The district’s top priority is the health and safety of students, employees, and the entire community, according to Anthony Johnson, Chief Communications Officer for the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System.
“The CMCSS Communicable Disease Team (CDT) is continually monitoring and evaluating the latest local, state, and national data, guidance, and best practices, including the CDC’s guidance, as plans are developed for reopening schools,” Johnson said.
“Based on current data and recommendations, the CDT is preparing the district with strategic plans for a continuum of options (traditional, in-person classes, virtual instructional delivery, and hybrid approaches), so that the district is prepared to continue providing a high-quality education for all students no matter the circumstances.”
The CDC issued detailed suggestions for school administrators to keep in mind when making decisions about reopening.
Guiding Principles to Keep in Mind
COVID-19 is mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. It is thought that the virus may spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose or mouth, causing infection. Therefore, personal prevention practices (such as handwashing, staying home when sick) and environmental cleaning and disinfection are important principles.
- Schools may consider implementing several strategies to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Staying home when appropriate, hand hygiene, adequate supplies of soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, practicing respiratory etiquette and wearing cloth face coverings.
- Face coverings to be worn by staff and students (particularly older students), especially when physical distancing is difficult.
- Information should be provided to staff, students, and students’ families on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
- Posting signs and messages in visible locations throughout the school, broadcasting on the PA, system and communicating through social media the CDC’s messages about stopping the spread is also suggested.
- Maintaining healthy environments through frequently cleaning and disinfecting of anything frequently touched (such as playground equipment, door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains) within the school and on school buses at least daily or between use as much as possible.
- Limiting usage of shared objects (e.g., gym or physical education equipment, art supplies, toys, games).To avoid sharing objects, keep each child’s belongings separated from others’ and in individually labeled containers, cubbies, or areas, ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high touch materials to the extent possible (e.g., assigning each student their own art supplies, equipment) or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of children at a time and clean and disinfect between use.
Other major changes suggested would be to have children bring their own meals or serve meals in classrooms instead of communal dining, having virtual activities in lieu of field trips, student assemblies and special performances.
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