Editor’s Note: The superintendents of school districts serving students in Beaver County have released the following joint statement on coronavirus preparedness. We are publishing their statement in full as submitted to BeaverCountian.com.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The health, safety and well-being of our students and staff are our top priorities. With the recently elevated discussion regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the news, we want to take a moment to reinforce preventive safety measures and reference our process and communications.
First, it is important to remember that at this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus within our region. We are closely monitoring the situation and taking guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Superintendents and Educational Leaders within Beaver County are maintaining regular contact with our local health professionals to share information, seek guidance, and ask questions to help us in planning for any regional needs.
We encourage our students, staff and families to be mindful of key preventive measures. The CDC recommends the following tips that can be useful in avoiding the spread of this and other illnesses:
– Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
– Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
– Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
– Stay home when you are sick. The CDC recommends that individuals remain home for a minimum of 24 hours after you no longer have a fever.
– Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately discard the tissue in the trash.
– Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Additionally, our Districts and Schools are taking the following steps in order to be prepared for the possible entry of the virus into our region.
– School Nurses continue to coordinate with the PA Department of Health for guidance and monitoring of data related to coronavirus.
– Faculty meetings will be held to review proper handwashing techniques. Staff will then provide students with instructions and reminders of the importance of frequent handwashing.
– Students and staff are asked to stay home if they are ill, maintaining the CDC recommendation that individuals remain home for 24 hours after they no longer have a fever.
Buildings & Grounds/Custodial
– Custodial staff will continue to use U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved products at appropriate dilutions to clean all surfaces.
– Custodial staff are paying particular attention to all hard surfaces and “high touch” areas throughout each building.
– Districts are in communication with their transportation companies/departments to ensure there is a plan in place for buses to be cleaned with an approved cleaner and following an appropriate protocol.
– Signs reminding everyone of the importance of washing their hands frequently are hung throughout the schools.
– Anyone concerned about symptoms or possible exposure should stay home and contact his/her health care provider.
– The Districts request that if students are traveling out of the country, or to an area of the U.S. that is known to have coronavirus, parents/guardians should notify the School Nurse. The School Nurse will assist the family in ensuring all CDC guidelines are followed.
– The Districts request that non-school based organizations, such as booster groups, with travel plans to areas outside of our region contact the Superintendent to review travel plans and protocols.
– Student field trips are being monitored and reviewed on a case by case basis.
Our Districts will continue to actively monitor the situation with coronavirus and the recommendations from the CDC. This rapidly evolving health concern will present unique challenges, but we remain focused on prioritizing safety and ensuring quality communication with our communities. We thank you for your continued support in keeping our students, staff, and communities safe.
Dr. Jane Bovalino, Superintendent
Rochester Area School District
Dr. Peter Carbone, Superintendent
Aliquippa School District
Mr. Alan R. Fritz, Jr., Superintendent
South Side Area School District
Dr. Jeffrey A. Fuller, Superintendent
Freedom Area School District
Dr. Joseph A. Guarino, Superintendent
New Brighton Area School District
Mr. Barry King, Substitute Superintendent
Ambridge Area School District
Dr. Michelle Miller, Superintendent
Hopewell Area School District
Dr. Donna Nugent, Superintendent
Big Beaver Falls Area School District
Dr. Nicholas Perry, Superintendent
Central Valley School District
Dr. Robert H. Postupac, Superintendent
Blackhawk Area School District and
Western Beaver County School District
Dr. Eric Rosendale, Executive Director
Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit #27
Dr. Carrie Rowe, Superintendent
Beaver Area School District
Mr. Sean D. Tanner, Superintendent
Midland Borough School District
Mr. Bret Trotta, Superintendent
Riverside Beaver County School District
Mr. David A. Wytiaz, Administrative Director
Beaver County Career & Technology Center