School district: No closings planned, but parents should prepare

Superintendent scales down district policy to case-by-case review of confirmed cases, should any occur

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From the superintendent

Steamboat Springs School District

Office of the Superintendent

5 May 2009

Dear Families:

This memo is intended to keep you informed about the measures the school district is exercising in an effort to prevent any spread of the Swine Flu, now called the 2009 H1N1 virus. There have been no confirmed cases in Routt County at all; Colorado Department of Public Health announced today there are 10 confirmed cases in the State of Colorado.

We are in daily contact with representatives from the State Health Department, VNA, and Emergency Services. Just today CDC (Center for Disease Control) loosened its recommendation to close schools if there is a confirmed case. Our policy will be to consider each case individually. Closing schools is a precautionary measure to prevent further transmission. While we sincerely hope this will not happen, it is important for you to be aware that it is a possibility.

Please know that our teachers have begun developing work packets and on-line opportunities for students to be able to work from home. If this should happen, we are requesting that families stay home for the duration of the closure. Many of the day care providers, private schools, neighboring schools, and the college may follow suit if Steamboat Springs School District must close. It is very important that you begin planning now for the possibility of your child (or children) being home.

In the meantime, wash hands or use hand sanitizers frequently.

Hopefully Steamboat Springs will miss this opportunity!

Respectfully,

Shalee Cunningham

— The Steamboat Springs School District is advising parents to "begin planning now for the possibility" of school closings related to the H1N1 virus, but is not yet planning any such closings, its superintendent said today.

Shalee Cunningham sent a letter to parents of children in Steamboat Springs public schools Tuesday, saying that while there have been no confirmed cases in Routt County of the virus initially known as swine flu, the school district is "in daily contact" with representatives from the state health department, Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association and local emergency services.

The letter states that the school district would review confirmed local cases of H1N1 individually, and hopes that school closings will not be necessary. The letter reiterated points Cunningham made Monday, when she said the district was encouraging students to wash their hands and was cleaning schools more often.

Routt County school officials have said they plan to close campuses for two weeks if a student or staff member is infected.

"Closing schools is a precautionary measure to prevent further transmission," the letter states. "While we sincerely hope this will not happen, it is important for you to be aware that it is a possibility."

The letter states that school district teachers have begun preparing take-home work packets and online lessons for students in the event of closings. It also cautions that should Steamboat public schools close, local day care centers and institutions such as Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus could do the same.

"It is very important that you begin planning now for the possibility of your child (or children) being home," the letter states.

Visit www.steamboatpilot.com for updates on local H1N1 precautions.

Comments

beentheredonethat 5 years, 7 months ago

this virus is acting just like a regular, seasonal flu.....stop panicking!

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1999 5 years, 7 months ago

good lord shalee... you watch far too much TV

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