UPDATE July 23, 2020
As a reminder, on July 15, 2020, the School Board Approved the recommended Return to Learn plan that included both hybrid (in-person learning and distance learning) and 100% distance learning options with the following specific modification:
*All students will begin the school year on August 17, 2020, via distance learning for the first nine week grading period.
*Address connectivity challenges for students by opening up some schools as hubs for more equitable internet access.
SCPS has compiled answers to questions we received over the past weeks and compiled a running Return to Learn Q&A document. This document is fluid and will be updated as additional questions are received as well as adjusted based on up-to-date guidance from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Based on the School Board's approved modifications to the Return to Learn plan, SCPS leadership has been working throughout the week to reflect these changes in the draft plan. We will share these updates along with additional communications on Monday, July 27, 2020.
Return to Learn Q&A document
UPDATE July 17, 2020
Return to Learn Plan DRAFT presented to the School Board July 15, 2020
- Important Note: this plan does not include the modifications that were approved by the school board - see below for more details.
On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, the School Board approved the proposed Return to Learn plan with modifications:
- The board voted to extend the 100% distance learning to the end of the first nine weeks - in-person learning will now begin on October 12, 2020.
- For families with connectivity issues, specific schools will provide access on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday during the first nine weeks.
Dr. Baker and staff will share an update early next week to provide additional details on the adjustments to the Return to Learn plan and next steps. Additionally, we are working on the responses to the running list of questions based on the adjustments approved by the School Board and we also intend to share the Q&A next week.
In the meantime, to finalize the reopening of schools, we still need parents/guardians to complete an enrollment verification for their child(ren) by July 22, 2020, through the ParentVue online portal.
ParentVue may be accessed at parent.spotsylvania.k12.va.us. Once at the site, you will need to click on “I am a Parent.” In ParentVUE, directions on how to verify your student’s information can be found in the Division Announcement section to the right of the sign-in window.
Click the ParentVUE directions link.
If you have any trouble completing this enrollment verification, please contact your child’s school.
SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLS FINALIZE PLANS FOR IN-PERSON GRADUATION EXPERIENCES FOR CLASS OF 2020
In our continued effort to recognize the significant achievements of the Spotsylvania County Public Schools (SCPS) graduating class of 2020, each of our high schools will be offering seniors the opportunity to participate in an in-person graduation experience. These personalized opportunities will be held in a controlled setting in which social distancing and other recommended safety measures are practiced. Courtland, Chancellor, Massaponax, Riverbend and Spotsylvania high schools will conduct these private graduation events for over 1,700 graduates during the weeks of May 18 - 29.
Graduates and their families will receive information from their high school principal outlining the specific details relating to this in-person opportunity. Although these ceremonies cannot be open to the public as per social distancing guidelines, each graduate will wear their cap and gown, hear their name announced, walk across the stage, receive the diploma they have earned, turn their tassel and have their photo taken. Graduates will also be able to include four immediate family members to accompany them for their special moment.
To further commemorate these ceremonies, a video that includes the speeches and other unique traditional aspects of each commencement exercise will be produced for our graduates. As in the past, the graduation commencement videos will be posted on the school websites throughout the summer. To further recognize their graduates, each high school will again honor the class of 2020 during their homecoming football game in the fall. Principals will provide additional details to students and families as the date approaches regarding this opportunity.
“Despite the unprecedented challenges, seniors and their families deserve the best we can provide in honoring their monumental achievements. Their deep disappointment in having the final months of a long journey cut short, is more than understandable. Yet, throughout the last 6-7 weeks, our graduates and families have demonstrated extraordinary patience and resilience. I know that I speak for all of our leaders and school board members when I say that I am so proud of every Charger, Cougar, Panther, Bear, and Knight who has earned their diploma,” said Dr. Scott Baker, Spotsylvania County Public Schools Superintendent.
Due to the pandemic and guidance set forth by the Governor, it is not possible for Spotsylvania County Public Schools to hold traditional commencement exercises. The Governor’s Order 55, which is in effect through at least June 10, prohibits all public and private in-person gatherings of more than 10 people whether they occur indoors or outdoors. While delaying and rescheduling the ceremonies was considered, holding the events in the summer or fall also presents a variety of challenges with no guarantee that we will be able to host large gatherings at that time due to the phased approach that will be taken to reopen Virginia over an extended period of time.
“Ideally, we were hoping that the scheduling of a traditional graduation ceremony might be possible. Unfortunately, there still exists a high degree of uncertainty regarding when it might be possible for a mass gathering to take place. As the safety and well-being of our students remains the highest priority, we believe that the opportunity being provided allows for a memorable experience in a secure environment,” shared Dr. Baker.
“I thank our high school principals for working together in collaboration with division leadership, students, and parents. They care deeply for their students and are so excited to facilitate graduation and other celebratory activities in the coming weeks. I sincerely appreciate how they developed thoughtful and creative ways to honor each student,” continued Dr. Baker.
The modified plan for commencement ceremonies planned by Spotsylvania County Public Schools will provide graduates an opportunity to celebrate this significant occasion in a safe way and memorable manner.
Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Message from Dr. Baker
April 3, 2020
Dear SCPS Families,
In the last few weeks, we have all experienced the pervasive and escalating impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, including the closure of all school buildings throughout the Commonwealth for the remainder of the academic year. During the same time period, schools and school districts throughout the state and nation have been challenged to create new systemic plans and models for delivering fundamental educational services. The many plans conceived, or still in development, are not uniform. The recent urgent and appropriate actions at the state and federal levels to provide waivers for mandated state testing and broad flexibility regarding local decision-making should remind us all that the importance of school eclipses the system of regulations upon which we have functioned for so long.
The theme of the Spotsylvania County Public Schools Strategic Plan is titled ENGAGE 2025: Innovative Pathways to the Future. Especially during this unprecedented time, we believe that we must remain, as much as possible, committed to our GOAL #1 which is to “engage all students in authentic, real-world learning experiences to become career, college, and life-ready.” Yet, we also believe that this focus must be balanced with our other three systemic goals, especially Student and Staff Well-Being. Unfortunately, we may be at just the beginning of an extremely challenging, life-altering time period where we must be careful not to further stress or unintentionally burden our students, staff, and families. At this time, as well as in the days ahead, we will strive to recognize, respect, and adjust to the impacts this crisis is having on all of our families, including staff. As a result, our division leadership team, in daily collaboration with school principals, has worked exhaustively to develop a plan and direction that strongly considers that desired balance.
In the linked document, you will find our division plan, which is intended to provide a continuity of learning for our almost 24,000 students for the remainder of the school year. Though guidance from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) continues to expand, school divisions have been encouraged to deliver new learning opportunities as well as reinforcement of previously taught skills and concepts. Other specific components of the plan also included VDOE guidance. Beginning next week, we will blend review and reinforcement activities to set the stage for new classroom learning experiences. This will include a week for our teachers and administrators to engage in additional professional development in support of a new distance learning model. Please keep in mind that the plan to follow represents more of a support framework rather than a prescription for what our teachers will be creating and delivering for our students.
Our team’s work has been painstaking in considering the diverse needs of our students and school communities. While I understand that this plan will most certainly not be ideal for everyone, be assured that we maintained a focus on supporting equity in the services and supports to be provided. I also want to be clear that our primary desire is frankly, for students to have fun, be excited about learning each day, and to have access to the vital relationships they have with their teachers.
As we forge ahead, amidst still fluid and remarkable circumstances, it may still be necessary to adjust our planning in the best interest of all stakeholders. Thank you in advance for your continued support and patience. For the past few weeks, I have been positively overwhelmed by the many who have reached out to express encouragement, share ideas, or volunteer to help in any way. At the same time, I have witnessed or encountered heroic efforts and courageous resolve from our dedicated staff and stalwart community. In my entire time serving this fine county, I have never been more proud to lead and work alongside you than I am now.
Dr. S. Scott Baker
Superintendent of Schools
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE
March 27, 2020
Dear SCPS Families,
I hope this latest message finds you and your families well. We sincerely thank you for your continued patience as our teams work through the plans outlined in this letter. Since the Governor’s announcement on March 12, 2020, the school division’s primary focus has been:
- Reaching out and reconnecting with our students and school communities.
- Providing basic needs support through a system-wide food distribution plan.
- Encouraging students, with teacher and school support, to work through review and reinforcement activities developed prior to spring break to support a continuity of learning for up to 2 weeks (for which we completed week 1).
This past week, Division leaders and principals worked together to develop plans and reinforce expectations that were shared with each school teaching staff. This was done based on feedback and to ensure that administrators and teachers maintain as much of a consistent approach as possible in supporting the instruction of students through April 3rd and beyond. Below are the SCPS current learning expectations that should continue through next week.
- Engaging and thoughtful learning opportunities (activities already provided or assigned/facilitated through classroom teachers) may include only previously taught standards from the prior marking periods.
- Although these assignments are not graded, we expect and encourage our students to continue their learning. Teachers will then be able to provide feedback to students.
- At this time, students are not required to “report” to online class, document a certain number of at-home work hours, nor be expected to print work packets from home. We understand that this crisis may be impacting our families in many ways and we do not want to unintentionally add stress.
- We will continue to use platforms that students are already familiar with such as Google, Blackboard, Lexia, Dreambox, IXL, Imagine Learning, SOL PASS, and A-Z.
- Teachers will be available by phone, email, or other means such as Google Classroom/Hangouts during the following times to respond to questions and interact with students:
- Elementary School: 9-11 a.m.
- Middle School: 11-1 p.m.
- High School: 1-3 p.m.
As I shared on Monday following the Governor’s announcement, we realize that there are many questions as to how we will navigate these uncharted waters. One of those questions pertains to what the final weeks of the school year will involve and what teaching and learning will look like while school buildings are closed. Daily and around the clock, our staff continues to develop plans for the delivery of critical services to our students and families through the end of the school year. Though the school buildings have been closed, we will not cease in our efforts to provide equitable learning opportunities for every student. At the end of next week, more specific information will be shared through your child’s school including the following:
- Additional learning opportunities in accessing new and review content for our students;
- A pick-up schedule for medication and personal items; and,
- Report card distribution plans.
We are working in accordance with current guidance provided by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) regarding students accessing high school courses and seniors expecting to graduate. VDOE has permitted broad flexibility regarding mandated requirements for seniors such as verified/standard credits and online courses. There also continues to be an anticipated waiver of standardized testing for all students.
Finally, for the class of 2020, we will do everything we can to honor your achievements and work with you to ease concerns regarding graduation. Our goal for all seniors is to support the successful completion of your academic careers in SCPS. Even though our current graduation ceremony schedule is not viable, we will be working collaboratively to determine how and when our class of 2020 can have a commencement ceremony they so richly deserve. We will be providing more information regarding our graduation ceremony plan as it becomes available.
Thank you for your understanding and patience during this unprecedented time. There is still much work to be done and we continue to work tirelessly to ensure our students are prepared and ready for their future. Above all we want you to know we are here for our students and families.
S. Scott Baker
Superintendent of Schools
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE
March 23, 2020
SCPS Families and Staff,
At 2 p.m. today, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered that all Virginia schools would be closed for the remainder of the current school year to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We realize that this decision and announcement by the Governor raises many questions that we will be working to answer in the coming days. Guidance is expected from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) this week regarding how school divisions can or should move forward. We will continue to provide frequent updates and clarification regarding important information.
Like many of you, I am truly saddened by this development. I know how disappointing this news is to so many of our wonderful students, dedicated staff, and supportive school community. However, SCPS supports whatever steps are needed to keep our entire community safe and healthy. We understand the potential hardship this school closure places on our families, as well as the social and emotional impact it may have on our students. Rest assured, our commitment to the SCPS mission “Together, we prepare our students for their future.” is unwavering, regardless of these remarkable circumstances.
Thank you again for your continued patience through this rapidly changing situation.
S. Scott Baker
Superintendent of Schools
IMPORTANT UPDATES From Dr. Baker and SCPS: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
March 20, 2020
Dear SCPS Families,
As our Spring Break comes to an end, I realize that this week has not felt like a break. Given the daily, often hour by hour, challenges associated with the coronavirus (COVID 19), I sincerely thank you for your continued patience, flexibility, and support.
Based on the best available information, which includes the continued spread of COVID-19 both statewide and nationally, we will be extending the closure beyond next week. To further safeguard our community and help slow the spread of COVID-19, please note the below announcements:
- All SCPS schools will be closed and all school related activities are cancelled until at least April 14, 2020. While we hope to be able to reopen schools on April 14th, it is possible that the closure may extend beyond that date.
- All school buildings and division offices will be closed to the public while school is closed. Division and school staff can be reached through email communication throughout the closure.
- Beginning on Monday, March 23, all children age 18 and under will be able to receive free breakfast and lunch grab and go bags on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. at specific school sites and hotel locations. Also, older students participating in our student support services programs such as REACH are also eligible to receive the free meals. Additional information was emailed to you this week and is available at https://www.spotsylvania.k12.va.us/Page/5001.
- The information students and parents received prior to spring break provided learning resources and activities to support a continuity of learning for approximately two weeks.
- Beginning next week, our teachers and instructional staff will engage in virtual meetings and professional learning to collaboratively plan future learning opportunities for students. Expect to receive follow up communications at the division, school, and classroom level regarding those learning opportunities and how they will be delivered. At this time, the continued focus of future learning from home will continue to be reinforcement of skills and concepts that were previously taught.
- This week we learned that the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) shared it’s seeking maximum flexibility for schools and students and seeking a waiver from federal and state state testing requirements.
- We also just learned today that the United States Department of Education intends to approve the waivers requested by states as a result of the impact of the COVID 19 health crisis. As more information becomes available, we will provide additional updates.
I want to sincerely thank the many individuals who, on a daily basis, offer to volunteer their time and resources to help our school division meet this profound moment of challenge. This crisis is unlike any we have experienced in that we have to balance the utilization of people who want to help with the current mitigation strategies required to fight the spread of this virus. However, there are ways in which you can continue to assist.
- We encourage you to support the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank as well as other community partners who are collecting items to support those in need.
- We will routinely email out local relief efforts as well as providing a list of resources and events on our website. As this situation continues to evolve, we will share additional ways our community members may support the needs of our students and staff.
Moving forward, we will continue to provide updates and information through our communication platforms including our Blackboard notification system, SpotsyAlert, website (www.spotsylvania.k12.va.us/domain/2994), Twitter (@SpotsySchools), and Facebook (SpotsylvaniaCountyPublicSchools).
As always, thank you for your on-going support. We recognize the significant impacts the extended closure may have on our community and the continued uncertainty regarding the future only compounds those impacts. Yet, in working with our outstanding team of SCPS leaders, teachers, and support staff, I am confident that together we can and will overcome this unprecedented challenge.
S. Scott Baker
Superintendent of Schools
IMPORTANT UPDATES From Dr. Baker and SCPS: Coronavirus COVID-19
March 17, 2020
During this unprecedented health crisis, we will continue providing frequent updates to our families and division staff based on the best available information. We appreciate your patience as the rapidly changing guidance and situation is requiring division leadership to reassess daily, if not hourly, what and how we should plan in response to the impact of COVID 19. With this in mind, you can expect another communication update soon.
Below are a number of updates regarding SCPS planning efforts and division operations. To review our previous communications as well as other important information regarding COVID 19, you can access our information online at www.spotsylvania.k12.va.us/domain/2994.
- As previously shared, Governor Northam ordered all schools in the Commonwealth closed until at least March 27. All extracurricular activities and school events are also cancelled through at least March 27.
- At this time, the closing of schools has not been extended beyond March 27. However, understanding that there is a strong possibility that schools may be closed for a longer period of time, we will communicate promptly to our school communities if or when that decision is made.
- All schools, sites, and the School Board Office will be closed for regular business until further notice with the exception of essential cleaning, maintenance, and the meal distribution process described below.
Instructional Services and Support during the Closure:
- We are presently on spring break after completing the 3rd grading period. Students and teachers are not expected to work this week and should focus on the health and well-being of themselves and their families.
- Instructional support activities provided both on-line and through hard copy packets are intended to provide a continuity of education services. They are reviewing concepts already taught through the 3rd quarter of the school year.
- Next week, we encourage, though it is not required, students to begin working through the learning activities prepared for a two-week period.
- As this situation continues to unfold, we will provide updates regarding expectations for student learning should the closure of our schools be extended.
Food Distribution for Week of March 23, 2020
- SCPS has developed a food distribution program at designated sites. Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, SCPS will distribute breakfast and lunch grab and go bags to all children age 18 years and under as well as to any enrolled student who participates in SCPS support services programs.
- Students will receive two days of food on Mondays and Wednesdays, and one day of food on Fridays.
- Food Distribution at the following 18 school sites will take place on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Please note: There are also plans to provide food similarly to students in several motels on Route 1, which currently house a substantial homeless student population.
We ask that parents and guardians go to your assigned location for pick up as noted below. Please bring your children to the pick-up as we can only give out food based on the number of children in your vehicle. Food will be brought to your vehicle by staff. In order to keep the line flowing, it is not necessary to get out of your vehicle.
School and Pick-Up Site:
Battlefield ES will pick up at Battlefield Middle
Battlefield MS will pick up at Battlefield Middle
Berkeley ES will pick up at Berkeley ES
Brock Rd. ES will pick up at Brock Rd. ES
Cedar Forest ES will pick up at Cedar Forest ES
Chancellor ES will pick up at Riverbend High
Chancellor MS will pick up at Chancellor High
Chancellor HS will pick up at Chancellor High
Courthouse Rd. ES will pick up at Courtland High
Courtland ES will pick up at Courtland High
Courtland HS will pick up at Courtland High
Freedom MS will pick up at Smith Station ES
Harrison Rd. ES will pick up at Chancellor High
John J. Wright EC&C will pick up at Spotsylvania Middle
Lee Hill ES will pick up at Lee Hill ES
Livingston ES will pick up at Livingston ES
Massaponax HS will pick up at Massaponax High
Ni River MS will pick up at Wilderness ES
Parent Resource Center will pick up at Spotsylvania Middle
Parkside ES will pick up at Parkside ES
Post Oak MS will pick up at Spotsylvania High
R.E. Lee ES will pick up at Spotsylvania Middle
Riverbend HS will pick up at Riverbend High
Riverview ES will pick up at Thornburg Middle
Salem ES will pick up at Salem ES
Smith Station ES will pick up at Smith Station ES
Spotsylvania MS will pick up at Spotsylvania Middle
Spotsylvania HS will pick up at Spotsylvania High
Spotswood ES will pick up at Spotswood ES
Thornburg MS will pick up at Thornburg Middle
Wilderness ES will pick up at Wilderness ES
We will be updating a list on our website to share additional opportunities for food support from our partners in education on our website at www.spotsylvania.k12.va.us.
As a school division, we want to continue to be there for Spotsylvania students, staff, and community. The Virginia Department of Education has just updated their guidance and FAQ’s. You can access this information at www.doe.virginia.gov/support/health_medical/office/covid-19.shtml, which may also help to answer some additional questions. We encourage you to continue to adhere to best practices provided by the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, which is posted on their websites at www.vdh.virginia.gov and www.cdc.gov. By continuing to work together, I know that we will be able to overcome the challenges ahead.
S. Scott Baker
Superintendent of Schools
IMPORTANT NOTICE – CORONAVIRUS UPDATE
March 14, 2020
As part of our ongoing efforts to support our students during the week of March 23 when schools will be closed, we will be distributing food. Our team is currently making plans and specific details for distribution sites as well as directions for pick up will be shared next week. We greatly appreciate the community outreach we have received to support this effort.
S. Scott Baker
Superintendent of Schools
IMPORTANT UPDATE - Coronavirus – COVID 19
March 13, 2020
We received word today that Governor Ralph Northam has ordered all schools in Virginia to close for a minimum of two weeks to help prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
This required two-week closure includes our Spring Break week of March 16-20. The second week is March 23-27.
Beginning the week of March 23rd, students should begin reviewing the instructional resources/activities that have been provided by your child’s school.
We will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available over the next two weeks.
S. Scott Baker
Superintendent of Schools
IMPORTANT UPDATE – CORONAVIRUS –COVID 19
March 12, 2020
As we have shared in previous communications, SCPS continues to be vigilant in monitoring and planning in response to the rapidly evolving concerns regarding the potential impact of COVID-19 on our students, staff, and community. All mitigation strategies and decisions continue to be based on the best available information provided through local emergency management and state/federal health agencies.
While there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to our schools, we continue to be responsive to information and updates provided to us from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Virginia Department of Health, and the Virginia Department of Education. We remain diligent in cleaning our schools and buses.
The safety, security, and well-being of our students, staff, and families remains our primary focus in evaluating courses of action. Based on the best available information to date, we are taking the following actions:
- On Friday, March 13, 2020, schools will be closed for students. This will now be a teacher workday and a student holiday.
- At this time, all 12-month SCPS employees will continue to work as normally scheduled on Friday, March 13 and through Spring Break.
- Beginning March 13, 2020 through the end of Spring Break, all school activities, field trips, athletic practices/games, and extracurricular activities/events have been cancelled. We will reassess over the next week as additional information is available to guide both school closures and extracurricular activities. Building principals will be providing subsequent communications specific to school events impacted by this decision.
- While the end of our third marking period remains Friday, March 13th, we are moving the date of report card distribution from March 26th to April 2nd.
- All facility usage by outside organizations has been suspended at this time.
In an effort to be proactive should an extended school closure be necessary at any point, we have created instructional resources/activities by grade level. The purpose of these instructional resources and activities is to reinforce student learning and skills acquired through the third quarter of the school year.
- Elementary parents are receiving instructional resources and activities for your child. This information is also posted on our website at www.spotsylvania.k12.va.us/domain/2997.
- Middle and high school student instructional resources will be shared by your child’s school. Many secondary teachers provide information through an online learning management system (i.e. Google Classroom, Blackboard, etc.). However, please call your child’s school to make arrangements to access instructional resources if you do not have this online accessibility.
As a reminder, COVID-19 health recommendations and frequently asked questions are posted on our division website www.spotsylvania.k12.va.us/domain/2994. We continue to add information as it becomes available.
The support and feedback from our entire school division community has been extraordinary, and we are indeed grateful. We appreciate your continued support, patience, and understanding as we continue to navigate this rapidly evolving and unprecedented situation.
S. Scott Baker
Superintendent of Schools
IMPORTANT UPDATE - CORONAVIRUS COVID-19
On February 27, 2020, SCPS sent out an initial communication about COVID-19 to parents and staff. We are providing this update upon learning about last night’s Virginia Department of Health announcement that Spotsylvania County now has a citizen that has a “presumptive positive” test result for COVID-19. SCPS is taking this public health issue very seriously and continues to work closely and collaboratively with our County agencies and the Virginia Department of Health for guidance and updates.
The Health Department is conducting contact investigations throughout the community to determine any potential exposures to individuals with people who tested positive for COVID-19. To this point, the Health Department has not communicated direct connections with anyone who attends or works at SCPS. If parents or staff are contacted by the Health Department personnel, they should follow instructions and notify your school with this information.
Though we have been advised that the risk to the general public remains low, our school division team, representing and leading all areas of school division operations, continues to proactively plan and communicate as this situation evolves.
Students and staff who are sick, should remain home. Any individual with a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit should remain home and refrain from other activities until the fever has gone away for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. Please follow SCPS procedures for reporting the absence.
We will continue to focus cleaning measures on frequently touched areas such as handrails and doorknobs and high-traffic areas in schools and on buses. Cleaning materials being used meet the criteria recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for control of the spread of illness. We encourage you to share the importance of washing hands with your child. Our staff is reminding students to wash their hands several times throughout the school day.
Prior to the news we received last night, building principals and instructional leadership personnel had already been meeting and mobilized to develop viable plans for a continuation of educational services should schools need to be closed for an extended period of time. Understanding the need to provide equity and support the diverse needs of our community, instructional services would incorporate both virtual and print learning opportunities. More information on access to these services will be provided in forthcoming communications. This is a good time to ensure that your contact information (home and mobile phones, as well as email address) is up to date with your child’s school and put proactive childcare measures in place.
We appreciate your continued cooperation and encourage everyone to take the following everyday preventive steps to help avoid the spread of illness:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, your sleeve or your elbow
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using standard cleaning practices
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- If you are sick, stay home, except when seeking medical care
Current information and guidance about the coronavirus is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov and the Virginia Department of Health at www.vdh.virginia.gov. We understand that the potential spread of a new virus creates concern among our students, staff, families, and community. Please know that, as reinforced in our school division mission, we are all working together to support the safety and welfare of our students.
At this time, there are no plans to close schools for any extended period of time. However, this is a fluid and rapidly evolving situation that we will continue to monitor closely. Following our continued planning throughout today we will communicate promptly should school closings or other action be recommended. SCPS will continue to notify parents and staff by phone, e-mail, social media sites, media outlets, and the division website (www.spotsylvania.k12.va.us/coronavirus). As new information becomes available, we will provide updates on our website.
Thank you for your support.
S. Scott Baker
Superintendent of Schools
February 27, 2020
Important Message Regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The health and well-being of our students and staff are our highest priority. Communication among school division officials, local health department officials, and community leaders has already taken place and is ongoing. At this time, there are NO reported cases of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Spotsylvania County Public Schools or Spotsylvania County.
Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has shared the following information with us:
Please note that the overall risk to the American public is still considered low at this time. For family/public audiences, we are recommending the same precautions as what we recommend for respiratory viral/flu protection:
- It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season. CDC, VDH and RAHD recommend that everyone 6 months of age or older get a flu vaccine. It’s not too late to do this. Flu and COVID-19 symptoms can appear similar.
- Practice good infection control measures at home, school and work. This includes washing your hands frequently, covering your cough (into a tissue or your sleeve), and staying home from work/school if you are ill.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill. Also, avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes.
- If you are considering travel, please see the CDC’s travel website regarding coronavirus at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html for more information.
- If you have been in China, or have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you may face some limitations on your movement and activity. Please follow health department instructions during this time. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to COVID-19.
What are we doing?
As part of our proactive safety measures, we have protocols in place and are further enhancing these measures in our schools and on our buses. It is important to note that SCPS disinfects and cleans our schools and buses with materials that meet the criteria recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for control of the spread of illness.
In the event of an outbreak in our area, SCPS consults with VDH. There are plans in place to determine how and when schools are closed due to a wide-spread illness such as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Should school closings be necessary or other action taken, SCPS will notify parents and staff by phone, e-mail, social media sites, media outlets, and the division website (www.spotsylvania.k12.va.us). Should SCPS have extended school closings, we will evaluate and determine next steps, which may include modifying the school calendar and student activities. We will be working collaboratively with both the VDOE and other school systems on potential strategies to support continued student learning should schools have to be closed for an extended period of time.
In the meantime, we will continue to monitor, along with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Spotsylvania County Office of Emergency Management, the incidence of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Virginia and our region.
As we receive continued updates and guidance from the VDH, we will notify parents and staff.
What can you do?
The CDC recommends following these preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
The CDC and VDH updates the public as soon as new information is available on their websites www.vdh.Virginia.gov/coronavirus and www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html. Please use these sources to ensure you have the latest and most accurate information.
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