After long and careful deliberation, we have decided to close schools to students for 3 weeks beginning Monday, March 16 through the end of regularly scheduled spring break (which ends Friday, April 3). Staff will be working part of this time and using the time to prepare and train on how to educate and support community health during this pandemic.
Schools will be open to all students and staff tomorrow, Friday, March 13. If families want to keep students home tomorrow, it will be an excused absence.
Schools are an essential service and crucial to our communities. We are facing an unprecedented health crisis in our community, and new information is surfacing rapidly. It is likely our community will be seeing many more cases of COVID-19 in the coming weeks and months and this will require a measured, sustained response.
We are exploring with our City partners what we can do to support our students and families during this difficult time. We will be setting up ways to continue to provide meals for our students who rely on them. We are considering what, if any, childcare options we can extend to families over the next two weeks during this unplanned closure.
Students should stay home and minimize social contact as much as possible to keep caregivers and adult family members safe. Children have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus. However, they can transmit the virus to those most vulnerable. Public health officials recommend that families make arrangements for childcare during closure that avoid leaving children with elderly people who are more vulnerable to the impact of the virus.
As parents and caregivers, you are your child’s first teacher, and you are your child’s most influential teacher. Ongoing developments regarding COVID-19 may be overwhelming, especially to younger children. Parents and caregivers can help children understand the situation better by discussing children’s questions and concerns.
We will be sharing more detailed information as soon as possible about how families can support student learning during school closures.