Dear St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, School and ECC Staff and Families,
St. Paul’s Lutheran values the health and well-being of our students, staff, and families. We work throughout the year to promote a healthy school, early childhood center, and congregation. Safety is a priority. You may have heard in the news this week about increased cases of seasonal influenza (flu) in Wisconsin. You likely also heard about the release from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), encouraging schools and communities to begin planning in the event that Coronavirus (or COVID-19) spreads locally. At this time, there is still only one (1) confirmed case of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. The immediate health risk from this virus to Waukesha County residents is considered low at this time. For the most up to date information, please visit the following websites:
St. Paul’s is working with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod – South Wisconsin District and has been proactive in its planning. Church and school leadership has met to discuss our preparedness plan and we are ready to respond to increased illness in our schools if we experience that. If we have a situation of significantly increased illness, or if there are local cases of COVID-19, we will work closely with the Waukesha County Public Health Department.
St. Paul’s takes routine steps to reduce the spread of illness in our building. Our office staff monitors and tracks absence rates and analyzes the cause of absences. The staff works with the Waukesha County Public Health Department to report outbreaks of illness that impact our building. Our cleaning staff and teachers complete targeted and more frequent cleaning and disinfecting of specific spaces in our building. All staff work to engage parents and families to ensure students who are ill stay home and know how to get well. Please note, parents and guardians should work closely with the school office to provide information about their child(ren)’s absence due to illness. Student illness details (e.g., fever, cough) help our staff track trends. When reporting an ill student to the office, please call first thing in the morning and provide the reason for the absence, the specific symptoms, and whether or not your child has a medically-confirmed diagnosis.
This information helps us to monitor illness trends and implement appropriate prevention steps.
We also wanted to stress the importance of avoiding assumptions or stereotypes about who may be sick. St. Paul’s will not exclude people from school or other activities based on their race, country of origin, or recent travel. Public health professionals are the decision-makers regarding isolation or quarantine of individuals at risk. While much attention has been paid to COVID-19, seasonal influenza (flu) and other respiratory viruses are common in Wisconsin at this time of year. We encourage you to talk to your students about ways to stay healthy. This includes:
- Wash your hands regularly and frequently with soap and water
- Help your students to wash their hands well (minimum of 20 seconds)
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing (cough or sneeze into your elbow)
- Avoid touching your face
- Keep your students home when they are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Call your doctor and let them know your symptoms and travel history
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Get your flu vaccine – it’s never too late
The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving and changing. We understand there is uncertainty involved in this situation. We will continue to update families with new information or guidance as it is made available, through multiple communication avenues. We encourage you to contact the Waukesha County Public Health Department or your health provider if you have further questions.
Anchored in Christ,
Jill M. George
Jill M. George, Principal