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CORONAVIRUS

ATTN Parents / Guardians: Updated Information on the Coronavirus

April 6, 2020 - School Board Meeting on April 8, 2020 will be Held by Teleconference

Due to the Rankin County School District closure per the recommendation of Governor Tate Reeves, because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and the National and State Emergency Declaration, access to our School Board Meeting on April 8, 2020 at 7:30 a.m. will be held by teleconference. The public can access the meeting via the attached link and will be conducted according to the Mississippi state statue 25-41-5.

https://zoom.us/j/673224809

Topic: Rankin County School District April 8 Board Meeting (Public) 

Time: Apr 8, 2020 07:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada) 

        +1 312 626 6799 US
        +1 253 215 8782 US (alternate option)

Meeting ID: 673 224 809 


April 3, 2020 - Important Changes to the Drive Thru Grab & Go Meal Services

IMPORTANT CHANGES TO THE DRIVE THRU GRAB & GO MEAL SERVICES


March 22, 2020 - COVID-19 Letter to Parents

Please see the latest COVID-19 update letter from Rankin County Superintendent, Dr. Sue Townsend. 



March 19, 2020 - COVID-19  Update on Public School Closures 

Governor Tate Reeves announced on Facebook Live that he will close all public schools in Mississippi until April 17, 2020 in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). http://ow.ly/HgtP50yQvQs


March 18, 2020 - Technology Survey

Parents You should’ve received a technology survey from your school. Complete it by Thurs. at noon to help us plan for distance learning. If you have not received the tech survey, please email your principal as soon as possible. 


March 15, 2020 - Grab and Go Lunches

The Rankin County School District will be serving GRAB AND GO meals beginning Tuesday, March 17th until further notice at McLaurin Elementary, Richland Upper Elementary and Pelahatchie Elementary. (We may be adding other locations soon.)

ALL children 18 and under will eat FREE. They DO NOT have to be a RCSD student. No ID required. Adult meals will be $3.50.  Time: 10:30 am-12:30pm. First Responders in uniform will also eat FREE!


March 14, 2020- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The Rankin County School District will extend Spring Break for two weeks. All schools will be closed Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27 per the recommendation of Governor Tate Reeves. We will keep you updated throughout the week as the situation evolves. Please continue to check your email and our website.

Continued Education:  We are prepared to transition from the classroom to distance learning, to move teaching and learning beyond the four walls of the classroom for all of our students, as needed. We will let you know when this will begin. Our instructional staff has and will continue to develop their skills for providing instruction to our students through distance learning opportunities. Please understand this is a new experience for all of us and be patient as we develop these skills.More information will be shared about this process during the next few days. Please keep checking your email and our website for updates.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we travel this uncharted territory together. There are a multitude of considerations to be considered when dealing with our students and employees. Decisions have been made thoughtfully and with the support of district, community, county and state leaders. Mississippi, especially Rankin County, has the reputation for pulling together during times of need. This is the perfect opportunity to model for our students and others, who are watching, how we, Rankin County, stick together by helping others and bringingeveryone’s strengths together. “This too shall pass” and life will get back to normal. Stay strong and be kind! 

Rankin County is the BEST- Bringing Everyone’s Strengths Together!


Update: March 13, 2020

As you know, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency today. Governor Tate Reeves is expected to hold a press conference at noon, Saturday, March 14.  We will provide another update tomorrow afternoon.


Updated March 12, 2020 

Rankin County School District is monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation through our local health department, the Mississippi Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Mississippi Department of Education. These officials believe the risk to our school community is low at this time as there is only one confirmed case in the State of Mississippi. 

The decision regarding school openings and closings in pandemic situations is different from situations involving inclement weather.  In pandemic situations, school districts must follow guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Mississippi Department of Education.  On Thursday, the Mississippi Department of Health held a press conference in which the State Health Officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, recommended no school closings at this time.  Additionally, district superintendents received guidance from the Mississippi Department of Education on Thursday afternoon.  

How could a Mississippi school district be closed in a pandemic situation?

  • School districts must follow the Mississippi Pandemic Influenza Incident Index under guidance from the Mississippi Department of Education. School districts are also required to consult with their county health department and the Mississippi State Department of Health to determine when it is appropriate to close a school. That guidance can be found at the following link: https://msachieves.mdek12.org/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-to-school-districts-as-of-march-12-2020/ 

  • A school district could close if the Governor of Mississippi or the President of the United States declares a state of emergency in our area.

Again, as stated above, the Mississippi Department of Health is not recommending school closures at this time. However, this is an evolving situation. Should the Mississippi Department of Health’s opinion change, we will follow their recommendation. 

The health and safety of our students and employees is of the utmost importance to the Rankin County School District. While a new type of illness can be scary, we can protect our students, teachers, and the broader community by using simple everyday actions that protect people from respiratory viruses. Our staff members are working carefully to encourage these simple and effective habits. This is important not just to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but to help prevent the spread of other infections that can lead to student/employee illness and absences.

THE FOLLOWING STEPS ARE BEING TAKEN TO KEEP OUR STUDENTS AND EMPLOYEES SAFE: 

 Cleaning of School Facilities 

The district continues to utilize products confirmed by the manufacturer to kill human coronavirus and other viruses (NCL Twin Power #7 – Healthcare Disinfectant). 

RCSD will continue to clean and disinfect schools, facilities, and shared devices in alignment with guidance from the CDC.  (Including desks, doorknobs, light switches, stair rails, and other high touch surfaces) 

School leaders have been directed to provide an adequate supply of soap and paper towels for student and employee use.  Buses will be disinfected daily.

Attendance

The absence requirement in the district exemption policy is being waived for the May 2020 final exams.  All other portions of the exemption policy still apply regarding academic average, discipline, etc. Disclaimer: District officials do not have the authority to waive school attendance requirements that are enforced by the state truancy officers. At this point, district officials have not been notified of any adjustments to state truancy laws.

(Stay home when sick. For students that are sick and running a fever, it is recommended that they should stay at home until they are free of fever for a full 24 hours without the use of any fever-reducing medication. Teachers will provide additional time and flexibility for students to make up work due to prolonged absences.)

School Lunches 

To comply with Mississippi Department of Health’s guidance on limiting mass gatherings of 250 or more students, RCSD will be working from a modified lunch menu and schedule. For the foreseeable future, students who plan to eat from the cafeteria will come in smaller waves to pick up their lunch and carry it back to their classrooms to eat.  Key/number pads will be removed from each cashier line. Students will be identified by name or MSIS number. 

Social Distancing 

We will postpone large group gatherings such as assemblies, performances, dances,  per the Mississippi Department of Health’s guidance. Due to travel guidance from health experts and government officials, all field trips, in state and out of state, will be postponed or cancelled until further notice. In an effort to minimize exposure, we will also be limiting visitors to school campuses.

We will follow guidance from MHSAA related to athletic and other MHSAA events.

Kindergarten Pre-Registration

Kindergarten Pre-Registration is scheduled for March 16-20, 2020.  School kindergarten pre-registration tours or large group gatherings will not be scheduled at this time.

Student/Employee Hygiene Education

RCSD students and employees will continue to follow CDC recommendations to prevent any infection of a respiratory virus, which includes:

  •  Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Cough or sneeze into an elbow or use a tissue and place immediately in the trash.

  • Stay home when sick. For students and employees that are sick and running a fever, it is recommended that they should stay at home until they are free of fever for a full 24 hours without the use of any fever-reducing medication. Teachers will provide additional time and flexibility for students to make up work due to prolonged absences.

Student/Employee Travel 

RCSD encourages families and employees to follow the CDC’s information for travel. We request that parents/guardians/employees notify their school principal/supervisor if an employee, a child or member of their family has been to a country listed on the CDC’s Level 3 Travel Health Notice list before returning to one of our schools. 

Out of an abundance of caution, those who have traveled to one of CDC’s Level 3 areas, we request that these children/employees wait for the 14-day incubation period (beginning the day of return to the U.S.) to expire before enrolling in school or returning to school. 

(If a RCSD employee, substitute or a member of their household has been to a country listed on the CDC’s Level 3 Travel Health Notice list and recently returned or has been diagnosed, they are required to inform their Rankin County School District supervisor before coming to work.)

SEE THIS LINK FOR LEVEL 3 COUNTRIES:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

If the time comes when we need to close schools, we have a plan for instruction to continue at home which includes distance learning via Canvas, Google Classroom, Podcasts, US mail, etc. (Other communication tools we may use: email and text (SWIFTK-12), Peachjar, Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn).

The district will continue to update information daily via our website (www.rcsd.ms). Please visit this webpage frequently for up to date information.  Parents can read additional information from the Mississippi State Department of Health at www.msdh.ms.gov and/or on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.


Updated March 6, 2020 @ 11:15 am

Rankin County Schools (RCSD) does NOT have a confirmed case of coronavirus in our schools. Our hearts go out to those personally affected around the globe by this virus. If this were to occur in RCSD, we will notify staff and parents/guardians within the school. 

We are aware of the concerns of our communities and have been following the information and guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Mississippi Department of Public Health. 

We are closely monitoring the health and attendance of our students and staff. We are also working hard to keep surfaces used often in our schools and on our buses as clean as possible, and soap/hand sanitizer containers full. 

At this time, we are not canceling current or future activities, athletics and field trips. As always, student participation in field trips or extracurriculars in and outside the county, state or country is an individual family’s decision. 

RCSD will continue to follow CDC recommendations to prevent any infection of a respiratory virus, which includes:

· Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

· Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

· Stay home when sick.

· Cough or sneeze into an elbow or use a tissue and place immediately in the trash.

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 

If a student or staff member shows respiratory symptoms, our school nurses will follow precautions and work with our district departments and the Health Department to further research individual/family travel histories.

RCSD encourages families to follow the CDC’s information for travel. We request that parents/guardians notify their school principal if a child or member of their family has been to a country listed on the CDC’s Level 3 Travel Health Notice list and recently returned to one of our schools. Out of an abundance of caution, those who have traveled to one of CDC’s Level 3 areas, we request that these children wait for the 14-day incubation period (beginning the day of return to the U.S.) to expire before enrolling in school or returning to school. This is a self-reporting request, not a mandate.

Effective March 6, 2020: If a RCSD employee, substitute or a member of their household has been to a country listed on the CDC’s Level 3 Travel Health Notice list and recently returned or has been diagnosed, they are required to inform their Rankin County School District supervisor before coming to work.

Please help to keep our students and staff safe by staying informed, practicing good hygiene, and staying home or keeping children home if they have been running a fever or are exhibiting signs of a fever.

Coronavirus Resources: