Dear PPCS Families,
I’m writing to share highlights from Monday night’s Board meeting. We were lucky to be joined by Carol Moehrle, RN, BSN, District Director, North Central District Health Department to support our conversation about responding to Covid-19 exposures and positive cases within our school community.
Ms. Moehrle commended Palouse Prairie for our safety protocols and careful decision-making. She noted that schools with enforced mask and social-distancing protocols in place have not experienced in-school spread of Covid-19 even when they have had positive cases. She encouraged us to continue to maintain our current levels of diligence around social distancing, mask-wearing, hand-washing, and monitoring. She noted that our school administration is absolutely top-notch in care and communication.
She also applauded our families’ quick reporting of exposures and positive Covid-19 test results to the school. Your rapid communication allows us to make timely decisions to protect the safety of our whole community. As flu season begins, we are grateful for your continued care and vigilance. Learn more about Covid symptoms at Covid Explained, a helpful website developed by a team of researchers and students at Brown, MIT, Harvard, Mass General.
The Board provided the following guidance to Ms. Branen:
- We will maintain a policy of transparent communication when a case has been identified in the school. This means that we will notify all families, staff, and Board members (while respecting privacy) and will communicate next steps or actions.
- We will continue to make conservative safety decisions when it comes to pausing in-person learning/care at the pod, classroom, or whole school building level. These decisions may vary depending on: when the infected individual was last in the school, how many people were in contact with the infected individual, staffing capacity, and date of most recent deep-cleaning. We will consult with the Public Health department in every instance to determine the best course of action.
We also made some decisions related to the coming cold and wintery weather.
- We will follow the Moscow School District’s decisions as to weather-related school building closure. However, since we are now set up for remote learning, we will continue to teach and learn remotely on days when school buildings are closed due to weather.
- Wednesday meet-ups are very important for engaging and supporting students! As we head into cold weather, we will continue offering meet-ups as long as they support students’ social and emotional health. To do this, the school will reserve covered spaces at parks, ensure all students have warm clothing, and monitor the weather to make decisions in advance.
All in all, it was a good — if long — meeting. As she was leaving, Carol Moehrle said something that has stayed with me. She told us that it was a pleasure to spend time with such a thoughtful Board, dedicated to doing the right thing. I believe that this description fits our whole Palouse Prairie CREW, and I am grateful to be getting through these hard times in partnership with our school community.
PPCS Board Chair
PS. Find information about Board meetings here. https://palouseprairieschool.org/school-board/