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COVID-19 response: Schools are closed until April 6

March 12, 2020

Dear FCPS families:

The governor just announced that out of an abundance of caution to help prevent community spread of COVID-19, all schools in Kentucky will be closed beginning March 16 and will not reopen until April 6, 2020. This decision is not in response to a specific public health threat in our schools, but is an action to implement social distancing statewide.

As we have shared with you previously, Fayette County Public Schools has been preparing for this possibility. In order to ensure our supports are in place, we do need your child to attend school Friday, March 13. By being at school, they will receive another day of instruction, and come home with all the information they need about educational expectations while schools are out and how food will be distributed throughout our community.

To support our families while children are at home, we have developed materials with ideas to help you fill your days with fun and learning. To ensure that our children are engaged in learning while schools are closed, we have also gathered instructional resources – online and on paper – that are appropriate for students at different grade levels. Knowing that food insecurity is a reality for many families, we have developed a plan to provide breakfast and lunch for anyone 18 or younger. We will serve lunch only on Monday, March 16. Twice a day service will run March 17-20 and March 23-27. It will not be offered between March 30 and April 3, while schools were already scheduled to be closed for spring break.

We will send the following information home with students on Friday, March 13:

  1. A handout titled “FCPS Learning Unplugged,” which contains 15 days of activities in reading, writing, math, science, social studies, physical education, health and art. These activities do not require any technology usage.
  2. A list of stops and times throughout our community where children can come and pick up breakfast and lunch.
  3. A handout titled “Family Fun Activities.”
  4. Books, workbooks, and electronic devices as available to support learning at home.

If your child receives medication during the school day, please contact your school’s main office to make arrangements to pick it up if you need it at home. While our schools are closed, our Bluegrass HealthFirst Clinics at Arlington, Booker T. Washington, Breckinridge, Cardinal Valley, Harrison, Mary Todd, Tates Creek, and William Wells Brown elementary schools, and Lexington Traditional Magnet School will remain open and available to service students and families. Please call the clinic prior to arrival to ensure staff are onsite.

School offices will be open next week (March 16-20) to help respond to questions you may have. The district switchboard will accept phone calls at (859) 381-4100 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week for the next two weeks, and will stop between March 30 and April 3 (while schools are scheduled to be closed for spring break). Except for the week of spring break, our Family Resource and Youth Service Centers will also be available to accept phone calls to support families with essential needs. District mental health professionals will be available to respond to and support youth and families. To reach this service, call (859) 381-4100.

COVID-19 remains a rapidly evolving situation in our community, state, nation, and the world. We are committed to keeping you up-to-date on developments related to your child’s education. All information about the school district’s response will be available on our COVID-19 site. Please check there regularly.

More importantly, we encourage you to remain vigilant about staying abreast of the facts. The best sources of information are the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, and Kentucky's Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Kentucky's hotline is (800) 722-5725. The local health department also has a hotline at (859) 899-2222 or you can email the health department.  

Please continue to take precautionary measures to keep your family healthy, including:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Thank you for your continued support during these unprecedented times.

FCPS Superintendent Manny Caulk

(2019-20)


 

Lisa Deffendall, district spokeswoman
lisa.deffendall@fayette.kyschools.us
(859) 381-4101 or 699-1441