Flexible Learning Days
March 12 Email WASD Influenza/Pandemic Plan
March 13 Email WASD Illness Closure Information
Executive Order on School Closure March 13
FAQ's from Governor's Office March 14
WASD Letter to Parents March 16
Closure Food Service Survey
Safer at Home Letter March 25
Reopening School Buildings Risk Assessment Tool
Letter to Parents 2020 School Year
WESTBY AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT
Influenza Outbreak & Pandemic Plan
What is a Pandemic?
Pandemic: a worldwide outbreak of a specific disease or illness that suddenly occurs in human beings within a community, region or country in a number of cases that clearly exceeds that of ‘normal.’ Pandemic outbreaks are expected to occur simultaneously throughout the nation in inevitably and unpredictable intervals. “When the influenza flu pandemic occurs, an outbreak is expected to last about six to eight weeks in each affected community.”
What is Influenza?
Influenza: also known as “the flu.” A respiratory illness caused by an infecting viral organism. Influenza is most usually a seasonal illness that often occurs each winter in Wisconsin. It is spread from person to person when drops of moisture (saliva, sputum), from an infected person, travels through the air when they talk, sneeze or cough. These droplets of moisture contain the influenza virus. When they are inhaled, the other becomes infected with influenza.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines influenza-like illnesses as having the following symptoms: Fever of 101.5* degrees Fahrenheit or higher AND ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
*WASD will continue our practice of sending students home when a fever reaches 100.5 F or higher
Question from our stakeholders: “How do I avoid contracting influenza?”
Key Message #1:
Practice good hygiene. Wash hands regularly and often for at least 20 seconds. Keep personal space when interacting with sick individuals. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or inside of the elbow.
Key Message #2:
Protect your family from germs. Keep personal space when interacting with sick individuals. Clean areas of the home where germs are commonly shared. In the case of a pandemic flu outbreak, avoid malls, theaters, or large group areas.
Key Message #3:
Protect others from getting sick. If you’re sick, please stay home from school/work and keep children home as well. Avoid interacting with others until you are feeling better.
Influenza and Pandemic Surveillance and Reporting
During all stages of a pandemic flu outbreak, it will be essential to monitor and document the number of students and faculty who are absent due to illnesses. Keeping track of these numbers will help health officials determine when and whether to close schools, whether the epidemic is increasing in scope and whether to declare an epidemic, and making schools eligible to apply for reimbursement of ADA funds during increased absenteeism.
Schools will be asked to monitor the total number of students absent due to illness. This will likely be compiled on a Google Doc for the district to monitor.
If the number and percentage of absent children continues to climb after 3 days and if finding substitutes for sick staff becomes an issue, we will begin tracking the number of students who are absent for illness with FLU LIKE SYMPTOMS. In conjunction with local health officials, we will make decisions about whether or not more preventative measures need to be in place or what we need to do in order to stop the spread of Flu or Pandemic Illness.
Communication with parents will be critical and sample letters are included for buildings to consider using. We may need to issue district wide correspondence as well. Such a decision will be made with our Nurse as well as with Health Officials.
Buildings and Grounds
Our custodial staff plays an important role in controlling the spread of germs. Particular areas of increased sanitization include:
Additionally, staff will be provided with sanitizing wipes in case they wish to go over surfaces in their classrooms. Our supervisor consults regularly with our vendors and purchases research-based products that prevent the spread of germs. Custodial staff are trained as needed to keep them current in best practices for controlling the spread of germs. Finally, outside air exchange will continue to be monitored and adjusted.
What if we need to close school (or if we are ordered to close school)? We will treat the first 2 days of any such cancellation like any other emergency cancellation and will make them up, if needed, by adding days to the end of the school year. If we need to make any additional cancellations, we may be using a Flexible Learning Day model. In this model, teachers will communicate electronically with their students (High School) or with parents (Elementary and Middle School). This could be an email or a website post that will include assignments so that learning can continue during this time (and so that make up days don’t extend throughout June).
IT will be a central player in making sure that emails can be sent efficiently and that websites can be accessed. Also, for those people using Google Classroom, support may be needed.
Depending on the situation, we may create a plan for delivering meals to those families with children qualifying for free/reduced lunch in the event of extended closure. We will also explore extra measures we can take to ensure that kids are not spreading germs in the lunch lines and at tables. (i.e. disposable trays/silverware, changed menus, close the salad bar/buffet type service)
Our nurse will create a plan to ensure that medications are available for parents if extended cancellations call for it. The nurse will ensure that medication is at school when students are permitted to return.
We will take extra measures (in some cases we already are) for wiping down the entry rail on the bus as well as other surfaces. We will also consider assigned (separate) seating when possible.
In the event of a COVID-19 case in the community,
Local health officials may recommend temporary school dismissals...
The district will work with the local health department and others to communicate the possible COVID-19 exposure....
If a student or staff member has been identified with COVID-19, the district will seek guidance from local health officials to determine when students and staff should return to schools and what additional steps are needed for the school community...