Odyssey Charter School Community,

I am writing today to update our community regarding OCS’s plans and preparation to address recent health concerns. As you may be aware, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are tracking the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. The Delaware Health and Social Services has advised that for the general public, the immediate health risk from coronavirus disease is low.

Nonetheless, with cases of COVID-19 coronavirus reported in several countries including the U.S., Campus Operations Officer Riccardo Stoeckicht and I are developing a multi-tiered plan for potential episodic or systemic spread of the illness. Administration is working in a team-based approach, including academic leadership and nursing staff, as well as managers from the facilities, food service, and transportation departments. This committee is charged with identifying school needs and preparing our crisis response plan to address common illness spread (Tier 1), elevated COVID-19 coronavirus illness incidences (Tier 2), or widespread COVID-19 coronavirus occurrence (Tier 3). Examples of Tier 1 responses that the school is implementing include:

  • Installation of additional alcohol hand sanitizers in high traffic areas
  • Integrating additional cleaning products and sanitation efforts by janitorial staff
  • Additional deep cleanings of dining tables between lunch periods
  • Incorporating frequent wipe downs on “high touch areas” like doorknobs and railings

In addition, we are drafting Tier 2 and Tier 3 plans to incorporate best practices and coordinate resources. Again, federal and state authorities indicate that risk for COVID-19 coronavirus remains low at this time. However, school administration is preparing now should risk elevate in the future.

It is important to note that the illness currently impacting our school most severely is influenza. We ask that you follow the guidelines set forth by Delaware’s Division of Public Health and the Department of Education to curb the spread of influenza and other illnesses:

  • Stay home if you are sick. Please keep your student home with symptoms of acute respiratory illness and/or a fever (100.4 F [37.8C] or greater) without the use of fever reducing or symptom altering medication for at least 24 hours.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues, or cough or sneeze into your inner elbow.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean personal items such as cell phones (before and after the school day).
  • Avoid contact with others who are sick.

As educators, we see an opportunity to connect these current events to our students’ lives. To that end, students will participate in a brief lesson during the school day to support healthy habits while at school. This lesson will review handwashing, healthy interactions (i.e., discouraging “high fives”), and related facts in an age-appropriate way.

Please remember that if you are ill, you should not visit the Odyssey Charter School campus. When entering our schools, you may find signage reminding those experiencing illness, or if you have been ill or have recently traveled internationally, to stay home until you are illness-free. This guideline is in place for the wellbeing of our students, staff, and community.

School leadership is continually monitoring both the COVID-19 coronavirus and influenza incidences. We receive regular updates from federal, state, and local entities to inform our decisions and processes. As more information becomes available, we will communicate to our families. You can find more information about COVID-19 by clicking here for one-sheets in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Mandarin.

The safety and security of our students is always our utmost priority. Please reach out to your building-level nurse with any immediate questions. Thank you, as always, for entrusting our staff with your most precious assets.

Yours in education,

The OCS Leadership