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Clay County District Schools partners with health officials to prepare for possible Coronavirus

PLEASE VISIT OUR NEW WEBSITE DEDICATED TO CORONAVIRUS UPDATES AND RESOUCES AT ONECLAY.NET/CORONAVIRUS

From Superintendent Broskie on 3/17/20 at 6:00 p.m.:

Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education announced the following updates this evening:

- Students will not return to school until Wednesday, April 15th.
- All statewide assessments have been canceled this school year.

Clay County District Schools will be ready to transition to online continuous learning for students starting the week of March 30th. The District recognizes there are many questions as a result of this announcement. Please stay tuned to our digital platforms for further information and updates.

From Superintendent Broskie on 3/17/20 at 2:50 p.m.:

Please click here for a special edition of Clay Connect with the latest updates and resources regarding Coronavirus.

From Superintendent Broskie on 3/14/20 at 3:15 p.m.:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As part of our ongoing efforts to minimize the impact on our students, I am pleased to share with you that we will be providing meal services to students during next week's unscheduled school closure.

The Clay County School District will be providing breakfast and lunch for students during the week of March 16th. Breakfast will be served from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. and lunch will be served from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Meals will be prepackaged and distributed at the parent pick-up or bus loop to be consumed off site. Children must be present to receive their meal. The preferred way to distribute meals is by vehicle; however, foot traffic is allowed if necessary. 

Meals will be available at the following sites:

Keystone Heights Jr./Sr. High

Charles E. Bennett Elementary

W.E. Cherry Elementary 

Ridgeview Elementary

Wilkinson Elementary 

Meal service menu for March 16th - 20th.

At this time, we will NOT be providing meal service during the regularly scheduled Spring Break (March 23rd - March 30th) per federal restrictions. If this should change, we will notify our families immediately. 

Thank you for your continued flexibility as we work to provide resources and meet the needs of our community.

 

From Superintendent Broskie on 3/13/20 at 5:07 p.m.:

The Florida Department of Education in conjunction with the Governor’s Office announced that our school district will close for the next two weeks starting March 16th and ending March 27th. This window includes next week and our scheduled Spring Break week. Monday, March 30th remains a Teacher Planning Day, with students scheduled to return on Tuesday, March 31st.

All extra-curricular activities, including athletics, will be canceled during this time. However, on Saturday, March 14th, SAT and PERT testing will take place at all scheduled locations.

More details will be forthcoming as the state releases guidance regarding state assessments and the remainder of the academic year calendar.

From Superintendent Broskie on 3/13/20 at 11:42 p.m.:

Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for your continued patience during this process as I work to communicate the latest information on COVID-19 and our efforts with the country to decrease the spread of this virus.

Currently, there is one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Clay County. The Florida Department of Health - Clay County reports a 57-year old male has tested positive. The individual is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. It is currently unclear whether this was a travel-related case; the epidemiological investigation is ongoing. Health officials say this man has no connection to our school district. 

Due to this case, as of 8 a.m. this morning, Clay County issued a local state of emergency for the COVID-19 event. This means there are more dedicated resources for the county’s COVID-19 response. 

In addition, Clay County Emergency Management in partnership with the Florida Department of Health - Clay County has opened the call center for all questions related to COVID-19 at 1-877-252-9362 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the weekend. You can also reach the 24-hour state call center at 1-866-779-6121.

I know there are many questions about attendance policies. As always, you are encouraged to make decisions that are best for the safety of you and your families. If you decide to keep your child at home, absences will be excused through the start of Spring Break, March 20th. 

If you choose to keep your child at home before Spring Break, below are opportunities to continue engagement:

Please remember that we are closing our third quarter of instruction and most grades have been finalized. In the event that there are school closures after Spring Break as we begin the fourth quarter, the District is collaborating with the Clay County Education Association to develop extended distance learning opportunities. We will continue to provide updated information on instruction and extended learning opportunities.

To help us plan for distance learning opportunities, please fill out the following survey (one survey per family): CCDS Emergency Preparedness Parent Survey - Technology At Home.

I understand that this is an uneasy time for many as this situation develops, but please trust that we are doing everything we can to keep our students, staff, and families safe and healthy. This will continue to be an evolving situation, so please stay updated via our website and social media platforms. In addition, please make sure your information is updated in Focus to receive all forms of communication. Lastly, you can continue to follow updates from the CDC and the Florida Department of Health - Clay County. 

Respectfully,

David Broskie

 

From Superintendent Broskie on 3/12/20 at 4:34 p.m.:

Dear Clay County District Schools Parents and Guardians,

We are continuing to monitor the development of COVID-19 alongside our partners with the Florida Department of Health, Clay County Emergency Management, and the Florida Department of Education. 

On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis declared a State of Emergency for COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ruled that Florida remains low-risk at this time; however, local, state, and national agencies are in a constant state of preparation to respond to this virus as needed.

According to the latest report from the Florida Department of Health, there are no cases in Clay County as of the morning of March 12, 2020. Should a positive case be made for Clay County, we will send out communication on next steps as directed by county health officials.

The district will continue with the following actions to minimize the threat of COVID-19 in our school district facilities:

Sanitization of Facilities

  • Increased cleaning by custodial staff of frequently touched surfaces such as desks, counters, bathrooms, doorknobs, and buses.
  • The District is prepared for extensive disinfecting of an impacted facility with a rapid response team should there be a confirmed case of Coronavirus. 
  • All students and staff are encouraged to wash their hands frequently with soap and water. All facilities have hand sanitizer available as a secondary measure. 

Student Attendance

  • As is always the recommendation, parents are encouraged to keep sick children home, particularly when presenting with nausea, severe cough, or fever.
  • At this time, normal school attendance policies remain in effect for all students. We will remain flexible as information changes.
  • The district continues to develop opportunities for distance learning. If students are required to stay home, parents should contact their child’s school for instruction on student work. 

District-Sponsored Employee and Student Travel 

Based on the recommendation from the Florida Department of Education, our district is canceling all planned trips outside of Florida until further notice. In addition, new out-of-state travel requests will not be approved, except for emergency situations or highly mission critical employee travel.

As of today, there will be no further approval for in-county and in-state field trips. Travel approved prior to March 12th may proceed as planned; however, the district continues to work with the Florida Department of Health and is monitoring any potential issues that may result in a need for changes or cancellations. District administration will review each trip on a case-by-case basis. If an employee or student is not comfortable traveling, those individuals will be excused from the event. The District will continue to follow recommendations from the CDC and the Florida Department of Health.

General Travel Recommendations

As Spring Break approaches for Clay County and is in progress for surrounding counties, we will continue to follow the CDC’s International Travel Advisory Guidelines recommended by the Florida Department of Health, which is advising the following for all individuals who have traveled internationally

  • If a person has traveled to any CDC Warning - Level 3 country, the CDC mandates a 14-day self-isolation and social distancing upon return to the United States. Social distancing includes avoiding going out in public and close personal interactions. Please note that countries are being added to this list on a daily basis. Stay updated on the CDC’s website.

 

  • Cruises: CDC recommends travelers defer all cruise ship travel worldwide.
    • Based on the CDC guidance, FDOE recommends that if you are returning from a cruise and are symptomatic to self-isolate and contact your doctor and local health department.

 

  • A person who experiences a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel abroad should call ahead to his/her health care provider and local county health department and mention their recent travel or close contact.

 

  • If a person has had close contact with an individual who has recently traveled to these destinations and has shown symptoms, he/she should call his/her county health department and health care provider. The health care provider will work with the Department of Health to determine if that person should be tested for COVID-19.

 

Definitions

Self-Isolation: means self-driven separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the communicable disease.  Persons that are self-isolating should practice remain at home and practice social distancing.  

Self-monitoring: means people should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperatures twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. If they feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, they should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.

Self-observation: means people should remain alert for subjective fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. If they feel feverish or develop cough or difficulty breathing during the self-observation period, they should take their temperature, self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.

Social distancing: means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.

Congregate settings are crowded public places where close contact with others may occur, such as shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums.

As you know, information and COVID-19 cases are evolving on a daily basis. Rest assured that Clay County District Schools is prepared and ready to respond. 

To contact the Florida Department of Health in Clay County, call 904-529-2800.

To view updates from the Florida Department of Health, click here.

To view updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, click here

Thank you for your continued support and patience through this process. Please stay well and continue to follow proper hygiene practices as recommended by the Florida Department of Health. 

Respectfully,

David Broskie

From Superintendent Broskie on 3/4/20 at 3:42 p.m.:

Dear Parents and Guardians,                                                                                                     

Clay County District Schools has continued to track updates regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in collaboration with the Department of Health (Clay County) and Clay County Emergency Management. In an effort to protect our students and staff, I have directed several actions for the district and schools to decrease the spread of respiratory illnesses like the Coronavirus.

The following actions are in place:

Sanitization of Facilities:

  • Increased cleaning by custodial staff of frequently touched surfaces such as desks, counters, bathrooms, doorknobs, and buses.
  • The District is prepared for extensive disinfecting of an impacted facility with a rapid response team should there be a confirmed case of Coronavirus, 
  • All facilities have hand sanitizer available to students and staff and all are encouraged to wash their hands frequently. 

Student Attendance:

  • Parents are encouraged to keep sick children home.
  • Students or staff who become sick at school should be sent home as soon as possible.
  • District will monitor changes of absentee patterns throughout schools.
  • Normal school attendance policies remain in effect for all students.

Student and Employee Travel:

  • Any school-sponsored or district-sponsored travel to areas deemed to be high-risk by the CDC will be canceled.
  • Any existing out-of-country travel that is not in a high-risk area will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
  • Until further notice, new out-of-country and out-of-state travel requests will not be approved.
  • Until further notice, new in-state travel will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Other Directives:

  • The District Coordinator of Nursing Services is continuing to update Health Room Nurses daily on any changes through the Centers of Disease Control and National School Nurse Association guidelines.
  • The District will take direction from the Department of Health should there be a confirmed case of Coronavirus in our county and local health officials will provide guidance for any school dismissals.
  • The District is working to find the best way to deliver instruction if a student or school is required to stay home by the direction of the Department of Health.

Please continue to follow best practices from the Department of Health during flu season:

  • Get a flu vaccine
  • Take everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs
  • Take flu antivirals as prescribed
  • If you are sick, stay home.  
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Carry and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.  
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. 
  • Monitor your symptoms.
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor.  

Please see this helpful flyer from the CDC related to handwashing and the use of alcohol-based sanitizer. 

Clay County District Schools is committed to being proactive in this evolving situation to support students and families. Please know we take direction and follow guidelines from officials at the Department of Health. I will continue to send updates as new information becomes available. Thank you for partnering with us as we work to keep our students and staff healthy.

From Superintendent Broskie on 3/2/20 at 1:44 p.m.:

With recent news and discussion regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), I know there are questions related to how Clay County would respond to this type of event. As always, our district is in constant contact with our partners at the Florida Department of Health (Clay County) and Clay County Emergency Management. In addition, we have been in communication with the Florida Department of Education and many other local and state emergency officials during this time. 

Please know we have emergency plans and protocols in place along with the county. As more information becomes available about the Coronavirus, we are continuing to collaborate with all agencies to review and update policies and procedures. 

It is currently flu season and the Florida Department of Health recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed. I encourage you to continue to stress these common guidelines with all members of your school community, students, staff and parents: 

  • If you are sick, stay home.  

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Carry and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.  

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. 

  • Monitor your symptoms.

  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor.  

Please see this helpful flyer from the CDC related to handwashing and the use of alcohol-based sanitizer. 

I encourage you to access up-to-date information and resources from the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.