Dear Choice Schools Associates Faculty and Staff,
Your health and safety are our top priorities. Please read this letter in its entirety.
On March 10, state officials announced the first confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Michigan.
We want you to know that we are following current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the Michigan Department of Education, while proactively seeking detailed guidance on next steps, should school closure become necessary.
In summary, we are:
- Partnering with our local health department to report influenza-like activity, absenteeism, and potential school dismissals. We are monitoring absenteeism for patterns among our students and staff, being ready to alert local health officials about large increases in absenteeism, particularly if absences appear due to respiratory illnesses.
- Emphasizing common-sense preventive actions for students and staff (staying home when sick; appropriately covering coughs and sneezes; cleaning frequently touched surfaces, washing hands often, and using sanitizer). Information with preventative actions was sent out recently to families.
- Educating staff and students about COVID-19 and preventative hygiene practices
- Separating sick students and staff from others until they can go home
- Focusing on strategies to reduce the spread of a wide variety of infectious diseases (e.g., seasonal influenza).
- Performing environmental cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
- Reviewing the school’s curriculum and working with teachers to create plans that are adaptable and flexible to the school’s curriculum for those absent from school.
Again, we would like to remind you of the recommended precautions for preventing the flu and other viruses:
- Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes, then dispose of the tissue. When a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school especially when someone is ill.
- Wash hands for 20 seconds. Washing hands often under clean, running warm water can help prevent the spread of germs. If you cannot wash your hands, use hand sanitizer.
Our Severe Weather and Emergency Conditions Policy located in the 2019-2020 Choice Schools Employee Manual (page 38) addresses the process if a school closing occurs. Notwithstanding the language in the Severe Weather and Emergency Conditions Policy, if a member of our faculty or staff decides to stay home because he or she or a member of their household has three of the four symptoms (runny nose, dry cough, sore throat, and fever) and can provide proof from a doctor that the symptoms are related to COVID-19, the employee will not be required to use Paid-Time Off (“PTO”) or vacation time. In such an event, Choice Schools will compensate the employee consistent with the employee’s position and pay rate. All other provisions in the Severe Weather and Emergency Conditions Policy apply, including the limitations on overtime.
If you have any further questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 616-916-5244.
Your Partner in Education,
Chief Human Resources Officer
Choice Schools Associates