PPSD COVID-19 UPDATE 2

Update #2 on Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

March 17, 2020

First, I want to thank each of you for your patience and understanding as we are working through this unprecedented event in our school, community, state, and nation. This situation is rapidly evolving, and we are on alert 24/7. Also know, the health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff are our top priorities.

 

I know you have a lot of questions, as do I. We are continuing to monitor all recommendations and make the very best decisions and plans we can with the information available to us.

 

I want to take this opportunity to provide you with updates since the March 14, 2020 message.

 

MEALS 2 GO

 

The Philadelphia Public School District is offering Meals 2 Go beginning March 17. Any child 18 years and younger may pick up a FREE meal from the Philadelphia High School cafeteria. Children must be present to receive a meal. Adults may purchase a meal for $3.75, cash only.

 

Breakfast may be picked up from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

 

Lunch may be picked up from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.

 

Breakfast and lunch are intended to be eaten immediately. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends all perishable prepared food be refrigerated within two hours. Also, hot foods should be kept hot (140 degrees or warmer), and cold foods should be kept cold (40 degrees or colder). Leftovers should be discarded.

 

PROM

 

At this time, the Junior-Senior Prom has been postponed. We know this is disappointing to our Juniors and seniors, and your Tornadoes family is disappointed with you. Once we are back in school, and the recommendation for large gatherings is raised to an appropriate number, we will explore opportunities for Prom.

 

SCHOOL CLOSURES

 

School districts have not received guidance regarding school closures beyond this week. We anticipate Governor Reeves, the Mississippi Department of Health, and the Mississippi Department of Education will evaluate the situation later this week and make recommendations.

 

As soon as we receive guidance and make a decision, we will immediately notify parents/guardians and staff through our School Messenger System, district website, and social media.

 

During this rapidly evolving and changing pandemic, recommendations for school closings will come from the President of the United States, or the Governor of Mississippi, or the Mississippi Legislature, or the Mississippi Department of Health, or the Mississippi Department of Education.

 

The Governor of Mississippi, the Mississippi Legislature, and the Mississippi Department Education provide the legislation and requirements for the length of the school year, state testing, graduation requirements, compulsory attendance, funding, and accountability. Each person in any of the afore listed groups is working diligently to make the very best decisions he/she can for our students and staff. Decisions to close schools are viewed from a public health perspective and the impact on students and school communities.

 

MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (MDE) UPDATE ON STATE TESTING, ATTENDANCE, AND GRADUATION

 

State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Carey Wright, has made a recommendation to the State Board of Education to suspend all state testing and to suspend the state and federal assessment and accountability standards. Further, she recommended the MDE seek the maximum authority and waivers offered by the U.S. Department of Education.

 

State and federal assessments included in Dr. Wright’s recommendation are:

Pre-K and Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (post-test) 
Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP) and MAAP-Alternate English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science - Grades 3-8 and High School 
S. History 
ACT for 11th graders 
English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT)

 

In the event schools are closed for an extended length of time, Dr. Wright will ask for approval to waive attendance, promotion, and graduation requirements.

 

You may find all MDE COVID-10 updates posted online: www.mdek12.org/covid19.

 

EDUCATION PLAN IN EVENT OF LONG-TERM CLOSURES

 

Yesterday, our instructional staff began to develop lessons that will be used to continue the educational services to our children if we experience long-term school closures. We are looking at a hybrid instructional format whereby instruction will be delivered online and through paper/pencil instructional packets.

 

Our staff is committed to doing whatever it takes to educate our children! While we know nothing can take the place of face-to-face instruction with a child’s teacher, we are making plans for the next best thing.

 

MISSISSIPPI HIGH SCHOOL ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATION (MHSAA) UPDATES

 

Effective immediately, MHSAA has suspended all competition and practices through March 29 and until further notice. The suspension applies whether or not a school is open or closed during this timeline.

 

An email from MHSAA stated:

Contingency plans for continuing regular-season competition and return to play are being formulated and will be announced and implemented by the MHSAA at the appropriate time(s). Each spring fine-arts activity and sports championship event is being reviewed, and actions will be taken with the possibility of new dates and venue sites. A decision to continue spring contests and activities will be made as soon as possible in the best interests of the student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and communities.

 

THANK YOU

 

I know these messages are long. My goal is to try to answer your questions with the information I have received. We will continue to provide updates via our website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. 

Thank you for your continued support and understanding! Our Tornadoes Family thanks everyone for their kind words, encouragement, and prayers. Please be safe and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Lisa Hull, Ph.D.

 

 
Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information UPDATE 1

Attention Parents/Guardians: Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information as of March 14, 2020

 

The Philadelphia Public School District will be closed the week of March 16-20, 2020, due to Governor Reeve’s State of Emergency Deceleration. Students will not report to school, and all extracurricular activities have been canceled or postponed.

 

The health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff is our number one priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this unprecedented event in our state and nation. We urge each person to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended procedures to prevent illness, and guidance for social distancing.

 

THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS ARE IN PLACE TO KEEP OUR STUDENTS AND STAFF SAFE

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

Attention Parents/Guardians: Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information as of March 14, 2020

 

The Philadelphia Public School District will be closed the week of March 16-20, 2020, due to Governor Reeve’s State of Emergency Deceleration. Students will not report to school, and all extracurricular activities have been canceled or postponed.

 

The health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff is our number one priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this unprecedented event in our state and nation. We urge each person to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended procedures to prevent illness, and guidance for social distancing.

 

All staff are to report to their respective duty posts at the usual time on Monday, March 16, 2020. Instructions will be provided to staff by their supervisor no later than 5:00 p.m. Sunday, March 15, 2020, in preparation for returning to work on March 16, 2020.

 

Any staff member who has traveled out of the country or on a cruise must immediately notify his/her supervisor. If you have traveled out of the country or on a cruise, you must wait for the 14-day incubation period (beginning the day of return to the U.S.) to expire before returning to school.

 

We will continue to monitor the coronavirus/COVID-19 through information from the Governor, our local health department, the Mississippi Department of Health, the CDC, and the Mississippi Department of Education. The school district will follow all guidance from these agencies.

 

CDC RECOMMENDED STEPS TO PREVENT ILLNESS

 

Clean your hands often.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and after using the restroom.

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with other people.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading.

Cover coughs and sneezes.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

Throw used tissues in the trash immediately.

Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Stay at home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

 

THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS ARE IN PLACE TO KEEP OUR STUDENTS AND STAFF SAFE

 

Cleaning of School Facilities

 

The district uses cleaning products confirmed by the manufacturer to kill the coronavirus along with other viruses and bacteria. The school district will continue to clean and disinfect school facilities in accordance with guidance from the CDC, including high touch surfaces such as doorknobs.

 

The district will deep clean and disinfect buildings and buses while school is not in session the week of March 16-20, 2020.

 

School administrators will monitor restrooms and other hand cleaning stations for adequate supplies of soap and paper towels. Soap and paper towels will be replaced as needed.

 

Attendance

 

Attendance requirements are found in Mississippi laws. District officials do not have the authority to waive school attendance requirements enforced by the state truancy officers.

 

Students and staff should stay home when sick. The district has a 24-Hour Fever Free Requirement for students and staff, which means a student must remain at home until he/she is free of fever for a full 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.

 

Teachers will give additional time for students to making up assignments and tests for students with prolonged absences.

 

Social Distancing

 

The school district will follow the Mississippi Department of Health’s guidance to limit mass gatherings to 250. Large gatherings such as assemblies will be postponed or canceled. We have not made a decision to cancel or postpone prom or graduation as medical officials are unsure how COVID-19 will spread or decline in the weeks ahead. Updates will be provided once decisions are made.

 

All field trips currently scheduled will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine the exposure level to our students and staff. Some field trips may be postponed, while others may be canceled.

 

We will also be limiting visitors to school campuses in an effort to minimize exposure to students and staff.

 

School Lunches

 

We are reviewing our lunch schedule to determine if students can go in smaller groups. At the elementary school, limiting the number of students who go to lunch at the same time will be difficult due to the large number of students. We are also exploring the possibility of allowing students to pick up their trays in the cafeteria and return to their classrooms to eat. Check back for updates.

 

Students in grades 7-12 will no longer enter their lunch number on the key/number pads. Cafeteria staff will enter lunch information for the students.

 

Athletic Events

 

We will follow guidance from the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) for all athletic and other MHSAA sanctioned events.

 

STUDENT/STAFF TRAVEL

 

We request parents/guardians and staff to notify their school principal/supervisor if any student or staff recently traveled out of the country or on a cruise ship.

 

Out of an abundance of caution, we request students/staff who have traveled out of the country to wait for the 14-day incubation period (beginning the day of return to the U.S.) to expire before returning to school.

 

 

The district will continue to provide updates via our website, Facebook, and Twitter. Additional information is available on the Mississippi State Department of Health website at www.msdh.ms.gov and the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.