As the global outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, Colonial School District (CSD), in concert with others in New Castle County, is taking steps to prepare for the possibility of transmission to our community. As part of our preparation, we have reviewed our emergency preparedness plans and devised a Pandemic Preparedness Action Plan which is included in this correspondence. W e will move through the phases of this plan as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH).
We are currently monitoring all presumed and positive cases in surrounding states on a daily basis. At this time, we have not received communication from our local and state health agencies regarding the need to limit any CSD activities. However, if advised by our local and state health agencies, or if deemed prudent by our administrative team, the district will begin to curtail activities. This could include limiting student and staff travel to areas that are a focus of infection, limiting events hosted by outside groups in CSD buildings and prohibiting audience attendance at CSD events and activities.
If the number of confirmed cases in our surrounding areas continues to grow and agency guidance recommends an increased response locally, then the district will transition into the next phase of the Action Plan, which further limits exposure. Schools would remain in session, but we would consider postponing all employee travel and student field trips. All athletic and extracurricular activities and district-sponsored events could also be postponed.
If our local and state agencies determine that our area is infected due to a widespread number of confirmed cases, or confirmed cases within our district, then we will transition into the last phase of the Action Plan and temporarily close all district facilities, including suspending all instructional activities. The notification of closure and subsequent “make up days” will be in a manner similar to when our district is closed for inclement weather and the district will seek guidance from the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) and the Secretary of Education regarding options for the make-up of school.
CSD will remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and will communicate any changes to our Pandemic Preparedness Action Plan if they transpire.
We would like to reinforce best practices for helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mou th with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- Stay home when you are sick;
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash or use the bend of the elbow;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
- Avoid handshakes for now, instead consider a friendly fist-pump.
We will continue to send communications to all families and staff via email, Robo-calls, and post updates and resources to our website. An illustration of our intended Action Plan included on this page. Thank you for your continued support in keeping our schools safe.
Jeffrey D. Menzer, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools