Northwest ISD – Update On Corona Virus from Superintendent Ryder Warren
By Ryder Warren
I hope everyone is gearing up for a wonderful Spring Break next week. I’m sorry I am having to interject a negative issue with this good news of a student holiday, but we have things going on in the world and in our country that we must address. Yesterday (March 5), I sent all Northwest ISD staff members the specific protocols we will follow when we return from Spring Break to make sure we are all fit to serve our children in regards to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
NISD will be closed March 9-13, with staff returning for professional development on March 16 and 17. Students will return to classes on Wednesday, March 18. As a district, we have discouraged staff from traveling to any locations the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have flagged as Level 3 – currently China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran – and informed them of the CDC’s 14-day quarantine directive. In addition, all NISD staff members will respond to a questionnaire when we return to work to make sure we know of any possible exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19) because of the locations of our travel. I am very sorry we are having to get into your personal business much more so than the district normally would, but I seriously recommend that all families follow the same rules of travel that we are asking staff members to follow regarding the flagged countries.
When our students return to school, our nursing staff will continue to monitor students and staff and take appropriate steps should anyone show symptoms of any type of communicable illness. Although we want to avoid alarming our communities, I want to stress the importance of using effective hygiene practices and disease prevention for everyone. Our campuses will continue to stress proper hygiene practices such as effective handwashing, which will be included during in-school announcements. Additionally, our custodial services will use CDC-recommended cleaning solutions to wipe down commonly touched surfaces and educational areas more frequently than normal.
Following Spring Break, students who visit school nurses with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) will be asked if they’ve recently traveled. Those who have traveled to high-risk areas as designated by the CDC will be released to their parents and referred to their county health department. Students who fit this specific criteria will remain off campus for 14 days (beginning from when they leave the Level 3 risk area) unless advised differently by the health department. Travelers who are symptomatic upon return from some areas will be subject to immediate quarantine and testing. Those who are not symptomatic could be quarantined and monitored. Lower level warnings are in place for Japan and Hong Kong (Level 2). The CDC also recommends that all travelers reconsider cruise ship voyages into or within Asia at this time.
We will continue to monitor and update our community on any health-related decisions or travel notices during the break. Please remember that there are no known COVID-19 cases in the DFW region, but our goal is to always be proactive in any situation of concern. You can follow the travel advisory by visiting this website.
Thank you for partnering with Northwest ISD on creating a safe and secure learning environment for our students and staff. Enjoy the spring break, and we look forward to seeing our returning students healthy, refreshed, and eager to learn.
Ryder Warren, Superintendent of Schools
Northwest Independent School District