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Update #5: Community Health Advisory (March 13)
Update #5: Community Health Advisory (March 13)
Posted on 03/13/2020
Please read this important health advisory concerning the Novel Coronavirus, also called COVID-19.March 13, 2020
Communication Health Advisory

Good afternoon, Buncombe County Schools Families/employees:

We want to update you on our latest efforts in response to COVID-19 and its effect on our state and region. We understand that there are rumors and misinformation circulating in the community and online. The Buncombe County Schools website and social media channels are the official channels that will be used to communicate vital information and updates.

First, we want to assure you that the health and safety of our students and staff remains our top priority. We continue to work closely with local public health officials to monitor the rapidly changing situation. The health department emphasized that closing schools is not an ideal response at this time; however, our parents and community are being asked to prepare for that possibility. While there are no immediate plans to close any of our schools, please begin making arrangements for childcare should that action become necessary.

In the event that we must close one or more of our schools for students, we are proud to announce the launch of Buncombe County Schools Virtual Days. This program is intended to help our students, their classmates, and teachers remain connected even if campuses are closed. In order to be prepared, all BCS students, K-12, will take their assigned device home nightly beginning on Monday. For our younger students, this will be new for them. It will be important to encourage students to be careful and responsible with their device as they transport them home each day. In order to meet a variety of needs, K-3 teachers will create take-home kits for them. Your teacher will provide further instructions and guidance regarding what those virtual lessons will look like for different subjects and grade levels.

Also, effective Monday (3/16/2020), all field trips and professional staff development that would take a staff member out of their building is suspended until further notice.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSSA) Board of Directors announced on Thursday afternoon that, due to the threat from COVID-19, the 2020 Men’s and Women’s Basketball State Championships will be postponed indefinitely. The Board of Directors also moved to suspend interscholastic athletics beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020, through Monday, April 6, 2020. This includes all workouts, skill development, practices, and contests. *This applies to both high school and middle school athletics.*

In the meantime, our custodians are maintaining clean and healthy buildings for our students and staff. As usual during cold and flu season, custodians continue to spend extra time cleaning and disinfecting common surfaces. Our cafeteria staff is using an EPA-approved disinfectant daily. Also, our custodians are disinfecting our school buses twice-per-day. The Centers for Disease Control continues to advise us to maintain good hand hygiene.

The Centers for Disease Control and state and local health officials maintain that prevention measures such as hand-washing (for 20 seconds, using soap and water), staying home when sick, not touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes are key steps in keeping illness from spreading in our community.

Visit BuncombeCounty.org/BCReady for the latest on the community response to this situation. Also, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has established a call center in order to answer your specific health questions. That number is 866-462-3821.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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