COVID-19

March 27th, 2020

Sugar Salem Parents and Patrons,

Greetings. I hope that all of your situations are as good as they can be in the midst of these unprecedented experiences. I assume that all of you are aware of the Statewide Stay-Home Order that was issued by the Governor yesterday. It will have an effect on much that we do in the coming days. In response we have reviewed our current practices to ensure that we are in alignment with the direction that we have been given.

We have come to the realization that our current practice is indeed right in line with the expectations that we have from our state directives. We have a few small changes that we will make to more fully comply. I will outline our points of emphasis for the future, effective immediately.

We have realized through this process that we have some food insecurity in our District. We will continue to offer Lunch services for those students who want them under our regular National School Lunch program. This will be the same as we have been doing the past week.

Continuing our students’ education, while providing for the health and safety of all of us is our next priority. We are considered an ‘Essential Service’, and as such are expected to provide our services to the public during this time. We are so thankful that we have been out in front of this issue with the adjustments we have made to the delivery of our education. We are learning and making adjustments every day, but feel that we are setting the standard for our peers in many cases with what we are doing. We will continue to provide for our student’s education in the same ways that we have been doing the past week. Students will be able to have daily communication with the teachers, through a variety of ways. Teachers will be delivering their curriculum and communicating with students and parents.

Administration and office personnel will be available to help as needed. All students, including students with special needs, will be able to meet with their teachers by appointment for individual help, adhering to the guidelines of the CDC. To more closely follow this latest directive, we will be reducing the office hours of our secretarial staff, allowing them to return home and isolate at 12:00 daily. They will still be available to answer questions and provide assistance via telephone call for the entire workday.

We are learning much through this process. We appreciate your patience and support as we are all learning together. Thank you!!

Sincerely,

Chester Bradshaw
Superintendent of Schools

Virus Information Resources:

CDC Coronavirus Tracking in the U.S.:
CDC Covid-19 Factsheet
State of Idaho Covid-19 Information

March 20, 2020

The Eastern Idaho Public Health department has released a new factsheet about Covid-19. Click below to access it.

Eastern Idaho Public Health Covid-19 Factsheet (Updated at 9:30 AM, March 20th)

March 16, 2020

Sugar Salem parents and patrons:

I have learned this morning that some of our students spent the weekend (March 6-7) with a family member who wasn’t feeling well, and later returned to his home state and tested positive for Covid 19 on Saturday.  Those students, of course, are not in our system today.  Today, (Monday) our students will be in school for the normal hours.

So, our plan for the foreseeable future is that we will cancel school attendance until further notice.  We anticipate that this will be approximately three weeks, but we will keep everyone updated via email, text and our website.   We believe that we can provide a great deal of education to our children online.  We will have our teachers come to the buildings tomorrow, (Tuesday) to prepare for an online delivery of our education.  Please watch for emails, text messages, and monitor the website for updates and information from your children’s teachers for information regarding their online and in home schooling program.  To facilitate this, many students will be bringing their school devices and textbooks home.  Please monitor their use and care.  Our schools, gyms, weight room, etc. will be closed to students and the public during this time.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Sincerely,

Chester Bradshaw

Superintendent of Schools

Updated 3/15/2020

We have expended a considerable amount of time the past two days talking to, and asking questions of those who we consider to be the experts, including a teleconference from the governor, the director of Health and Welfare, Directors from the Idaho Public Health Districts, The Senior policy Advisor for Healthcare, and others. We now have a handful of confirmed Covid-19 cases throughout our state.

We have no confirmed cases in our schools and community. Our guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is that there is no evidence that a school closure will have any measurable effect on our current situation.

Here are some guidelines from the CDC on how to protect you and your family:
The COVID-19 virus is spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
    These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
  • Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

We are doing everything we can to keep our children, staff, and community safe. We are monitoring our local and state situation very closely. We are prepared to take drastic measures if need be, but until those measures become necessary, our very best option is to keep our schools open and as sanitary as humanly possible.

Sincerely,

Chester Bradshaw

March 12, 2020

We, like all of you, are growing increasingly concerned about the spread of COVID-19.  As I am writing this, the latest information is that we are one of three states that have yet to have a confirmed case.  I believe that it is inevitable that we will cross that threshold shortly.  To that end, I have spent the majority of my day in training and counsel with those who are considered to be the experts.   There are things we can do to prevent, or at least, contain, the spread of this Virus.  Below it have listed some information that I hope will be helpful and informative.

The COVID-19 virus is spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
  • Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

We are doing everything we can to keep our children, staff, and community safe.  We are monitoring our local and state situation very closely.  We are prepared to take drastic measures if need be, but until those measures become necessary, our very best option is to keep our schools open and as sanitary as humanly possible.

Sincerely,

Chester Bradshaw

Superintendent of Schools