This is an update on the district preparations to address COVID-19.
Mr. Papageorge, Executive Director of Operations has shared the following:
We have increased the frequency of cleaning high touch points in the schools with Virex. We also have a two-man crew on every night and all day on Saturdays and they are treating the building with an electromagnetic disinfectant mist that kills everything on all hard surfaces. In addition, we have brought in a disinfectant wipes made by Clorox for cleaning keyboards mice and touch screens on the computers along with other high touch points around the buildings. We have added Safety Data Sheets (SDS) to all the books in the schools and will update the family guide on the website on Monday with the new SDS for this product. We are still asking staff to not bring in their own products because there is no control and no SDS information on what is brought in which does violate the green cleaning state statutes and could potentially put students and staff at risk.
In addition, we continue to work with students on handwashing and other cleanliness habits.
There is no immediate reason to anticipate closures. The intent of this communication is to update you on preparations.
In the absence of an emergency declaration by the State of Connecticut school closures will be a district decision. The Fairfield Public Schools will make those decisions in consultation with the town and state Health Departments and the First Selectwoman. If a student or staff member at a school is determined to have COVID-19 that school will likely close for 14 days. We will also look into the relationships of anyone who is determined to have COVID-19 to determine what other actions are necessary including requiring those individuals to stay home for 14 days. We may also need to consider other school closures.
Staff and technical training continues. Based on the results of staff conversations last week we have identified ideas and programs to support continuity of learning in the event of a long-term shutdown. Staff will be provided further guidance this week and next and we will be sending further information to families on those plans.
We are asking 6 – 12 students to bring their Chromebooks home each night and make sure they are charged and are working. If you have students in grades 3 – 5 and are in need of a device that can access Google, please let your school know. For all students, if you need access to the Internet we have devices we can lend that will provide that access at no cost. Please contact your school.
If schools are required to close, we will need to examine ways to make up lost school days before requesting a waiver of the 180-day minimum requirement in state statute. This could mean additional days at the end of the school year as well as days taken from April vacation.
We ask that if you or someone in your family becomes ill or that if you have had contact with someone who is ill that you please contact the Health Department immediately.
As COVID-19 cases come closer to the district the level of concern and anxiety will grow. This is understandable. Please know that communications will be strained if events begin to unfold rapidly. We will continually provide updates to you but at times your ability to communicate with each other will outpace the district’s ability to communicate with everyone. I cannot stress enough that we are committed to transparency and support. We will get you all of the necessary information as quickly as possible. If you hear a rumor the responsible action is to check that rumor against the knowledge of the Health Department or the schools. If you have a question, please ask it of the people best qualified to provide the answers. Getting ahead of communications in the event of an issue is as important as the proactive measures we are all taking to keep everyone healthy. As a community we can support each other’s physical and emotional well-being.
Thank you and take care of each other,
Superintendent of Schools
Fairfield Public Schools