Corona Virus (COVID-19)

March 12, 2020

Dear Manitou Springs School District Community,
Starting Monday, March 16, Manitou Springs School District (MSSD) will join Pikes Peak-area school districts in closing all school facilities for a period of two weeks. For MSSD, one of those weeks is our Spring Break. This necessary action is an effective way to slow the spread of infection and allow for a deep cleaning of our schools and other facilities.

• For students, the closure will be from March 16 through March 30. Students will return to school on March 31.
• For staff, the closure will be from March 16 through March 27. Staff will return to school on March 30 for a professional development day.

These dates of return will be reviewed as the days go on.

The decision to close our school district was extremely difficult, but it was made in collaboration with our leadership team and superintendents representing other districts in the Pikes Peak area. We know that closing our schools will have a significant impact on our families, but we also believe that strong, urgent action must be taken to prevent the spread of this disease and to protect lives.

During the closure, all schools, district facilities, and buses will undergo additional “high touch” deep cleanings with highly effective disinfectants. We encourage the community to continue hand washing and follow other recommendations from the CDC about how to avoid the spread of illness.

To Parents—Our principals will send follow-up communications with additional information about how you and your child can access online education resources, print materials, and other updates/developments.

To Staff—At school tomorrow, you will receive information from your Principal or Director about how you will work during this time period. Tomorrow, you will also have the opportunity to discuss the specific plans for your role/position and how you may work from home and/or the school (with approval from your principal). All Central Office staff, Principals, Assistant Principals, and Directors will be reporting to our respective campuses on Monday. We will continue to assess staff access to campuses.

Principals will most likely be receiving lots of emails, so please know that they will respond to your emails as soon as possible. Please continue to check MSSD’s website for updates.

Our goal is always to protect the safety, health, and wellness of our students, staff, and families.
We thank you for your support and partnership in this effort.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth A. Domangue




March 12, 2020

Dear Manitou Springs School District Community,

As you know, significant changes, cancellations, and restrictions are being implemented across the country and world as a result of COVID-19. Manitou Springs School District 14 is no exception. This communication is being sent to share updates related to this important time for our community.

Part I—Learning Environment

Our school leaders are working collaboratively to develop e-learning and alternative learning plans in the event that we would need to close a school. This is to have a proactive plan. At this time, there is no plan to close a school or schools. There will be an Elementary Plan and a Secondary Plan as we know the needs are different across grade levels. If there is a closure, the principal for each school will communicate with the school’s community.

Part II—Travel
The following travel restrictions will be put into effect immediately for school-organized or sponsored student trips and staff professional learning.

Until further notice, we are restricting all international and out-of-state travel for students and staff for school-organized or school-sponsored student trips and staff professional learning.

I understand that this is disappointing news to the impacted students, staff, and families. However, these decisions are made out of an abundance of caution and safety for our students and community. Please know that we make these decisions based on the information we are receiving from the Colorado Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control, the El Paso County Health Department, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

I also understand that numerous students and staff may have also booked private trips.

While the district has no authority to cancel these trips, personal travel by staff and students could result in a student or staff member being quarantined (by another agency) for up to 14 days upon return.

I will provide an update to the community once this travel restriction for school-organized or sponsored student trips and staff professional learning has been lifted.

Part III—Upcoming Events
We also learned today that, per the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA), effective Friday, March 13th through April 6th, there will be NO team practices or games/events allowed. The CHSAA, along with multiple state agencies, will continue to evaluate the situation. Cameron Jones (Athletic and Activities Director) will provide updates to families and coaches as he receives new information.

All Middle School sports and activities will also be suspended starting, Friday, March 13 until further notice.

Connect 14 will be suspended starting Monday, March 16th until further notice.

Manitou Kiwanis St Patrick's fundraiser is cancelled.

We have decided to postpone the World Language and Culture Night that was scheduled for next Wednesday, March 18. This event brings over 1500 people to our campus, so we are taking the guidance from health agencies by mitigating the potential spread of the virus by suspending large-group gatherings.

After thorough consideration and consultation, the 2020 MSES Roaring 20's Auction, originally scheduled for this Saturday, March 14 at Manitou City Hall, has been postponed to a TBD date. Updates will be available on MSES’s website.

The Baseball Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction, originally scheduled for Sunday, March 15 will also be postponed to a TBD date.

We know there are several other events that are planned for the upcoming weeks. Please monitor your school’s website for any cancellations, postponements, and/or other decisions.

I will be sending follow-up communications as needed.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Domangue, PhD
Superintendent of Schools


What you need to know
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a type of virus that causes diseases of varying severities, ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory disease.

How is it spread?
Through coughing and sneezing
Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

Because Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is new, we are learning more each day about the transmission patterns and incubation periods.

If you are healthy:
Continue your normal routine. This means you can continue to participate in public gatherings such as work, school, or social activities.

Get your flu shot, and stay up-to-date on other routine childhood and adult immunizations.

Wash your hands with soap and water or, at minimum, use an alcohol-based hand rub, which may be less effective than soap and water.

Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as desks, doorknobs, handrails.

Symptoms of Corona Virus (COVID-19)
Fever
Cough
Difficulty Breathing
Severe Illness

Here are some things you can do:
Try to get an extra months’ worth of prescription medications, if possible, in case there are supply chain disruptions.

Slowly start to stock up on enough non-perishable food to last your household through two weeks of staying at home if there is a wave of transmission in the community.

Think about how you will continue to work if your child’s school is closed.

Understand that large gatherings you plan to attend may be cancelled.

Think through how you will take care of sick family members while trying not to get infected.

Make plans for childcare if you become sick, or when your child is sick. "How sick is too sick"

Start practicing not touching your face now. This can greatly reduce the frequency of potential spread. (You can even try a buddy system, where you and a friend remind each other when someone scratches their eyelid or rubs their nose.)

Start building healthy habits like pushing elevator buttons with a knuckle instead of a fingertip.

Avoid sharing water bottles, drinks, etc.

Increase regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces (e.g. cellphones, doorknobs, faucet handles, toilet handles etc.).

Facemasks
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings.

If you have general questions about 2019-nCoV please call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email [email protected] Answers are available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and more.

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