Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions for Parents
Last Updated 3/18/2020
Collierville Schools (CS) continues to work closely with the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), Shelby County Health Department, Shelby County Emergency Management Agency and others to bring you the latest information regarding the novel coronavirus.
To help answer questions parents may have, the TDH launched a Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line. The hotline number is 877-857-2945 and will be available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
In addition, parents will find a list of Frequently Asked Questions below that was compiled by CS and the Tennessee Department of Education. Please continue to check back regularly as this will be updated periodically.
Will Collierville Schools engage in online learning?
Preparations are already underway. CS is currently on Spring Break through Friday, March 20th. The week of March 23rd, CS will be using our emergency closing days. During this time, planning and implementation guidelines will be finalized and communicated. These plans will include students with disabilities. Provisions will be made for students needing assistance with devices. Please check back on this site regularly for updated information.
How are you handling athletic and arts events, practices, and all other extra-curricular activities?
Beginning March 14, all CS athletics and arts events and field trips have been cancelled through the extent of closure. Athletics and arts practices and trips are cancelled through the extent of closure. We will re-evaluate all events and practices and will send additional updates as they become available. This cancellation is for events, field trips, and practices held on or off campus under the supervision of CS through the extent of the closure.
How are you handling field trips?
At this time, we have cancelled all out of state and overnight field trips until further notice. This comes as our governor declares a state of emergency, the World Health Organization declares a pandemic, and the state and local government guidance shifts to match the current spread of the Covid-19 virus. For these reasons we are not comfortable allowing these trips out of state or in areas of the state where overnight travel is needed until further notice.
Are outside groups still able to use CS facilities?
Facility use requests from community groups using campuses are suspended through the extent of closure.
How does the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread?
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, generally between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). This spread appears to occur through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
What are the primary symptoms of the virus? What should I be looking for?
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- Shortness of breath
What should I do if my child or someone in my family is exhibiting symptoms?
Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Are children more at risk for the coronavirus and how should infection be prevented?
According to the health officials, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible. In fact, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported from China have occurred in adults. Children should engage in usual preventive actions to avoid infection, including cleaning hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoiding people who are sick, and staying up to date on vaccinations, including influenza vaccine.
What other precautions should we take?
Health officials recommend everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an approved alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
How is the decision made for a school to close?
Districts work with local health officials to make closure and dismissal decisions. The determination of school closings are made, with specific guidance from local health officials to determine if, when, and for how long to take these steps.
Who do I contact if I am not getting notifications about school closings?
If you are no longer receiving school closure alerts, via Blackboard, please contact the Technology department at email@example.com with your name, your child(ren) name(s), school attending, email listed in PowerSchool that should be receiving messages and the cell phone number that should be receiving calls and/or texts. We will also alert the public anytime there is a school closure by posting that information on the district’s webpage, Facebook page, and Twitter account.
Is the district adjusting the timeline for the third quarter?
At this time, the Tennessee Department of Education is determining days per quarter. We will post state directives on our District’s website, on the updates tab, as details are made available to us.
Will my school have to add days on to the end of the school year?
At this time, we do not have a definitive answer for this question. In the event of a natural disaster or serious outbreaks of illness affecting or endangering students or staff during a school year, the law authorizes the commissioner of education to waive for that school year the requirement of 180 days of classroom instruction. We will be following guidance from the state to determine the need for extending the last day of school. As soon as a decision is made, we will communicate that information in our updates.
If I am a substitute and my assignment(s) get cancelled due to school closures, will I be paid?
No, substitutes are considered temporary employees and will not be paid for time not spent in a classroom.
How does a student in need of transcripts or other documents get a hard copy of the needed items with the school system shut down?
Not all schools will be staffed. High school students should send an email to their grade level counselor to make request. Middle and elementary school students should send an email to the school principal to make request.
For additional information regarding COVID-19, please visit the coronavirus information page on our district webpage.