Update on COVID-19 (3/13/20)
Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to address the multi-faceted challenges related to Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19). Today’s message aligns with the beginning of Spring Break. While we hope that this remains an exciting time for our students, we know that there is a lot of concern and uncertainty regarding what happens next with the COVID-19 pandemic. You have received a lot of information from us this week. The most important piece we want you to take away is that we are working with the best interest of our students, staff, and families in mind as we navigate this situation.
While we have been heavily focused on the daily developments of this very dynamic situation, we want to assure families and staff that we are actively planning and preparing should the repercussions from this pandemic stretch into the weeks, or even months, ahead. As we have shared, as of right now, classes, programs, student activities, and district and school events will continue to take place as scheduled. The exceptions to this are the limitations we placed on international and domestic student travel.
The District recognizes the central role it plays in Johnson County and the cascading effects closing schools will have on the entire community. We do not approach this decision lightly. While there are many factors to consider, the health and safety of our students and staff are our top priorities. We plan to make an announcement by Thursday, March 19 regarding the plan for school after Spring Break. At this time, and based on the recommendations from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Johnson County Public Health (JCPH), students should plan to resume classes on March 23; however, we encourage families to review their plans now should a decision be made to close schools.
The District will continue to communicate our ongoing efforts regarding COVID-19. This week, we created a page on the District website dedicated to COVID-19. The COVID-19 page shares some of the information contained in this letter, additional links to and information from local and national health experts, and will be updated as needed in the days and weeks ahead.
Even though schools are on a break next week, our work to respond proactively and effectively to the pandemic will not stop. This remains a very fast-moving narrative and the situation next week is likely to be very different than today. We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. Thank you for your cooperation to ensure we are providing the healthiest and safest environment possible for our students and staff. While this is a challenging time for all of us, we sincerely hope that you are able to take time over Spring Break to rest and relax.