March 2: Coronavirus Update

Dear Methow Valley Students and Parents,

All schools within the MVSD continue to operate on a normal school schedule. At present, we are unaware of any confirmed cases and we have been informed that the risk remains very low. However, we continue to take the threat seriously. As such, we are committed to keeping you informed of the information being shared with us by public health officials and our efforts to ensure the health and wellness of your child.

How contagious is COVID-19?
Public health authorities have advised that COVID-19 is moderately transmittable, it is spread by coughing and sneezing. That typically happens while caring for, living with, or sharing a space with another person for a prolonged period of time. According to the CDC, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. This is why frequent handwashing is so critical. 

What is the MVSD doing to prevent the spread of diseases?
All surfaces in the MVSD schools and all school buses are being cleaned and disinfected using the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Do we teach proper hygiene in our schools?
Teachers and staff will be emphasizing proper hygiene techniques by modeling and encouraging our best practices during the school days, as well as during after school events including athletic practices and activities. 

What do I do if my child becomes ill?
Public health officials are telling us that people without symptoms do not need to seek care or be tested. If your child has a cough or respiratory illness and a fever, and is ill enough that they need medical care, you should call their physician. The physician, in consultation with public health officials, will determine appropriate care that will limit exposure to others, and whether testing is needed.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The symptoms to look for with COVID-19 include all three of the following:

  1. a fever over 100.5 degrees,
  2. cough, and
  3. shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

When should I decide to keep my child home?
There is no need to keep your children home unless they have symptoms of illness. If your student is feeling ill, please keep them home. If your child stays home, please call the school attendance secretary for an excused absence. We want to encourage all students to stay home if they are feeling ill.

What can I expect if my child becomes ill while at school?
If your student starts feeling ill while at school, you will be contacted immediately. We ask that you make sure your emergency contact information is updated. For example, if we cannot get ahold of you, the emergency contact needs to be someone close enough to bring your student home from school. If you are uncertain as to the accuracy of your emergency contact information, we ask that you review and confirm or update your emergency contact information with your school’s secretary.

Are school and district sponsored events still scheduled to occur?
There are no changes to upcoming school and district events currently scheduled to at this time. However, if through consultation with public health officials it is determined that we need to cancel an event due to changes to the current risk level, we will communicate this information with you immediately. 

How will the district make future decisions such as an emergency closure?

Your child’s health and wellness is our first priority. We are basing our decisions on the facts provided by the experts, public health officials who are closely monitoring the situation. If a case is identified, we are confident public health officials will take the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of the community by providing guidance and/or direction to school districts. It is at that time that we will make an informed decision as to whether or not to keep schools open at that time.

We care deeply about every student, staff member and the community. We will continue to keep you apprised of important information as it becomes available. 

Sincerely,

Tom Venable
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District

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Methow Valley School District Closed Tuesday, March 17th - April 24th (or longer)