Dear RHS Community,
Just making sure you are receiving the latest OUSD Coronavirus information. Below is the latest memo and all previously sent OUSD communications.
Also below are the videos we shared with our students during our Good Hygiene Habits Assembly:
If you have any questions, please email me directly @ email@example.com or call the office at 510-531-6644.
OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
March 4, 2020
Dear Oakland Unified Community,
We write today with another update about the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19). This morning we participated in a regional call with the Alameda County Public Health Officer, the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) and leaders of several Bay Area school districts. Bulleted below are the most recent developments related to COVID-19:
Two cases of coronavirus have been identified in Alameda County.
Health officials in Alameda County declared a public health emergency. (This declaration helps to mobilize county resources, response, outreach and communications.)
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sent out guidelines for K-12 schools across the country.
Aspire Monarch Academy, a charter school in Oakland, elected to take a conservative approach and close school through the end of the week to assess the risk presented by a staff member with potential, not confirmed, exposure to the coronavirus.
Although there is no way to predict how COVID-19 will spread in Alameda County, we should assume that there will be more cases and take preventive action. Our schools can play an important role in slowing the spread of diseases and ensuring a safe, healthy learning environment for our students.
Across the District, we are continuing to do the following:
Encourage frequent hand-washing and best-practice hygiene/protection throughout the school day; and especially before and after recess, before and after lunch, and before and after snacks;
Encourage sick students and staff to stay home;
Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting our school environments, paying special attention to high traffic surfaces, including door knobs, water fountains, counters, chromebooks, etc. See updates from our Custodial Department.
Work with our Special Education Department to identify sensitive student populations and students with compromised immune function who might benefit from proactive home instruction earlier than other students.
Depending on local developments and public health recommendations, we may in the future need to take the following actions:
Limit or cancel large gatherings and extracurricular activities including, sports, and clubs;
Cancel assemblies and field trips. (At this point, the Alameda County Public Health Department and ACOE are NOT recommending this action, but may make that recommendation in the near future.)
Temporarily close a school. This situation continues to evolve and we want to assure you that we are planning for several contingencies. Currently, health officials are recommending temporary closure of a school for at least two weeks ONLY after a confirmed diagnosis is made known. Given this possibility, we are exploring how we might be able to implement distance learning to prevent disruptions to educational programs for our students.
On behalf of District leaders and our OUSD Health Services Team, we thank you for your patience and for taking proactive steps to keep sick students home. We understand that this situation can cause disruptions to normal routines, but we are grateful for your understanding and partnership.
To the extent we receive new information that leads us to urgent action, we will notify you via the usual channels as soon as possible: robocall, email, website (www.ousd.org/coronavirus) and social media. Please share your feedback with this very brief survey.
The OUSD Communications Team
A Few Helpful Tips:
Please do remind students to wash their hands often, cough and sneeze into their elbow or a tissue (and then throw it away!), and avoid touching their faces.
Encourage everyone to, “Wave and Say Hello” when greeting one another to help minimize unnecessary skin-to-skin contact including handshakes, fist bumps, high fives, or elbow bumps.
If your student is sick, please keep him/her at home. Please note, however, that we are not currently excusing absences for healthy students being kept home to avoid getting sick.
The CDC has excellent resources on how best to talk to students about the importance of handwashing (https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html).
You can find tips on talking to children about the virus in the New York Times article “How to Talk to Kids about Coronavirus” (https://parenting.nytimes.com/childrens-health/coronavirus-kids-talk) and the Child Mind Institute's article “Talking to Kids about Coronavirus” (https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/).
Our Coronavirus web page also has basic information about the virus, staying healthy, and latest updates: (http://www.ousd.org/coronavirus).
FOLLOW-UP INFO RE: Coronavirus
Hello Redwood Heights Families,
The health and well being of our students and staff is our top priority. This information is a follow-up to the OUSD information regarding the coronavirus sent as a robocall on TUE, FEB 4th, 2020 from John Sasaki of our OUSD Communication Department and through the OUSD website: https://www.ousd.org/coronavirus.
Though the risk to the general public remains low, we want you to know that we are taking precautions at Redwood Heights. Our lead custodian Ms. Kim and night time custodian, Charles, are regularly cleaning classrooms and common areas. Ms. Kim said she is making an extra effort to clean doorknobs & handles, and high traffic areas more frequently throughout the day. I am in the process of ordering extra disinfecting wipes for each classroom
Next week's assembly will continue to highlight habits of good hygiene to our children and remind them how these habits help limit the spread of a virus/flu. We will review washing hands with soap and water, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or inside your elbow, and staying home when sick - not returning to school until fever-free without the use of medication for at least 24 hours.
OUSD has provided all administrators with information, guidance, and procedures concerning the coronavirus. Below is a copy of OUSD's letter to the community and information from the Alameda County Public Health Department. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-531-6644.
Thank you to many who have donated boxes of tissues and disinfecting wipes to your child's classroom.
Below is a copy of Alameda County Public Health Letter Regarding Coronavirus from OUSD
January 27, 2020:
Dear Administrators, Teachers, Staff, and Parents:
The CDC and state and local public health departments are closely monitoring developments
regarding an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei
Province, China. The first case in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020, in the State of Washington. Public health departments are working to identify anyone who might be infected to prevent further spread of the outbreak. To date, there are no confirmed cases in
Northern California and Alameda County residents are at low risk of becoming infected.
When new viruses surface, there can be lots of anxiety and stress. It’s important to stay
informed. We acknowledge the impact that this outbreak is having on our community, and on
those who have friends or relatives who are affected. We are thinking of you.
What you need to know
- In the unusual event that a child or staff member is identified who recently traveled from Wuhan, China, and who has any of these respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath), he or she should be sent home from school/work, and the school should contact the Alameda County Public Health Department at 510-267-3250 for additional guidance.
- At this moment, there are no recommendations to exclude asymptomatic (no symptoms) people who traveled to China from school or work.
We encourage all students, parents, and staff to take common-sense precautions to
prevent the spread of all infectious diseases, including common illnesses like colds and
- Encourage students and staff to stay home when they are sick.
Those who have a fever at school should go home and stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
Separate sick students and staff from others, ideally in a separate place, until they can be picked up to go home.
- Promote hand hygiene among students and staff through education, scheduled time for handwashing, and availability of soap and water or hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Teach and encourage proper cough etiquette—cough or sneeze into a tissue, sleeve, or arm (do not use hands).
- Perform routine surface cleaning.
- Be vigilant when attending large gatherings, as this is where respiratory viruses often spread. If you are not feeling well or are experiencing cold, flu, or other symptoms, stay home to avoid spreading germs.
For more information on the novel Coronavirus, please see the Coronavirus FAQS posted on our Alameda County Public Health Department website www.acphd.org; we will keep the website updated with any local information or resources as we know more. We will monitor the developing situation and inform you of any additional public health recommendations.