A Message From Superintendent Tracy Wrend
This update on LSUU’s prevention and preparedness related to COVID-19 is a follow up to the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and information provided by Governor Scott in this evening’s press conference.
First, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has expanded their guidance regarding school closures and dismissal. Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools and Childcare Programs maintains that school closures are not recommended for communities such as ours where there is no community transmission and no cases within the school community. Governor Scott also affirmed this evening that closing K-12 schools is not recommended or required at this time. We continue to constantly monitor developments. Decisions about school closure or dismissal will be made in consultation with the Vermont Department of Health and Agency of Education and per guidance from these agencies and the CDC.
Additionally, we continue to take actions for prevention and preparedness:
1. All school events, such as dances, have already been postponed or cancelled for this weekend.
2. All community use of school facilities for this weekend have been cancelled as well.
3. All other planned school events and group gatherings will be reviewed early next week and modified, postponed, or cancelled. This includes field trips, community use of school facilities, and school events where large groups may gather such as community meetings, assemblies, and performances. Changes, postponements, and cancellations will be communicated promptly from each school as appropriate.
4. Food service operations are continually being updated. Effective Monday, March 16, salad bar options will be offered in single serve portions. Hand sanitizer is available at the beginning of each food service line. We have increased sanitizing of other high-touch surfaces in our dining and food service areas, and have ordered barcode scanners to replace the pin pads at each register.
I know that many of you continue to have questions about school closure. While school closure is not recommended at this time, we are continuing to prepare in the event it is needed. Guidance differentiates between two options: closure and dismissal. School closure means closing a school and sending all the students and staff members home. School dismissal means that a school might stay open for staff members while the children stay home. Keeping facilities open during a dismissal allows teachers to develop and deliver lessons and materials remotely to maintain continuity of teaching and learning and allows other staff members to continue to provide services and help with additional response efforts. Our faculty and staff are working hard to prepare for school dismissal. Please join me in extending appreciation and support for their ongoing work to prepare while ensuring our schools promote safety and health and keep learning on track.
All members of our community can help to prepare in the event school closure or dismissal is needed, and are encouraged to review the CDC’s resources regarding preparation. Again, no decisions regarding school closure and dismissal have been made and will only be made upon the advice of the Commissioner of Health and Secretary of Education, if needed.
We will continue to provide updates as new information is available. Thank you for your support during this challenging situation.