Dear Principals, Teachers and Staff,
Coronavirus planning and preparation has been prevalent in the news and our work this week as we focus on the health and well-being of our students, staff, and school community. I anticipate this will increasingly be the case in the days and weeks to come.
Our meetings, conference calls, and conversations regarding the coronavirus outbreak focus on proactive planning for ACPS operations while being mindful of the role we serve within the greater community. I'm pleased to say the efforts within our division and within our community are extensive, intentional, and based upon the most up-to-date guidance from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As a school division, we're working to be strategic and thorough in anticipating all possible scenarios and being ready to respond to changing guidance and circumstances.
Guidance and responses to the virus are evolving day-to-day and even hour-to-hour in some cases. I will continue to communicate with you as proactively as possible and to communicate as clearly and thoroughly as circumstances permit. While prompt communication will be our goal, we also want to be clear and accurate in the information we provide.
At this point, schools remain open; however, prudence dictates that we prepare for as many contingencies as possible, including the possibility of temporary school closure. Attached to this email you will find instructional guidance. The goal of this guidance is to encourage continued learning in the event of an extended school closing. Keep in mind that not all students will have online access or learning support at home making it necessary to carefully consider the nature and kind of assignments given and the fair and effective assessment of those assignments.
To help minimize the risk of exposure, we are requesting students and staff who return from personal travel within and outside of the United States, where coronavirus cases have been confirmed, to notify the school division upon their return from such travel and practice self-isolation per the recommendations of the CDC and DOH, as noted in the links below. Please also note, however, that the CDC and DOH recommendations could change, including the implementation of more stringent and restrictive measures, depending on the development of any outbreak. More information and guidance regarding employee leave policies will be forthcoming.
Our leadership team will be meeting on a daily basis to monitor the latest coronavirus developments and to continue to update our management plan as necessary. We will continue to work closely with the DOH as part of this process. Current information can be accessed at: www.augusta.k12.va.us
Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019: Messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children: https://www.cdc.gov/
coronavirus/2019-ncov/ community/schools-childcare/ talking-with-children.html
Please remind parents and families of the importance of updated contact information in Infinite Campus. Encourage parents to plan in advance for the possible need to pick up students in the event they become ill at school. Parents should also be reminded to plan for child care options should it become necessary to close schools for an extended time.
We are fortunate to have so many outstanding medical professionals in our schools, a dedicated staff and parent community, and an outstanding partnership with the DOH. We will continue to use all of these resources to ensure our learning environments remain safe.