Health and Safety Statement

Health and Safety Statement 3/15/2020
Posted on 03/15/2020
Rolla Public Schools Logo

March 15, 2020

Dear Rolla 31 Families,

 

As our local, national, and international communities continue to assess the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), R31 receives ongoing guidance from the local and state health departments, The State Department of Education, and CDC.  

 

Tonight I am writing to inform you of the closure of the Rolla 31 School District beginning Tuesday, March 172020 through Friday, April 3, 2020.  Classes will be set to resume on Monday, April 6, 2020.  All co-curricular practices and other after school activities are cancelled as well.  

 

Our scheduled Spring Break is March 20, 2020 through March 27, 2020.

 

Parent / Teacher Conferences remain a part of our plan.  We will be ready to accommodate alternative methods of communication such email or phone conferences. That flexibility has always existed but we want to ensure our parents are aware.

 

While the implications and details are still being worked out, our district administration is finalizing plans for continued learning for March 30,,2020 through April 3, 2020.  Our teachers will be planning for that week of instruction on Tuesday through Thursday of this week.  We realize that closing our schools presents many hardships for our community.  The Rolla 31 School District will continue to work with local and State agencies to develop action plans to maintain the critical support services our schools provide to students and families.

 

We are committed to sharing these plans with you as they are developed.  This situation continues to change quickly.  Please see the communication planning info below.

 

Communication Updates

  • Moving forward, should there be an impact on individual school events, activities or other schedules, that information will be communicated by the district via School Messenger, our website and through our social media sites.
  • Other guidance from county, state or federal health professionals will also be shared.
  • Updated information regarding prevention and response effort can be found at rolla31.org

    Health Department Contact Information
  1. Health concerns regarding COVID-19 may be directed to the health department at https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/

    Thank you for your patience and continued support of our efforts to work proactively during this time. Our primary focus is the safety and well-being of our students and staff members.

     

Dr. Aaron Zalis

Superintendent


March 13, 2020

Dear Rolla 31 Families,

 

It has been an interesting week in Bulldog Nation.  I want to conclude this week with some information regarding our plans relative to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its impact, and potential impact relative to our school district.

 

As our local, national, and international communities continue to assess the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), R31 receives ongoing guidance from the local and state health departments, The State Department of Education, and CDC.

 

We have not been advised that K-12 institutions should close at this time. By remaining open, Rolla 31 continues to meet the academic and wellness needs of its 4200 students.

 

Parent / Teacher Conferences remain a part of our schedule for next week.  While we have no plans to cancel the opportunity for our staff and parents to meet in our schools, we will be ready to accommodate alternative methods of communication such email or phone conferences if parents prefer. That flexibility has always existed but we want to ensure our parents are aware.

 

March 20 – 27 is our scheduled spring break.

 

As part of this guidance, Rolla 31 is providing the following update for students, staff and parents. 

 

No Current Plans for Closure

        In collaboration with the local and state health departments, DESE, and the CDC, there are no current plans to close Rolla Public Schools.

        Any future direction regarding school closure would come from the local and state authorities, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That assessment would be made on a site-by-site, case-by-case basis in the event of increased illness among the students and staff in that individual building.

        Many factors guide the direction to avoid district wide closure, including the following:

        Districtwide closure would have a negative impact on the ability of our healthcare system to care for those who may become sick. A rapid, widespread need for childcare would have immediate implications for our region.

        Many of our students depend on our district to provide quality meals that are essential for their daily nutrition, as well as a safe and secure learning environment.

        Districtwide closure would have a detrimental impact on many students.

 

Prevention Measures

        As we do every flu season, Rolla 31 is vigilant in our efforts to reduce the spread of infectious diseases by educating students and staff about practicing healthy habits and ways they can help prevent the spread of flu and the common cold. 

        Rolla 31 custodial staff have an increased focus during flu season on disinfecting desks, door handles, tables, drinking fountains and other surfaces to help prevent the spread of germs.

        Deep cleanings are also performed in the evenings at schools that are experiencing high absence rates due to illness. Our overall attendance has been very good at 94% this week.

        Parents are encouraged to help students stay healthy in the following ways:

        Keep children home if they are showing signs of flu, which include: fever (usually high), muscle aches and chills, headache, sore throat, extreme tiredness, sometimes diarrhea and vomiting.

        Also keep your child home when he/she has diarrhea, vomiting, low-grade fever.

        Children should be kept home until they are fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

        Minimize contact with others who are ill.

        Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, especially when someone is ill.

 

Lower Risk Factor for Children

        COVID-19 poses the most significant risk to those who are over the age of 60 years and those who have chronic medical conditions and weaker immune systems. 

        Significant risk factors remain lower for children.

 

Travel Guidance

        As Spring Break begins on Friday, March 20, the health department advises staff, students and parents to be especially cautious in making travel decisions and to follow the latest guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

        For those who choose to travel, it is advised that prevention tips are followed. Upon return, it is important for individuals to monitor any change in their health and to notify the health department with questions or concerns.

 

Communication Updates

        Moving forward, should there be an impact on individual school events, activities or other schedules, that information will be communicated by the district via School Messenger, our website and through our social media sites.

        Other guidance from county, state or federal health professionals will also be shared.

        Updated information regarding prevention and response effort can be found at rolla31.org

 

Health Department Contact Information

        Health concerns regarding COVID-19 may be directed to the health department at https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/


Thank you for your patience and continued support of our efforts to work proactively during this time. Our primary focus is the safety and well-being of our students and staff members.

Dr. Aaron Zalis, Ed. D. Superintendent
Rolla 31 School District








March 11, 2020

Dear Rolla 31 School District Families,

The cold and flu season has recently been affecting our district, including cases of both Influenza Type A and Type B. Our schools are experiencing the usual number of absences, with parents and guardians
reporting that their children are ill with flu-like symptoms, confirmed flu cases, as well as other common illnesses. Our attendance remains strong through this season with an attendance rate ranging from 91 to 94 percent this past week.
In addition, the flu season has been complicated by a new coronavirus, which public health officials call COVID-19. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses with common symptoms similar to the flu.
We have been made aware that a test for (COVID-19) Coronavirus is being conducted at Phelps Health. We have no conclusive information on the results of the test at this time. We are also aware of the
cancellation of all University sponsored St. Pats celebration activities this weekend.
At this time, we have no plans to close school or cancel scheduled activities. We are working to strike
the right balance between concern and action. The Rolla 31 School District has been working on an
action plan that aligns with recommendations from the Phelps County Health Department, MoDHSS,
and CDC, and we will follow guidance from these agencies.

At this time, according to the CDC there are no recommended restrictions on domestic travel or activities with large groups of people. To learn more about COVID-19, how it spreads, and other developing information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

In Rolla, as we do every flu season, we are doing everything possible to protect the health of our
students and staff. We take additional precautions to clean and sanitize all surfaces, and we work with students and staff to encourage them to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly and to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or an elbow. The Rolla 31 School District is fortunate to have experienced health experts on staff including registered nurses in every school.
Important tips for families:
• It is very important to keep your child home if he/she is experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, cough, body aches, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting), and keep them home until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine.
• Remind your children and family members to always cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow.
• Proper handwashing is crucial in preventing the spread of germs. This means washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after touching your face, blowing your nose, using the restroom, and before you eat.
• Remind your children to avoid touching their mouth, eyes and nose.
• Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects such as tables, doorknobs, bathroom handles, cell phones, remotes, etc.
We are keeping in daily contact with local health officials, who have the latest information from the CDC, as we monitor the situation.
We will communicate to you via School Messenger to inform you of any developments that affect our schools.

Sincerely,
Dr. Aaron Zalis
Superintendent
Rolla 31 School District