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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last Updated: 8/5/2020 4:44 PM

VWCS is working closely with VW Health Department regarding the coronavirus with a graphic of germs in the background

 

UPDATE 08/05/20:

Mask Update

 

Governor DeWine announced yesterday, August 4, that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a health order requiring that K-12 children wear face coverings while at school. The new mandate comes after the Ohio Children's Hospital Association and American Academy of Pediatrics Ohio Chapter issued a joint letter today recommending widespread use of masks in schools with the following exceptions: 

 

  1. Children under the age of 2 years old
  2. Any child unable to remove the face covering without assistance
  3. A child with a significant behavioral/psychological issue undergoing treatment that is exacerbated specifically by the use of a facial covering (e.g. severe anxiety or a tactile aversion)
  4. A child living with severe autism or with extreme developmental delay who may become agitated or anxious wearing a mask
  5. A child with a facial deformity that causes airway obstruction

 


Update 07/31/20:

Reopening VWCS 2020-2021

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

Thank you for your patience as we have worked with area superintendents, our district’s administrators, VWFT Association representation, and the Board of Education to put together the guidelines for reopening Van Wert City Schools for the upcoming school year. We have appreciated the survey input from our community, parents, staff, and students. The current decisions that have been made are done with thought, and careful consideration has gone into planning reopening our district.

 

The purpose of this letter is to share some initial information with you. More specific information will be forthcoming from building principals, as well as specific information posted on the homepage of our district website under Reopening VWCS 2020-2021.

 

Our school calendar has been slightly altered with more professional development for our staff during the week of August 17-21. The first day for students in grades 1-12 is Monday, August 24. The first day for preschool and kindergarten students is Monday, August 31.

 

REMOTE LEARNING - As parents/guardians, you have the choice to PARENT-SELECTED REMOTE LEARNING for your student(s). Every student will be considered a school-based learner (traditional education in the school buildings) unless the parent contacts the appropriate building principal requesting remote learning by Friday, August 7. The district’s Remote Learning Plan is posted under Reopening VWCS 2020-2021 on the homepage of our district website.      

 

DAILY CHECKS -  As parents/guardians, your help is needed in completing daily symptoms checks, including a temperature check, every morning before sending your student(s) to school. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. If your student(s) has any of these symptoms or has a fever of 100F or higher, your student(s) should not come to school. Call the appropriate building office and report your student(s) absent. 

Student(s) need to be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication before returning to school.

 

STUDENTS - All students, except preschool students, riding buses to and from school will be required to wear masks/face coverings. This will permit us to seat two students in the same seat together. During the school day, it is recommended that students in grades K-2 wear masks/face coverings, and required that students in grades 3-12 wear masks/face coverings. All employees are required to wear face coverings. 

 

We know that information continues to change, and we want you know we are moving forward with positive energy at VWCS. Let’s continue working together to meet the educational needs of our students. More information will be forthcoming from the building principals and/or placed on the district website, but don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions.

 

Sincerely,

Mark Bagley, Superintendent

Click here for a printable PDF of this letter.

 

 

 

Click here to view the REOPENING VWCS - SPECIFIC GUIDELINES

 

Click here to view the VWCS DISTRICT REMOTE LEARNING PLAN

 

Click here to view the modified 2020-2021 DISTRICT CALENDAR

 


Update 07/24/20:

Van Wert County Schools Announce Reopening Plan Agreement for 2020-2021 School Year

Click here for more information

 


Update 04/20/20:

Van Wert City Schools Closed for the Remainder of the School Year

Click here for more information. 

 


UPDATE 3/30/20:

VWCS to Remain Closed Until May 1

Click here for more information. 

 


UPDATE 3/19/20:

VWCS to Begin E-Learning on Thursday, March 26

Click here for more information. 

 


UPDATE 3/12/20: 

Van Wert City Schools to Close March 16 – April 3. 

Click here for more information.

 


UPDATE 3/11/20: 

The rumor that Van Wert City Schools are evacuating or closing due to a case of COVID-19 is not true. 

Click here for official statement from the Van Wert Health Department

 


SUPERINTENDENT'S MESSAGE - March 9, 2020

Van Wert City Schools is working closely with the Van Wert County Health Department as we monitor the growing concern of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We are working diligently to create a plan in the event of a confirmed case at VWCS. For daily updates, please visit one of the following websites:

Van Wert County Health Department
Ohio Department of Health     
(click here for the Coronavirus Webpage)
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

We would like to remind everyone of the CDC's recommendations for preventing illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

We thank you for your patience and support as we continue to monitor the situation. We will continue to update you as more information becomes available. 

 

Vicki BrunnMs. Vicki Brunn
Superintendent 

 

 

 

 


QUICK REFERENCE GUIDES

 

Share facts about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Share Facts about COVID-19

Know the facts about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and help stop the spread of rumors.

 

What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

What You Need to Know About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? Can people in the U.S. get COVID-19? Get the answers to these questions are more. 

 

What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

What to Do If You Are Sick With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow these steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. 

 

 


 

 


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Provided by the Ohio Department of Education

 

1. What is coronavirus?
According to the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) is a respiratory virus strain that has only spread in people since December 2019. The CDC continues to consider the health risk from coronavirus to be low among the general public in the U.S. However, the virus continues to be an issue of concern internationally, and there is potential for increased person-to-person transmission to occur in this country.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, symptoms of coronavirus in people who have been exposed can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Coronavirus can be deadly, yet some confirmed patients have experienced only mild symptoms.

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2. What guidance is the Ohio Department of Education providing to school and district leaders about how to plan for the coronavirus?
Ohio’s priority is to support the success of the whole child, which includes being attentive to students’ health and wellness. Locally, this means that school leaders make decisions that prioritize the health and safety of students.
 
With that priority focus in place, the Ohio Department of Education urges school and district leaders to consider the following practical action steps:

 

A: Stay current on the latest coronavirus information.

Make it your business to understand the latest coronavirus developments. The status of coronavirus is changing rapidly. Following are key resources you might want to check daily:
 
For the latest Ohio-specific developments, please visit the Ohio Department of Health’s coronavirus disease 2019 resources webpage.
 
For the latest from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, please visit the CDC coronavirus disease 2019 webpage.  
 
Access additional resources regarding coronavirus and schools from the U.S. Department of Education.  
 
Resources regarding coronavirus from the National School Boards Association also are available.

 

B: Review and update your school safety plans. 

The Ohio Department of Education encourages school staff and administrators to use this opportunity to review their school safety plans. Each school building in Ohio is required to submit a safety plan that outlines procedures for emergency situations. As a best practice, safety plans also should incorporate hazards such as widespread flu and pandemic disease outbreaks.
 
Districts and schools should review carefully the “Response” section (section V), “Hazards/Threats” subsection (subsection C), “Medical: Pandemic” component of each building plan. Review of the “Recovery” section (section VI) also may be helpful, especially the “Continuity of Operations Plan” component.* As part of the emergency management plan, schools should have established procedures for determining when to close a school; how to communicate information to families, students, staff and the community about the closing; and procedures for decontaminating facilities if necessary.  
 
Schools and districts should make all decisions in the best interest of the health and safety of students and the community.
 
*Section designations refer to the “Sample Safety Plan” template provided by the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

 

C: Refresh your relationship with your local health department and county emergency management agency (EMA). 

As you review and update your safety plan, you might also check in with your local health department and county emergency management agency. It is always best practice to coordinate closely with your local, on-the-ground health and first responder experts.
 
To find your local health department, click here.
 
You can work with your county EMS team to ensure your response plan is up-to-date and enables an effective local response to coronavirus. For information about Ohio’s EMS, click here.

 

D: Ensure your key contact information is up to date and your local communication channels are ready to go.

As a component to your school safety plan, you can make sure your contact information for staff and students’ families is up to date.
 
Additionally, ensure your administrator contact information is current in OH|ID at the Ohio Department of Education.
 
Find more information about school safety plans on the Ohio School Safety Center’s webpage.

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3. Will the Ohio Department of Education tell schools and districts they must close when certain criteria are met?
No. Individual school districts are empowered to work closely with their local departments of health to assess and understand the risk to their student populations and the community and make decisions accordingly. The Ohio Department of Education emphasizes that districts always should keep the safety and health of students and the community at the forefront of all decision-making.

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4. If schools are closed for several weeks, are there plans in place to ensure students continue to learn?
Each school building in Ohio is required to submit a safety plan that outlines procedures for emergency situations. As a best practice, safety plans should incorporate guidelines for addressing hazards such as widespread flu and pandemic disease outbreaks, as well as plans for continuity of operations in the case of long-term closures. For more information on school schedules, click here.

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5. Will the amount of required instructional time for the school year be reduced if schools are closed for an extended period of time?
The most important question for schools and districts to consider is, “What do we need to do to keep the students and community safe?” Any concerns about instructional time can and will be addressed, if necessary, after student health and safety has been assured. For more information on school schedules, click here.

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6. What if schools must close during state testing? How will that be handled?
The most important question for schools to consider is, “What do we need to do to keep our students and communities safe?” Any concerns about the administration of state assessments can and will be addressed, if necessary, after student health and safety have been assured. At this point, the spring test administration remains on schedule. The Department will communicate any updates if those plans change.

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7. Will school staff be monitoring students for signs of coronavirus?
Teachers and school staff should follow best practices as outlined by the Ohio Department of Health for preventing the spread of illness. School nurses also have received additional guidance regarding coronavirus from the Ohio Department of Health.

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8. Are there instructional materials for teachers and school staff on how to reduce risk for themselves, their students and others?
Yes, the Ohio Department of Education, along with the Ohio Department of Health in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control, has communicated information to schools and school nurses about best practices to reduce the spread of illness. These practices should be promoted, encouraged and followed to provide the safest, healthiest atmosphere for students and staff alike. Again, schools should work closely with local departments of health as well as students and families to make sure anyone with symptoms stays home and receives appropriate treatment and testing.

For the latest developments, please visit the Ohio Department of Health’s coronavirus disease 2019 resources webpage.

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9. Should schools consider disinfecting facilities as a preventative measure?
Schools and local departments of health should work together to provide the safest and healthiest atmosphere for students and staff alike. In the sample school safety plan provided by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, schools are encouraged to have plans in place for disinfecting facilities if needed.
 
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers guidance on cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants for use in childcare settings.
 
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control provides resources for cleaning and disinfecting facilities.

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10. Who will determine when it is safe to reopen schools if schools must close because coronavirus reaches a community, but new infections decline?
Should any Ohio schools or districts close as a result of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, the local school districts will make the determination about when to reopen, working in consultation with local departments of health and with input from state and federal health experts.

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