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COVID-19 / Coronavirus Updates:

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Dr. Otott's Video Message for the PCSD Community


UPDATE 6/1 Georgia Department of Education releases "Georgia K-12 Restart and Recovery" plan


UPDATE 5/27 CDC releases "If You Are Sick Or Caring For Someone" guidance


UPDATE 5/26 PCSD High Schools Announce Graduation Ceremony Schedule


UPDATE 5/22 Dr. Otott's End-of-School-Year Message for the PCSD Community


UPDATE 5/14 District Announces Graduation Ceremony Protocols


UPDATE 4/22 District releases survey results, updated plans for Digital Learning, graduation ceremonies, and more. (Spanish)


UPDATE 4/21 Gov. Kemp issues executive order allowing some business to begin resuming operations


UPDATE 4/15 The Paulding County School District has adopted a Grading Plan (Spanish) that allows digital learning to enhance students' final grades, but not lower final grades.

UPDATE 4/15 Ga Dept. of Education shares guidance on Zell Miller HOPE Scholarship and FAQ regarding testing, grading and other topics.


UPDATE 4/14 Lunch to Go resumes Wednesday, April 15th and will continue each Wednesday for the remainder of the school year


UPDATE 4/13 Update on status of Paulding public libraries and library resources


UPDATE 4/3adgnag

Update on Advanced Placement courses and AP Exams from College Board

Gov. Kemp's Executive Order for a Safe and Healthy Georgia


UPDATE 4/1

Hello Paulding County School District Community,

Gov. Kemp announced today he is issuing an executive order cancelling in-person instruction at all public schools for the remainder of the school year. That means neither teachers nor students will be returning to their classrooms this school year. While this news is sad for the school community, the decision is understandable and necessary in light of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus health crisis and the need to keep all students and school staff healthy and safe. All Paulding County schools will continue with Digital Learning Days online instruction for the remainder of the school year. The decision to close school facilities raises several policy and logistical questions that will be answered in the coming days and weeks. Some of these decisions will be made at the state level and may include additional waivers and other flexibility for local school districts. We will be contacting you soon with more information about how course credit, promotion, graduation, and other issues will be addressed.

Since next week will be our regularly scheduled spring break, we encourage everyone to shelter in place and use that time away from academics to rest, relax, and relieve some of the stress these unprecedented circumstances have created. We are all moving through this experience at the same time, for the first time, and together we will emerge from the other side stronger and wiser. Thank you for your support.


NEW 3/31: State of Georgia provides list of Internet providers and offerings during the COVID-19 health crisis.

UPDATE 3/31: Superintendent Dr. Brian Otott offers Digital Learning Days tips for parents in this short video.


UPDATE 3/27: Updated Lunch to Go meal plan (Spanish version) to incorporate schools being closed through April 24. Pick-ups will take place April 1st, 15th and 22nd.


UPDATE 3/26: Gov. Kemp Extends School Closure Through April 24th

In compliance with Gov. Kemp’s executive order extending the closure of all public elementary and secondary schools for in-person instruction, all Paulding County School District schools will remain closed through April 24, 2020. All school-related activities, including athletics, field trips and other events, are canceled during the closure. The school district will continue to provide Digital Learning Days online instruction each weekday of the closure except for the week of April 6-10 which is spring break. Additionally, the district will continue with its Lunch to Go meal plan with distribution each Wednesday of the closure, 10 a.m.-noon, at eight school locations throughout the county, except for Wednesday April 8 during spring break. The COVID-19 health crisis is a continuously changing environment and we sincerely appreciate your patience and support. To stay up to date on the most current information regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus and the Paulding County School District, please be sure to regularly check the school district’s web site at https://tinyurl.com/PCSDcoronavirus.


UPDATE 3/23: Testing and academic update:

Important changes announced by the State Department of Education and other organizations:

  • GEORGIA MILESTONES END OF GRADE ASSESSMENTS (grades 3-8) and GKIDS (kindergarten): No state testing - including Georgia Milestones and GKIDS – will be administered this Spring 2020.
  • END OF COURSE TESTS: The Georgia Department of Education has announced the suspension of the state assessment window.  Therefore, we will not have any state testing for this Spring 2020.  There will be further guidance coming regarding the calculation of grades based on the weighting of End of Course Tests (EOCs), including the grades for the Economics EOC that was administered on March 13th. 
  • GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS:  At the March 26th State Board of Education meeting the Department of Education anticipates discussing guidance regarding graduation requirements and course credits. Stay tuned for more information.
  • SAT/ACT: SAT/ACT testing has been suspended for the remainder of the school year. The University System of Georgia will be waiving SAT/ACT entrance requirements for admissions to all public state universities.
  • VIRTUAL AP EXAMS: Since students have not been in school, this year’s AP Exams will be offered online and will not include questions from the final units of the courses – units typically covered in March and April. In addition, the streamlined Exams will take no longer than an hour to complete and can be taken on a mobile phone. By April 3, College Board will publish the full exam schedule including the specific free-response question types that will comprise each AP Exam. Keep in mind, the Exams will be “open book.” Any student already registered for an Exam can choose to cancel at no charge. For detailed guidance from College Board click here (click here for AP review materials that are free for all students).
  • DUAL ENROLLMENT: Paulding County students in dual-enrollment should continue classes following the schedule and guidance of the post-secondary institution.  USG and TCSG does anticipate releasing a FAQ document; and, we will share any additional information at that time. 

More information this and other topics can be found at the Georgia Department of Education web site.

UPDATE 3/23: CDC releases Tips To Keep Children Healthy While School is Out


UPDATE 3/19: District announces updated meal plan to improve the efficiency of our Lunch to Go meal program, minimize trips for parents and reduce the risk of virus exposure. Click here for more information. (Spanish version)

UPDATE 3/19: All Special Olympics activities and events have been cancelled through May 1st. http://www.specialolympicsga.org/statement-on-covid-19/


UPDATE 3/16: Gov. Kemp announces closure of all state public schools March 18 to March 31.

UPDATE 3/16: Letter for parents of special needs students regarding Digital Learning Days. Click here.

UPDATE 3/16: Paulding County Schools was notified on Monday, March 16 of a confirmed case of a staff member at Shelton Elementary School. A notification letter was sent to all Shelton families. Here is an update from Principal Jeff Robinson confirming the employee was asymptomatic while at school and the Dept. of Health has confirmed no notifications are necessary.

Reporting Going Forward:

Newly reported cases after the closure of schools will be reported by public health agencies. We ask employees to continue self-reporting to Paulding County School District Human Resources Department in order for the district to monitor internally. We will also report any cases to public health as they track cases across the state.

If you have any symptoms, stay at home and contact a medical professional if they persist.


UPDATE 3/15: Digital Learning Days begin Tuesday, March 17. Click here for the district's Digital Learning Days information page.


March 12, 2020

Dear PCSD Community,

Following today’s press conference by Gov. Brian Kemp that addressed growing concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus, beginning Monday, March 16th all Paulding County schools will be closed until further notice. We anticipate the closure will be at least two weeks and our plan at this time is to reopen schools on March 30, 2020. 

School will take place on a normal schedule Friday March 13, 2020, but if you choose to keep your child at home absences will not be counted against them. All school-related activities and events on Friday, March 13th and that occur while schools are closed are cancelled as well. Learning Bridge after-school program will remain open Friday, March 13th only.

At this time, we believe this decision is the most prudent step to protect the health and well-being of our students and staff, and that is our highest concern.

In a short time, parents will receive information about the “Digital Days” online learning to ensure students continue to receive instruction during the time that schools are closed. We have utilized Digital Days in the past during weather-related closings and the format will be similar to the work we do regularly with students through Canvas online learning. More information about Digital Days is available here: https://www.paulding.k12.ga.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=36386

We appreciate your support as we work together as a community to move past this pandemic health crisis. We encourage all of our Paulding County families to continue following the recommended hygienic prevention methods so everyone can stay healthy and we are able to return to our regular school schedule in a short time.

 


 

COVID-19 / Coronavirus Update for the PCSD Communityegerg

The Paulding County School District is continuing to monitor developments related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. There are multiple confirmed cases of the virus in the Paulding County community. For the latest information on the number of confirmed cases in the United States and in Georgia, click here. The Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) web site states that "the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low," however, on March 11 the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic based on its presence in numerous countries.

Even though the immediate health risk may be low, we want parents, students and staff to be assured that the school district has formed a cross-department COVID-19 Task Force that is planning for a range for scenarios and is working with the Paulding County Health Department to be prepared should COVID-19 begin to have an impact in our community. The COVID-19 Task Force has reviewed the district's Continuity of Operations Plan and is prepared in the event that facility operations and/or instructional delivery need to be adjusted.

Health professionals are advising that at this time the most effective action any of us can take is to focus on diligent prevention. A video produced by the school district shows some of the routine procedures that keep classrooms, buses and other areas clean using a commercial quaternary-based virucide disinfectant.

But there are also everyday actions you and your family can take to stay healthy – the same preventive strategies used during a normal cold and flu season:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you cough or sneeze, after using the restroom, and before eating.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and avoid touching others as well.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after use and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve, not your hand.
  • Do not share eating utensils or drinking containers.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Keep sick children home from school and limit their contact with others. Students should stay home if they are sick until at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications).
  • If you are an employee and feel sick, stay home - please do not go to work.
  • Get a flu shot every year.

 


 

News

  • March 26, 2020

Gov. Kemp issues executive order closing schools for in-person instruction through April 24, 2020

Emergency declarations issued for Paulding County and the City of Hiram

  • March 16, 2020

Gov. Kemp announces closure of all Georgia public schools March 18 to March 31

Superintendent Woods suspends state testing administration, accountability requirements

Comcast offering free Internet service for low-income families

Update from Rep. Tom Graves

  • March 15, 2020

UPDATE 3/15: Digital Learning Days begin Tuesday, March 17. Click here for the district's Digital Learning Days information page.

  • March 13, 2020

UPDATE 03/13: To clarify previous post, ALL SAT testing scheduled for Saturday at Paulding County schools has been canceled. College Board and its testing administrator, ETS, will notify registered test takers with more information.

  • March 12, 2020

Georgia Department of Education Webinar 03/11/2020

  • March 11, 2020

WHO declares COVID-19 coronavirus a "pandemic" due to worldwide spread

  • March 10, 2020

Statement from State Superintendent Richard Woods on closing schools

  • March 9, 2020

Letter from McGarity Elementary regarding employee contact with confirmed out-of-county case

 

  • March 5, 2020

Congressman Tom Graves shares an update on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Private Cherokee County home studies study center closed as precaution; attended by previously diagnosed Fulton teen

No affiliation with Cherokee County Schools - school system statement

Balancing act: Georgia schools navigate handling of coronavirus

 

  • March 3, 2020

Gov. Kemp, Officials Confirm Two Cases of COVID-19 in Georgia

Atlanta, GA – This evening, Governor Brian Kemp, Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Kathleen Toomey, MD, and state officials confirmed Georgia’s first cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) involving two residents of Fulton County who live in the same household. One recently returned from Italy. Both have mild symptoms; they are isolated at home with other relatives to keep the illness from spreading.

Press Release

 

  • March 2, 2020

PCSD forms a cross-department leadership COVID-19 Task Force to monitor the coronavirus, develop plans and prepare communication.

 

  • February 26, 2020

PCSD releases an initial Letter to the Community

 


 

Resources

Here are some excellent resources for more information about COVID-19:

PCSD Letter to the Community

PCSD Letter on Talking to Children About COVID-19 Coronavirus

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus Disease 2019 Official Site

Georgia Department of Public Health

Northwest Georgia Public Health

EAB Coronavirus Resource Center for Educators

Talking To Children About Coronavirus

Department of Public Health Powerpoint

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and Georgia

Guidance from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for children showing symptoms

CAYA Ministries offers meal plan for community during closure

FEMA Rumor Control web site dispels myths

YMCA is offering childcare for healthcare professionals and first responders

Credit card companies are offering financial assistance

Managing Wellness During COVID-19

Tips for Social Distancing While in Quarantine/Isolation

 

Are You Planning to Travel Abroad For Spring Break?

Information For Travel / Risk Assessment by Country

 

Multi-Lingual Resources

CDC Coronavirus Resource Center for Schools

Fact sheet: What You Need to Know

Fact sheet: What to Do If You Are Sick

Poster: Stop the Spread of Germs

Poster: Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019

 

Flyers for Posting

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   Wash Hands 1                                                                        Wash Hands 2                                        Cover Your Cough and Sneeze


 

Enrollment & Travel Information

The Paulding County School District will continue to follow guidance from the Georgia Department of Health, the CDC and/or U.S. Department of State. These travel guidelines are similar to guidelines other school districts have in place at this time. Please refer to the Information For Travel / Risk Assessment by Country provided on the CDC web site for more information about risk levels for travel.

Student Attendance

Students who provide written documentation from a physician or their healthcare provider that advises them not to attend school due to the COVID-19 coronavirus will be fully accommodated in accordance with district attendance policy. These students and their parents/guardians should work with their local school on appropriate arrangements. For all other students, attendance policies remain unchanged, except for:

Attendance Incentives:

As of March 9, 2020 all student attendance incentives, including incentives for awards and finals, for all schools, are suspended for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Attendance incentives up to March 9, 2020 will still be recognized. The reason for this change is to ensure that sick students do not have any reason or incentive to come to school instead of staying home. It is critical that any students who do not feel well to stay at home.

Enrollment of new students from identified high-risk areas:

Families attempting to enroll a student from areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for the coronavirus, as identified by the CDC and/or the US Department of State, should contact via telephone and/or email their local school for instructions related to registration.

Re-entry of students traveling from identified high-risk areas:

Families should inform the local school via telephone and/or email if their student or a member of their household has traveled to areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for the coronavirus, as identified by the CDC or the US Department of State.  The local school will work with the family to determine appropriate steps for re-entry to the school.

Student travel:            

Any school-sponsored and/or district-sponsored travel to areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for the coronavirus, as identified by the CDC or the US Department of State, will be canceled for the duration of the 19-20 school year. All other travel, including travel scheduled within the US or for areas not identified as high risk, will proceed as planned.

Staff travel restrictions:

Employees should inform their supervisor via telephone and/or email, prior to returning to work, if they have traveled to areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for the coronavirus, as identified by the CDC or the US Department of State.

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the source of the virus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.

 

How does the virus spread?

This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.

 

Can someone who has had COVID-19 spread the illness to someone else?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.

Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:

  • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
  • The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.

 

Can someone who has been quarantined for COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.

 

Will warmer weather stop the outbreak of COVID-19?

It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months.  At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer.  There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

 

What is community spread?

Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

 

Should I wear a facemask as a preventive step?

No, if you are not already sick then facemasks are not recommended. Unlike NIOSH-approved N95s, facemasks are loose-fitting and provide only barrier protection against droplets, including large respiratory particles. No fit testing or seal check is necessary with facemasks. Most facemasks do not effectively filter small particles from the air and do not prevent leakage around the edge of the mask when the user inhales. The role of facemasks is for patient source control, to prevent contamination of the surrounding area when a person coughs or sneezes.  Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should wear a facemask until they are isolated in a hospital or at home. The patient does not need to wear a facemask while isolated.

 

More FAQs at the CDC web site