South San Francisco, CA March 13, 2020
Dear SSFUSD Community,
As we continue to work closely with the San Mateo County Department of Health (SMCDH), the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are continuing to monitor the rapidly changing circumstances pertaining to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Out of an abundance of caution and for the safety and well-being of our community, we have decided to dismiss our students from school beginning Monday, March 16th through Friday, April 3rd, with continuity of education and operations. This means that all school-related activities will be canceled, including classes, athletics, arts, clubs, and planned field trips. Students are not to be on campus during this time, and staff will practice safe hygiene/health protocols and social distancing while on campus. During the closure, we will continue to work with the health departments and will gain a better understanding of our situation. We will also use the time to do a thorough and deep cleaning of our campuses. We are tentatively expecting students to return to school on Monday April 6th.
During this period of closure, all student absences are considered to be excused.
We will be changing our instructional program to an at-home distributive learning model. Under this arrangement, students are to be at home while receiving teacher-created, standards-based instruction through a variety of means including readings, worksheets, packets, research/project-based assignments, or instruction which may be delivered electronically.
Schools will be communicating instructions about at-home learning within the coming days. At-home distributive learning is expected to begin Wednesday, March 18th, and continuing until our regular instruction resumes, as tentatively expected on Monday, April 6th. Please note that instruction will not be provided during Spring Break, March 23rd – 27th.
We know this news may cause understandable concern. While it is not our intent to cause undue alarm or disruption to our students’ learning, the District has decided to act conservatively and in the best interest of our community members in announcing this closure. Our desire is to continue to be transparent with you and communicate what we know as frequently as possible.
It remains important to observe the following health and hygiene practices to limit the spread of COVID-19 as well as other types of illness:
- Stay home when sick.
- Remain at home until fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
- Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe (e.g., high fever or difficulty breathing).
- Avoid close contact with those with cold and flu-like symptoms.
- Practice proper hygiene etiquette and cover your nose/mouth when coughing and sneezing with a flexed elbow or with a tissue or sleeve. Throw the used tissue into the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wash hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol.
- Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
- It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
Call Center and Hotline
As a reminder, the San Mateo County Health Department has a public call center for general, non-medical questions about the virus. The current contact number is 211 and the operating hours are 7:00am to 7:00pm from Monday through Friday.
If you believe you have come in contact with someone directly who has been diagnosed with the virus, then you should see your physician immediately and contact the CDC hotline at 650-363-4422.
Updates and More Information
For more information on the developing public health response to COVID-19, visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) sections of the following websites:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- San Mateo County Department of Health
- California Department of Public Health
Please be sure to visit our website at www.ssfusd.org for our most current updates:
- SSFUSD Coronavirus FAQ’s
- Superintendent’s Messages
- List of Non-Essential Event Cancellations/Postponements
Please also be aware of message updates we may send through our broadcast system (voice calls, email, and SMS text).
We appreciate your time, effort, and partnership in these efforts and will continue to keep you updated as we receive new information.
Shawnterra Moore, Ed.D.