Message #4 From Superintendent Burton
Princeton City Schools are closed for students March 13 - April 3
Distributed on March 12, 2020, at 3:24 p.m.
Today, March 12, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine, announced that Ohio schools will be closed starting Monday, March 16 for three weeks. In preparation for this extended school closing, Princeton City Schools will also be closed for students tomorrow, Friday, March 13, 2020. All staff should report at the regular time and will receive additional directions from their school principal.
We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. We are taking this opportunity to ensure that we are prepared to continue education for this long-term school closure.
Princeton City Schools
Frequently Asked Questions
Delivered on March 12, 2020 at 8:15 a.m.
Yesterday at Governor Mike DeWine’s Press Conference, he announced that the state is not recommending the closure of K-12 schools at this time. His direct quote was “I’m not ordering to close schools. We may get to that point, but not today.” As a reminder, Princeton and Ohio schools continue to follow the directives of the state health department. Since we are in parts of three counties, we are paying attention to the recommendations of each county health department as well as our city/village health departments. Our schools play an important role in providing stability and safety for our region and will take heed to recommendations of health officials. Superintendent Tom Burton has been on conference calls, attended meetings, and been in contact with local superintendents and those from across the state and country to assess and respond to new information.
Are we still holding indoor events at Princeton City Schools?
As of today, March 12, in response to Governor DeWine’s emergency order and the Ohio Department of Health recommendations to limit social contact, all after-school indoor events that include guests/spectators have been canceled until further notices. We will evaluate opportunities to reschedule concerts, musicals, etc.
Are you planning on closing schools?
Princeton City Schools will follow the recommendations of the counties we serve, State of Ohio, as well as other area educational professionals. The current recommendation is not to proactively close schools or the district. Families need to prepare for the possibility that schools could be closed as the outbreak continues. If there are school closings we will follow our all call protocol (phone call, email, and text) as soon as the decision is made to close.
Additionally, a school may be closed if staff absences impact school operations and learning. School may also be closed because the cleaning needs across the district surpass the availability of custodial services. In these cases, the district or school will communicate directly with families and the school community.
One additional consideration health responders have asked us to take into account is the impact that closing schools may have on our health care community. Cincinnati is fortunate to have great medical institutions and providers. Many of our students’ families are health care providers or work in the healthcare industry. If schools close, fewer people will be able to provide front-line support. As soon as our public health partners determine schools should proactively close, we will.
Is there a plan for educating students if schools are closed longer term?
We have plans in place to continue the educational mission; however, the health of our staff and students is what’s most important. If someone is symptomatic or has contracted the disease, their focus should be on getting better.
In the event of a school closure, our desired outcome is that students continue to have access to relevant, meaningful learning opportunities using both work that has been sent home and our existing systems for sharing information electronically.
Additionally, if a student needs to self-quarantine, teachers will work with that student to make sure that they do not fall behind. Of course, if a student is ill we want that student to focus on getting better!
What about athletics & club outdoor games at Princeton City Schools?
We are following the OHSAA and Governor DeWine’s recommendations to severely limit spectators to reduce the spread of COVID-19. For indoor contests, each athlete or contestant is allowed four visitors to games or contests until further guidance. At this time, athletic events will continue as scheduled. We will follow OHSAA’s lead. After school practices will continue under our Athletic Department Direction.
What about school-sponsored travel?
At this time, all school-sponsored travel and field trips have been canceled.
What about spring break travel?
If you will be traveling during spring break, please monitor the CDC travel advisories. Currently, travelers to Italy, Iran, China, and South Korea must self-quarantine for 14 days when arriving back in the United States. The CDC now recommends that travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel. Governor DeWine shares that each traveler should ask themselves “Is it necessary?” Please visit the CDC’s website for more information about travel.
What if I keep my child home?
Families know what’s best for their children and we will honor your decision to keep your child home from school during this time. Absences will be excused.
How are schools and buses being cleaned and disinfected?
All schools are cleaned and disinfected regularly with hospital-grade disinfectants as a standard practice in the district. Buildings are now being cleaned and disinfected more often, and frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, desks, water fountains, technology, etc. are cleaned daily. Custodians have been deep cleaning all areas of each school and recently purchased a 360 cleaning system. Further, we have been rotating a sanitation aerosol cleaning system that is disinfecting large areas on a daily basis.
All buses are being disinfected daily, and the Child Nutrition Department will continue to follow food safety practices and use approved disinfectants.
How do I talk to my child about COVID-19?
As public conversations around COVID-19 increase, children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill. Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. The CDC has created guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19, and ways children can avoid getting and spreading the disease.
How are schools helping students prevent COVID-19?
We are providing resources, supplies and additional time for students to wash their hands regularly. Please help us by keeping sick children at home.
Anyone that has symptoms of any illness should stay home 24 hours without a fever and without medication. If students exhibit illness or COVID-19 related symptoms we will isolate them, and contact a parent or guardian to come to pick them up immediately.
If you have questions or concern, you should contact:
Butler County Public Health Department: 1-877-774-4636
Hamilton County Public Health Department: 1-513-946-7800
Springdale City Health Department: 1-513-346-5725
Warren County Health District: 1-513-695-1228
What can staff and students do to stay healthy?
Please take the extra precautions that are recommended by the CDC, such as hand washing, covering a cough or sneeze with a tissue, and staying home when you are sick.
Again, we appreciate your partnership and patience and will continue to provide regular updates as this rapidly changing situation evolves.