March 12, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians of GSA Students,
There is no higher priority for our entire GSA family than the safety of our students, staff and community. As of today in Missouri, 46 people have been tested for the virus with only one CDC confirmed case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been identified. Unless you have had direct contact with the infected person, your risk remains low. We want to assure you that we are in close communication with local and state officials as well as continuing to monitor the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) in order to stay on top of this evolving situation.
The following are some questions that were asked from concerned parents, we hope this will let you know what is being followed throughout all three GSA campuses.
What if my child gets sick at school?
The school nurses at GSA are remaining vigilant when monitoring the students. As is the school policy, students that are displaying any of the following symptoms will be evaluated by the nurse: Temperature greater than 100.5 degrees (with no medication), cough, or difficulty breathing (the symptoms of the 2019-NCo-V) virus. Parents will be notified to pick up the child immediately, take them to their home and contact their physician. The doctor will then instruct the parents as to what step to take next. The child will be placed in an area within sight of the nurse, however 6 feet from other students if a mask is not available to cover the student’s face. The student will not be allowed back until a physician, in writing, has cleared the student for return. The area where the child was waiting will be cleaned thoroughly before using again.
What will happen if a student, teacher or parent test positive for Coronavirus?
Families will immediately be notified and instructed on the recommendations of the Health departments. This will be communicated by e-mail, phone calls and on our school’s websites.
Will GSA close schools?
Currently, St. Louis City Department of Public Health officials do not recommend closing schools.
If schools are closed, how will students continue to access their education?
Administration team and teacher are working to develop alternative learning plans in the event they are needed.
Are health-related absences due to COVID-19 concerns excused from school?
We want to reiterate that families know what is best for their children and we will honor your decision to keep your child home from school. Some children and family members may be at higher risk for severe illness because of underlying health conditions or a weakened immune system. We are asking parents to make the best decision for their families. Please notify your child’s school if you will be keeping him or her at home, so reason for the absence can be noted.
How will GSA keep families, staff and students informed regarding Coronavirus?
Any district updates will be conveyed through regular district channels – including email and voice messaging, the district website. We will provide new information several times a week starting Monday, March 16, 2020.
What is the protocol for cleaning and disinfecting the school?
Staff have been directed to prioritize cleaning common and high-traffic areas multiple times a day. Prioritized cleaning includes bathrooms, the cafeteria, common spaces, door handles, emergency bar on doors, etc. All efforts will be made to keep students healthy and safe.
When should a student or staff member stay home?
If students or staff experience fever of 100.5 degrees or higher, cough and/or difficulty breathing, the CDC recommends they should stay home from school and contact their health care provider immediately.
Where can I turn for more information?
Missouri Department of Health (www.health.mo.gov.)
Rest assured, we are monitoring this developing situation closely, staying in regular contact with federal agencies, health organizations and other experts. We will continue to adjust our operations according to the recommendations of health authorities as the situation develops. If you have questions, contact your child’s school or call the Missouri Department of Public Health 24-hour hotline at (877) 435-8411.
Gateway Science Academy Administration