As the coronavirus spreads all across the world, school districts are evaluating how to best combat the threat to student health. Waterford Public Schools in specific is modifying daily practices to prevent the spread of the virus should it make its way into Connecticut. Custodial practices around the school are being changed, according to Mr. Hauser. Hard surfaces touched by many people are disinfected at least once a day. The principals and the district as a whole have been watching the spread of the disease closely, although they are not concerned seeing as nobody from Connecticut has tested positive for the disease. Waterford High School also does not have any foreign exchange students hailing from high-risk areas at the moment. Superintendent Giard is in regular contact and receives updates from both the Connecticut Department of Health and the Ledge Light Health District. Mr. Hauser also said that school officials have been evaluating vendors and destinations of overnight or out-of-state trips to ensure that students attending trips will be safe from infection.
Other teachers also offered their opinion on how the school district should respond. Mrs. Baumgartner, Waterford High health teacher, emphasizes the importance of disinfecting surfaces and personal cleanliness. Her concern lies with the laptops and whether or not they are disinfected to the same degree as other surfaces. On the personal health side, she stresses the need for students to know how to properly wash their hands while also proposing that there should be stations with hand sanitizer for students to use. Although teachers get regular updates regarding the efforts to keep students healthy, she thinks it would be beneficial to send those updates to students and families as well. Mrs. Castleberry, Biology teacher, also notes the importance of keeping students informed. She believes that an advisory meeting dedicated to personal cleanliness would be an important step. She also advises students who are sick to stay home and to seek medical attention if they believe it’s bad enough. As a final thought, she stated, “Don’t panic!”