SUPERINTENDENT UPDATE: COVID-19 and district preparedness (March 12 update)

As we continue to monitor developments regarding coronavirus COVID-19, I want to provide you with some additional updates. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our school community, but we are learning more every day about this evolving public health issue. Please be assured that we are being proactive in our planning as we prepare for possible disruptions to our instructional program, including a school closure.

What happens if a student or staff member has COVID-19?

In the event we are notified that a student or staff member has a confirmed case of COVID-19, the school or schools associated with that case would be required to close for an initial period of 24 hours. If that happens, the Liberty Central School District would work closely with the NYS and the Sullivan County health departments during those 24-hours to determine precautionary actions and the scope and duration of any closure. 

These decisions will be made on a case by case basis, as necessary, and the district will communicate this information immediately to all our Liberty families.

Proactive Measures

Liberty teachers will spend Friday, March 13, a scheduled superintendent’s conference day and a day off for students, to compile 10 days of work (two weeks) for their students should an extended closure take place. 

This work will be sent home with students on Monday, March 16. Please set this work aside for completion in the event of an extended school closure.

  • For our elementary students the work will include a packet of printed worksheets and reading assignments.
  • Our middle and high school students all have Chromebooks, so their work will be available digitally via Google Classroom. Some middle and high school teachers may also elect to provide their students with printed assignments.

If you are a parent or guardian of a middle or high school student and you do not have internet access, please call 845-292-5400, ext 2031 so we can make sure your child has academic materials.

Meanwhile, we continue steps to ensure the health and safety of students and staff. Here are some of the ways we are addressing COVID-19 concerns:

  • We are in continued conversations with county and state health officials and are following the recommendations of these experts.
  • Our school nurses are on alert for flu-like symptoms, cough, fever and other symptoms.
  • We have provided resources on proper handwashing and encouraged faculty and staff to remind students about the importance of hygiene. We have also asked them to limit sharing between students and to allow extra time for handwashing.
  • Rolling V, our bus company, has enhanced its rigorous cleanings of buses.
  • Our dedicated custodial staff is paying special attention to hard surfaces and highly-trafficked areas. We are well equipped with cleaning supplies.

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and others continues to be the standard preventive practices for influenza. This includes regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

Please know that, as always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent the spread of this illness. Our administrators, faculty and staff have been asked to take this matter of public health seriously but to do so without causing alarm for our students.

Again, we will continue to share updates and resources on a regular basis and until this public health challenge is behind us. 

I appreciate your continued patience and support as we navigate this difficult time together.

Dr. Augustine E. Tornatore
Superintendent of Schools

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