|*PGCEA Offices will be closed March 16-27th. Should you need help staff is available by phone 301-736-2700 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all you do for the children.
This email is an update on closures, your responsibilities, PGCEA Operating information, and where to find additional information on Coronavirus (COVID19). We are working with the administration to ensure your safety and the safety of the children.
CLOSURE UPDATE Yesterday at Governor Larry Hogan’s press conference, Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, directed that effective Monday, March 16th, through Friday, March 27th, all public schools in Maryland will be closed. All scheduled school-sanctioned travel for students and staff will also be canceled effective immediately. There was also a recommendation for systems to use Spring Break for make-up days.
YOUR ROLE After conferring with Dr. Goldson and Dr. Coley here is some clarity. Educators are not being asked to teach virtually as we do not have the infrastructure set up. You are being asked to give students work to reinforce the curriculum. Packages do not need to be copied. You may write assignments down and have students use texts. You may also give students a project. This shutdown is historic and a teachable moment. CNN Student News is a great option to use. You are being asked to check and use whatever means students or parents use to ask questions about their assignments, i.e. ClassDojo, Google Classroom, Blackboard, emails as you would normally do.
This is a State of Emergency and while there was a recommendation to use Spring Break it is not decided how we will make-up days and time lost. It is important that the system document that some work was done by students when it comes time to apply for waivers of days to the Maryland Department of Education. That is why you are being asked to send work home and monitor student questions. You are not being asked to complete any other tasks.
Please monitor your email daily as changes may occur. We may be out for a longer period of time. This is a state of emergency. We are encouraging you to stay informed. If you are not receiving text alerts from PGCPS please sign-up today to get immediate updates.
SPRING BREAK If you have Spring Break plans, I encourage you to be mindful that the airlines are allowing travel changes to flights and if you do leave the country you may have difficulty returning. We do not know how the calendar will be affected. Be wise and adjust your plans accordingly. The Board of Education determines the calendar and that decision has not been made. There are various options that could occur but the reality is no one is really being encouraged to travel by the CDC.
PGCEA OPERATING INFORMATION
PGCEA’s office at 8008 Marlboro Pike will be closed and all employees will be working remotely from home. PGCEA follows PGCPS on closures. Our staff and President Theresa Dudley will be available via telephone and email. Our 301-736-2700 number at PGCEA will allow members to reach all staff through our automated system.If you need to email us and don’t know who we will be actively monitoring email@example.com. We will also be updating our website as we receive information. www.pgcea.org. This is an emergency situation.
Here is an update on what you should know about Coronavirus (COVID19)
First we must remain calm and wash our hands. We are working very closely with PGCPS and monitoring the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the state of Maryland for updates. If you find that your school building does not have appropriate supplies for sanitation, such as available soap for all restrooms, please notify your supervisor immediately. Feel free to contact us if there is not soap or the hand sanitizer containers are not filled. Anti-bacterial wipes are not being supplied as of this writing.
For updates from PGCPS visit www.pgcps.org. If you have not signed up for text message alerts form the school system now is a good time to do so PGCPS TEXT ALERTS .
Below you will find a summary of resources that teachers in K-12 should know about Coronavirus (COVID19). If you need more detailed information please visit the CDC website here. If you want information from National Education Association education perspective visit NEAToday School and What you Should Know About Coronavirus.
You can also find a checklist for teachers here.
Take steps to protect yourself and others, from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Take steps to protect others
Stay home if you’re sick
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
Cover coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Theresa Mitchell Dudley