We understand that many people in our school community have questions about the outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus, called COVID-19, especially how it may affect schools. We are writing to assure you that the Parnassus leadership team and school nurse are continuing to review emergency management plans to prepare for the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Minnesota Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are also closely monitoring the situation and regularly providing guidance. We are working closely with state and local agencies to stay up-to-date on the best ways to keep students and staff safe. Our school’s plan addresses prevention, preparedness, and recovery. Please read below for more details.
• IMPORTANT NOTICE – CANCELLATION OF EVENTS: Parnassus is cancelling all larger-group events effective immediately and until further notice. These events include, but are not limited to, the school play, concerts, fieldtrips, and any other large-group events.
• At this time, Animus & Accendo before and after school programs and Parnassus after-school clubs will remain open, however, athletic cancellations are determined by the Minnesota State High School League.
• Additional prevention measures include the following:
o We are following all recommended cleaning and sanitation measures from the CDC regarding the cleaning of facilities and frequently touched surfaces. We have implemented and are closely monitoring all recommended standard cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfectant practices to prevent the spread of illnesses.
o We are working closely with our cleaning company to be prepared if we need to do even more extensive sanitizing and disinfecting at some point in the future. We will be prepared for those measures if needed.
o We have an appropriate supply of soap and hand sanitizer. As much as possible, staff will encourage students to wash and sanitize hands during the day.
o Throughout the building, we have posted visual reminders of effective hand washing, coughing, and sneezing etiquette to promote good preventative measures.
o Continual monitoring of illness-related absences of staff and scholars is ongoing.
o Continual implementation of illness exclusion protocol for staff and scholars is in place.
o We trust you, as parents and guardians, to know what’s best for your child, and we will respect your decision if you believe it is necessary to keep your child home. Please report your child’s absence through your school’s attendance line and complete an absence request form if the absence will be for an extended period. If your child is medically fragile and may need different accommodations, please contact our school nurse, Ms. Hahn, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (763) 496.1416.
• How you and your child can help promote good health:
o Protect yourself and others by washing your hands often with soap and water; covering your cough and sneeze; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
o If you or your child are sick, stay home from school and activities.
o Do not return to school or work until you are feeling better and a fever is gone for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication.
o Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home. Keep enough food, regular prescription drugs, and other necessities on hand in case you need to stay home and are not able to go out easily.
o Frequently clean all commonly touched work surfaces, work areas, and equipment (e.g., telephones, doorknobs, lunch areas, countertops, copiers, etc.).
It is important to note that at this time, public health agencies in Minnesota are not recommending any school closings due to COVID-19.We will continue to take direction from the state; however, if we need to temporarily close school, we may implement some of the measures included below. The leadership team is working on longer-term plans to address critical operational issues such as:
• Continued instruction for all grades if school has to be closed for a period of time.
• Potentially high levels of student and/or staff absenteeism
• Alternate plans for school events and ceremonies
Recovery measures focus on returning to normal operations if a building has been temporarily closed.
To learn more about COVID-19, visit:
• Minnesota Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) Website (https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html)
• CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html)
We will continue to update our plans and provide you with more information as it becomes available. If you have questions about COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, call the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-5414.
Thank you for working with us to keep our community informed and safe.