Maricopa Unified School District

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Coronavirus Information & MUSD Plan of Action (Updated 3-12-20)

Poster COVID19

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As of March 12th, No Current cases have been report in Kern County, including Taft & Maricopa or the School District!!

However to be proactive, Maricopa Unified will be implementing the same Guildlines/Plan that the California Department of Public Health has outlined in the latest update below!

Maricopa Unified has implemented the following actions:

1. All classrooms, office and public spaces, buses are being disinfected each day 1-2 times.

2. All students/adults with symptoms MUST stay home from school or away from campus.

3. No sports, field trips, or large group public events will be held on campus for the month of March.

4. Please notify the school of any concerns.

Download MUSD Letter 3-12-20

 Maricopa Unified School District
COVID-19 Public Statement
March 12, 2020

The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. 

Based on guidance from the Governor’s Office, California Department of Public Health, Kern County Department of Public Health, and Kern County Superintendent of School regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) that was released late last evening, the following are the recommendations for Maricopa Unified School District that we will implement immediately: 

No School Closures

Schools are an essential service, providing meals, security and resources for our children and families.  Closing schools would have a significant impact on children and families, so we are carefully considering the potential impacts of school closures and are developing contingency plans to deliver essential services to students.

There is NO recommendation for school closures in Kern County at this time.  At this time, classes will stay open, but athletic events (Baseball/Softball), performances, and all non-essential meetings will be canceled.

No Travel / Field Trips / Meetings & Event Gatherings

Maricopa Unified School District will suspend all non-essential out-of-county travel and field trips effective immediately through the end of March or until further notice. 

The March 26, 2020 Student Awards Assembly will be held with small groups of students only!  However, No parent or public will be in attendance at this event . The event will be video-taped and be able to be viewed on our website after the assembly.

The guidelines recommend that all events over 250 people be cancelled and that events with less than 250 people utilize suggested social distancing standards.  The social distancing recommendations state that “smaller gatherings held in venues that do not allow social distancing of six (6) feet per person should be postponed or canceled.”  Suggestions include:

  • Staggering activities (e.g. lunch, recess)
  • Add distance between where individuals sit or stand around tables or desks
  • Avoid physical contact such as shaking hands

We will continue to work closely with the State and local County Office of Education and Kern County Department of Public Health to monitor this situation, and will keep parents and stakeholders apprised as new information becomes available. 

Thank you for your continued patience, understanding and support.

Scott Meier, Ed.D., Superintendent

 

Download CDE/MUSD Implmenetation Plan (3-7-20)

Novel Coronavirus Guidance for Schools and School Districts

State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health
SONIA Y. ANGELL, MD, MPH Tony Thurmond State Public Health Officer & Director State Superintendent of Public Institution & Director
 
FROM: California Department of Education
California Department of Public
Health
 
TO: County Offices of Education
County District Superintendents
Charter School Administrators
Local Education Departments
 
CC: County Public Health Departments
 
DATE: March 7, 2020
 
SUBJECT: School Guidance on Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19
This guidance is based on what is currently known about the transmission and severity
of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The California Department of Public Health
(CDPH), in consultation with the California Department of Education (CDE), will update
this guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.
This document is intended to be statewide guidance to help both school and public
health officials inform their decision making. Decisions by school officials and local
public health officials should be determined by the specific circumstances in local
jurisdictions.
 
Background
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel virus that has been spreading
worldwide. Community-acquired cases have now been confirmed in California. We are
gaining more understanding of COVID-19’s epidemiology, clinical course,
immunogenicity, and other factors as time progresses, and the situation is changing
daily. CDPH is in the process of monitoring COVID-19, conducting testing with local and
federal partners, and providing guidance and resources to prevent, detect and respond
to the occurrence of COVID-19 cases in California.
 
At this time, community transmission of COVID-19 has occurred in California.
Educational institutions should prepare for possible impacts of COVID-19 and take
precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as other infectious diseases,
including influenza and gastroenteritis.

Illness Severity
The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully understood. Reported
illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including illness resulting in death. Older
people and people with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung
disease and diabetes, for example, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.
Below CDPH and CDE have outlined four (4) scenarios that should be considered
by each school and partner organization serving students in order to protect
students, families, and staff.
 
Scenario I: Measures already underway to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Pursuant to prior guidance released, school administrators have or should immediately
take steps to slow the spread of respiratory infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
CDPH has recommended implementing the following steps:
• Review and update comprehensive school safety plans, including continuity plans
for teaching and learning if students are absent from school.
• Exclude students, teachers, or staff who have a travel history over the course of
the last 14 days to an area identified by the CDC as Level 3 Travel Health Notice
(see Evaluating and Reporting Persons Under Investigation by the CDC) .
Additionally, exclude those who have been in close contact with someone
diagnosed with COVID-19 from the school for 14 days from the day of their last
exposure.
• Send students, teachers, and staff who present with fever and/or respiratory
infection symptoms home immediately. Separate them from others until they go
home. When feasible, identify a “sick room” through which others do not regularly
pass.
• Coordinate with all partner organizations serving students to ensure consistent
practices.
• Encourage flu vaccine for those persons over 6 months of age who have
not had it this season.
• Develop a plan to communicate with the school community.
• Contact your county emergency operations center if it has been is established or
your local public health department immediately if you notice any concerning
clusters of respiratory disease or spikes in absenteeism.
• Encourage all students, families, and staff to take everyday preventive actions:
o Stay home when sick.
▪ Remain at home until fever has been gone for at least 24 hours
without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
▪ Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe,
e.g., high fever or difficulty breathing.
o Use “respiratory etiquette.”
▪ Cover cough with a tissue or sleeve. See CDC’s Cover Your
Cough page for multilingual posters and flyers, posted at the
bottom of webpage.
▪ Provide adequate supplies within easy reach, including tissues and
no-touch trash cans.
o Wash hands frequently.
▪ Encourage hand washing by students and staff through education,
scheduled time for handwashing, and the provision of adequate
supplies.
o Enhance cleaning consistent with CDC guidance (see Environmental
Cleaning and Disinfection
Recommendations ).
 
Scenario II: Measures to be taken if there are two or more community
transmission cases of COVID-19, but no individuals within the school test
positive.
If the local public health department has confirmed two or more community
transmission cases, but no individuals (staff or students) at the school have tested
positive for COVID- 19, in addition to the items outlined in Phase I, CDPH recommends
school administrators implement the following steps:
• Teachers and staff with any fever and/or respiratory infection symptoms should
not come to work. Teachers and staff should self- screen (i.e., check themselves
for subjective fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as cough) for respiratory
infection symptoms each morning before interacting with students.
o Ensure sick leave policies for those allow teachers and staff to stay home
if they have symptoms of respiratory infection.
• Limit visitors to the school by not allowing those with symptoms of fever and/or
respiratory infection or who have a travel history over the course of the last 14 days
to an area identified by the CDC as Level 3 Travel Health Notice.
• Consider alternates to congregate or group programming within the school
including any large or communal activities such as assemblies. Alternate
approaches which limit close contact may include conducting assemblies via
webcasts or intercom announcements.
• Consider implementing staggered recess times to limit the number of students
who are together; and if possible, group recess by classrooms.
• Consider relaxing requirements for a doctor’s note for the child to return to school
after illness.
 
Scenario III: Measures to be taken if one student, teacher or staff member tests
positive for COVID-19 and exposed others at the school.
If one student, teacher or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and exposed others
at the school, CDPH recommends that school administrators implement the following
steps:
• In consultation with the local public health department, the appropriate school
official may consider if school closure is warranted and length of time based on the
risk level within the specific community as determined by the local public health
officer.
• In consultation with the local public health department, school officials may
determine readmission criteria after the school closures.
• Implement communication plans for school closure to include outreach to students,
parents, teachers, staff, and the community.
o Include information for parents regarding labor laws, information regarding
Disability Insurance, Paid Family Leave, and Unemployment Insurance.
o California Labor and Workforce Development Guidance:
1. Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Resources for Employers and
Workers
2. The California Employment Development Department’s
Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) web
page
o California Labor Commissioner’s Office FAQs
o Closing schools is a difficult decision as it has impacts on families and
employers. The state will continue to assess the situation and provide
information as needed.
• Provide guidance to parents, teachers and staff reminding them of the importance
of community social distancing measures while school is closed, including
discouraging students or staff from gathering elsewhere. Community social
distancing measures include canceling group activities or events, religious services,
after-school classes and sporting events.
• Consider developing a plan for continuity of education, medical and social services,
and meal programs and establish alternate mechanisms for these to continue.
o Meal programs can continue to offer meals when school is closed. More
information is available on the CDE’s Nutrition What’s New web page .
• Maintain regular communications with the local public health department.
• Consult CDC guidelines (see Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection
Recommendations ) for schools to determine what additional cleaning protocols, if
any, should be deployed at the school prior to reopening the school.
• Determine the timing of return of students and staff, and any additional steps
needed for the school to reopen, in consultation with the local public health
department.
 
Scenario IV: Measures to be taken if multiple schools within a school district
have a student, teacher or staff member test positive for COVID-19.
If multiple schools within the school district have a student, teacher or staff member test
positive for COVID-19, the school administrator should consult with local public health
officials for guidance on additional school closures. If it is determined that all schools
within the school district should be closed for instruction, CDPH recommends the
following:
• In consultation with the local public health department, the school administrator
may determine if additional school closures and what length of time is warranted
based on the risk level within the specific community as determined by the local
public health officer.
• Develop communication plans for school closure to include outreach to students,
parents, teachers, staff, and the community.
• Provide guidance to parents, teachers and staff reminding them of the importance
of community social distancing measures while school is closed, including
discouraging students or staff from gathering elsewhere. Community social
distancing measures include canceling group activities or events, religious
services, after-school classes and sporting events.
• Consider developing a plan for continuity of education, medical and social services,
and meal programs and establish alternate mechanisms for these to continue.
• Maintain regular communications with the local public health department.
• Work with the local public health department to determine what additional cleaning
protocols, if any, should be deployed at the school prior to reopening the school.
• Determine the timing of return of students and staff, and any additional steps
needed for the school to reopen, in consultation with the local public health
department.
The CDE and CDPH would urge schools to ensure students’ and staffs’ privacy to help
prevent discrimination or unnecessary stigmatization. For additional information or
questions regarding medically fragile populations, programs, or funding implications,
please contact the CDE.

 
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Governor's Press Office
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
(916) 445-4571
 
California Public Health Experts: Mass Gatherings Shouldbe Postponed or Canceled Statewide to Slow the Spread ofCOVID-19
Downloand full text

 

 

Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus

Kids worry more when they're kept in the dark

Rachel Ehmke

News of the coronavirus COVID-19 is everywhere, from the front page of all the papers to the playground at school. Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. Here is some advice from the experts at the Child Mind Institute.

  • Don’t be afraid to discuss the coronavirus. Most children will have already heard about the virus or seen people wearing face masks, so parents shouldn’t avoid talking about it. Not talking about something can actually make kids worry more. Look at the conversation as an opportunity to convey the facts and set the emotional tone. “You take on the news and you’re the person who filters the news to your kid,” explains Janine Domingues, PhD, a child psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. Your goal is to help your children feel informed and get fact-based information that is likely more reassuring than whatever they’re hearing from their friends or on the news.
  • Be developmentally appropriate. Don’t volunteer too much information, as this may be overwhelming. Instead, try to answer your child’s questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly. It’s okay if you can’t answer everything; being available to your child is what matters.
  • Take your cues from your child. Invite your child to tell you anything they may have heard about the coronavirus, and how they feel. Give them ample opportunity to ask questions. You want to be prepared to answer (but not prompt) questions. Your goal is to avoid encouraging frightening fantasies.
  • Deal with your own anxiety. “When you’re feeling most anxious or panicked, that isn’t the time to talk to your kids about what’s happening with the coronavirus,” warns Dr. Domingues. If you notice that you are feeling anxious, take some time to calm down before trying to have a conversation or answer your child’s questions.
  • Be reassuring. Children are very egocentric, so hearing about the coronavirus on the news may be enough to make them seriously worry that they’ll catch it. It’s helpful to reassure your child about how rare the coronavirus actually is (the flu is much more common) and that kids actually seem to be less susceptible to it.
  • Focus on what you’re doing to stay safe. An important way to reassure kids is to emphasize the safety precautions that you are taking. Jamie Howard, PhD, a child psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, notes, “Kids feel empowered when they know what to do to keep themselves safe.” We know that the coronavirus is transmitted mostly by coughing and touching surfaces. The CDC recommends thoroughly washing your hands as the primary means of staying healthy. So remind kids that they are taking care of themselves by washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or the length of two “Happy Birthday” songs) when they come in from outside, before they eat, and after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the bathroom. If kids ask about face masks, explain that the experts at the CDC say they aren’t necessary for most people. If kids see people wearing face masks, explain that those people are being extra cautious.
  • Stick to routine. “We don’t like uncertainty, so staying rooted in routines and predictability is going to be helpful right now,” advises Dr. Domingues. This is particularly important if your child’s school or daycare shuts down. Make sure you are taking care of the basics just like you would during a spring break or summer vacation. Structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids happy and healthy.
  • Keep talking. Tell kids that you will continue to keep them updated as you learn more. “Let them know that the lines of communication are going to be open,” says Dr. Domingues. “You can say, ‘Even though we don’t have the answers to everything right now, know that once we know more, mom or dad will let you know, too.’”
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
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