- Harrison School District Two
Dear Harrison School District Two Families,
We want to bring you transparent and open information around Coronavirus. As of today, we understand that there is still just one case of COVID-19 in El Paso County. We are also aware that the Governor has declared Colorado in a state of emergency. This allows him to perform certain actions faster in response to the health situation in our state as it potentially increases. This is a proactive step, not a reason to panic. It is important to note that, currently, HSD2 does not have any reported cases of COVID-19 among our students or staff.
District staff continues to make plans to deal with the potential impact of the virus on our school system. Attached is a document that includes action steps that we have taken and will continue to ensure student and staff health and safety. Examples of these plans and actions include the following:
- Disinfecting classrooms, high-touch surface areas, and commonly used spaces in schools and on buses and more thorough environmental cleaning on Monday mornings and Wednesday afternoons, that began this week.
- Working with community partners and neighboring school districts to finalize emergency operations procedures that can be rolled out in the event of a decision to close schools.
- Receiving regular updates from county officials as we continue to coordinate any potential response. Multiple district-level staff are on update calls that have been scheduled across our county and state.
- Establishing alternative learning opportunities to assist families in the event of absences or school closures.
- Working with staff to emphasize the use of proper hand washing procedures for all students, staff, and visitors as well as respiratory hygiene.
HSD2 has decided to halt all school and district-sponsored out-of-state and international travel until further notice. Travel outside of Colorado is cancelled out of an abundance of caution and safety for our students and community and to contain the spread of the virus. This decision follows Governor Jared Polis’ decision to declare a “State of Emergency” for Colorado.
We understand that numerous students and staff may have booked private trips through other providers with spring break around the corner. While the district has no authority to cancel these trips, it is strongly suggested that the organizers of these trips follow HSD2’s direction on this matter.
Charter schools may make their own determinations on trip cancellations. Most are following this guidance and charter school staff and parents should check with their school for direction.
These travel restrictions are to remain in place until lifted by Superintendent directive.
These are things you can do with your children to minimize risk:
- Practice proper hand washing with soap and water and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue that you quickly dispose of.
- Stay home if you are sick and keep your children home if they are sick.
- Social distancing to avoid shaking hands or hugging and avoid touching your face.
- Tracking symptoms and illness diagnosis in our schools will help keep us informed. When you call in a student absence due to illness, please (where appropriate and as you feel comfortable) provide some information about why and what symptoms are causing you to keep your child home. This will help us tremendously.
If HSD2 should need to close a school or the entire district due to concerns regarding COVID-19, communication will be distributed in the same manner that is utilized for other school closings, just like winter weather. Messaging will be sent via e-mail, text and the district’s mobile app. Announcements will also be posted via the district’s Facebook account and on HSD2’s website www.hsd2.org. Please be sure to visit our D2 COVID-19 (Coronavirus) page for additional resources and for ideas about talking with your children about Coronavirus.
Moving forward, we will continue to follow the guidance of El Paso County Public Health and will continue to communicate relevant details as needed. The health and safety of our students, staff, and visitors will always remain our number one priority as we work with the community to mitigate the impact of challenges created by COVID-19.
For more information on the illness and statewide reporting, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website or for more local updates and resources, visit the El Paso County Public Health website.
Thank you for your support,
Dr. Wendy Birhanzel and Mr. John Rogerson