COVID-19 Update: District Response

     Published on 3/11/20   Tagged under:    Superintendent   

 
The health and safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance. In the Syracuse City School District we are continuing to follow the recommendations from the Onondaga County Health Department, New York State Department of Health and Center for Disease Control while monitoring any possible impact involving our school community. Please see the descriptions below for information on the District's response thus far.

PREVENTION

Our Community

Members of our school community are to continue following the essential steps in the following bullets that can help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses. Printed posters reinforcing these practices have been sent to and posted in all District buildings.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Physical Spaces

All of our schools and district buildings are being cleaned and sanitized every weekend. Our custodial staff is also focusing on wiping down high contact surface areas throughout the day. 

We will be providing sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer for all of our schools as well.  Centro is wiping down seats and making hand sanitizer available to students.

OUTREACH

Letters to Families

Letters from the SCSD Medical Director, Dr. Ted. J. Triana, D.O., were mailed home to families on February 28 and March 4. A letter from the superintendent regarding updating emergency contact informaton was mailed home to families on March 10.

syracusecityschools.com/Coronavirus

A webpage has been created to share all updates and resources to our students, families, staff and community. A banner has been added to the District website alerting viewers to the addition of this new page.

ENL Community

The March 4 letter from Dr. Triana, D.O. has been translated into Arabic, Karen, Nepali, Swahili, Somali and Spanish.  Translated letters have been posted to our District webpage and have been mailed home to ENL families.
 

Staff

As this situation develops, staff will continue to be notified via email with any updates. Human Resources sent an email to all staff on March 6 with directions regarding staying home when sick, reviewing sick leave practices, updating emergency contact information, telemedicine and encouraging electing to use direct deposit.

EDUCATION

Our learning community is prepared to ensure that our students continue to receive educational experiences in the event of a closure. A preliminary handout will be mailed home to families during the week of March 10 that includes activities for families to use should a closure occur. Assignments may also be posted online, if applicable. Families will be encouraged to also utilize the Parent Engagement Notebooks (PEN) that will be posted online as an additional resource.

The Special Education Department will utilize the child’s next Committee on Special Education meeting to examine missed services and the possible impact this may have had on the student’s progress.


TRAVEL

The District will cancel extracurricular activities, such as field trips and travel abroad, based on having various levels of illness among students and staff and NYSDOH and CDC recommendations.

The District will suspend school sponsored travel programs for all students and staff in currently impacted countries (China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea) and develop plans to suspend programs in all other countries, regardless of whether they are currently impacted by CDC travel alerts in case it becomes impacted pursuant to CDC guidelines.

Students and faculty returning from currently impacted countries or regions of impacted countries will be required to be under precautionary quarantine for 14 days upon return. This includes school sponsored travel or individual travel (spring break).


EXCLUSION PROVISIONS

If a student or staff member has been identified as testing positive for COVID-19, we will notify state health officials to determine what additional steps are needed for the school community. In addition, students and staff who are well but are taking care of, or share a home with, someone with a case of COVID-19 must not attend school and must follow precautionary quarantine instructions from State health officials, who will determine when it is safe for them to return to school.


DETERMINATION OF SCHOOL CLOSINGS

When a student or staff member attended school prior to being confirmed as a COVID-19 case, New York State Department of Health requires an initial 24-hour closure, in order to begin an investigation to determine the contacts that the individual may have had within the school environment. That investigation will inform the plan determined by the local department of health as to any further required closure, or other necessary precautions to take for specific classrooms, or for specific individuals. Such plan must recommend actions for future positive COVID-19 cases as well.

During that initial 24-hour closure the District will immediately take steps to clean and disinfect the school building(s) where the student or staff had contact prior to testing positive for COVID-19. That disinfection will be in accordance with NYS DOH guidelines and must be complete before accepting returning students.

 




Please click here to access a copy of this information for print.