This morning a staff member found out that, yesterday evening, he spent time with people who were in a location where someone who now has a confirmed case of COVID-19 had been at some point earlier in the week. While that staff member is asymptomatic and has many degrees of separation from anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, he was immediately sent home to self-quarantine. Within 45 minutes of our administrative team receiving notification, and out of an abundance of caution, the building was cleared of all staff and students and all relevant state and local officials were notified.
As stated in our most recent newsletter, we will assign students learning packets to take home for each of their classes. Students should check their PPCS email account, as teachers will be emailing the packets there. Students will also be able to find their assignments on our website. The packets will be graded and will be equivalent to at least an exit ticket, homework assignment, and classwork grade for each day that the school is closed. All packets will be due the day that school is back in session.
We are in the process of working with cleaning companies to do a precautionary deep cleaning of the building and all of our shared spaces and devices. By most estimates, this will take several days to complete. There is also the possibility that our reopening could be further delayed by any actions that the local or state government take in regard to mandatory school closings if the outbreak worsens. In the event that state or local officials require that schools close, we will follow their protocol.
Currently, we are planning to conduct the cleaning this week and to reopen for class on Monday, March 16. As the situation develops we will communicate any and all important updates through Facebook, Instagram, our automated call and text system, and your student’s council coach.
Prevention & The PPCS Community
One of the best ways to prevent the wider spread of the virus is to check in with a doctor or health clinic if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms. Please do not go to a hospital or ER if you do not have symptoms. They will not test you for COVID-19. If you or a family member has flu-like symptoms, has tested positive for the virus, is on self-quarantine, or has traveled to an area where it has been detected (within or outside of the US), please do not send your student to school and reach out to us immediately so we can help get you the resources you need. Please call our main office at 973-622-1790.
In general, the spread of the virus can be minimized by practicing good hygiene.
- Disinfect shared surfaces like doorknobs and faucets.
- Wash hands after touching shared surfaces.
- Sneeze and cough into your elbow.
- Avoid unnecessary physical contact (shaking hands, hugs, kissing, etc.) with others whenever possible.
- Stay home from work when you feel sick and/or have a fever.
At this point, it is also wise to avoid large public gatherings whenever possible until the outbreak is contained. For most healthy teenagers and adults, the virus causes only mild cold or flu-like symptoms. Still, we should all do our part to avoid contracting it so that we do not pass it to those with weak immune systems or pre-existing conditions for whom the virus could be fatal.
The most current and reputable information about COVID-19 can be found on the websites of the Center For Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and the New Jersey Department of Health (www.nj.gov/health). Additionally, the NJDOH has set up a 24-hour Coronavirus hotline for all virus-related information and services. The number is 1-800-222-1222.
If you have any questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and continue to check our social media periodically. Our hope is that the rest of the school year will continue as usual, but we will be in touch in the event of significant developments. In the meantime, we wish you and your family good health.
Please stay safe and thank you for working through this challenging time with us.
Wishing health for all,