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Taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our district
SteveH's picture
By Steven Holmes
Superintendent
MARCH 10, 2020 / MODIFIED MAR 30, 2020 05:23 PM

March 11, 2020

Dear Sunnyside District Families,

The District recognizes that families are worried about the coronavirus (COVID-19), and you may have questions about how the Sunnyside School District is responding.

I want to assure you that we are taking every precaution at each school site and District office to address the safety and well-being of students and staff.

 

  • One of the major ways we are helping to combat the spread of any virus is to clean and disinfect on a regular basis those frequently used surfaces. The District is providing every classroom and front office with a safe, spray-and-go disinfectant, to make sure that classroom teachers and support staff clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. School buses will also be wiped down on a regular basis. Custodians continue to clean and provide more intensive disinfecting to targeted areas.
  • We will also be providing frequent updates to District families and staff. You can find very helpful information about COVID-19 on the District website at www.susd12.org/safety
  • As new information becomes available, we will also send updates through Bright Arrow communication. Please check your cell phone for text messages or voice mails regarding COVID-19 updates.
  • As a precaution for our students and staff, effective immediately, SUSD is cancelling any District-sponsored out-of-state travel for students and staff.

 

Please review the additional information below:

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) virus, and we are learning more about it every day. There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. Cases of COVID-19 have been found on every continent except Antarctica, and it continues to spread. In the United States, there are very few confirmed cases and the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that currently, public risk remains low. The virus poses the greatest risk to people over 60 years of age or those with preconditions like compromised immune systems or respiratory illnesses. At this time, one case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Pima County.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

While outbreak is concerning, there are other respiratory viruses like influenza currently circulating in our schools. Fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing are symptoms associated with all of them. Therefore, anyone exhibiting these symptoms should not be assumed to have COVID-19.
 

How can I protect my student?

Because COVID-19 is a virus, it is critical that the following precautions be taken by students and staff at every school site and at home! Reminders to students about these preventive measures will be included over the loud speaker during morning announcements.

 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Handwashing strategies include washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, and keep sick children home as well.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze by sneezing into your elbow or tissue; then immediately discard any tissues, and wash your hands again or use hand sanitizer.

Soap is available in every site restroom, and hand sanitizers are found outside of each bathroom. Custodians frequently monitor the soap and hand sanitizer dispensers to make sure they are refilled as necessary.

Is it possible that SUSD will close schools?

The Sunnyside District follows the direction of the Pima County Health Department (PCHD). Their position on closing schools for COVID-19 includes careful consideration that takes into account the severity of disease, benefits to public health, impact on student learning, families, childcare, school staff, and the economy.

Other important points to keep in mind regarding the possibility of school closures are as follows:

  • Because most people with COVID-19 have mild disease, the likelihood that PCHD will recommend closing schools is extremely low, but not zero. At this time, school closures are not recommended.
  • PCHD will notify schools prior to recommending closure.
  • If numerous teachers are absent due to COVID-19, updates to substitute teachers and students will continue electronically.
  • In the event of school closures, the District will provide online learning opportunities to continue academic support for students.
  • Student absences due to flu/coronavirus will not be counted against the students’ credit or perfect attendance. All District attendance-related policies during outbreaks will be temporarily suspended.

PCHD has set up a special website on COVID-19, which is available at www.pima.gov/covid19

We will continue frequent communication with the PCHD and will provide you with any updates through the Sunnyside website or through Bright Arrow communication.

You can help the flow of communication by providing to your child’s school, your most current phone number, home address and email address if available.

Our District students and families are important to us, and we are committed to doing everything we can to support you. If you have any specific questions, please contact your school principal.

Sincerely,

Signature

Steve Holmes
Superintendent

 



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