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Corona Virus - A letter from the Superintendent

Corona Virus - A letter from the Superintendent
Posted on 03/06/2020
corona-virus-2020-garnet-valley-school-district-superintendent-letter

Dear School Community,

We learned in today's news that five schools in the Central Bucks School District are closed after individuals were exposed to a confirmed exposure to the coronavirus. We also learned late this morning that there is a potential case of the virus in Delaware County. As part of our process during this situation, we continue to review information from the CDC and contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Both agencies recommend that schools should continue to collaborate, share information, and review plans with local health officials to help protect the whole school community, including those with special health needs. Additionally, they recommend that schools design plans to minimize disruption of the educational process and protect students and staff from social stigma and discrimination.

In Garnet Valley our plan builds on our everyday practices of encouraging hand hygiene, monitoring absenteeism, and communicating routinely with local, regional, and national experts. As for the option of closing schools, we have not received any notification that there have been exposures or confirmed cases in our attendance boundaries. Therefore, there is currently no plan to shut down any of our buildings. This direction could change pending more information and direction from governmental agencies. It’s important to note that we have not used any snow days this year, so we do have viable options in the event that we need to close school. Additionally, we are fortunate in our district that we have a robust technological infrastructure as well as teachers trained in a multitude of online platforms, applications, and instructional strategies. In fact, at the high school level over 400 students already take online and/or blended classes. So, there are opportunities for innovative options should we need them. Parents can help us in the event of a closing by working on alternative child care plans now.

My team will continue to meet, monitor the situation, and communicate with all relevant information. Our custodial crews will continue to prioritize the daily disinfecting of desk tops and touch points. We will also provide our teachers with disinfecting wipes so that this process occurs throughout the day. Parents can speak to their children about the importance of routine hand washing, appropriately covering coughs and sneezes, and overall good hygiene practices. Just as importantly, when children have a fever they should stay home and not return to school until they are fever-free for 24 hours without medication. Children experiencing vomiting and diarrhea must be kept home for 24 hours after the last episode.

As always, we appreciate our community’s support and cooperation. You can assist us by remaining vigilant but sensible in your approach to dealing with this health concern. As you know, we are the greatest influence on our children’s reactions to these types of events. As a result, let’s remain calm, respectful, empathetic, and inclusive while advocating for ourselves and others. Below are some resources that might be helpful.

Sincerely,

Dr. Marc Bertrando, Superintendent



Parent Resources:

Hand Washing Tips

Stop the Spread of Germs

What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus Virus

Talking to Children About the Coronavirus

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