Student safety and wellness is our highest priority. Today, the administrative team and I conferred to review processes, procedures, and protocols related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The number of cases in the U.S. and the immediate health risk from COVID-19 remains low at this time. Yet, the current global circumstances suggest that there is a high possibility this virus may continue to spread and may eventually impact our schools and communities at large. With student safety as a top priority, we are proactively monitoring this situation with health officials.
Our best defense against the spread of respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus and influenza, is prevention and planning. By following the recommendations listed below, together we can reduce illness in our school:
- Keep sick children home. If your child has a fever, seek appropriate medical attention and keep students home until they are fever-free for 24 hours. Students must be fever-free without fever reducing medication (such as Tylenol or Advil) understanding that administering Tylenol or Advil does not make the student non-contagious; it simply removes the symptom of fever. Keeping sick children home prevents the spread of any virus to others. Any child suspected to be sick while at school will be assessed and if determined to be sick will be sent home.
- Report your child’s absence and share sickness information with our secretary.
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and wash as soon as you can. We encourage parents to ask students to recite the entire alphabet or slowly count to 20 as a measure of time to ensure proper hand washing.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands.
- Remind your children not to share personal items like drinks, food or unwashed utensils.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth whenever possible.
- The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
We ask that if your child awakens feeling unwell in any way that you keep them home for observation to determine if further symptoms will develop. This will be especially important for travelers returning from spring break in the coming weeks.
Desks, tables and common surfaces in our schools are cleaned regularly to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. We have asked all staff members to assist students in regularly using sanitizing wipes in our classrooms and regularly washing their hands too. We have asked for additional diligence in our sanitizing efforts by our custodians, teachers, and other staff members.
We appreciate your assistance and support. We have been asked about guidance specific to closure of school and potential length of time. Many factors could play into a closure decision, including student and staff attendance, ability to obtain substitute coverage, and proximity and extent of the virus outbreak. We will take the guidance provided by the CDC and local health department and will continue to update our staff, parents and community as this progresses. Should we need to close, we will use a combination of calamity days (i.e. snow days) and online and/or work packets.
Please contact me with any further questions. We take our responsibility very seriously and assure you that we will continue to monitor COVID-19 with health officials, implement planned safety protocols, and provide updates to our families.
Please see the attached for further prevention information: Coronavirus Disease Prevention.