Useful Tips & Preventative Measures
At Highlands School District, the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff are our top priorities. With the global impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we would like to reinforce preventive safety measures and reference our process and communications. As a school district, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking guidance from the Allegheny County Health Department, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization.
We all play a role in reducing the likelihood of a coronavirus outbreak in our school district community. We encourage everyone to practice good habits.
The most important measures that schools and parents can take involve improving person-protective measures include:
- Promote frequent and thorough handwashing at least twice a day, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after group activities such as recess.
- Encourage students who cough or sneeze to use a tissue and discard it or cough into elbow, and then wash hands.
- If students or staff have a fever and a cough, they should stay home.
- Discourage handshakes and high fives.
- Discourage sharing of water bottles.
- Increase cleaning of high touch surfaces.
- Encourage families who plan to travel abroad to check the CDC website before going abroad.
- Stigma: Speak out about negative behaviors, including negative statements on social media or exclusion of people who pose no risk.
Please review this Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease
Additional resources:Tips for Talking with ChildrenHighlands School District recognizes that concern over this new virus can make children and families anxious. It is important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety. The following are guidelines from the National Association of School Psychologists and National Association of School Nurses for talking to children about COVID-19.
- Remain calm and reassuring;
- Make yourself available to your students to express concerns and questions;
- Avoid blaming;
- Monitor television viewing and social media;
- Maintain a normal routine to the extent possible;
- Be honest and accurate—share facts;
- Review and model basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices for protection.
View this online resource from the Fred Rogers Center: Talking with Children About Coronavirus
Preventative Measures for Students, Staff & FamiliesThe symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, and the best way to prevent the illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The CDC offers some tips on its website for the prevention of this and other respiratory diseases including:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds;
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- Avoiding touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth;
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash; alternatively, covering your cough or sneeze with your elbow when is tissue is not available;
- Athletes showering before and after their participation;
- Staying home when you are sick.
Our teachers, school nurses, and staff are working carefully to encourage these simple and effective habits with our students in school, and we ask that you also encourage these practices at home.Please remember that students who are sick should not attend school. Students need to be fever-free for 24 hours without medication before returning to school. While we value school attendance in the education of our students, it is more important to keep students home when they are ill.