Community Letter - March 11, 2020
Dear Five Star Families and Staff,
In our ongoing effort to keep you informed about COVID-19 and its impact on our school district and community, we wanted to provide the following updates as of 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11.
At this time there are no reported presumptive positive cases in the Five Star community and all of our schools continue operating on a normal schedule.
We continue to work with our state and local health partners in actively monitoring this evolving situation.
Update on March 19 non-student contact day
As you know, Adams 12 Five Star Schools had originally chosen to close to students on Thursday, March 19, due to anticipated labor shortages as a result of the Colorado Education Association’s (CEA) planned statewide rally of educators at the Capitol that day. This rally has now been canceled.
We have elected to maintain Thursday, March 19 as a non-student day. We will use this day to work with staff on the development of distance-learning plans in the event of an extended district closure related to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
We realize that the original closure of school on this day has had an impact on families who needed to make alternative childcare arrangements for this day. Our hope is that, by maintaining this day as a non-student day, it will not only allow us to conduct important work on these distance-learning plans but also provide families consistency in their schedule.
Colorado State of Emergency Declaration
Governor Jared Polis declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19 on Tuesday, March 10. We realize this brings questions about what a state of emergency declaration means. The Governor indicated in his press conference that declaring a state of emergency does not mean Colorado isn’t open for business or recreation or tourism. It should not cause any additional anxiety or panic. In fact, it should do the opposite. The declaration will help ensure resources are available to the state to combat COVID-19. It is meant to provide reassurance that the state is taking every reasonable step to contain the spread of the virus and protect our most vulnerable communities.
As a reminder, we will follow guidance from public health officials regarding any need for school closures.
Status of currently planned school field trips
Upcoming field trips within the state will continue as planned. Trip sponsors are currently reaching out to field trip locations to ensure there are no changes to the current plans. Schools will communicate with families if there are changes.
We value these trips as an important opportunity for our students to venture outside of our state’s borders, some for the first time. We are also sensitive to the money invested in these trips by parents as well as any fundraising efforts that took place. As such, we recognize the need to carefully weigh the benefits of travel against the current need to take the necessary precautions to protect our students and staff from COVID-19.
As of now, district sponsored domestic trips are still scheduled to take place. The health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority and, as we monitor this situation, we reserve the right to cancel these trips, if the need arises.
As for privately scheduled trips (staff and students/families), families are encouraged to visit the CDC’s website (www.cdc.gov) for Travel Information and COVID-19.
Important Reminders about Protecting Yourself
Keeping our students, staff and families healthy is a community effort. As such, we want to continue to emphasize the importance of practicing good hygiene habits to stay healthy and prevent the spread of illness:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner (60% or higher).
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Stay home when sick.
We encourage all families and staff to visit the Should Your Child Stay Home? section of our website for information that outlines symptoms to consider when choosing to stay home.
We’re monitoring sick students and staff, and are following guidelines from health officials to keep our buildings healthy.
Additional information on COVID-19 is available by calling CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 877-462-2911 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (including weekends) or by emailing COHELP@RMPDC.org. Answers are available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and other languages. Additional information is available online from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. You can also find information on how we are responding to this virus as well as answers to frequently asked questions on the FAQ page.
Thank you for your continued partnership and support as we all work through this rapidly evolving situation.