March 12, 2020 – Washington Co., WI – Schools across Washington County are notifying parents about moving forward with education and safety considering the current environment.
Below is a note from Germantown School District Superintendent Jeff Holmes
The health of our students, staff, families, communities and most vulnerable is of utmost importance and we support all efforts to reduce the impact of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines for school districts on school closures on March 13, 2020. In consideration of the unprecedented situation in Wisconsin and the nation, both the North Shore and Washington Ozaukee Public Health Departments support “medium length” school closures for schools to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
Germantown School District along with the following school districts: Brown Deer, Cedarburg, Fox Point- Bayside, Glendale-River Hills, Grafton, Maple Dale-Indian Hill, Nicolet, Northern Ozaukee, Port Washington, Mequon-Thiensville, Shorewood, and Whitefish Bay will be closing for the next four weeks with the possibility of extension. This means that Germantown School District, along with others, will be closing for a four week period beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 with school tentatively resuming April 14, 2020. Any further adjustments to school calendars will be handled by individual school districts through local control. Each district has an individual plan to navigate this closure. Logistical information will be provided later this afternoon or early evening to staff and parents; i.e., travel guidelines/requirements, distance learning protocol, facility access, work hours, contact lists, etc.
The impact of a single case in any one school in a district is extremely significant. If one student or staff member becomes infected, everyone who was in close contact will need to be quarantined for 14 days. Close contacts include anyone who spends time, within six feet of the positive case. When considering the proximity of a school environment, the contacts and exposures grow exponentially, and quickly. We are supporting closures before community transmission is confirmed to greatly reduce further spread of the COVID-19 in the community. We recommend that you follow the CDC and Public Health Department guidelines regarding social distancing and group size for gathering.
Below is a note from Slinger Schools Superintendent Daren Sievers
As you can imagine, we have been meeting extensively and making as many plans as possible to protect your children and insulate Slinger from any unnecessary risks and exposures to COVID-19. We are trying to take a prudent and sustainable approach to this world-wide epidemic.
Our approach going forward will be based on doing everything in our power to provide the core, essential learning day you and your child deserve and have come to expect from us. Closing school will be a last resort because we know that most of our families are not well equipped to handle a school-wide closing of multiple days. However, your child’s safety will come first in everything we do.
Going forward we have made the determination to designate activities as “essential” and “non-essential” educational activities. “Essential” activities are part of our core day and involve Slinger students only mingling with each other and our staff on a day to day basis. “Non-essential” activities are activities that involve the students going off-site, mingling with other students from other schools, or those activities that bring students from other schools to our campuses or bring outside visitors to our school buildings and campuses
So, all field trips, class trips, and competitions that take our students off campus and involve interaction with others have been cancelled indefinitely with hopes for re-scheduling at another time. All events that bring guests here such as guest speakers, guest luncheons, and outside school visits have been cancelled indefinitely with hopes for re-scheduling at another time. And, all building usage by outside organizations has been suspended until further notice.
Events such as after school practices, after school credit recovery programs, after school tutoring opportunities, and before and after school daycare will continue as planned because those activities only involve Slinger students and Slinger staff interacting with each other. All athletic competitions with other schools are cancelled until further notice.
This is going to be our stance from today until the end of Spring Break on April 17. If things improve dramatically before then, be assured that you will hear from me.
In the meantime, our cleaning and maintenance team is doubling down on their cleaning and disinfecting processes and will do so indefinitely.
My hope is this unprecedented challenge will resolve itself sooner than later. Until then, please use the resources I sent you last week and are reposted below as a supplement to the stance we took today on behalf of your kids. And, when in doubt, please keep your children home from school if they are not feeling well despite how many absences they may or may not have already incurred. Now is not the time to worry about perfect attendance. We will work through this together.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
- Help your students to wash their hands well
- Do not drop off your sick child at school
- Stay home when you’re sick
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
Dear KML Family,
We are closely monitoring the rapidly changing Coronavirus situation and are working with state and local officials to determine how it will affect school and public events in the days to come. Please join us in asking for God’s protection as our school and our nation deals with this pandemic.
At this time there are no plans to cancel school, but upcoming public events will be affected:
• 3/12 – Boys Regional Basketball Game – The WIAA has closed spectator seating for the game except for a few pre-selected spectators. No livestream is available right now, but it may be by game time. Watch www.kmlchargers.com for an update.
• 3/15 – WELS East Regional Band Festival Concert 2:00 PM- The concert will be closed to the public, but you can watch it online at www.youtube.com/watch?v=x21ruGUDzpc .
• 3/17 – Spring Sacred Concert – The concert has been cancelled.
Please read these two documents linked at www.kmlhs.org/coronavirus:
• KML Coronavirus Information.pdf (This is general information about the virus.)
• KML Athletics – Coronavirus Statement- 3.12.20.pdf (This is specific information about the boys basketball regional game this evening.)
All KML Coronavirus information is also now available at www.kmlhs.org/coronavirus. We will also post updates on:
• KML’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/kmlhs
• KML’s Twitter feed – https://twitter.com/KMLChargers
• KML’s Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/kmlchargersforever
• KML’s Athletics Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/kmlchargers/
If you have any additional questions, please contact the KML Main Office at [email protected] or 262-677-4051.
Below is a note from West Bend School District Superintendent Don Kirkegaard
March 12, 2020
Dear West Bend School District Families:
The West Bend School District continues to monitor the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with the safety of our students, staff, and families in mind.
The school district continues to be in close contact with the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for guidelines and counsel.
Non-Essential School Activities
As an additional precaution, West Bend, along with Kewaskum, Slinger, and Hartford Union High School, are immediately canceling all non-essential school activities until further notice. We will not involve our students in activities or field trips based outside of our schools, nor take the chance of exposure from outside groups coming into our schools. Practices for high school and middle school athletic teams and co-curricular groups will continue. Please check with your child’s school if you have questions about certain events.
To decrease the chance of unnecessary exposure and school closure, we are discouraging unnecessary visits by parents, volunteers, and others to our schools until further notice.
We have set up a webpage that features the updates related to the West Bend School District and COVID-19. Each time the district has a new update to share, parents will receive the information in an email and it will be posted to this webpage. The website also includes information on precautionary measures and other resources on COVID-19.
The direct link to the page is click HERE
Our staff and school nurses are being extra vigilant in observing proper precautionary measures. Here are some school district policy and illness prevention reminders:
— Students with a fever cannot return to school until they have been fever-free without the aid of a fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours. This practice also applies to our entire staff.
— If your child is not feeling well, keep them home from school.
— Be aware, the virus spreads between people who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Please frequently remind your children to practice preventive measures, including:
— Wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds.
— Hand washing is the most effective way to keep hands virus free, but if soap and water is not available use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of both hands and run them together until they feel dry.
— Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
— Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inside of the elbow and wash hands after.
Additional District Precautionary Measures
— All district Chromebooks will soon feature a screen saver with information on the preventive measures listed above.
— CDC posters on effective hand-washing will be placed near sinks in all schools.
Classroom floors are cleaned using a hospital-grade disinfectant and other surfaces are sanitized daily. This cleaning regiment is increased if there are a large number of absences due to illness. In bathrooms, urinals, toilets, floors, and sinks and fixtures are cleaned and disinfected daily. Partitions, doors, and mirrors are cleaned and waste is emptied.
Kitchen and Cafeteria Safety
Our school kitchens meet the USDA’s stringent cleanliness requirements and are monitored by the health department. Here are some details on the measures they take each day:
— Hospital grade/food grade disinfectant/sanitizer used for all surfaces.
— Use of sanitation by heat or chemical for all dishes in dish machines. All dishes are run through the machines; nothing is hand washed.
— Proper hand washing and glove wearing techniques are used and monitored.
— Utensils and pans on all serving lines are replaced with clean ones between lunch periods.
— All utensils used by students are individually wrapped.
One enhanced precaution we are now taking is having all condiments in individual containers.
To prepare for all possible scenarios, the West Bend School District has obtained a number of CDC-recommended supplies, including:
— Hospital-grade disinfectant for inventory
— Equipment to aid in and enhance the process of disinfecting school facilities
— Personal Protective Equipment for custodial and maintenance employees
Additionally, we have provided small-group training for custodial/maintenance employees on CDC-recommended processes.
The West Bend School District is committed to providing you with the latest information and answering any questions you may have about this pandemic. Please contact a school office with questions.
This is a fluid story and more details will be posted when information is available.