Coronavirus Updated: March 11, 2020

Coronavirus Update: March 11, 2020
Posted on 03/11/2020
Wash hands

March 11, 2020

Dear Douglas County Community,

With Spring Break quickly approaching, I want to provide a few additional updates about precautions the Douglas County School District (DCSD) has put into place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our school district. I have a lot of information to share with you, so please take a few minutes to carefully read through this communication.

Yesterday, Governor Polis declared a state of emergency for Colorado. Per his press release, this declaration will help ensure resources are available to the state to combat COVID-19.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is of utmost importance to DCSD. We continue to partner with Tri-County Health Department and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment when making preventative plans and decisions to protect our students, staff, families, and community.

Precautionary Measures

The following are a few additional preventative measures DCSD has put in place to help minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19 in our schools.

  • Our Highly Infectious Disease Response Plan has been updated to include COVID-19. 
  • We have ordered additional supplies of hand soap, hand sanitizer, and other necessary cleaning and sanitizing supplies and equipment for each building, classroom, and school bus.
    • This allows us to increase approved hand sanitizers and disinfectants at all schools, district facilities, and in all school buses.
  • Our classroom teachers and counselors are educating students on the importance of handwashing to prevent the spread of viruses. We have asked them to allow extra time for students to wash their hands before eating and when returning inside from recess.
  • We are reminding students and staff to wash hands regularly; use hand sanitizer; avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth; cover coughs and sneezes; and get a flu vaccination.
  • Our building staff are cleaning “high touch” areas with disinfectant solutions in schools and facilities on a weekly basis. Buses are also being cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.

Spring Break Cleaning

Over Spring Break, we will be performing deep cleanings of all of our schools, facilities, and buses.

District-Sponsored Out-of-State and International Field Trips and Activities

As I shared with you previously, DCSD has canceled all district-sponsored out-of-state and international field trips and activities, as well as any out-of-state or international staff professional development trips. This decision was not an easy decision to make, and I understand it has been disappointing for many students and families. However, it was made in the best interest of our students, staff, families, and community. We encourage affected families to contact their school directly to inquire about any possible refunds or rescheduling possibilities.

Spring Break Travel

If you and your family have plans to travel over Spring Break, we encourage you to become familiar with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s Information for Travel. Should you travel to an area with widespread transmission of COVID-19, public health officials will guide you in quarantine requirements.

If you travel over the break, please be sure to wash your hands with soap and water often, and cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, coughing, and/or shortness of breath,  please do not go to school or work, and call your healthcare provider.

Absences and Preparations for Remote Learning, Should it Become Necessary

We are asking our teachers to provide additional time and flexibility for students to make up work due to prolonged absences. We are also collaborating with our District Leadership Team and the Colorado Department of Education to develop plans should remote learning become necessaryYour school will be in touch to ask whether your family has technology equipment and internet access at home that would be needed in the event of remote learning. Please know we are not asking our families to purchase additional technology, we are simply assessing what our families currently have available, should remote learning become necessary.

Resources for Talking with Children about COVID-19

All of the media coverage and talk of COVID-19 can be stressful for not only adults but also for our children. If your child is showing signs of anxiety related to hearing about COVID-19, below are some resources that can help you in talking with them about COVID-19.

We appreciate your understanding and patience as we continue to monitor COVID-19. We will continue to post updates on our website at www.dcsdk12.org/coronavirus.

Sincerely,
Thomas S. Tucker, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Douglas County School District

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Douglas County School District Nondiscrimination Notice: The Douglas County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, marital status, genetic information, or physical characteristics, disability or need for special education services in admissions, access to, treatment of, or employment in educational programs or activities. The School District’s Compliance Officer is Ted Knight, Assistant Superintendent, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, complianceofficer@dcsdk12.org, 303-387-0067. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees and members of the public.