USD 305 Issues Statement Regarding Coronavirus; Spring Break Extended By One Day

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SALINA – USD 305 issued a new statement Saturday regarding on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In the statement, the district announced that Spring Break would be extended for one day for students only. Student will return to school on Tuesday, March 17. Staff will still return on Monday, March 16.

The full statement is below:

Salina Public Schools has been monitoring the rapidly changing 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Currently, district staff are working to make adjustments in the schools based upon the guidance from Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) and the Saline County Health Department.

According to the guidance, the size of groups will be limited. “We want to be proactive and implement the recommended steps we have received to date,” explained Linn Exline, superintendent. To plan and organize necessary changes, only staff will attend school on Monday, March 16. Students will get an extra day of spring break and not return until Tuesday, March 17. Exline added, “The spring break extension is not a health department requirement. Having Monday with no students will ensure our staff is ready for students on Tuesday.” Students will return on Tuesday to regular start and dismissal times.

Guidance from KDHE explained how schools differ from large events. In a school, the public health department can identify who had direct contact with an infected individual. Most large gatherings have no record of who attended the event. In addition, schools can put in recommended precautions such as increased handwashing and surface cleaning.

The district is cancelling large events, involving more than 100 individuals, through April 1. Buildings will have information about specific events affected. Events in April and May will be evaluated as more information becomes available. If parents or guardians have questions, they are asked to contact their school directly.

Staff and students returning from travel outside the United States during spring break have to stay home for 14 calendar days from their date of return. Families affected by this requirement are asked to call the school attendance office to notify them.

Parents are asked to remain vigilant. If a student is sick, they must stay home from school. Parents and community members are encouraged to stay informed by turning to credible sources such as Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Focus in schools continues to be on prevention and preparation. Frequency of student hand washing will be increased. Custodial schedules have been adjusted to provide additional cleaning support when students are in the buildings. School nurses continue to serve as a resource for staff, students, and parents.

Everyone is asked to continue to work together to teach and model good hygiene practices:

  • WASH hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • AVOID touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • AVOID contact with people who are sick.
  • STAY home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • COVER your mouth-nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

The health, safety and well-being of our students is our priority. District administrators remain in close contact with public health and education officials (KDHE, KSDE, Saline County Health Department) and comply with their guidance.

Salina Public Schools will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary. Parent questions should be directed to the school principal. Check the district website at USD305.com for additional resources, updates and communications to families.

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