Dear Staff and Community,
The health of our students, families, and staff is of utmost concern. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently confirmed that there are positive cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in Ohio. While these cases are located in Cuyahoga County near Cleveland, the Liberty Union-Thurston Local School District is continuing to work in earnest to reduce the potential spread of disease.
The district is taking steps to minimize exposure and prepare for the potential school or district closure by following guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Fairfield County and State Health Officials, and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). Please review the following information.
How is the district preventing the spread of disease in school buildings/buses?
All buildings are cleaned and disinfected regularly with hospital-grade disinfectants as a standard practice in the district. Out of an abundance of caution, buildings will be cleaned and disinfected more often, and frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, desks, water fountains, technology, etc. will be cleaned daily. Custodians will replace soap and hand sanitizers often, and additional hand sanitizing stations will be placed in shared classrooms as well as hallways and stairwells. All buses will be disinfected, and the Food Service Department will continue to follow food safety practices and use approved disinfectants.
What can staff and students do to stay healthy?
Please follow all health guidelines provided by the CDC, such as hand washing, covering a cough or sneeze with a tissue, and staying home when you are sick. If any student/staff member appears to be symptomatic, we will remove them from the general population.
Are we considering closing school?
Educating our students is our top priority, and that needs to be done in a safe environment. We are working closely with local health officials to determine the best course of action as COVID-19 spreads across the country. If it is determined that school needs to be closed, we will give parents detailed information. At this time, we encourage parents to begin identifying childcare accommodations in the event school is closed.
If schools are closed, what is our remote education plan?
We have plans in place to continue the educational mission; however, the health of our staff and students is what’s most important. If someone is symptomatic or has contracted the disease, their focus should be on getting better. For all non-infected students and staff, we will utilize online resources as appropriate. We will also utilize learning platforms that are already familiar with staff and students.
Are there any district/school event cancellations at this time?
There are no district-related cancellations at this time; however, this is a rapidly changing situation. Right now, we ask all families to proceed with an abundance of caution, especially as we enter spring break.
The new public health recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19 is for people at high risk to stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible. For people who are not high risk, please take normal communicable disease precautions. In the event of a school closure, all after-school and extracurricular activities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
This global health event impacts us all. It requires us to take careful precautions and to follow advice provided by public health experts. While this message outlines steps being taken by the district, we would like to remind parents that they have full discretion to make decisions regarding their children. We will continue to provide information as this situation develops.
Michael L. Johnson, Superintendent
Liberty Union-Thurston Local School District