By Jessica “Hutch” Hutchison LCO Ojibwe School Director
Boozhoo Parents & Guardians,
Student safety is the highest priority and most important responsibility for educators, one that is shared at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School. School leaders have been in constant communication with tribal, county and national health and education agencies to best determine how to respond to the ever changing nature of this health crisis. As part an effort to prevent and contain the Covid-19 (coronavirus) both nationally and locally, the following preventative measures will be put into place, effective immediately:
● All Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School buildings will be closed to all visitors, vendors, and volunteers.
● All after school activities will be cancelled, including the 21st Century program, athletics, clubs and activities. This includes the outside use of the building for the Boys and Girls Club, Men’s League and Open Gym.
● All large group activities including weekly assemblies and powwows will be cancelled.
● All field trips out of the county will be cancelled until further notice.
As this is a rapidly changing situation, we continue to rely on information from the Centers For Disease Control at cdc.gov which provides guidance on travel, sanitizing, and when to contact a healthcare provider. In addition to the attached resource information, a link to the cdc.gov can also be found on our school website at www.lcoosk12.org.
As was the case with previous flu outbreaks, we recommend that students stay home when they are sick and that contact with the school take place in the event of an absence. Efforts will be made to send homework for students as soon as possible and attendance incentives have been paused.
We understand the disruption that these measures will cause, but hope that the amount of traffic in and out of the building, as well as the extra time to thoroughly clean and disinfect the building on a nightly basis will help to reduce the chance of infection of our students, staff and community. These measures will remain in place AT LEAST until April 12th.
Any school cancellations or closures will be communicated via letter, phone, Facebook, website, and radio. In the event of a school closure, efforts will be made to continue to provide partial meal services for students, as we feel the need to continue to support our students and their families will only be heightened in such an instance. Please be on the lookout for more information regarding this and other crisis supports.
I appreciate your support during this time of uncertainty and assure you that the staff at Lac Courte Oreilles will continue to work as hard as possible in the best interests of your child(ren).
Bureau of Indian Education Letter to Parents and School Leaders
By Tamarah Pfeiffer Acting Chief Academic Officer
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is actively involved in supporting the U.S. response to COVID-19, or Novel Coronavirus, and continues to collaborate with Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).
CDC considers this to be a very serious public health threat; however, based on current information, the immediate health risk within the U.S. is considered low at this time. Medical and public health experts across the Federal government are working to understand the virus, identify routes of exposure, and limit its spread in coordination with international partners.
There is no higher priority than protecting the safety of our students, employees and communities. We want to ensure all are aware of the tried and true hygiene practices that can be very effective in reducing the chance of getting sick. Public health officials across the nation recommend these basic prevention guidelines:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer ;
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or utilize your elbow when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again;
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; and
• Most importantly, if your child has symptoms of the flu or of any serious infection or virus, please utilize your best judgement to determine if your child should stay home or consult a physician to avoid exposing others.
• Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and may include: fever, cough, and shortness of breath.I ask for your help in reinforcing the recommended practices listed above with your children. In situations like this, it is best to rely on factual information from reliable sources.
For the most current information, please refer to the CDC website for general information:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html.For school specific information from the CDC, please utilize the following webpages:
Once again, we are monitoring this situation closely and will provide updates to our community should further steps become necessary. For inquiries or concerns, please contact the Bureau of Indian Education at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, thank you for working with us to keep our schools healthy and safe.