March 20: Information Regarding "Virtual School"

    Dear Parents:
     
    As Spring Break concludes, we look forward to next week and the beginning of "virtual school." As promised in my March 16th communication, this letter provides families with the information necessary to prepare parents as well as children. We will also post this information on the School's COVID-19 Response Plan web page.
     
    General details -- all divisions:
    • All Heritage Hall buildings and outdoor facilities are closed, including the grounds and fields. No students or parents should be on campus as long as virtual school is in session
    • On Monday, March 23, teachers will communicate to parents and/or students further details about how week one of virtual school (March 24-27) will proceed. Other communications and updates will follow regularly. Please check your email daily.
    • Heritage Hall administrators, teachers, and staff are accessible; their contact information is located in the printed directory and in the Portal directory under faculty and staff.
    • During our campus closure, the School's janitorial service will proceed with the deep clean of the campus necessary to resume safe school operations when the campus reopens. 
    Division-specific details -- more information from your child(ren)'s division:
    • Log in to the Portal and go to Resources/COVID-19 Response Plan for messages from each division head. 
    I want to emphasize that during this closure, all of us - teachers, staff, administrators, students, and parents - share a responsibility to others. Public Health Officials emphasize school closures cannot be effective unless accompanied by essential social distancing strategies. We ask that you resist the urge to meet in person, even in small groups. If our student body is out and about, spending time with friend groups, the COVID-19 virus is significantly more likely to continue its spread. We have requested our faculty to heed this advice as well.
     
    How you can help:
    With the campus closed, we recognize that families become responsible for their children's daily activities. Listed below are some steps that parents can take to ensure that their children are prepared for the beginning of formal, required remote learning.
    • Check your home internet service plan to ensure that your home internet connection supports streaming service. Make sure that you know how to reset your Wi-Fi router, if needed. If your family relies on wireless phones for internet service, check with your cell phone provider, as many are offering unlimited data without overages for those who need to use their device as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
    • Talk with your children about how they will manage schoolwork. Ensure that your children have a dedicated space in your home to complete schoolwork and to engage online with teachers and classmates.
    • Help your children identify strategies to connect virtually and safely with friends whom they normally see at school, as well as ways to exercise, which is proven to improve children's mental and physical health. Next week, the Heritage Hall COVID-19 Response Plan web page will include links from PE teachers and coaches for age-appropriate workouts and activities for all students. Stay tuned!
    • Help your child limit distractions and interruptions while completing schoolwork at home. Remember to schedule breaks in their daily routine. Just as students have time at school for lunch, community time, and physical activity, regular daily schedules are important to practice at home.
    • Communicate with your children about what they are thinking and feeling. Visit the COVID-19 Response Plan resource board on the Portal for helpful resources from our guidance counselors.
    Portal. During this time, it's important that parents and students consult the Portal for updates, important information, and resources.
    As we embark upon remote learning next week, we will follow up with any additional information that may be helpful to parents and students. To ensure that you receive communications from the School and teachers, please review/update your contact information and emergency contacts. Please verify that your contact information in our database is correct. Log into the Portal, click your name in the top right corner, and select "Profile" to verify your information and submit any changes

    Trouble receiving emails? First, check your spam or junk folder. If the email is not there, contact mbraggs@heritagehall.com.
     
    Helpful Contacts:
    Support for a school-issued devicehelpdesk@heritagehall.com
    Issues with learning software
    (e.g. Google Classroom, Seesaw)
    Ami Steelman
    asteelman@heritagehall.com
    Trouble accessing the Portal or receiving emailsMary Beth Braggs
    mbraggs@heritagehall.com
    Guidance counselingUS: Samantha Kobs
    skobs@heritagehall.com
    MS: Nina McPherson
    nmcpherson@heritagehall.com
    LS: Allison Morris
    almorris@heritagehall.com
    College counselingDr. Vicki Schaeffer
    vschaeffer@heritagehall.com
    Julie Bramble
    jbramble@heritagehall.com
    US Academic counselingDylan Sullivan
    dsullivan@heritagehall.com
    Christina Boghetich
    cboghetich@heritagehall.com
    WellnessJenny Campbell
    nurse@heritagehall.com
    General LS questionsBetsy Horn
    bhorn@heritagehall.com
    General MS questionsRon Allie
    rallie@heritagehall.com
    General US questionsKeith Cassell
    kcassell@heritagehall.com
     
    Please know that Heritage Hall prioritizes your children's safety and well-being at all times, and especially during this challenging time. We are dedicated to delivering our best to our students by staying connected, maintaining a sense of community, and remaining committed to our students' learning and academic progress.

    Before I sign off, I'd like to share with you an excerpt from a message I sent to the faculty earlier today: 
     
    In the darkest hours of the battle for Guadalcanal, Adm. William F. Halsey asserted, "There are no great men; there are only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet." On any given day, we might all concede that we are rather ordinary . . . except, perhaps, to our grandchildren. But on this day, and "for the duration," our circumstances will require us to rise to the occasion and to meet great challenges. I will ask of you nothing that I will not ask of myself and my administrative colleagues: that you only and always find new ways to teach -- not only what you know, but also who you are. Do this each day, and the rest will take care of itself.
     
    Thank you for your understanding and kindness toward others as we prepare to meet the uncertainty of tomorrow with resolution and courage.  
     
    Appreciatively,
     
    Guy A. Bramble
    President
  • March 16: School Closure and Remote Learning Announcement

    Dear Parents and Colleagues:

    In light of the information I shared with you in my electronic letter of March 12, I thought it prudent to convey the conclusions that our school leaders have reached regarding how best to protect you, your children, and the broader community during this difficult time. We have decided that the wisest course of action is to close our campus to non-employees, effective immediately, until at least April 5.  

    While the campus is officially closed, all school activities -- whether on or off campus -- are officially postponed. We will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and regularly report to you regarding our timetable for reopening the campus and rescheduling events.

    I'm an optimist by nature. Even in the most frightful circumstances, I look for silver linings, and my cup is always half full; and yet closing my eyes to unpleasant realities will not minimize the seriousness of this crisis. 

    To slow the spread of the coronavirus, we're all going to have to change our normal behaviors -- and perhaps for an extended period of time. As I write this, 33 states have already decided to close their public schools in order to reduce opportunities for the transmission of COVID-19; and more states will surely follow, although Oklahoma is not yet one of them.  

    Within the next week, tens of thousands of Oklahomans will return from their vacation destinations, both near and far. They may return to Oklahoma cities and towns that already have their first confirmed cases of COVID-19; and some of the returnees may themselves be sick, or on the verge of sickness. "Flattening the curve" of the epidemic's growth will mitigate the sort of spike in sickness that could overwhelm our healthcare infrastructure; so, as responsible citizens and good neighbors, slowing the spread of the virus in Oklahoma City is now our primary job.

    We owe it to each other, and especially to those who are most vulnerable, to adopt a "lockdown" mentality. Remaining at home for the next few weeks can't be viewed as an extended vacation with playdates, sleepovers, or trips to the mall. Flattening the curve will require full measures of discipline and sacrifice:  so, please stay home as much as possible, using the time, perhaps, to begin spring-cleaning, to tend your garden, to help your children with their homework, or -- as a treat -- to binge-watch your favorite movies and TV series.

    Despite the closure of our campus, learning will continue apace. On Friday, March 20, we will provide families with more specific information about the details of the distance learning initiative that our teachers and administrators have developed during the past three weeks. 

    Beginning Friday, please make sure that you and/or your student(s) check email and the school portal on a daily basis for information updates. We will use Monday the 23rd as a faculty dress rehearsal day. Heritage Hall will begin remote learning on Tuesday, March 24. Until then, please take care to maintain appropriate social distance.

    Know that we intend to make lemonade out of the proverbial lemons that have landed in our laps, and we urge you to do the same. Although we cannot know the extent to which many of our families will be challenged in the weeks ahead, we recognize that some of you will face difficulties that will entail significant hardship and demand heightened levels of ingenuity.

    Meanwhile, this is a time to listen to the better angels of our nature. It's a time for grit -- a time to stubbornly deny this virus access to our bodies and to the bodies of those we love by making a commitment to changing our behavior: for the foreseeable future, we must delay the gratification of going where we wish and doing what we choose whenever we so desire. In this regard, let us all be wise and disciplined; and in so doing, let us hope for a joy-filled reunion on the far side of the outbreak. 

    Appreciatively,

    Guy A. Bramble
    President
  • March 13: 5th/6th Grade Laptop Distribution

    Dear Parents:

    By now you should have received Mr. Bramble's latest message regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the precautionary measures that Heritage Hall is currently taking or considering to help ensure the safety of our school community.

    In the event that the School chooses to continue our educational programming via online learning following spring break, students have been asked to take all instructional materials and tools home. As such, we are distributing school-issued laptops to each fifth and sixth grade student today (Friday, March 13).

    We don’t make this decision lightly, and we appreciate that you may have mixed feelings about your fifth or sixth grade student having access to a laptop at home. If you prefer, you may hold onto the laptop until it is needed for educational purposes. Teachers will communicate with parents if/when students need to access the internet to complete coursework.

    Click here to view the School’s Digital Learning policies.

    Please note that in the case of accidental damage, Heritage Hall has established a self-insured plan for repair of student laptops. Under the policy, parents are responsible for the first $100 of the repair claim in any one school year and $200 for a second claim.

    Should your student need technical assistance during this time, please contact the HelpDesk at helpdesk@heritagehall.com or 405.936.3159.

    Note: If your student is not in school today and a laptop is required, please contact the HelpDesk to make arrangements for pick up. Should classes resume on campus, students will be asked to return the laptops at that time.

    Thank you,
    Jeff Gibson
  • March 12: Pre-Spring Break Announcement

    Dear Heritage Hall Parents,

    As you are undoubtedly aware, COVID-19 has recently dominated the internet, the airwaves, and news outlets -- in Oklahoma City and around the world. While school leaders are mindful of the extensive reporting about the coronavirus and the pandemic associated with it, our decisions about the school calendar and related events are driven by a concern for the wellness of our entire educational community; and those decisions are informed by recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as our local medical community rather than by TV commentators and opinion columnists.

    Let me state at the outset that -- as far as we know -- no one at or associated with Heritage Hall has tested positive for the coronavirus; nor are we aware of anyone in our school community who is quarantined at this time. Nevertheless, the total confirmed cases in the United States has doubled in the past three days, despite the fact that testing for the virus is still not widely available.
     
    We also know that many of our families will leave the metro area over spring break, passing through airports that will bring them into contact with people from all over the world. That some of us will contract the coronavirus is inevitable; it need not, however, be a source of panic. Nevertheless, coping with COVID-19 will require greater caution and vigilance than the ordinary flu.

    Here's why. We know that elderly people are especially susceptible to COVID-19, but the coronavirus poses serious risks to other groups as well. In our own community, students and staff members with diabetes or chronic health conditions that require immunosuppressant drugs are at greater risk than most of us. 
     
    Respected physicians are confident that the American medical community is capable of handling COVD-19 -- if Americans take steps to slow the spread of the virus. We are mindful of the fact that the NBA has suspended its schedule of games indefinitely and that the NCAA will play its tournament without spectators in attendance. We have also just been informed by the OSSAA that this weekend's state championship tournament games have been postponed.

    With all of the above in mind, the purpose of this letter is to inform you that we're considering how to proceed following spring break. Tomorrow my staff and I will meet to discuss our plans for addressing the COVID-19 risk to our school community.
     
    Meanwhile, we're asking students to take all instructional materials and tools home before spring break in the event that we determine that our educational program should be continued via online learning.

    We fully recognize that this is a stressful and disruptive situation, so we rely on your goodwill and understanding. The health of our students and teachers and the ability to sustain learning are our priorities. Thank you for your patience and kindness toward others as we make our way forward, together, during these challenging times.

    Sincerely,
      

    Guy A. Bramble
    President
  • March 4: Cancellation of Explore Week trips

    Dear Parents,
     
    In response to the risks and the rapidly changing nature of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and with the endorsement of the Executive Committee of the  Board of Trustees, Heritage Hall is canceling all school-sponsored domestic and international travel for students and staff. We are also canceling work-related, non-essential travel for Heritage Hall employees. At this time, travel within the state is not affected. 
    Please know that this decision is not made lightly. I recognize the complexity of circumstances that impact families in different ways. Before taking this action, the School's leadership team deliberated at great length, taking several factors into account:
    • More than 1,500 students, parents, employees, and guests pass through our doors each day. We have a responsibility to the entire community to minimize the spread of this virus.
    • We must consider the risk of exposure to students and staff. In traveling from Oklahoma, many flights connect through major hubs in cities that have confirmed cases of COVID-19 and, with each passing day, more cases are discovered. Further, many trips involve destinations where there are large gatherings of people from all over the world, including entertainment events, national parks, and tourist destinations. 
    • We must also consider the possibility of our staff and students being isolated or quarantined outside of Oklahoma. The risk of becoming stranded abroad without sufficient support is very real. Travel restrictions around the world are being put into effect with little or no advance notice. 
    • Given the global outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the CDC recently recommended that institutes of higher education should consider postponing or canceling upcoming student travel abroad programs.
    The School has been communicating with Grand Classroom as we monitor the spread of the Coronavirus. While Grand Classrooms' intention is to move forward with this trip, our decision to cancel is the safest option for our community and, most importantly, for your child. Because the School is initiating the cancellation, the refund families receive will be limited to the cost of the Travel Protection Insurance for those who purchased it. Grand Classroom has indicated that families may be eligible to receive a travel voucher with American Airlines in their child's name. We won't know the status of that until an official cancellation is processed by the company.
     
    Please allow us to communicate with them directly regarding an official cancellation. This will ensure all participants are treated consistently and fairly. We will contact you again once we've communicated the official decision to Grand Classroom. If you have specific questions about the terms of the cancellation, please contact Genifer Ring.
     
    Trip chaperone Kristi Koures is working to create a local Explore experience for your students and will be in touch in the coming days with more information. It's our goal to provide an engaging learning experience for your child next week.
     
    With warm regards,
     
    Guy A. Bramble
    President
    Heritage Hall
  • March 4: COVID-19 Awareness

    Dear Parents,

    Like many schools around the globe, Heritage Hall has been monitoring the spread and impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). While the CDC maintains that the risk is currently low for the general American public, they recognize that this is a rapidly evolving situation, and schools should be prepared for a variety of scenarios.  

    Heritage Hall is relying on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)World Health Organization (WHO)State Department, and state and local authorities to guide our decision-making. In addition, I recently assembled a task force of school personnel who are committed to the safety and well-being of our community. Ongoing task force conversations have included reviewing internal crisis management plans, placing a heightened emphasis on disinfecting efforts, evaluating school-sponsored travel, guarding against bias in the community, and discussing options for remote education should an off-campus learning option for students become necessary. 

    Teachers are also reminding their students, in age-appropriate ways, of steps that they can take to stay healthy. For recommendations on talking with children and for links to the most up-to-date information regarding Coronavirus outbreaks, log in to My Portal and visit the "Stay Healthy This Season" resource board at the top of the page. 

    While the best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to this virus, the CDC recommends everyone take the following preventive actions to help reduce the spread of respiratory diseases:
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
    • Stay home when you are sick;
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe;
    • Follow CDC recommendations for using a face mask;
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
    • Use an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.

    In addition to the above precautions, I ask that you partner with Heritage Hall's professional staff in working to ensure the safety of the entire Charger community. If your family plans to travel during spring break, I urge you to monitor the CDC's risk level assessment of your destination. Traveler restrictions around the world are being put into effect with little or no advance notice and may impact your return to the US and, potentially, to Heritage Hall.
     
    More than 1,500 students, parents, employees, and guests pass through our doors each day. We have a responsibility to the entire community to minimize the spread of this virus. Thus, if you choose to travel to any country that the CDC has designated as a level 2 or level 3 before or during your stay there, Heritage Hall will ask you to self-quarantine for 14 days upon your returnClick here to see if the CDC has assessed your travel destination as a level 2 or 3.

    Should your family need to self-quarantine, all three divisions are committed to providing coursework that your child can complete at home, and faculty will be accessible via phone and email. Students who are symptom-free after the 14-day period will be allowed to return to school. For all other travel, we ask you to exercise caution, follow the CDC bulleted suggestions, and seek medical care should anyone in your family show symptoms of illness.

    As a further measure of precaution and with the endorsement of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, Heritage Hall is canceling all school-sponsored domestic and international travel for students and staff. We are also canceling work-related, non-essential travel for Heritage Hall employees. At this time, travel within the state is not affected. 
     
    Please know that the School's decisions are always intended to ensure the welfare of our students and families. The safety of our students is our highest priority and guides our actions. If you have any questions, please contact Genifer Ring at 749.3009 or me at 749.3001. Thank you for trusting us with your children.
     
    With warm regards,
     
    Guy A. Bramble
    President
    Heritage Hall

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Helpful Contacts

List of 3 items.

1800 NW 122nd Street, 
Oklahoma City, OK 73120
PHONE 405.749.3001   FAX 405.751.7372
Heritage Hall is a co-educational college preparatory school in Oklahoma City. As one of the few secular private schools in the state, we offer a challenging academic curriculum for students from preschool through grade 12, as well as unique leadership opportunities, a wide spectrum of athletics, and a well developed fine arts program.