Parents and Patrons of the Bertrand Community School District:
I want to update you on our district plan
regarding the Coronavirus. As with any
contagious illness, we are working closely with Two Rivers Health Department
and will follow their guidelines. Based
on those guidelines, staff will be in contact with all appropriate entities as
the need arises. After attending
meetings at the NDE and Two Rivers Health level it is becoming obvious that
there are no hard fast mandates or edicts coming from either organization that
will inform our school when it must close and for how long. Please bear with all of us as we attempt to
navigate this situation. I plan to
communicate with you via One Call Now and other digital media outlets.
Also, many parents have already heard from
some of our proactive teachers regarding instructing students, electronically,
during the time they are out of school.
I have learned from our school attorney that this plan has legal
issues…so any day where we are forced to be at home, instead of at school, due
to pandemic conditions, will be considered a “day out of school educationally,
whereby there will be no instruction.”
It may be required that these non-educational days be made up after the
end of the academic calendar year.
If you suspect your student is ill, we are asking you to keep them home from school.
We encourage you to check out the following
resources regarding Coronavirus from the Centers of Disease Control and
read below some information and steps we are taking on the local school level:
will make a decision to close schools?
A: If an outbreak
occurs, and school closures are recommended or ordered, decisions will be made
following discussion between the school district and Two Rivers Public Health
Department. We will also consider
guidance from the Nebraska Department of Education. The school district is unable to know if or
when individuals are exposed to any illness, which is why we follow guidelines
from expert agencies like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and our local
public health department. Rather than recommending the cancellation of schools
and public events, at this time, these agencies are asking people who may have
been exposed to the virus to stay home.
are student absences being handled?
A: All student absences due to illness will be
excused with parent confirmation that a child is ill. The district will not require a doctor’s note
to have a student absence excused for the remainder of the 2019-20 school
year. We are also suspending all
classroom and school-wide perfect attendance awards and incentives (if a school
shutdown occurs.) If your student is
home ill, we ask that parents describe the symptoms the student is experiencing
(e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, etc.) Students are strictly
prohibited from attending school until they have been fever-free for 24 hours
without temperature reducing medication.
District policies governing student absences
for reasons other than student illness will continue to be enforced.
there any plans to alter or cancel travel, field trips, school dances, etc…
due to concerns?
A: There are no recommendations from public
health officials at this time for the school district to cancel school
events. According to state and local
health officials, students and staff should continue with normal daily
activities and practice the same precautions you use during cold and flu
seasons. If a student falls ill during
an activity trip, we will follow the same procedure as we would at school, in
that we will isolate the student and contact the parent/guardian to pick up the
If public health officials recommend that the
district cancel events or activities, the school district will comply with that
recommendation. We will use our regular
communication systems to share that information with families if it becomes
necessary. Presently, avoiding large groups
of people is a strategy barrier to the virus.
additional sanitization procedures taking place at sites and in classrooms?
A: Our district is already implementing
additional sanitation procedures. We
have hand sanitizer available in all classrooms. Custodial staff is implementing increased cleaning procedures, including
disinfecting high-traffic locations using state-recommended cleaning
procedures. All soap dispensers are
being filled regularly. We are also
reminding students on how to properly wash hands, which is one of the most effective
ways of preventing the spread of germs and respiratory illnesses according to
alcohol-based hand sanitizers allowed in the school?
if a student catches the virus?
A: Any time a student is confirmed to have a
communicable disease, the District communicates with our local public health
department for directives and guidance preventing the spread of the specific
communicable disease. This not only applies to coronavirus but other health
conditions as well (H1N1, tuberculosis, meningitis, etc.). The Public Health
Department will notify the District of any known cases.
Q: What if someone in a student’s or staff member’s immediate family is diagnosed? Are all quarantined in that household?
A: If students or staff come in contact with
someone confirmed to be an infected person they should stay home, contact their
medical provider, and call the Two Rivers County Public Health Department at (888) 669-7154. If someone
must quarantine or isolate, they will be notified by health department.
happens if a child is symptomatic with flu/cold symptoms?
A: If a child is symptomatic (fever, shortness
of breath, cough, congestion), they should stay home and contact their
physician further guidance. A child may return to school once he or she is
fever free for 24 hours without medication. If they are at school, and begin to
feel sick, they should check in with the health office and wait for their
parent/guardian to pick them up. Remember that schools are not equipped to
screen students or staff to identify cases of COVID-19.
There’s so much information out there and I don’t know what’s true or not.
Where can I go to find the most updated information about the coronavirus?
Be sure to always get your information from credible sources such as:
Thank you for your support and
Dr. Dennis Shipp
Bertrand Community School