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COVID Update - March 16, 2020

16 March 2020


Greenback Family,


We have decided to make a school closure for March 23-27 in order to protect student and community safety and make detailed preparations for how we will help keep our students moving forward during this crisis.


Because of the frequent travel of students and staff during spring break, we will have many who will be under a self-quarantine for 14 days (the upper limit of the COVID-19 incubation period).  By taking an additional 7 days (counting the Saturday and Sunday), this will help slow any potential spread in our community.  Remember, our nation’s strategy is to “flatten the curve.”  If we have anyone who returned from travel and is infected, this will help contain the spread. 


Secondly, this closure will allow our staff, who will still be on the job, to break new ground and develop alternatives to allow our students to move forward and stay within guidelines delivered by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and KDHE (Kansas Department of Health and Environment).  Yes, staff will meet in small groups (teams of 4-5) and use video conferencing where necessary.  Staff who are under self-quarantine will strictly follow those guidelines while developing plans for their curriculum.


We will get information regarding meals for students out later in the week.  We are still working details for that delivery. 


We know this is a bumpy ride.  I appreciate the patience of Greenback Nation as we plan…and replan.  Let’s be a beacon of light (I know many communities will be positive) in our world as we take on a crisis together and look out for each other.  We will continue to issue updates through the week.


I want to thank my administrative team who is calm and cool in a tight situation, looking for solutions for students and families.  I know our teaching and support staff will work hard to maintain our mission for students.


Here’s the transcript of the phone message that went out:


Hello, this is a message for all 382 parents.  School will be closed for all students from March 23rd - March 27th as teachers and staff prepare distance learning options.  Knowing that many students and staff will be under a self-quarantine status after spring break travels, we believe this will be the right time to prepare adaptations for the remainder of the school year.  From daily briefings with the Kansas State Commissioner of Education, which includes Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Homeland Security, we can see that flattening the curve is important for our nation and community.  We can also see that we will be in this situation for an expected 6-8 weeks or longer.  


We are developing an alternative plan for meals for students.  We will get that information out to parents later in the week.


I appreciate your patience as we adapt to changing conditions.  I believe our Greenback Family will be a beacon of how to look out for each other during a crisis.  We will continue to issue updates on our Facebook page and district website.  Thank you.


Tony Helfrich


Pratt Schools USD 382