COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PARENT INFORMATION
March 16, 2020 -- In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all Vestavia Hills City Schools, facilities, and programs are closed effective March 16, 2020, with a planned reopening date of April 6, 2020.
The video below provides information regarding our plans and available resources during the closure of schools. A complete transcript of the video is shown below the video player. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Dr. Todd Freeman, VHCS Superintendent
Hello Vestavia Hills City Schools community. We can all agree this is an unprecedented time in our city, nation and world. Like you, from the outset, my focus has been on the safety and health of our community. After Governor Ivey issued a state of emergency and announced the closure of schools beginning this Thursday, I made the decision to keep our schools open Monday through Wednesday. However, the weekend brought about circumstances that ultimately led to my changing course and closing schools for the entire week.
Over the last several weeks, our leadership team has been preparing for a number of contingencies. Part of that plan is how to best deliver instruction to students in the event of a closure. Our principals and district team finalized a plan last week that provides opportunity for all students to receive appropriate instruction, primarily through virtual means. However, we will not require instruction Monday through Wednesday of this week for several reasons, including the fact that we cannot continue requiring it once the state of emergency begins on Thursday. Should we need to implement our plan after the state of emergency is lifted, we will give you more specific directions. So, remember, there will not be any graded or required assignments from Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5. During the closure, you will be hearing from schools about the academic resources available on our school websites for you to use if you would like.
Because the third quarter ended this past Friday, report cards will be sent out later in the week. For students at Pizitz Middle School, Liberty Park Middle School, and Vestavia Hills High School, you will be able to view your report cards via INOW on Friday, March 20. For students at all of our elementary schools, report cards will be mailed to your home on Friday.
We have many students and staff who may need to pick up personal belongings or medication from school. You can pick up these items Tuesday, March 17 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. We ask that you observe social distancing and limit your time on campus to only get your belongings.
The remainder of this video provides you with other pertinent information, including food service availability for students who need some support in keeping their bodies and minds healthy, availability of technology for those who need it, what we will be doing in our facilities to prepare for the return of students and staff, and general hygiene guidelines for students when we do return to school.
My encouragement for you is to embrace the time together with your family as a unique opportunity to grow. Read some great stories, watch a good history movie or replay an exciting ballgame, make math a part of your conversations about sports, play old board games or new virtual ones, take advantage of academic resources on our website, slide or swing and talk while you demonstrate angles and shapes, engineer a new lincoln log house, build a robot, sing, dance, draw, or talk about your dreams. Whatever way you exercise your body and mind, grow with the ones you love most.
I will talk with you again in the near future as updates are necessary.
Amanda Carlson, Director of Child Nutrition
I’m Amanda Carlson, Director of Child Nutrition for Vestavia Hills City Schools. To support our students through a school closure, the Child Nutrition Program will offer meals to students who need them Monday through Friday between the hours of 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.
During this time, we will offer a limited selection of frozen meals that can be reheated at home and sack lunches that are ready to eat. Students who use this service will also be provided a breakfast to eat the following day.
Pickup locations will be at Vestavia Hills Elementary West for students who live along the Highway 31 corridor. Students who live in the Cahaba Heights, Dolly Ridge, and Liberty Park communities can pick up at Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights. Please note, out of an abundance of caution, we will not be allowing students or families to enter these schools during meal pickup times.
If you have any questions you may email me at email@example.com.
Keith Price, Director of Technology
I'm Keith Price, the Director of Technology for Vestavia Hills City Schools. To assist students who do not currently have technology devices at home, we will allow students to check out a Chromebook at Vestavia Hills Elementary Central campus between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17, and Wednesday, March 18, and by appointment only on subsequent days. Please let me stress that these devices are only to be used for academic purposes and must be returned immediately following the reopening of schools.
Spectrum is providing free home internet access for the next 60 days to families who do not currently have internet access at home. Please contact your local Spectrum office if you would like to take advantage of this program.
If you have any questions, please contact me, Keith Price, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Patrick Martin, Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Services
Hello. My name is Patrick Martin and I’m the Assistant Superintendent for Operations and Services here at Vestavia Hills City Schools.
As a member of the Operations Department, our mission is to support all efforts to create a safe and nurturing learning environment for all students. As part of this mission, in the fall of 2019, a Centralized Custodial Cleaning Program was implemented to provide for uniformity in our cleaning regimen across all schools in Vestavia Hills. Significant time was spent with each school custodial team in the fall training on new products provided for us by Essential Industries. The high school had been utilizing this program, through Essential, for the past several years, and it was my decision to expand it to each of the Vestavia Hills schools.
As cut sheets demonstrate, current products used to clean each of our schools are hospital-grade and are effective in disinfecting a wide variety of bacterial and other harmful substances such as the human coronavirus. Extensive, hands-on training this fall allowed custodial teams to work with experts on how best to utilize this product and make it most effective in cleaning school surfaces.
In light of recent events and the potential need to plan for the safety of students if there were a scenario where school were to be closed for a period of time, the Operations Department would take on the responsibility of extensive cleaning at each of our school sites. Using products currently on hand, as well as those recommended for deeper cleaning by our suppliers, each school site, as well as the Transportation Department and other spaces utilized by students and staff, would receive the necessary top-to-bottom clean needed in order to resume school. This would be a task taken very seriously by the school system, led by me, the Assistant Superintendent for Operations and Services, with extensive coordination utilizing our community partners. We would want to make sure that when the time became necessary to welcome students and staff back into our hallways, that the environments were appropriate and safe for their return.
Please note that this is a matter that we in Operations take very seriously and feel that we have very good coordination, top to bottom, within each of our school buildings. I hope that current changes and our uniformity across all buildings provide you with a level of confidence and that you feel Vestavia Hills will continue to provide a safe environment for student learning.
Carol Harrelson, RN, MSN, Health Services Coordinator
Hello. My name is Carol Harrelson. I’m the health services coordinator for Vestavia Hills City Schools, and I'm here to offer a few suggestions for some health issues while you're at home with your children.
First of all, it's recommended that you stay away from crowded venues. Malls, churches, places where large numbers of people congregate, needs to be avoided so that we don't take a risk of passing on the virus to other people.
If you do have to go into a group setting, it's recommended that you stay about 6 feet away from other people. It's thought that that distance will keep germs from spreading.
If you and your family are well at home, then cleaning procedures can proceed as you would normally. If you have a sick family member or someone who's visited your home who might be infected or sick, extra cleaning is needed, especially frequently touched areas like door knobs, countertops, light switches, where we tend to touch things and leave germs behind.
Other hygiene measures that we've all heard about many times should also be used. Wash your hands frequently, whether you're sick or not. 20 seconds of hand-washing does a lot to get rid of those germs. Cover your cough or sneeze as best you can to keep from passing that along. If possible, try to launder your students' school supplies; things like jackets, lunch boxes, backpacks; if you're able to launder those, that is advisable. If you can't launder, then try to wipe them down with disinfectant material. Notebooks, things like that that have a hard surface. If you can wipe those, that goes a long way in getting rid of any germs that might be on them.
If your student is sick once school commences again, please always remember that we need to keep your student at home until they're well. As long as they're sick, they need to be out of the classroom. We like for students to be fever-free with no anti-fever medication for at least 24 hours before they return to school.
If you're looking for more information about the coronavirus situation, you can always look to the CDC website, which is www.cdc.gov. The Alabama Department of Public Health website has a lot of information as well, or you can contact us at Vestavia Hills City Schools for more information.