Earlier today, interim superintendent of schools Dr. David Abbey emailed a district-wide update to all parents.
He noted many examples of how — behind the scenes — the Westport Public Schools are helping the town deal with COVID-19. For example:
The district has transferred “a significant amount” of personal protective equipment to town agencies. School nurses and health assistants have helped organizing and distributing that equipment — hundreds of N95 masks, cloth masks, gloves and gowns — as well as thermometers and office supplies.
In addition to PPE, the townwide science department has supplied goggles for firefighters.
The school district has distributed sanitizing wipes, cleaners and hand sanitizers to fortify the town’s supplies. In addition, they have provided access to equipment for sanitizing emergency vehicles and office spaces.
Collaborating with the Westport Weston Health District and Department of Human Services, school nurses are also reaching out to older Westporters through weekly phone check-ins. Besides checking on their clients physical and mental health, the nurses help them obtain vital supplies like medication and food.
School security officers have monitored athletic fields, to help limit the number and size of gatherings.
Chartwells — the school district’s food service vendor — is providing grab-and-go meals for Westport police officers. The district is also working closely with Human Services to identify and support school families in need of food beyond the grab-and-go lunches and breakfasts that are currently provided.
A number of Westport retailers are doing all they can to stay afloat. They offer curbside pick-up and delivery on items in stock; some even have new spring inventory.
But among their many problems: How can people know they’re open?
Betsy Pollak helps, big time. Her “Our Town Crier” online newsletter is usually chock full of shopping news. Retailers pay to be mentioned.
In true community spirit, Betsy’s latest edition is totally free. Called “Curbside Enthusiasm” (great name!), it offers info, details, hours, links and photos for a ton of merchants: ASF, JL Rocks, Silver Ribbon, Arogya Tea and more. (Click here to view.)
Jennifer Tooker, Melissa Kane and Matthew Mandell helped compile the information.
A 2nd edition is in the works, for Mother’s Day. It’s perfect for restaurants as well as retailers. To be included, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Senior Center has started a YouTube channel for residents to stay active. It includes 39 Zoom courses focusing on mental and emotional health, fitness, creativity and wellness. To register for a class, call 203-341-5099. Click here to sign up for email updates. For more information, email email@example.com.
In addition, the Southwest Connecticut Agency on Aging has developed a helpful guide with plenty of information for seniors and their families. Click here to view.
Staples High School junior Eliza Oren makes gorgeous necklaces. She’s selling them for $10 each. Proceeds go to the Gillespie Center, to help pay for food and other items needed during the current crisis.
She’s already sold nearly $1,000. When she reaches that goal, her parents will match it.
You can Venmo her: @elizaoren. Or you can leave cash in your mailbox; she’ll pick it up. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need a reminder to wear a mask? Kevin Carroll spotted this, at Weston Gardens:
The other day, Julia Marino put out a plea for ski goggles. They help protect healthcare professionals working with COVID-19 patients.
As usual, “06880” readers came through. Yesterday her mom, Elaine, brought 34 pairs to a nursing home in Milford.
Julia is a member of the US snowboard team. And a gold medal winner in Westporters’ hearts.
PS: The bin will be out again through tomorrow evening. To donate new or used goggles (adult or children’s size): sanitize them with wipes or spray, place them in a sealed plastic ban, then leave them on the front steps at 129 Sturges Highway (near Cross Highway). Questions? Email email@example.com.
Werner Liepolt reports that he recently tried to download a new book, but his Westport Library card had expired.
No problem! The library staff renewed it remotely, and within minutes he was reading. The email is Circulation@westportlibrary.org.
And finally — though Rachel Platten did not record “Fight Song” about COVID-19 — it sure is apt these days: