Updates May 17th-23rd
If you’ve been able to attend our Virtual Town Halls hosted every weekday, we hope that you have found them informative and useful. However, we know that not everyone is able to participate. Here are some of the notes:
Over the past week two employees did test positive for COVID-19 and an individual supported through CSS tested positive. His symptoms are currently very mild. All persons who are positive are recovering and we are closely monitoring the situation.
A National Guard “Go Team” tested three of the CSS houses. The people that were tested, employees and individuals supported by CSS were asymptomatic and were tested out of an abundance of caution. We do not expect to have the results until next week.
A parent FACE (Family Action CommitteE) meeting occurred on Tuesday evening. If you would like to know more or be part of this group, please let Ashley know. firstname.lastname@example.org
Montgomery County has extended the local Stay-at-Home Order and continued closure of non-essential businesses in Montgomery County. CSS is waiting on guidance from the government, the DDA, and other agencies. At this time there is no estimate on when it will be safe to relax the restrictions currently in place.
Five residential teams were recognized this week during our daily town hall virtual meetings. These spotlights feature the hard work that the staff has done over the last two months as they have had to adapt and change how services are provided while ensuring that everyone’s safety is at the forefront. We visited with Sugarloaf, Dale, Applegrath, Centerway, and Procera. Several families were able to join us during the town halls and celebrate the teams taking care of their loved ones. All of the teams featured enjoyed a pizza lunch and received personalized cards thanking them for their teamwork and outstanding care during this crisis.
On Monday, Craig Roberts, the Director of Adult Recreation Services gave us an update. The recreation schedule on zoom is going very well. Craig told us about some of the activities that took place the week before. Among other things, a favorite were the Virtual Tours! Groups took virtual rides in Disneyland and took a virtual trip to the Baltimore Aquarium.
Tuesday, Sean Blakley, The Director of Community Life Services told us how the staff working with ill individuals are doing a tremendous job and collaborating well with the entire medical care team. All employees working in a house that has a potential exposure have been given special instruction for utilizing upgraded PPE equipment.
Wednesday we heard from Alexandra Warren, the Director of Education. Alex oversees the Marcia D Smith School along with five children’s residences. The school is still doing distance learning. There are two weeks left in the school year. Graduation is scheduled for June 3rd, and we will be having Virtual Graduation during the 12:30 Town Hall and celebrating the four graduates.
On Thursday, Cheyenne Frenz, the Clinical Director of Children’s Services gave us an update. The children’s program is still running both virtually and providing in person services in a few homes. This Tuesday, the music therapist for Children's Services hosted her first virtual session and the participants were excited to see her and hear some of their favorite songs.
Friday we heard from Jonathan Swann, the Deputy Director of Day Services. Day Services continues to provide a few direct support services in the home and in the community. All precautions are being taken for any in person supports. Additionally, the team has expanded the virtual options and has seen an increase in participation. Day Services continues to offer Behavior Supports and Behavior Specialists are reaching out to families, supervisors and staff.
This coming Monday, May 25th, is Memorial Day, and CSS will be operating as per usual. All of the regularly scheduled virtual groups will be taking place. And, in addition, we will be hosting a special Town Hall at 12:30. This Town Hall is scheduled for an hour and after the “news”, we will have a special presentation from Janice Goldschmidt who will show us how to make S'Mores! You can find the recipe here:
After this fun food presentation, we will be setting up several break out rooms for people who would like to visit with friends. Please join us for our holiday get-together!
Virtual classes are continuing to expand with over 30 hours of activities offered throughout the week. Group Karaoke has proven to be so popular that a second time slot has been added. It is now taking place at 11:30am and 2:30pm Monday through Friday. Additionally, a new virtual group began this past week - Music Appreciation! In Music Appreciation participants listen to different Genres of music that many of us are not typically exposed to on a regular basis. Learn about the composers, their lives and relevant historical and cultural facts that shaped the compositions. There will be some emphasis on learning about featured instruments and the different styles of music from an era. Music Appreciation takes place on Wednesday and Friday at 10:30am.
Virtual classes are continuing to expand. Combined, Adult Day Services and Recreation are offering over 30 hours of activities throughout the week. Schedules and descriptions are attached.
Please enjoy your Memorial weekend and we hope to see you on Monday!