March 12: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from Superintendent

 

March 12, 2020


Dear AUSD Community,

We understand that many families and staff are concerned about the potential spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in our schools. I want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the situation and following guidelines communicated from Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) and the California Public Health Department (CPDH), along with Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE), and the California Department of Education (CDE). 


Alameda County Public Health Department is empowered to take actions needed to control the spread of illness, including orders to close schools. Per their guidance, a school closure would only be warranted if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19. Currently, Albany Unified schools remain open. 


Additionally, in response to Governor Newsom’s latest announcement that nonessential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people, the District is implementing the following precautions:

  • Sporting events at Albany High School and Albany Middle School will proceed with no spectators. Spectators are also strongly encouraged not to attend away contests;
  • Music concerts have been canceled until further notice; 
  • Students who are immunocompromised and present a doctor's note may be medically excused from attending school;
  • Elementary teachers are providing the option to hold spring conferences by telephone rather than in person.

As a reminder, the following measures will remain in place:

  • All field trips are canceled through spring break (April 10);
  • 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; 
  • Continue to encourage frequent handwashing and best-practice hygiene/protection throughout the school day; and especially before and after recess, before and after lunch, and before and after snacks;
  • Continue to strongly encourage sick students and staff to stay home. California state law determines what constitutes an excused absence. Students who are ill may be excused from attending school with no penalty.  

Our District is currently developing alternative means of educating our students should schools be closed for an extended period of time. We are unable to grant individual requests for independent study assignments for those choosing to remain at home due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. 


We understand this situation can cause disruptions to normal routines, and 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. 


Sincerely, 


Frank Wells, Ed.D.
Superintendent
Albany Unified School District

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