Team Chesterfield families,
COVID-19 has created a rapidly evolving environment where changes are being made quickly in the interest of public health. Just within the last 24 hours, the World Health Organization has declared an international pandemic; travel from parts of the world to the U.S. has been extremely restricted; Virginia colleges and universities have adjusted student schedules; and states across the country are curtailing events with large numbers of people attending.
While many are focused on individual positive test results, we are just as concerned about potential exposure, the subsequent 14 days of self-quarantine that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, and the instructional time potentially lost in such a case. Our schools need time to proactively prepare lessons should it become necessary to close for an extended period of time.
As a result, Chesterfield County Public Schools will be closed to students on Friday, March 13.
We realize that this will be an inconvenience for families, but trust that you understand that this decision is made with the best interests of our students (and staff) in mind. Such action is aligned with federal and state recommendations regarding cleaning and developing instructional plans in the event of a long-term closure.
Understanding that we still also are in the midst of flu season, the Facilities and Transportation teams will use this day to conduct additional cleaning of school buildings and buses in anticipation of being open for students on Monday. Instructionally, this will be used as a teacher workday for staff members to proactively prepare instructional materials (online and offline, as age appropriate) in the event that schools are closed for an extended period of time.
Secondary band assessments scheduled for Friday afternoon and Saturday will still occur. (Families, if your child is unable to get to the student’s home school to ride the bus for the assessment, please notify your child’s school in advance of the activity. Additional information will be provided by your child’s school. Students will not receive a consequence for missing this assessment.)
All other after-school activities slated for Friday will occur as scheduled after the teacher workday.
Again, this is not a decision that we are making lightly, as we know it is disruptive in nature. However, we do believe it is in the best long-term interests of our students, staff and community.
We thank you for your patience and understanding!