Updates August 2-8
One CSS employee tested positive in the past week for COVID-19. The employee is asymptomatic, is in isolation, and is doing well, and their team has been notified. The individuals mentioned last week who tested positive, along with the employees that had tested positive, are all doing well. Nursing continues to provide oversight and closely monitors all individuals to identify any symptoms of the illness.
Several test results are pending and we are continuing to expand testing now that testing for COVID-19 is more available in Montgomery County. As always, we will send out notifications of any positive test results.
The Extended School Year concluded on Friday at the Marcia D Smith School. This is the last day of school for two weeks before students return on August 25th for the fall semester. Currently everyone is working hard to prepare for the school year.
The Residential Program's inclusion of park activities, gym activities, knitting, and art round out a robust program of CSS recreation offerings. This month Laura Schneider, ATR-BC, LCPAT, resumed Art Therapy in the main building. Everyone is taking every precaution and full social distancing is being enforced. Art Therapy is scheduled for every Thursday. We look forward to seeing everyone’s masterpieces!
Sheet Pan Suppers is in its 3rd week. Cooking kits are part of the weekly food picked up at That’s a Wrap and then the meal is prepared during an online group class. Anyone not in a residence supported by CSS is welcome to participate. Contact Janice Goldschmidt, email@example.com for more information. Additionally, a dietetic intern from Hunter College has joined the Cooking Program. Welcome!
We continue to find new activities to engage individuals being supported through CSS. We have expanded the number of houses that are going swimming at the private pool. Additionally, several residents renewed their pool passes to their local community pools. Individuals are happy to resume one of the activities that they are familiar with and truly enjoy.
Guided walks began at Damascus Recreational Park this past week. Alicia Glassman led a hiking group and everyone had a lot of fun! Join Alicia on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11am. She encourages hikers to bring a lunch and join her for a picnic in the shade afterwards. If you would like to join or have questions, please contact her, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recreation Services continues to collaborate with Day Services to offer a number of Zoom recreation and leisure options. These options include several fitness, dance, music, art, social groups, and specialty groups like virtual vacations, nutrition, gardening and more. Zoom Recreation programs are going well with a core of consistent attendees. Recent expansions include Thursday Movie Night and the ever popular Bingo, Bingo, Bingo! A Monday evening fitness class will be starting on Monday, August 10th at 6:45. Join Craig Roberts as he leads everyone in fitness routines for 45 minutes!
During this week’s Town Hall, Cheyenne Frenz, Clinical Director of Children’s Services, gave an update on the grant received from the Greater Washington Community Foundation. This grant allowed CSS to design a unique summer program and the methodology to deliver services for 34 children diagnosed with developmental disabilities. In addition, the grant provided technology for five children who were unable to participate in virtual programs and it purchased PPE and cleaning supplies for 23 staff providing in-person direct support.
Cheyenne Frenz says: “Virtual programs work for some, but not everyone can succeed without support and proper materials. There are ways to make it more interesting and successful however it takes time, effort, and some creativity. Combining tangible items (made available through the grant funds distributed to each participant) with engagement strategies in the virtual format has increased participation and enjoyment. Family members such as parents and siblings have found the virtual program helpful to structure recreation and social activities for their individuals. This experience has proven challenging, but the grant has enabled us to be creative, reach more families and individuals, and learn new skills we didn’t know we had.”
Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the traditional format of providing summer services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have become non-existent and unavailable. Necessary social distancing, limitations on group gathering, and limited community site options prohibits the group and community-based activities that many participants expect and have come to enjoy over the summer months and which had been a mainstay of the community based model for providing services to those with substantial needs for social opportunities, structure, and community-based instruction. Children, and their families, had relied upon CSS to provide the structure they needed while giving the support to engage in the activities they enjoy like trips to the community pool, nature hikes, restaurant eat outs, arcade play, miniature golf, and more. The funding from this grant provided the means for CSS to create a summer program in a format that allows for health and safety for all participants while providing social and recreation opportunities for those in our program with developmental disabilities. The grant funded physical materials for each participant, including art and game supplies, home fitness materials, sensory and park activity kits. In addition to access to virtual classes familiar to our participants previously available in the community. Participation included children under the age of 21, some living at home joining virtually, some joining from CSS supported residences, and others with staff support connecting virtually with their friends. This addition of virtual programs provided social engagement that otherwise would not have been available.
Weekly Virtual Activity Schedule
Online Group Schedules and descriptions are attached.
Please discuss individual schedules with the case manager.
Enjoy your weekend and we hope to see you this week.