Letter From The Director
March 10, 2020
Dear Compass High School Families:
This letter is to update you regarding our work with the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Department of Education regarding COVID-19, previously referred to as “coronavirus.” CHS is working with these officials to prepare in the event our city is impacted.
To learn more about what CHS is doing to prepare and what families can do, visit our website (compasshighschool.com). As this is a rapidly changing situation, we will be updating information on our website when new information affecting our community arises.
A person’s risk for this virus is not dependent on race, ethnicity or culture. Rather than acting out of fear, we should respond with knowledge, compassion, and justice while protecting ourselves and one another.
We want to take this opportunity to remind families regarding preventative measures we encourage everyone to take. COVID-19 is in the family of viruses that cause the common cold, so symptoms and prevention measures are similar.
To help prevent the spread of germs:
- Wash hands frequently
- Do not touch eyes, nose or mouth
- Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, using a tissue, sleeve or facemask
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Get a flu shot (recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older)
If your student has cold and flu symptoms, please observe your student at home before deciding whether or not to send them to school. Your student should be physically able to participate in all school activities upon return to school. Keeping a sick student at home will minimize the spread of such viral infections in the classroom. If a student misses school due to illness, their teachers will be sure to work with them to catch up with school work. Thank you for helping prevent the spread of illness at school.
We understand that students may have questions or concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19). One health expert, Yvonne Maldonado, director of Infection Control at Stanford Children’s Hospital, suggests you can say to your student: “It makes some people very sick, but most people — especially children — seem not to get very sick with it.” Depending on your child’s age, some helpful resources for you to discuss COVID-19 with your child may include: “Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus” and “How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus.”
Questions About Possible School Closure:
A common question has been about school closures. The Arizona Department of Health and the Arizona Department of Education is not recommending any school closures at this time. In the event of school closure becomes necessary, CHS is currently developing a plan for Compass High School teachers and staff to deliver lessons and curriculum via online and virtual school options. At this point CHS does have the capabilities to deliver this content, along with create assignments and interact with students virtually so that students may continue to receive their grades and credits.
A CDC official said last week that schools should make plans for online or virtual schools in the event that the Covid-19 virus continues to spread, while there is only one presumptive positive case in Pima County of COVID-19, it is never too early to begin to plan. We are taking the actions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Arizona Department of Public Health, and the Pima Health Department to protect the health of students and staff. Should any additional actions be identified, we will notify CHS families immediately.
If you have any questions or concerns please see our website for more information (www.CompassHighSchool.com). At our website you will find a list of FAQ’s along with the Compass High School Pandemic Flu & COVID-19 Response Plan just recently revised.
If you have other questions, please call the front office at 520-296-4070. Because this is a rapidly developing situation, we ask for your patience in returning phone calls and messages about this specific topic.
Director of Compass High School
Frequently Asked Questions
The wellbeing of Compass High School students and staff is our top priority. We are working Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Department of Education to prepare in the event our school is impacted.
• Following guidance from the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), the Pima Health Department, the Arizona Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
• Increasing messaging about core disease prevention and respiratory and hand hygiene.
• Providing suggestions for staff and families on how to talk to children about COVID-19.
• Increased hand sanitation stations around high school.
• Updating CHS families via email, phone calls and with CHS website with latest information.
• Adapting emergency pandemic flu response plan to include COVID-19
• Exploring options to provide continuity of learning for students in the event of quarantine or school closure. (including using current online and virtual school resources)
School custodians take extensive measures to sanitize school facilities every night.
• Restrooms are cleaned and disinfected including disinfecting all toilets, sinks and urinals.
• Floors are swept and mopped, trash is removed, and garbage cans are disinfected.
• Surfaces are cleaned including tabletops, keyboards, mice, railings, chairs, walls and other surfaces.
• High touch surfaces, like door handles, are disinfected.
• Sweeping and wet mopping all floors in classrooms, restrooms, hallways, and stairwells.
• Be aware of symptoms of illness and stay home if you are not feeling well.
• Continue to follow best practices for prevention of the spread of viruses, including COVID- 19 and the common cold or flu: wash hands frequently; do not touch eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands; cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing; and get a flu shot.
• Respect the privacy of students and staff, and take steps to prevent discrimination.
• Parents and guardians, ensure your contact information is up-to-date in the event that large group notifications are sent by phone, email, and text message.
• Keep yourself up-to-date on what the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), the Pima Health Department, the Arizona Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggest.
• Discuss your child’s questions and concerns with them and help them practice good prevention. Depending on your child’s age, some helpful resources may include: “Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus” and “How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus.”
• Be personally prepared:
° Make sure you have a supply of all essential medications for your family.
° Make a childcare plan in case you or a caregiver become sick.
° Make arrangements about how your family would manage if there is a school closure.
° Make a plan for how you can care for a sick family member without getting sick yourself.
For individual health concerns, please contact your healthcare provider. If it is a school-related health inquiry, call the front office at 520-296-4070 between 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday.
Work with the Pima Health Department to evaluate exposure risk and make decisions regarding quarantine. The decision to close a school would be made on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with the Department of Public Health, and would take into account the general safety of all students and staff.
According to the Arizona Department of Education, any decision to close schools as a result of the coronavirus would be made by individual Local education agency (LEA) in concert with their respective county health agencies.
The U.S. Department of Education provides the following options to ensure students can continue learning while at home:
• Hard copy packets. Textbooks, packets or portions from textbooks, photocopies of reference materials, curricula and assignments can be prepared in advance for distribution to affected students. – ✓ CHS is currently prepared to provide this service.
• Online materials or other content. Digital copies of textbooks, reference materials, assignments and audiovisual learning supports can be made available on the internet using online learning platforms and websites. – ✓ CHS is currently prepared to provide this service.
• Teacher check-ins and tutorials. A variety of technologies (telephone, e-mail, web conferencing) can be used to facilitate one-on-one interactions between students and teachers, counselors and other appointed adults, including tutors, during prolonged absences or dismissals. – ✓ CHS is currently prepared to provide this service if need arises.
• Recorded class meetings. Using audio or video technology, recorded class meetings can be given to some or all absent students via podcasts, websites, DVDs, or public access television. – ✓ CHS is currently prepared to provide this service if need arises.
• Live class meetings. Schools can use available tools such as conference calling or webinars, online courses or virtual schools with two-way interaction between the teacher and students. – X CHS is NOT currently prepared to provide this service but is making preparations to do so.