Parents and Guardians,
Yesterday a presumptive case of COVID-19 was reported in the state of Arkansas (in the Pine Bluff area). This afternoon the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Education advised all the school districts in Grant, Jefferson, Pulaski, and Saline counties to close their schools until after Spring Break. At this point, we are closely monitoring the potential spread of the virus, and working with the Arkansas Department of Health, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and our area healthcare agencies to ensure that we have the most up-to-date information and action steps.
As you know, we have created a plan for off-site instruction if necessary, but at this time there is no plan or need to cancel classes. Our intention is to keep everything within our district as normal as possible for as long as possible. Even if some cases are confirmed in our area, we will use guidance from governmental agencies and healthcare professionals as we make future decisions. These decisions will be made with student and staff safety as our primary concern while also considering the continuity of student instruction and the economic challenges a cancellation might cause.
During the Governor’s press conference this afternoon he specifically noted that this is currently a geographic issue in the Central Arkansas area. Currently we are not considered part of this area but will continue to monitor and seek guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as they also heavily monitor the current spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Concord Public Schools will remain open at this time, and we will also continue our communication with governmental agencies moving forward. I do encourage parents of younger children to work on childcare contingency plans for next week and the week following Spring Break -- just in case.
Please keep your children home if they are sick, and if you believe they have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider for information on how you should proceed. Students who are ill and unable to attend school will be given ample opportunity to make up missed assignments. Please contact your child’s building consistently to provide updates if your child is out sick.
If we are advised by governmental agencies to close school, we will let parents and guardians know as soon as possible, and we will immediately begin enacting our AMI plans.
Our employees will continue to be cautious and encourage healthy habits, but we also recognize that adult reactions oftentimes influence the reactions of children, so we will remain calm and sensible as we navigate this situation, and we ask that you do the same.
We take the safety and security of all our students and staff a top priority and I will always keep you informed as new developments take place.
Dr. Kenneth Moore
Concord Public Schools