With the rapid developments in regards to the COVID-19 coronavirus, the district is taking considerable measures to help prevent the spread of the illness.
Our school district works in close collaboration with state and county officials to make dismissal and event cancellation decisions that prioritize the health and wellness of our school population and the community as a whole. Ohio Governor DeWine addressed the public yesterday and today with recommendations that people avoid gathering in large groups and that such events are cancelled or postponed. The governor, in an address today, is not recommending that elementary, middle, and high schools close at this time. Like many other school districts across the state, however, we are preparing for the possibility of an extended closure and implementation of online learning. We honor parents’ choice to keep their children home from school and/or events if they feel that is the best decision in their situation.
Updates regarding planned events
We will continue to follow guidance from state and county officials. The district has made decisions regarding events occurring before spring break, however, please continue to look for updates and announcements as guidance may change. Decisions regarding events scheduled to take place after spring break (March 23-27) will be communicated later.
Greg Kesterman, Hamilton County Public Health Interim Health Commissioner states:
“We certainly understand that this guidance can create scheduling issues and disappointment. However, Governor DeWine and Dr. Acton have provided this guidance after consultation with a panel of experts and are acting out of concern for the best outcomes for Ohio citizens.”
The following traveling events for Loveland students will be cancelled: Orchestra trip to Nashville, Band trip to New York City, Journalism conference at Columbia University and Show Choir event in Fairfield.
The following in-district events will be cancelled: Winter Sports Awards event at Loveland High School (LHS), Loveland Elementary School Arts Night, Loveland Middle School Band Concert, Loveland Intermediate School Science Day, state-wide robotics event at Loveland High School, Fine Arts Night at Loveland Early Childhood Center.
Athletics: The district will follow the recommendations of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) and adjust schedules as those recommendations are updated.
Election Day: Based on the Ohio Secretary of State’s recommendation regarding polling stations for election day, school will be closed for students at Loveland Early Childhood Center on March 17.
What is the district doing to stay on top of the situation?
The district is following its established preparedness plan, including:
- Closely monitoring the updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ohio Department of Health and Hamilton County Public Health.
- Reviewing, updating and implementing Emergency Operations Plans and plans for the continuity of education, including preparing for online distance learning.
- Monitoring absenteeism among both students and staff and reporting any notable increases in numbers to local health officials. Note that schools are not expected to screen students or staff for coronavirus specifically, and that most cases of respiratory illness are NOT COVID-19.
- Educating the school community about common-sense preventive actions (keeping sick children home, covering coughs and sneezes, thorough handwashing, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, etc.)
- Continuing the cleaning and disinfecting of school buildings, including using “Clorox 360” machines to facilitate efficient sanitation of critical areas.
How can families help in the efforts?
- Make sure to check communications from the schools regarding any updates and plan ahead for potential school or event closings. (All updates will also be posted on the district’s website.)
- Parents should also begin planning for the potential that they may need to stay home with their children or find alternate child care solutions. The decision to close the schools may come with short notice and likely at the direction of the governor or county health officials.
- Do not send sick children to school. Be prepared to pick children up if they show symptoms of illness, such as a fever, while at school.
- Continue to teach children about simple, preventive measures to stay healthy, and make sure their immune systems are strong by eating a healthy diet, getting proper sleep, and exercising (preferably outdoors).
- Refer to the following websites for additional information and updates:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): www.cdc.gov
Ohio Department of Health: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/home
Hamilton County Public Health: https://www.hamiltoncountyhealth.org/announcements/corona-virus-information/
With spring break right around the corner, the CDC has issued FAQs for travelers, including recommendations for when to postpone or cancel travel, whether or not to go on a cruise, and when to seek medical care if you get sick while traveling.
Our schools play an important role in providing not only education for our children, but also stability in our community by being an access point for other critical services for many families. We plan to continue to provide those services to the greatest extent possible even during an extended school closing.