MAY 18, 2020

On May 18, Governor Baker announced his 4-phase plan to reopen non-essential businesses by sector. The French Cultural Center will remain closed until we can process the information and safely reopen. We will continue to offer our spring and summer programming of classes and events online. We will be working on developing our reopening plan in the coming weeks.

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MARCH 31, 2020

On March 31, Governor Baker announced an extension of the non-essential business closure advisory until May 4. The French Cultural Center will therefore be closed until at least May 4. We intend to continue to offer our spring programming of classes and events online. We will keep on monitoring all orders and recommendations from the authorities.

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MARCH 23, 2020

This morning, the Governor of Massachusetts ordered all non-essential businesses to close, effective at noon tomorrow March 24 until April 7. The French Cultural Center will therefore be closed until at least April 7. We will keep on monitoring all orders and recommendations from the authorities.

In the meantime, we have taken our classesonline via our teaching platform, Zoom, for your convenience. Taught by our same great teachers in an all-immersive environment, our online courses for children and adults give you the same experience you know and love from taking a class at the Center all from the comfort of your own home.

Interested in how our online classes work? Join us for one of our online sample classes on April 2 or take a look at our sample video below!



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MARCH 15, 2020
Dear Members and Students,

We have just learned that our teacher tested negative for COVID-19. I am sure this piece of news will be a big relief to all of you.

The Center will still remain closed until March 30. The Education Department is working hard to prepare for our Spring Session that starts on April 4. Depending on how the situation evolves, the Center might continue to operate online for a longer period.

We will continue to base our decisions on the guidance of city, state and federal health authorities, and will keep you updated as soon as decisions are made.

We wish all of you to stay well and healthy and hope to see you soon,

Barbara Bouquegneau
Executive Director

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MARCH 11, 2020
Dear Students, Parents, and Members,

I am writing to inform you that the French Cultural Center will close immediately as a precautionary measure in response to a potential exposure to the coronavirus.

The reason for the closing is that the roommate of one of the Center's teachers has been diagnosed with Covid-19. The teacher in question has not been diagnosed with the illness and has not shown any symptoms.

Federal and state health officials advise that it might be possible for someone to be infected for several days without showing symptoms. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, the Center will remain closed until Monday, March 30. Class instruction will move online. All events at the Center are canceled/postponed. Our Education staff will communicate with all students regarding the move to online instruction.

Before reopening, the Center will conduct a thorough deep cleaning of the building to ensure the safety of all students, members, guests, and staff.

If you have any questions about the closure, please reply here at health@frenchculturalcenter.org. For questions or concerns related to health issues, we refer you to the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Thank you for your understanding.

Barbara Bouquegneau
Executive Director

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MARCH 10, 2020
Dear Students:

We are writing to provide an update on the latest guidance from state and federal officials and public health departments about the coronavirus (COVID-19). The French Cultural Center welcomes an international community and it is important to take note of the new section (below) on International Travel.

While the risk to Massachusetts residents continues to be low, here are a few important reminders and updates:
  • Students and staff members who are sick should stay home.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are already sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the crook of your arm.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Here are some CDC fact sheets to help students, families, and staff understand COVID-19, along with steps we can take to protect ourselves:
What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
What to do if you are sick
Stop the spread of germs – help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like COVID-19

In the Event of a Temporary Closure of the Center

While we hope it will not be needed, the leadership team has been working on plans to address a potential closure or extended student absences. Our winter session is about to end so we do not anticipate that it will be affected. Our next session might be. Registration for the spring session opens today and classes will launch on April 4. In the event that higher authorities instruct us to close the Center, we will switch all classes for adults, teens, and children (ages 7+) to a distance-learning option*. We have upgraded our membership to our online platform, Zoom (which some of you may know as we have been using it for our online private lessons for over a year now) in order for every teacher to have his or her own account. In the next few days, all teachers will receive formal training on online teaching methods so that they can offer the same quality of education you would normally get in our physical classrooms. We are also working on a document to be sent if needed detailing the steps you would have to take to access and enjoy your online class. Please rest assured that Zoom (similar to Skype, Google hangout, etc) is very user-friendly.

*For children 1 to 6 and all creative learning courses, please note that a credit for unused classes will be issued in case of closure due to the covid-19 outbreak.

International Travel

To slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) into the United States, CDC is working with state and local public health partners to implement after-travel health precautions. Beginning with travel on March 2, 2020, students and staff members will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time they left an area with widespread or ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice).

Countries that have a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (widespread, ongoing transmission):
  • China
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • South Korea

Preparedness

It is important to know that we keep on getting updates from public health officials and are reviewing emergency operations plans. These plans include:
  • Establishing procedures for students and staff who would need to be quarantined at home.
  • Performing enhanced environmental cleaning, including daily cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, countertops).

We care deeply about the health and well-being of our students and staff members and will remain vigilant about responding to new information as it becomes available. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@frenchculturalcenter.org. Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation as we face this challenge together.

Sincerely,
Barbara Bouquegneau
Executive Director