Important Message Regarding Spring Break

Dear Parents and Guardians:

This afternoon we received information from Governor DeSantis and Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran regarding the impact of COVID-19 which continues to change rapidly. As a result, spring break has been extended one week and St. Johns County students will now return on March 30. All extracurricular activities, including high school athletics, are suspended until further notice. Additionally, state testing will be delayed. Our school district will use the extended break for deep cleaning and sanitizing our school facilities.

I appreciate your understanding and patience as we work through the challenges of COVID-19. I will continue to communicate new information as it becomes available.

Sincerely,
Tim Forson
Superintendent

Coronavirus Travel Update

Dear Parents and Guardians:

The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly and the guidelines with recommendations have been adjusted. This morning I received additional recommendations from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) regarding COVID-19. St. Johns County School District will be following the FLDOE recommendations below. This impacts anyone traveling outside of the continental United States and on all cruises.

  • Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who goes on foreign travel, to any country, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
  • Anyone (students/faculty/staff/etc.) who goes on a cruise, anywhere, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.

If your family/student is personally impacted due to your travel plans, please inform your school’s principal as soon as possible. Your child(ren) will need to self-isolate for 14 days upon your return. School administration will work with you to provide ongoing instructional support during the self-isolation.

I appreciate your understanding and support during this unprecedented situation.

Sincerely,

Tim Forson
Superintendent of Schools
St. Johns County School District

Message from the Superintendent on Coronavirus

Dear SJCSD Parents and Guardians,

We continue to monitor the development of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States and Florida, following recommended CDC guidelines and working with county agencies. As Spring Break approaches, we know that many families, students and employees will be enjoying vacations and travel both within and outside the United States. The CDC and the Florida Department of Health are advising the following:

Level 3: “CDC recommends 14-day, self-isolation and practice social distancing upon return to the United States. Social distancing includes avoiding going out in public and close personal interactions. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your county health department or health care provider.” As of today, China, Iran, Italy and South Korea are the countries with the Level 3 Health Notice.

Level 2 and Cruises: “Travelers should monitor your health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your county health department or health care provider.”

The Florida Department of Education has strongly recommended that district approved, out of state travel be cancelled. Based on this recommendation and as a precautionary measure, I have made the decision to cancel all field studies, interscholastic activities, sporting events and school district work-related travel out of state effective immediately. Rest assured, I recognize the hardship and burden this puts on those impacted, and our district staff is working with schools to determine the implications and logistics associated with this decision.

I sincerely appreciate your continued support as we continue to work with local partners and monitor the national and international environments.

For more information regarding current CDC travel advisories related to COVID-19 visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/. For updates from the Florida Department of Health on COVID-19, visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/.

Sincerely,

Tim Forson
Superintendent of Schools
St. Johns County School District

Message from the Superintendent on Coronavirus

Dear St. Johns County Parents and Guardians,

Please know that the safety and well-being of our students is a top priority. We continue to track updates regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and will continue to post updates related to our district and schools as needed. We are also placing additional signage to encourage handwashing within our schools as a reminder to students and staff that this is one of the best preventative measures.

We are working in collaboration with the St. Johns County Department of Health to focus on steps to help stop or slow the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including Coronavirus (COVID-19). Steps currently in place include:

  • Information sharing through day-to-day reporting by school nurses to Epidemiology of all students identified with “influenza-like” illness.
  • Encouraging parents to keep sick children home.
  • Students who become sick at school or arrive at school sick are sent home as soon as possible.
  • Encouraging hand washing often.
  • Encouraging respiratory etiquette (appropriately covering coughs and sneezes).
  • Increased cleaning by custodial staff of frequently touched surfaces (light switches, doorknobs, counters, etc.) as well as the cleaning of buses.
  • Monitoring for changes in usual absenteeism patterns.

Should there be a confirmed case of Coronavirus in our county, local health officials will provide guidance for any school dismissals. Recommendations will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the most up to date information about Coronavirus and the specific impacts on the community.

We are also working with principals to work on alternatives to deliver instruction if a student or school is required to stay home by the St. Johns County Department of Health. This will be a case-by-case basis based on the student situation and/or the school. We do our best to be proactive, but in this situation we must take our direction from the Department of Health and then support students and families.

It is so important that we stay diligent in our efforts to keep our students healthy, and I encourage you to reinforce messaging posted on our websites and relayed by your children’s school administration and teachers. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Tim Forson
Superintendent of Schools
St. Johns County

Coronavirus Update

The District is working in collaboration with the local Department of Health to focus on steps to help stop or slow the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Steps currently in place include:

  • Information sharing through day-to-day reporting by school nurses to Epidemiology of all students identified with “influenza-like” illness.
  • Encouraging parents to keep sick children home.
  • Students who become sick at school or arrive at school sick are sent home as soon as possible.
  • Encouraging hand washing often.
  • Encouraging respiratory etiquette (appropriately covering coughs and sneezes).
  • Increased cleaning by custodial staff of frequently touched surfaces (light switches, doorknobs, counters, etc.), as well as all school buses.
  • Monitoring for changes in usual absenteeism patterns.

While there are two confirmed positive cases in Florida, the majority of respiratory illnesses are not Coronavirus.  Should there be a confirmed case of Coronavirus in our community, local health officials will provide guidance for any school dismissals.  Recommendations will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the most up to date information about Coronavirus and the specific impacts on the community.

Coronavirus Statement

The St. Johns County School District and the local Department of Health are working together to follow the recommended guidelines of the CDC regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This guidance offers specific steps for school staff, parents, and students to take during the current low-risk conditions, as well as for more severe conditions. It is recommended, that based on current conditions, students and staff with flu-like illness stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever. This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (i.e., any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).

The CDC emphasizes washing hands, respiratory etiquette and staying home when sick:

  • Practice good hand hygiene. Students and staff members should wash their hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
  • Practice respiratory etiquette. Illnesses can spread from person to person in the droplets produced by coughs and sneezes, so it is important to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Keeping sick students home means decreasing the spread of germs to others.

For further information visit the Florida Department of Health website and the CDC Coronavirus web page.