FLEMINGTON, NJ - The Flemington-Raritan Regional School District has announced that all schools will hold an early dismissal March 13 and March 16 to prepare for electronic virtual school if the district needs to close to students and staff because of coronavirus.
In a letter to families, Superintendent Kari McGann said that on March 13, students will bring home paper-based instructional materials in case the weekend requires decisions that necessitate a school closing.
"The coronavirus continues to be an evolving situation across the world and our country and concern continues to grow locally as an increased number of confirmed cases are being reported in New Jersey and across the nation every day," she said in the letter. "The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority."
The YMCA after-care program will operate March 13 and March 16 at Barley Sheaf School, Copper Hill School, Francis A. Desmares School, Robert Hunter School and Reading-Fleming Intermediate School from afternoon dismissal through 6 p.m.
Reading-Fleming Intermediate School does not serve lunch on early dismissal days, so parents should pack a lunch for students attending the after-care program on both dismissal days.
McGann said the district is monitoring the New Jersey Department of Health, the Hunterdon County Health Department and the Center for Disease Control for updates, and is in regular contact with the district physician and the district school nurses.
"The guidance provided here is based upon current knowledge of COVID-19," she said. "It is important to note that the district has a response plan for pandemic outbreaks, which contains guidelines on monitoring attendance and illness for staff and students, as well as a plan of care for anyone who becomes ill."
At this time, McGann said, if a child becomes sick at school and fever is confirmed or respiratory illness is suspected, the child will be asked to wear a disposable face mask and will be sent home. Parents will be instructed to contact their healthcare provider for further instructions, and triage procedures are in place to separate sick and well students.
"School nurse offices and classrooms continue to be cleaned daily in buildings where students are experiencing high levels of the common flu," she said. "Tracking attendance has allowed us to focus extra attention on classrooms of high absenteeism so that these areas can be disinfected at night. Each evening, our cleaning staff is extra vigilant about disinfecting desks, doorknobs, school bus seats, phones and all public areas."
- Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Covering coughs or sneezes with elbow or tissue.
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfecting surfaces frequently.
- Keeping children out of school if they are running a temperature of greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit until they are fever free for 24 hours.
"We will continue to update you as new information becomes available," McGann said. "I will continue to update you as new information becomes available. I know that the situation has heightened everyone’s sense of nervousness. As a mother of four, the spouse of a member of our armed services and your superintendent, I share your concerns. I will do my very best to keep you all informed and continue to be transparent with the decisions that require my attention."