COVID-19 Update, March 13, 2020: Evening events suspended, teachers prepare for closure

From Superintendent Michael Williams

Dear TV parents and community members,

This letter is to provide you with an update on the how the Covid-19 issue is impacting our schools. To say this week has been challenging is an understatement! I receive constant e-mails everyday about the Coronavirus and what steps other districts are taking. Included in these e-mails are recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and the Sullivan County Department of Health about what steps we should take to protect our students, staff and community members. As you all know, this is uncharted territory for all of us!

Measures that are enacted by the TV District are two-fold. First, we are protecting students from anything that could be brought into the building. Secondly, and perhaps most important, is that we are protecting adults that may have compromised immune systems from possible infections by a student who is a carrier of the virus but shows no symptoms. Even though we are a small rural school district, it is our responsibility to take whatever steps we can to eliminate, or at the least limit the spread of the virus.

Events suspended

To that end, it is my unfortunate duty to inform you that starting immediately, all evening events at the school that would include an audience are suspended until further notice. This includes the upcoming Science Fair and the high school musical, to name just a couple. I want to assure you that every effort will be made to reschedule these events so we don’t deprive our students in any way! All field trips and conferences are also suspended until further notice. The only items that will continue after the normal school day are the TV after-school program, the Frost Valley program, sports practices and musical rehearsals. Under no circumstances will adults be allowed to attend these events!

Teachers prepare student work

Also, teachers will be working to prepare packets that students can use at home in the case of a required closure. Understand that there is no intent to close at this time and that we have no confirmed cases of the virus at TV.  This is a proactive measure which we hope will never be needed, but if we are forced to close we want to make sure our students are as supported academically as possible. These will be assignments that are review and enrichment and require no internet access (for those families that have no access) to make sure all students can complete them.

In order to give teachers sufficient time to prepare these packets, next Friday, March 20 will be a half-day of school for students. All students will be dismissed at 12 p.m. It is imperative that we give teachers sufficient time to get these packets completed so they can be distributed to students as soon as possible. Lunch will be served to all students before dismissal.

Lastly, if we are forced to close school, we would use the “give back” schedule that I previously sent home. These days would be considered snow days. If we would exhaust all of the give back days, spring break could be affected.

I understand that this is a great deal of information being shared at one time. I will continue to update you as needed as new protocols and regulations are being introduced every day.

If you have questions please feel free to contact the school.  As always, I thank you for your continued support of the TV school district. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS CHALLENGING TIME TOGETHER!!