I am taking this opportunity to provide an update regarding our district’s response to the heightened concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19). I also want to share some resources and links that may be helpful to you. I am hopeful that this communication will help to answer some questions and share what we are doing behind the scenes to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. My previous letter on this topic is available here.
What is the HVRSD doing to prepare for the possible spread of coronavirus?
We are working closely with the Department of Health, the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Education to monitor and implement the CDC recommendations.
We are taking extra cleaning precautions, as we always do during the cold and flu season. Our custodial staff is disinfecting surfaces in our schools on a nightly basis. Our buses and playground equipment are being disinfected as well. We have been using electrostatic disinfecting misters for the past two years as part of our cleaning protocols.
We are reminding students on a daily basis of the importance of the following habits:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for about 20 seconds (See the HVRSD Handwashing Hoedown Video)
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue (then throw the tissue in the garbage) or the inside of your arm by your elbow.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. In other words, keep your hands off of your face.
- Keep arm length distance when speaking to people.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
How is the HVRSD coordinating planning and preparation with local municipalities?
This week, we met with the mayors and officials from Hopewell Township, Hopewell and Pennington Boroughs, representatives from the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Department of Health. The purpose of our meeting was to share information, plan and prepare. We are hopeful that our plans never have to be used, but we would rather be well prepared and coordinated than be reactionary to events.
What can you do to help?
Please speak to your children about the importance of washing hands, covering a cough/sneeze, and avoiding touching their face (as much as possible).
- If your child is sick, please keep them home.
- Students must be fever free without medication for 24 hours prior to returning to school.
- If your child has traveled to an area of the world highly impacted by the Coronavirus within the past two weeks, please contact us.
Resources (current as of 3:00pm on 3/5/20):
- NJ Department of Health - https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml
- NJ Department of Health - Guidance for Schools
- CDC Guidance for K-12 Schools:
- CDC Website about coronavirus:
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update the public as necessary. We will work with local and state officials to ensure the safety of our students and staff and to minimize the impact on the educational process for our students.
Thomas A. Smith, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools