Surely the most important issue for schools is the COVID-19 emergency. Along with the other school leaders of our state, throughout the day I am receiving updates from the Governor’s Office, the Michigan Department of Education, Wayne RESA, Wayne County Health Department, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other government agencies that are working together to address the situation.
In the March 1 Headlines, I stated that our administrative team would be creating and implementing an emergency response plan immediately. While the plan will continue to evolve as events unfold, here is a summary of our activities over the last two weeks:
March 1 – Initial communication informing families via email newsletter Headlines for Parents of the school’s response to current concerns about the COVID-19 virus. Included were recommendations of ways to avoid illness.
March 2 — Students were instructed on how to prevent illness at Morning Meeting:
- Do not come to school with a temperature of 100.4 or higher.
- Use a tissue to blow your nose, then dispose in a trash receptacle.
- Sneeze or cough into the crook of your arm, not into open space or into your hands.
- Wash hands frequently: after using the restroom, before and after eating, touching public surfaces.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, then rinse and dry thoroughly.
- Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- Use disinfectant wipes to sanitize computers, tabletops, and furniture regularly. Keep surfaces clear of tissues, napkins, and food.
March 3 – Teachers were informed at the weekly staff meeting about the need for an emergency plan and asked for input.
March 4 – Administration drafted the school emergency plan.
March 5 — Fact sheets and reminders were posted throughout the school to promote hand washing and use of sanitizer.
March 9 – Emergency plan was presented at the Special Meeting of the Board of Directors for their review and input.
March 10 – Administration met with Risen Christ Lutheran Church leadership to develop a communication plan in the event a case of COVID-19 is confirmed in the church or school communities, or among those who rent the church facility.
March 11 – Letter drafted to send home with instructions in the event of a school closing.
March 12 – Classroom surfaces were disinfected. School Leader attended an informational meeting at Wayne RESA to have questions answered and provide feedback to the Governor on the needs of our schools. Students were polled on whether they have access to a laptop computer and Internet service at home and teachers confirmed that their Google Classrooms are operational in the event of a school closing. Documents were created for students to track learning and for teachers to track instruction for online learning in the event of school closing. Families were updated on the emergency plan via Headlines for Parents.
PROCEDURES (Guidance provided by Wayne RESA, March 12)
1. If a person with confirmed COVID-19 virus has been identified as having been in contact with any members of the school community, the Department of Health will contact the school administration.
2. NSH families will be notified via emailed Headlines for Parents and Remind.
3. School will be suspended the following day to allow school administration to work with the Department of Health to determine the proper response.
4. NSH families will be notified via emailed Headlines for Parents and Remind of next steps.
5. Google Classroom will be used to continue instruction if/when school is closed. Students will be required to document their activities/time on schoolwork while at home.
Schools are not in a position to diagnosis illness. Those who are ill are advised to see their doctor. As a courtesy, please do not go to the doctor’s office before calling first. If a test is given and COVID-19 is confirmed, the school will be notified by the health department. In accordance with HIPPA requirements, persons with the illness will not be identified in any way.
Persons returning from international travel are officially screened upon re-entry. The health department will notify the school if disease is confirmed in a traveller.
In confirmed cases, the health department will follow-up with the school and all those the person has had contact with.
Some local districts have cancelled school for 1-2 days to allow staff to plan for online learning in the event of an extended closure. Since all New School High classes have a Google Classroom and we have one-to-one Chromebook technology for our students, we are already prepared for this possibility.
NOTE: We are requesting that all our families pay the $25 chromebook insurance fee. We depend on individual insurance to replace missing keys and broken screens on the Chromebook your child uses every day at school. If you have not already sent a check or cash to school, you will be contacted by email with a reminder. Thank you in advance for your support at this time.
Questions? Call the Information Line: 734-287-7870 or go to www.WayneCounty.com. For more information about COVID-19, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Finally, to help keep hands and surfaces clean, we are asking for donations of tissue, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes if you can locate these products.