Dear Shorewood Families,
The District continues to closely monitor Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is working with our District Nurse and the North Shore Health Department, as well as monitoring updates from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Department of Public Instruction and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The North Shore Health Department provided this Public Memo earlier in the week. At this time, as recommended by the North Shore Health Department, the Shorewood School District will continue to remain open and will continue to monitor the situation.
As of today, (3/12/20) there are six confirmed cases in Wisconsin--in Fond Du Lac, Pierce, Waukesha, and Dane Counties. Five of the cases are active, one has fully recovered. There are no confirmed cases in Milwaukee County at this time.
Below are some questions and answers to help guide you during this difficult time.
POTENTIAL FOR SCHOOL CLOSURES
Q: Will Shorewood Schools close if the risk to public health grows in our area?
A: The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. The District will follow the guidance of our state and local health departments, along with the CDC for any closures related to COVID-19.
Q: Will co-curricular activities including athletics clubs and Recreation Department programs be canceled?
A: If a school or schools in the District were to be closed by local and state health officials due to health risks, all associated activities and programming would also be cancelled for the duration of the closure. State and local health officials would guide those timelines.
Q: If schools are closed, would teaching and learning continue virtually?
A: We may be able to provide some resources for students virtually, but likely not the virtual instruction that is needed to meet the DPI requirements in PI 8 to count for school hours. Therefore, it is likely that we would need to make up any lost instructional time due to school closures. To make up time, we would likely need to add minutes to our school days for the rest of the year. Adding school days at the end of the year is not possible because of the construction that begins in our schools in June. There will be more details on this next week.
Q: Will families have the option of at-home online instruction at a parent's discretion?
A: Students have 10 days of excused absences in a school year. Students who voluntarily quarantine will not receive homebound or individual online instruction, but teachers and service providers will provide families with suggestions for keeping their students engaged in learning.
Q: What if my child, or someone in our family, has a compromised immune system?
A: The safety of our students, staff and families is always our top priority. Students who have a compromised immune system, or have a family member with a compromised immune system, should follow the direction of their medical providers and provide that medical documentation to your school principal.
With Spring Break just a week away, we know that many staff and families have travel plans. Last night, President Trump announced he is suspending all travel from Europe to the United States, beginning midnight this Friday for the next 30 days. Per CDC guidelines, you will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days if:
- You have recently returned from a country with a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice
- You have returned from a state or community with community spread COVID-19. At this time (3/11/20) states include: Washington State, New York, and California. CDC map of U.S. states with the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- You should monitor for symptoms for 14 days. If symptoms like fever, cough, or difficulty breathing are present, you should contact your local health department and healthcare provider for possible testing. People should call ahead before arriving at a healthcare facility for testing.
If your family travels to any of the countries within the Level 3 Travel Health Notice or a state with community spread of COVID-19, you must contact the District Nurse, Kelly Barlow, at 414-961-2888 or your child’s principal prior to returning to school. We will need to know where you visited, when you left that country/state, and when your self-quarantine began as we coordinate with the local health department
- We ask that you monitor the CDC reports closely for any additional areas that may be added to this Level 3 Travel Health Notice in the near future.
- Here is the CDC FAQ for Travelers.
Q: What is the District’s plan for preventative cleaning measures to help reduce the spread of illness?
A: The District has a cleaning regimen in place throughout the year to help reduce the spread of germs and communicable disease. In addition to our cleaning regimen, we are increasing the cleaning of high-touch areas throughout the day. At this time, the CDC has not issued any special cleaning instructions related to COVID-19, but we will follow all guidelines of the CDC and our local and state health departments.
Q: How can students, families and staff help prevent the spread of disease?
A: We all play a role in helping reduce the spread of communicable disease. We are asking our students, staff, and families to practice everyday preventive actions advised by the CDC, including:
- Wash your hands regularly, for 20 seconds, using soap and hot water. Make sure to wash your fingertips. This is especially important after using the restroom, coughing or sneezing into your hands, and before preparing or consuming food.
- Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your arm.
- As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
- If children are feeling sick, please keep them home from school. Families should have a plan in place for keeping your child home, picking up your child if they are sent home sick, and if schools are closed.
Q: How does the District monitor illness?
A: The District Nurse works closely with all schools to monitor absences, reported symptoms, and stays in routine contact with the North Shore Health Department with regards to this data. If certain thresholds are met, the North Shore Health Department will issue instructions for action, which we will adhere to.
- CDC FAQs
- WI Health Department Coronavirus Page
- How to talk to children about coronavirus
- COVID-19 Background & Summary
- CDC Tips for Preventing the Spread of COVID-19
This is a rapidly-changing and fluid situation. The Shorewood School District will continue to work with local and state health officials and monitor updates. A COVID-19 webpage is currently set up on our District website, and it serves as the home base for all information COVID-19 related. Please check this webpage often as we will be updating the FAQs and additional information as we receive it.
Shorewood Schools Superintendent