Dear LSA students and families,
Every year at the LSA, we are faced with the seasonal increased incidence of the common cold and flu. As we are all aware, the strength of the flu varies from year to year and has varying degrees of impact on our students and faculty. In 2009 we faced the H1N1 virus, we taught our kids how to cough into their elbows, emphasized washing hands, and started to purchase cleaning materials that were specific to killing the H1N1 virus.
Many of those common-sense practices remain today and are impactful to managing the risk of Covid-19 (Coronavirus). Here are some of the things we have been attentive to throughout the cold and flu season.
Using cleaners that are designed to kill the flu virus.
Giving special attention to the areas that students touch most frequently:
paper towel dispenser handles
door handles to all rooms
toilet flush handles
hardware on inside of bathroom stall doors
Staff members, particularly at our Elementary, reinforce the need to wash hands regularly for a minimum of 20 seconds and encourage our students to keep their hands away from their face.
When students are called in sick, we are likely to ask for symptoms, in particular the presence of a fever or respiratory challenges.
Here are a couple of links that may assist you in your individual response and awareness as it relates to Covid-19.
At some point, it is possible that we will experience a member of our community being infected with the Covid-19 virus. In the event that we do have that happen, we will defer to the Department of Public Health for guidance, but it is safe to say that there will be one of two recommendations:
1. Keep our schools open with greater awareness.
2. Close our schools for an appropriate period of time to study the impact.
If we have a case of the virus and it is recommended that we remain open:
We will communicate our status and Health Department recommendations through our INOW, on the District Website, and through our Social Media platforms.
Ultimately the attendance of your child will remain at your discretion and we will consider those absences excused, with the assumption that the student will complete school-work while home.
We will maintain our current levels of attention to cleaning our buildings and classrooms using EPA approved cleaners designed to kill the Covid-19 virus.
We will work with our athletic associations, IHSA and IESA to determine the most appropriate procedure for our extra-curricular activities.
We will work to minimize large group, close contact events, and where possible will limit access to our buildings to those who are not LSA students or staff.
We will remain in constant contact with the Health Department to assess the spread and rate of return of any staff or student impacted.
If we have a case of the virus and it is recommended that we close our schools:
We will also execute on everything listed above, in addition to the actions listed above, we will have a process in place to launch E-learning opportunities for our students. Depending on the response outlined by our State agencies; Regional Office of Education and Illinois State Board of Education, we will execute using E-learning if that is the most appropriate and permissible option. In all likelihood, this would involve our grade 7-12 students working online through Google classroom while teachers of students in K-6 would communicate, via email, recommended activities to engage student learning. While students are out of the buildings, we will perform a deep and intensive cleaning of our facilities and buses.
We do not want to over-react but also do not want to under-prepare. We are committed to transparent communication if anything impacting our staff or students changes, and we are committed to the standards of practice that have proven effective throughout the cold and flu season. It is our hope that we are well prepared for something that never happens.
In His Service,
Dr. Jeff Holmes