Dear UT Charter School Parents, Partners and Community:
Given the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, The University of Texas Charter School System will extend the suspension of normal district operations through Friday, April 3rd in an effort support our nation’s need to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. I am extending the close of operations in the Houston area to April 10th .
Our health officials report that cases are continuing to spread in the state, and an increase in confirmed cases in our county seems likely. Suspending operations for this length of time will allow us to determine, in coordination with local health officials, whether the virus is continuing to have community spread or whether it has been contained. We are coordinating with other school districts in the county and will use the week of March 23rd to make any decisions on whether there is a need to extend the suspension further. To provide a sense of possible impact in order to help you prepare: If there is a need to continue the suspension at that time, it would likely be for at least 3 more weeks beyond April 3rd . During this time, teachers and administrators will be preparing for providing students with online instruction and course work they can do from home.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has outlined the need for all communities to implement a social distancing protocol. We want to reiterate a request to our broader community to take the following reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of the illness:
- Don’t shake hands
- Wash your hands regularly
- Limit movement within the community, especially avoiding crowded placed and maintaining 3 to 6 ft of distance between people (at least an arm’s length)
- If you are moving around in the community, don’t congregate in large groups (less than 10)
- For those who have traveled to areas with known COVID-19 cases – both inside and outside of the country – we ask that you self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms. Students who have traveled should plan to stay home for two weeks after arriving home. Please contact your campus to let them know, and this will be considered an excused absence.
- If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider for medical advice.
- Keep your child at home if he/she feels ill, even if you think it is just a cold.
- Do not leave the house if you are ill, except to access medical care
This is a quickly changing situation, and we will continue to monitor information, will assess conditions throughout the week, and will provide the next update by April 2nd via our website and email.
Thank you for your support and cooperation as we ensure that all members of the community in The University of Texas Charter School System stay safe and healthy.
Melissa M. Chavez, PhD
Associate Vice President and Superintendent