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ABCUSD Taking Steps to Combat Coronavirus, Preps for Virtual Learning

BY SUPERINTENDENT DR. MARY SIEU

I’m aware that many of us are concerned about the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19. On March 4, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Department of Public Health declared a local and public health emergency in response to increased spread of coronavirus across the country and additional cases in Los Angeles County.  

Although public health officials continue to state that the risk to the community remains low, the ABC Unified School District is taking additional steps to ensure our students, families and staff attend safe and healthy campuses. 

All our teachers are encouraged to show a video from the Centers for Disease Control about proper handwashing. Although our schools have more than 900 sinks, we are still bringing additional handwashing stations, giving students even more access.

We take cleanliness seriously at our schools. Our District’s custodial staff is working hard to disinfect schools on a regular basis and we are bringing in additional help where needed to accomplish this task. They are also monitoring bathroom supplies to make sure plenty of soap and paper towels are available. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers have been purchased for teachers and staff to use in our classrooms. 

Communicating on a regular basis is important as new information is provided to us.

We have informed our staff and families through emails and posts on our District’s website since January 28. I have sent a voice message to all families on Feb. 3 as well as information from the Los Angeles County Office of Education. A dedicated page regarding the coronavirus was posted on the District’s website with information and helpful links. Last week, we sent an email updating all staff and families regarding our efforts as well as how to prevent the spread of an illness. A follow up message was sent to all staff and families as well. 

We have remained in close contact with the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the Los Angeles County Department of Health, the California Department of Education and the California Department of Public Health to monitor the issue and act according to their direction. 

Although unlikely, our District is preparing for the worst case scenario where we must dismiss all students or close schools. Our Information and Technology staff is working on a new Virtual Learning Program that if needed, we may need to use it. 

As the number of coronavirus cases reported in California have increased, we at ABC are encouraging and educating our staff, students and their families to use best practices to prevent the spread of any illness:

·     Frequently wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water

  • Cough/sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve(elbow)
  • Avoid toughing your eyes, nose and mouth

·     Stay home when ill—until fever-free for 24 hours

In addition, we have a new page on the District’s website at: www.abcusd.us/apps/pages/CoronaVirusinformation where you can find information from public health officials in multiple languages. We will continue to update this page so our community has access to the latest information about COVID-19. 

ABC will continue to monitor the situation and communicate frequently to all our staffs, students and families so that all of our schools remain safe and healthy places to learn. 

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