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Zion & COVID-19 UPDATE #1
Zion & COVID-19 UPDATE #1
Jessica Shiers
Friday, March 13, 2020

March 13, 2020

RE: Zion & COVID-19

Dear Zion families,

Greetings in Christ!  It has been a tumultuous and unsettling time as our nation prepares for the prospect and impact of widespread illness caused by the coronavirus.  As many know, our local UNK has just stopped all face-to-face classes and many athletic tournaments have been cancelled.  People have begun asking what our plans at Zion are.  I have been visiting with many and have been gathering as much information as possible.  After consulting our contacts at UNMC, KPS, and the Two Rivers Health Department, Zion will follow the lead and precedents set by Kearney Public Schools in many respects. 

We are implementing extra cleaning & cloroxing of surfaces as well as regular reminders and scheduled hand-washing breaks.  Otherwise we are endeavoring to keep our school life as regular as possible. 

I am also attaching the KPS letter to families as it has some good tips and resources for what you can do as parents.

In all of this, as we teach our students to do in times of trouble, we pray.  We pray for God’s good mercy, that His will be done, and that He bring healing to all of us – for both our physical bodies and our souls.

 As the situation changes and develops, we will keep people posted through our various channels (app, website, email, text notification).

God’s peace be with you, Anthony Splittgerber, Principal

Dear Kearney Public Schools Families,

In continuing to prioritize the health and safety of all students and staff, we are taking this opportunity to update you on our district plan regarding infectious diseases, including coronavirus (COVID-19). In an attempt to minimize exposure, and out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending all scheduled assemblies, events, and programs, both internal and external, now through March 29, 2020. School administrators and building leaders will send separate communication for your school.  [Due to our smaller size and the low contact nature of the events, Zion will continue extracurriculars – most notably Quiz bowl and track practices]

From Two Rivers Public Health Department: “While KPS is not making this decision in response to a federal or state mandate, we feel it is appropriate and proactive to suspend the extracurricular activities of students in hopes of maintaining their ability to continue their academics without interruption. At present, there are no cases of COVID-19 in Kearney or the Two River Public Health Department jurisdiction. Children are not at the highest risk for having serious complications if they do contract the virus, but minimizing their potential exposures protects our most vulnerable community members as well as our children.”

Currently, there are no immediate plans for short-term or extended school closures. The timing of any closure will be done in consultation with public health officials. KPS will continue to follow our infection control plan. We will continue to monitor student and staff absences and illnesses in conjunction with public health agencies. KPS is taking guidance from the Nebraska Department of Education regarding educational plans for students in the event of a school closure.

To strengthen student awareness, schools are implementing daily announcements about regular hand washing and scheduling hand washing breaks for students at the elementary level. Also, the district is using an enhanced level of disinfectant in the schools and will be doing additional disinfecting during spring break.

As a reminder, individuals can help protect themselves from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Avoid close contact with sick people and stay home if you are sick.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Keep your student home from school if he/she is not feeling well.

KPS will continue to share updated information and plans. Please trust that we are fully engaged in planning, monitoring, and responding to the COVID - 19 situation in consultation with public health officials.      For more information, please access the following link:
DHHS COVID-19 Website
Sincerely,  Kent Edwards, KPS Superintendent