COVID – FAQ #2

What is CPS doing to keep our kids safe?

As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) we are:

  • monitoring student illness reports, trends, and absenteeism;
  • reviewing response plans, making necessary adjustments as information becomes available;
  • working to limit the spread of diseases whenever possible by paying extra attention to commonly-touched surfaces (door knobs, faucet handles, etc.); and
  • reminding our students, staff, and school community of the importance of good hygiene practices.

Our administrative and custodial staffs are continuing to be diligent in the cleaning of classrooms, common areas, and buses. Current disinfectants used in CPS are effective against Coronavirus. Daily cleaning within a school includes all classrooms including desk surfaces, all bathrooms and fixtures, drinking fountains, cafeterias, and all other common areas.

Why aren’t you proactively closing schools?

We remain in constant communication with the Chesapeake Health Department and they continue to recommend that schools remain open to provide distance between those that are sick (who should remain at home) and those that are well.  In addition, many of our families rely on our schools and staff for basic needs, including regular meals and childcare. The longer we can keep our doors open, the better it will be for our students and the entire community.      

We will follow guidance from local and state health officials regarding potential school closures. We currently have no schools where a confirmed case of COVID-19 has been identified. If that changes and health authorities recommend a school closure, we will follow that guidance.

Will CPS close schools due to COVID-19?  Will missed days have to be made up? (Updated 3/13/2020)

On Monday, March 16, 2020, schools will be closed for all students to allow school personnel to prepare instructional resources that will support ongoing learning in the event an extended school closure is needed. ALL EMPLOYEES will report on Monday to receive training and additional guidance. This will also allow an opportunity for additional disinfection of schools and buses.

At some point, it may become necessary to close one school, multiple schools, or the entire district as we implement control measures recommended by CHD.  As a result, adjustments to the current school calendar may be required for one school, multiple schools, or the entire district.

What if my child must miss school? (Updated 3/13/2020)

Absences due to illness, quarantine or related restrictions will be considered excused absences.  Schools will make every effort to minimize the impact of lost instructional time by providing at-home assignments or access to instructional supports.  As with any case of extended absence, we encourage parents to contact your child’s school and maintain regular communication throughout the duration of the absence.  

Any student absences beyond March 1, 2020, will not be counted towards perfect attendance award criteria. In addition, any student absences beyond March 1, 2020, will not be used to determine qualification for exam exemptions.

Will school or community events be cancelled? Will community members still be able to hold events at our schools? (Updated 3/13/2020)

Effective Saturday, March 14, 2020, all afterschool events and extracurricular activities beyond the instructional day will be suspended until further notice. Afterschool childcare provided by the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club will continue as long as schools remain open. 

In an effort to reduce exposure, schools are encouraged to promote social distancing (i.e., no assemblies, spread seating where available,
utilize video and phone conferencing, etc.).

The Teacher of the Year Ceremony scheduled for Thursday, March 19, 2020, will be canceled. Additional event cancelations will be communicated by their respective coordinators.

In order to prioritize custodial resources and supports, effective immediately all non-district building use requests and events in our schools will be suspended until further notice. The Office of Student Activities and Facility Use will communicate with all contacts.

What about school-sponsored trips? (Updated 3/13/2020)

Effective immediately, all school-sponsored trips will be canceled until further notice. If you have any specific questions, please contact your child’s school.

Can volunteers and visitors still visit schools? (Updated 3/13/2020)

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, only visitors conducting official school business (i.e parent conferences, IEP meetings, etc.) should be permitted inside our schools.  All volunteer opportunities are suspended until further notice. When possible, we will consider the use of electronic communications (via phone or video-conferencing) to conduct essential meetings.

Is CPS monitoring students or staff who have traveled to countries or states where the virus is widespread?  

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended travel restrictions for countries with sustained transmission (Level 3) of the virus.  (View the most current guidance from the CDC.)  Additionally, the CDC is tracking the transmission in the United States. (View the latest U.S. information from the CDC).  Public health officials recommend that individuals who have traveled to a Level 3 country or a state where the virus is widespread, stay at home for 14 days from the time that you left an area with widespread illness and practice social distancing.  As with any case of extended absence, parents will be encouraged to contact the principal and maintain regular communication with the school throughout the duration of the absence.

Are schools notified if students travel to countries or states with widespread COVID-19?

No.  This information will not be released by healthcare professionals.  It is at the family’s discretion to inform the school if their child has traveled or needs to stay home.  With parental consent, the CHD can provide documentation to verify the student’s absence.

What can I do to help?

Common cold and flu viruses are not unusual during the winter season.  As a best practice for overall health during cold and flu season, the CDC recommends that individuals practice everyday, preventative measures to help avoid illness, such as:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Stay home when you are sick.