All Call to Families - March 10, 2020
Good evening Big Walnut families, this is Angie Hamberg, your superintendent, with an update on the coronavirus also known as COVID-19.
As you may have heard, there are confirmed cases now in Ohio but so far there are no local cases. In fact, the news today is that locally, OSU announced that they are suspending in-person classes at this time. While it may be easy to want to compare their situation to ours, it is important to note that OSU and other universities typically have a significant amount of students who regularly participate in international travel. That makes their situation a bit different, but certainly no less concerning.
In our schools, we are continuing our flu-prevention protocols to prevent all illness from spreading. These protocols include specific measures in place for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces on a daily basis, as well as more focused efforts from our staff on reminding students of hand-washing and educating them on how viruses spread. We are also preparing contingency plans in the extreme case that our schools will be closed for a prolonged period of time.
In addition, we are working closely with the Delaware General Health District to monitor the situation in our community, as well as following the recommendations of the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unlike OSU which is closing for the next few weeks, our schools do not currently have any international student travel, and we do not currently see the immediate need to close our schools. Additionally, we plan to still hold all currently scheduled activities and events. However, we just learned today that Governor DeWine and the Ohio High School Athletic Association are advising limited spectators for indoor events. As more details are shared, we will provide updates through our athletic department. Any changes to other building activities will be communicated at a building or district level.
We are working on plans to provide instruction to students should we be faced with a school closure. There are many logistical considerations such as the availability of internet access for students and the ability to provide meaningful learning experiences remotely. While we are working through these scenarios, please understand that the issue is complex and that many ideas are being considered.
In the meantime, it is important for everyone to remember to keep your students home if they have a fever or any signs of contagious illness. Parents should begin thinking about your family’s backup plan if you or your student are required to stay home. If your child has special medical needs, such as a compromised immune system, please notify your child’s principal to make plans to learn remotely if possible. We will work with you to make sure that learning continues to take place.
Last, during situations like this, it is easy for rumors to take over. This does a great disservice to everyone so we ask that everyone be aware and to only work from first source information, as always.
Thank you for your understanding. We will continue to share updates and information with you as we learn more from the Delaware General Health District and others. Thank you and have a good evening.