Hello HLA Families,
Keeping students and staff healthy is a top priority for Hope Leadership Academy, and we have policies, procedures and guidelines in place to prevent the spread of illnesses and viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's novel coronavirus (COVID-19) update provided school districts and communities guidance regarding preparation for the novel coronavirus.
Novel coronavirus is a virus strain that has spread in people since December 2019 and has caused severe illness and pneumonia. Symptoms are similar to the flu - cough, fever, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. More information can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or health.mo.gov/coronavirus.
With more than 100 active investigations across the nation, there has been ONE (1) confirmed patient under investigation in the St. Louis area. There are FOUR (4) confirmed patients under investigation in Overland Park, KS. The are no confirmed cases within the Jackson county limits, nor is there any evidence to support widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the Kansas City metro area. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has created a COVID-19 hotline to answer questions from the public. The number is 877-435-8411. This number can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is being operated by medical professionals.
As a preventative measure HLA will have another full building disinfecting cleaning over spring break.
The HLA Leadership Team has taken or will take the following steps to ensure student and staff health:
- Continue to communicate closely with county health professionals.
- Monitor and track student illnesses, and review CDC and state health department guidance.
- Use both routine cleaning methods and specialized decontamination to provide extra disinfection efforts as warranted based on reported uptick in illnesses.
- Evaluate our current crisis and emergency procedures related to health and illness in collaboration with health department and law enforcement partners.
- Explore virtual school (tele-school) options for a scenario in which the health department recommends school cancellations.
- Reinforce best practices to prevent the spread of flu, influenza and other viruses to staff and students.
You CAN help us all stay healthy by:
Keeping your students home if they are sick with the flu or are presenting symptoms of the flu to prevent spreading it to others at school and in the workplace. If you believe you or your children are becoming ill with influenza-like symptoms (such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue), then contact your local healthcare provider. Students CANNOT return to school until they have been symptom free for 24 hours WITHOUT medication.
- Practicing frequent hand washing using soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. You may also use hand sanitizer when it is difficult to wash your hands.
- Avoiding touching your mouth, nose and eyes because the virus can spread when your hands touch surfaces infested with germs.
- Remembering to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing. If a tissue is not available, sneezing or coughing into the upper portion of your shirt sleeve and avoid sneezing or coughing into your hands (which are more likely to touch surfaces and other people and spread the disease).
- Not sharing drinks, water bottles, eating utensils or cell phones with others.
- Practicing “social distancing,” especially in the case of a pandemic. Stand at least three feet away from others if you or the other person is infected with the flu.
- How do you tell the difference between the common cold and the flu? If you have a stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat and a hacking cough, you probably have a cold. If you have a high fever, extreme tiredness, a dry cough and severe headache, muscle and body aches, you probably have the flu.
The HLA Leadership Team will be closely monitoring this situation over spring break. If spring break has to be extended we will promptly communicate once that decision has been made. As a precautionary measure, we are sending all students home with educational work packets should the need arise to extend spring break. Again, in that event we will communicate that with you. Our goal is to provide the safest environment we possibly can for our staff and students alike. If we all work together and follow these important guidelines, we can help keep our students, staff and community healthy.
Hope Leadership Academy Leadership Team
Robert N. Milner, Principal/Executive Director