Emergency Information

Emergency Information

Letter from the Superintendent - Monday, March 2, 2020
Letter from the Superintendent - Wed., March 18, 2020
Letter from the Superintendent - Mon., March 16, 2020
Letter from thLe Superintendent - Fri., March 13, 2020

2020 Pandemic Response Plan 

Click Here for the Most Up to Date Emergency Information

*More general information about the coronavirus can be found on the Student Health p age.*

*Find details on meal distribution and bus routes HERE*

SPS School Closure Update - Friday, March 13, 7:30 p.m.
As a response to Gov. Northam's declaration, Suffolk Public Schools implemented our concept of operations, as a part of our Pandemic Response Plan. We have developed online resources and instructional packets to support ongoing learning for students during this extended closure.

Please see the following:

- Suffolk Public Schools will be closed Monday, March, 16 - Friday, March 27

- Teachers and staff will have a teacher workday on Monday, March 16, 2020, from 8 A.M.-3:00 P.M. This will allow our instructional staff to finalize any instructional materials that may be necessary during this two-week closure.

- Instructional packets and resources were distributed this afternoon to our elementary school students. These packets will also be available for parent pick-up on Monday, March 16, 2020 from 8 A.M. to 12 noon at your child’s school location.

- Middle and high school students will utilize their chromebooks. Our SPS Connect initiative will allow both the students and teachers to collaborate through Google Classroom and the Google Suite.

- As a reminder, All extra-curricular activities and events are cancelled until further notice.

- Visit our YouTube Channel, Suffolk Schools or the main page of our website to view the latest video from our Superintendent regarding updates on the coronavirus and school closures.

Response to Gov. Northam - Updated Friday, March 13, 4:30 P.M.
As you all may be aware, at 2:23 P.M., Suffolk Public Schools received notice that the Governor has ordered all Virginia K-12 schools to close for a minimum of two weeks beginning Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27, 2020.

We know you may have questions, and we will release additional information as soon as it becomes available. Please continue to monitor the Suffolk Public Schools - Emergency Information web page for updates. Employees should monitor SPS email for further information as well.

Closures and Cancellations - Updated Friday, March 13, 11:49 A.M.
- Suffolk Public Schools will be CLOSED on Monday, March 16, for a Teacher Work Day and Student Holiday. Students are expected to return to school on Tuesday, March 17

- Also, starting on Tuesday, March 17, Student drop-off and pick-up will be adjusted to include parents/guardians dropping off or picking up their students at the front door or designated locations ONLY. This will be in effect through Monday, March 30

- All after-school activities will be cancelled starting today until further notice

- All building rentals and facility use will be cancelled starting this weekend through Monday, March 30

- We will no longer permit volunteers or outside visitors in the schools through Monday, March 30

- All events such as concerts, conferences, plays, and field trips are cancelled through Monday, March 30

Updated Friday, March 20, 8:45 A.M.
*Currently there is 1 confirmed positive case in the Western Tidewater Health District in the City of Suffolk.

Updated Monday, March 16, 9:15 A.M.
*Currently, there are 45 confirmed cases in Virginia. No cases have been identified in the Western Tidewater Health District, i.e Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight and Southampton)

Updated Friday, March 13, 11:49 A.M.
*Currently, there are 29 confirmed cases in Virginia. No cases have been identified in the Western Tidewater Health District, i.e Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight and Southampton)

Updated Thursday, March 12, 1:53 P.M
*Currently there are 9 confirmed/presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Virgina. No cases have been identified in the Western Tidewater Health District, i.e Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight and Southampton)

Since then, the coronavirus has been classified as a pandemic from the World Health Organization, it is imperative that Suffolk Public Schools ensures that procedures are in place. We are continuing to keep the health and well-being of our students and staff as our highest priority. Suffolk Public Schools, along with our neighboring districts, have collaborated to take proactive measures to stop the spread of the disease, and ensure that all kids are safe.

Pandemic Planning Checklist for Individuals and Families

To Plan for a Pandemic:
- Store a two week supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store or if stores are out of supplies, it will be essential for you to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters.

- Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.

- Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough, and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.

- Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

- Become a Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.

- Please get involved in your community as it works to prepare for a pandemic.

***Click to find additional checklist items.***

Updated Thursday, March 12, 1:53 P.M.
What is the Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a type of virus that first identified in the 1960s. The most recently discovered Coronavirus is new or novel and is officially called COVID-19. Its origins trace back to a live animal market in China, but the virus is now spreading globally to humans.

What is SPS doing to address the Coronavirus?
Since then, the Coronavirus has been classified as a pandemic from the World Health Organization, Suffolk Public Schools activated our Pandemic Response Plan. This plan includes aspects such as a review of our preparedness and response, the phases of a pandemic, planning and operations, infection control and recovery. We have updated our public-facing platforms with a Pandemic Planning Checklist advising of actions to take to lessen the impact of the virus.

We are encouraging social distancing and providing strategies for individuals to reduce the spread of the virus between people. We have made adjustments to school cleaning per recommendations from the Center for Disease Control. We have provided our custodians with solutions to fight, specifically the Flu and coronavirus. They have also increased their cleaning routines to monitor high-touch and regular traffic areas continuously.

In the Event of a School Closure, How Will SPS Continue Teaching and Instruction?

Suffolk Public Schools is in the final phases of developing an instructional plan that will include virtual learning opportunities for our Secondary students through our SPS connect initiative. At the elementary level, teachers and instructional staff are currently working on instructional packets, if we have to close schools due to public health concerns.

How Will Suffolk Public Schools Limit Large Crowds and Gatherings During School Sporting Events?

We will follow guidelines that will be forthcoming from the Virginia High School League regarding competition and attendance from fans. It is our goal to limit large group gatherings. Therefore only immediate family will be allowed at competitions if they occur. Schools will generate a list for attendance at our games. We are also looking at field trips on a case by case basis with the limiting of large groups being the focus.

How can Suffolk Public Schools Implement Student Distancing?

Student spacing refers to distancing individuals and strategies to reduce the spread of the virus between people. SPS has provided education on student spacing to all staff, students, and parents.

Student spacing strategies may include:

1. Spacing students’ desks three (3) feet apart, in small pods or clusters

2. Discouraging prolonged congregation in hallways, lunchrooms, etc.

3.Limiting group activities and interaction between classes

4. Canceling school activities that place individuals in close proximity

Is It Possible to Have COVID-19 and Remain Asymptomatic?
Yes, and if you are infected, you can still transmit the virus with mild to no symptoms. Transmission is greater by air/droplet than on surfaces. However, the risk of transmission still remains when touching contaminated surfaces.

Why Have Surrounding Colleges and Universities Closed, but not Suffolk Public Schools?
Most k-12 schools are community based, whereas colleges and universities have state, country and global reach. Many colleges are currently on spring break, and have a higher percentage of travel by students in the U.S and abroad. These students have a higher risk of bringing viruses back to campus where the students eat, live and socialize 24/7.

Will Suffolk Public Schools Close?
The decision to close a school will be made jointly by the school division and the Virginia Department of Health, should that become necessary. This is a good time to update your contact information with your child's school (or if you are a staff member, on Employee Self-Service) for use in our School Messenger notification system.

How Can I Help Prevent the Spread of Illnesses?
We want to remind our community to sanitize frequent touch points (handles, doorknobs, etc. frequently. We are promoting the practice of good hand hygiene and cough etiquette to limit the spread of germs and prevent infection. Suffolk Public Schools asks that you continue to encourage and model this behavior at home. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash bin.

Should There Be Recommendations Regarding Spring Break and Travel?
Our recommendation is to follow the guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control regarding travel. Cruises are a high risk. If you decide to travel, please consider the risks you pose to yourself, staff and students.