Protecting Our Students and Community from Coronavirus
Dear (District/School name) families,
The health and safety of our students and staff are always our number one priority. We have closed our school buildings under order to help contain the spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus in Wisconsin.
We know that keeping children at home may cause difficulties for your children and families as you juggle work, child care and other challenges, and our staff are committed to doing everything we can to help make this as positive an experience as possible for your children.
Gov. Tony Evers on March 13, 2020 ordered the closure of all K-12 Wisconsin schools, public and private, from Wednesday, March 18 to April 5, as part of the state's efforts to respond to and contain COVID-19. The announcement affects more than 1 million students - including almost 855,000 students in more than 400 public school districts across the state. Evers later said schools will be closed "indefinitely" during the public health emergency.
“Kids and families across Wisconsin often depend on our schools to access food and care," Evers said. "We are going to continue working to do everything we can to ensure kids and families have the resources and support they need while schools are closed.”
(District/School name) will be closed from date to date. All after-school activities and athletics, including practices, also will be canceled from xxx to xxx.
The district will provide meals to all students in a grab-and-go format at these locations Monday-Friday at xx time. When you pick up lunch, the following day's breakfast will be included. (details on times, locations, any requirements, grab-and-go?)
The district will work to ensure virtual learning continues for students. (add any details about technology, online resources, Chromebook pickup)
Home WiFi options
Some internet carriers are offering free and/or low-cost options that your family may be able to use.
Spectrum is offering free broadband internet and WiFi access for 60 days to families with K-12 and college students. Charter, which operates Spectrum internet, said they will also waive installation fees for new households. Learn more about the Spectrum offer here or call 844-488-8395.
Comcast Internet Essentials indicated that they are providing 60 days of free internet to qualifying families. Learn more about the Comcast offer.
For students with Special Education needs, please contact our Special Education/Pupil Services Director (NAME) at (EMAIL, PHONE).
When School Resumes
The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. When school resumes, please watch for the following symptoms. Keep students home from school and contact their physician to ask to be tested for Coronavirus if they have these symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
Please contact the school (add phone, email) to report the absence and symptoms. Learn more about the symptoms and treatment of Coronavirus at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website. Those at highest risk for Coronavirus complications are older adults and individuals with compromised immune systems or heart, lung and kidney disease. See how Coronavirus is spread. It can take two to 14 days for a person to develop symptoms after initial exposure to the virus; the average is about five days.
We have no known cases of COVID-19 among students or staff in (District/School Name).
We continue to closely monitor the situation with our School Nurses and (insert county name) County Health Departments, as well as review updates from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Department of Public Instruction and the CDC. Here is the latest information on confirmed cases in Wisconsin.
What You Can Do and Our Cleaning Measures
(School/District Name) has a routine cleaning regimen in place to help reduce the spread of germs and communicable disease. In addition to our regular cleaning and disinfection, we are increasing the cleaning of high-touch areas and hard and soft surface items throughout the day. We will follow all guidelines of the CDC and our local and state health departments.
We all play a role in helping reduce the spread of communicable disease. We are asking our students, staff and families to practice regular preventive actions (see flyer in English, Spanish, Hmong and Mandarin Chinese) including:
- Wash your hands regularly, for 20 seconds, using soap and hot water. Make sure to wash your fingertips. This is especially important after using the restroom, coughing or sneezing into your hands, and before preparing or consuming food.
- Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your arm.As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
- If children are feeling sick, please keep them home from school. Families should have a plan in place for keeping your child home, picking up your child if they are sent home sick, and if schools are closed.
This is a rapidly evolving situation, with the World Health Organization declaring Coronavirus a pandemic, the President and Governor declaring it a public health emergency and the President issuing a month-long ban effective March 13 on all travel from Europe, including the UK and Ireland, to the U.S.
The state of Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is asking schools and organizations to:
- Cancel events with over 250 people
- Avoid non-essential domestic travel
- Avoid traveling to areas in the US with sustained community transmission of COVID-19 (currently Washington, New York, and California). See map of US sustained community transmission of COVID-19.
- Self-quarantine for 14 days upon return for anyone who travels to any U.S. states with confirmed community spread of COVID-19.
Many families have travel plans for spring break. If your family is planning to travel to a country with a Level 3 travel health notice, please contact the (school/district health office) at (phone, email) before returning to school. The CDC is asking you to self-quarantine for 14 days. Read more about travel on the CDC's website.
We appreciate your patience with this fluid situation and we will continue to update you as needed. Please rest assured that we will continue to put your students’ safety first. If you have any questions, reach out to (CONTACT NAME, school principal, school nurse, district health office) at (phone) and (email).
Talking to Kids About Coronavirus
- GOV EVERS: WI School Closure Information - 3/17/20
State bans gatherings of 10 or more. DPI This does not prevent school staff from coming to the building, as long as more than 9 individuals are not gathered in one space, says Mike Thompson, PhD, WI Deputy State Superintendent.
- WI DPI - Update on Waivers and More - 3/16/20
- GOV EVERS: WI School Closure Information - 3/15/20
- CDC - Coronavirus
- WI Dept. of Health Services - Coronavirus
- Symptoms of Coronavirus (flyer)
- Symptoms of Coronavirus (CDC)
- Handwashing - How to Prevent the Spread of Germs (flyer)
- Stop the Spread of Germs (flyer)
COVID-19 Resources - Multiple Languages
- COVID-19 fact sheet (11 languages)
- How can I be prepared for a COVID-19 outbreak (11 languages)
- Be a Germ Buster (11 languages)
Talking to Your Kids
- How to Talk to Kids about COVID-19 (flyer)
- Talking to Kids about COVID-19 (flyer in Spanish)
- Brainpop: A Coronavirus Video
- Just for Kids: An NPR resource
- Handwashing Video (elementary students)