Dear Members of the East Providence Educational Community

March 6, 2020

School Superintendents across the state have been participating in statewide conference calls with Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, the Rhode Island Department of Education and other state agencies. I would like to share with you the information from the conference call on March 4, 2020 regarding the COVID-19 virus. It was reported that there were two confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in the State of Rhode Island. At this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the East Providence School Department.

Important information from the conference call with Dr. Alexander-Scott includes:

  • The Rhode Island Department of Health has a 24 hour hotline 401-222-8022 for anyone seeking information about the COVID-19 virus. You may also access the RI Department of Health’s website https://health.ri.gov/.
  • A recommendation to amend school districts’ attendance policy to ease the requirement of medical notes for students and staff during this period of time.  
  • It was recommended that all school related international trips be cancelled
  • School custodial staff should clean door handles, door knobs and railing twice per day (morning and after school).
  • All buses should be sanitized daily.
  • If schools were to cancel, we are to contact the Rhode Island Department of Health first.
  • Schools should begin to make a plan to continue student education if there should be a school closure.
  • The RI Department of health protocols for handwashing and cleanliness were reviewed and can be found at the RI department of Health’s website https://health.ri.gov/
  • Dr. Scott stressed that someone needs to be exposed to someone who actually has the virus in order to be considered high risk in contracting the virus.
  • The general risk in Rhode Island remains very low.
  • The recommendation was made to include the RI Association of School Committees on these weekly conference calls. 

The following are the plans we will be put into effect, if necessary, in the East Providence Public Schools:

  • A virtual learning plan was developed to ensure the continued education of all students in the district. Teachers are receiving professional development during the week of March 9-13, 2020 in regards to the implementation of this plan. This plan is subject to approval by the RI Department of Education.
  • There will be two scheduled parent informational meetings to explain the virtual learning plan to parents so they will be able to assist their child at home if necessary.  The meetings will be held:
  • Riverside Middle School Auditorium – March 18, 2020 at 6:00pm
  • Martin Middle School Auditorium – March 19, 2020 at 6:00pm
  • We developed plans with Chartwells, our school lunch vendor, to provide food to students who may be in need during a quarantine.
  • We developed protocol with Ocean State Transit to ensure that our busses are cleaned daily.
  • We rescheduled our maintenance and custodial staff to ensure ongoing, prompt and efficient cleaning and sanitization of our schools.  If we see a spike in the number of illnesses within a particular school; the cleaning schedule will be altered to address the immediate concern.
  • Under the guidance of our Our Head Nurse, Diane Wallace, School Nurses are reviewing and deploying relevant Rhode Island Department of Health safety protocols.  We have informational posters posted in each of our schools. Please feel free to contact Diane Wallace at 433-6230 x2 if you have any questions related to our safety protocols.  

In closing, the Superintendent and her staff are available to answer any questions or to direct you to the appropriate agency.  The Superintendent may be reached at 383-2224 x30002.

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