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Caldwell County Schools Response to COVID-19

LENOIR, NC (March 13, 2020) — In an effort to slow the threat of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Caldwell County Schools will adhere to the statewide guidance to postpone or cancel any event, gathering, or school-sponsored activity that involves 100 people or more effective immediately. The school district will also cancel all field trips, including in-county, out-of-county and out-of-state field trips until further notice.

“We will continue to encourage all students, faculty, and staff to stay at home if they are sick and not return to school unless they are fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication,” said Superintendent Dr. Donald Phipps. “We also recommend that all parents, visitors, and volunteers limit their involvement on school campuses until the state guidelines are lifted.

Schools are being sanitized on a rotational basis and employees are encouraged to disinfect surfaces and workspaces. The district is implementing strategies to prepare for distance learning if it should be required locally or by the state. However, the state has not recommended a pre-emptive school closure at this time.

Phipps said that the school district will continue to monitor these evolving circumstances and work closely with local and state health agencies. “We ask that everyone be vigilant in their efforts to prevent the spread of any sickness and to follow the statewide guidelines.”

More on the CCS response to COVID-19:

The following actions and recommendations are in place to help reduce the spread of infection, to protect lives, and to maintain a healthy and safe school environment. Please see below for specific changes that may affect you and your family:

School-Related Travel

Effective immediately the Caldwell County Schools will adhere to the statewide guidance to postpone or cancel any event, gathering, or school-sponsored activity that involves 100 people or more. All field trips, to include in-county, out-of-county and out-of-state field trips are canceled or postponed until further notice.

Travel Refunds

Understandably, there are concerns about the potential loss of money already paid for field trips, and school administrators or their designees are in contact with the travel organizations regarding refunds. Parents will be notified by their respective school contacts.

Athletics

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), which governs our athletic programs, has suspended all interscholastic athletics for middle and high school students beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020, through Monday, April 6, 2020. This includes all workouts, skill development, practices, and contests.

Extracurricular Activities & Community Events

All school-related extracurricular activities and community events held at schools have been suspended until further notice. This includes after school activities like clubs, school dances, and spirit nights held at area restaurants. Special events sponsored or co-sponsored by the Caldwell County Schools are suspended until further notice.

WrapAround, the before- and after school program, will still be available to students enrolled in the program.

What are we Doing Now?

As a reminder, here are a few things we are doing to be proactive regarding the coronavirus, as well as the flu, colds and other illnesses, to keep students and staff healthy:

  • Teachers are reviewing hand-washing techniques with students and providing time for students to wash hands before eating.
  • Additional signage is posted throughout the school facilities as a reminder of good hygiene and handwashing.
  • The district has created a systemwide team to sanitize and disinfect schools and buses on a rotational basis using EPA approved products.
  • Our custodial staff is disinfecting “high-touch” surfaces like doorknobs, water fountains, bathrooms fixtures and floors using EPA approved products.
  • As a district, we continue to communicate with health officials regularly to stay current on the facts and proven protocols and procedures.

Future Plans

The number one priority in the Caldwell County School System is the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We realize this is a difficult and unsettling time throughout the country, and the school district will continue to monitor these evolving circumstances and work closely with local and state health agencies.

The district is implementing strategies to prepare for distance learning if it should be required locally or by the state. The state has not recommended a pre-emptive school closure at this time.

Special Events that have been canceled or postponed.