Emergency Information

2020 Pandemic Response Plan

Letter from the Superintendent - Fri., March 27, 2020
Letter from the Superintendent - Wed., March 18, 2020
Letter from the Superintendent - Mon., March 16, 2020
Letter from the Superintendent - Fri., March 13, 2020
Letter from the Superintendent - Mon., March 2, 2020
*More general information about the Coronavirus can be found on the Student Health page.*

*Find details on meal distribution and bus routes HERE*
*Find details on continuity of learning HERE*

Medication Pick-Up (Update) - Tuesday, March 31, 2020
SPS is rescheduling the medication pick up for the elementary level to April 8, 2020, from 8 A.M. to 12 noon. At the secondary level, parents may pick up medication during the week of April 6, 2020 - April 10, 2020, based on the schedule that has been developed by principals for students to pick up their items. Check with your secondary school for specifics.

Medicatipn Pick-Up Postponed - Monday, March 30, 2020
Due to Governor Northam's mandate for
non-essential persons to stay at home, medicine pick-up scheduled for Wednesday, April 1, 2020, is postponed until further notice.

SPS School Closure Update - Friday, March 27, 11:30 a.m.
Since Governor Northam announced all Virginia Schools to close for the remainder of the year, we know that our parents, students, and staff have all had questions regarding how this will closure will impact us as a division. Superintendent Dr. John B. Gordon III, division sent out a letter via email (and can also be found above) to provide instructional plans moving forward, and to answer many of your questions regarding the following topics:

- Food Distribution 

- Instructional Planning

- Teacher Office Hours

- Report Cards and Revision of Calendar

- Continuity of Learning

- Standards of Learning Assessments

- Advanced Placement, IB Exams and Dual Enrollment

- Project Lead the Way, IB, Gifted Education

- Retrieval of Teacher, Faculty, Staff, and Student Belongings

- Graduation and End of the Year Activities

SPS School Closure Update - Friday, March 13, 7:30 p.m.

As a response to Gov. Northam's declaration, Suffolk Public Schools implemented our concept of operations, as a part of our Pandemic Response Plan. We have developed online resources and instructional packets to support ongoing learning for students during this extended closure. 

Please see the following: 

- Suffolk Public Schools will be closed Monday, March, 16 - Friday, March 27 

- Teachers and staff will have a teacher workday on Monday, March 16, 2020, from 8 A.M.-3:00 P.M. This will allow our instructional staff to finalize any instructional materials that may be necessary during this two-week closure. 

- Instructional packets and resources were distributed this afternoon to our elementary school students. These packets will also be available for parent pick-up on Monday, March 16, 2020 from 8 A.M. to 12 noon at your child’s school location.

- Middle and high school students will utilize their chromebooks. Our SPS Connect initiative will allow both the students and teachers to collaborate through Google Classroom and the Google Suite.

- As a reminder, All extra-curricular activities and events are cancelled until further notice.

- Visit our YouTube Channel, Suffolk Schools or the main page of our website to view the latest video from our Superintendent regarding updates on the coronavirus and school closures.

Response to Gov. Northam - Updated Friday, March 13, 4:30 P.M. 
As you all may be aware, at 2:23 P.M., Suffolk Public Schools received notice that the Governor has ordered all Virginia K-12 schools to close for a minimum of two weeks beginning Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27, 2020. 

We know you may have questions, and we will release additional information as soon as it becomes available. Please continue to monitor the Suffolk Public Schools - Emergency Information web page for updates. Employees should monitor SPS email for further information as well.

Closures and Cancellations - Updated Friday, March 13, 11:49 A.M.
- Suffolk Public Schools will be CLOSED on Monday, March 16, for a Teacher Work Day and Student Holiday. Students are expected to return to school on Tuesday, March 17 - Also, starting on Tuesday, March 17, Student drop-off and pick-up will be adjusted to include parents/guardians dropping off or picking up their students at the front door or designated locations ONLY. This will be in effect through  Monday, March 30 - All after-school activities will be cancelled starting today until further notice - All building rentals and facility use will be cancelled starting this weekend through Monday, March 30 - We will no longer permit volunteers or outside visitors in the schools through Monday, March 30  - All events such as concerts, conferences, plays, and field trips are cancelled through Monday, March 30 Updated Thursday, March 26, 4:00 P.M. *Currently there are 3 confirmed positive case in the Western Tidewater Health District. One in the City of Suffolk, one on Isle of Wight County and one in Southampton County. Updated Wednesday, March 25, 9:30 A.M. *Currently there are 2 confirmed positive case in the Western Tidewater Health District. One in the City of Suffolk and one on Isle of Wight County Updated Friday, March 20, 8:45 A.M. *Currently there is 1 confirmed positive case in the Western Tidewater Health District in the City of Suffolk.
Updated Monday, March 16, 9:15 A.M.
*Currently, there are 45 confirmed cases in Virginia. No cases have been identified in the Western Tidewater Health District, i.e Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight and Southampton)

Updated Friday, March 13, 11:49 A.M.
*Currently, there are 29 confirmed cases in Virginia. No cases have been identified in the Western Tidewater Health District, i.e Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight and Southampton)

Updated Thursday, March 12, 1:53 P.M

*Currently there are 9 confirmed/presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Virginia. No cases have been identified in the Western Tidewater Health District, i.e Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight and Southampton)

Since then, the Coronavirus has been classified as a pandemic from the World Health Organization, it is imperative that Suffolk Public Schools ensures that procedures are in place. We are continuing to keep the health and well-being of our students and staff as our highest priority.
Pandemic Planning Checklist for Individuals and Families

- Store a two week supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store or if stores are out of supplies, it will be essential for you to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters.

- Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.

- Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough, and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.

- Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

- Become a Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.

- Please get involved in your community as it works to prepare for a pandemic.

***Click to find additional checklist items.***

Updated Friday, March 27, 2020, 11:30 a.m.

Will high school students scheduled to graduate with the Class of 2020 be able to graduate?
Yes. The Virginia Department of Education is providing flexibility through state waivers that would allow all students who are on track to graduate with the Class of 2020 to graduate on time, despite the closure of school. This includes the following situations:

  • Students currently enrolled in a course for which they need a standard or verified credit in order to graduate.
  • Students who have successfully completed a course required for graduation, but have not earned the associated verified credit.
  • Students who have not completed the state-selected test.
  • Students who are currently enrolled in or have previously completed a course leading to a career and technical education credential necessary for a standard diploma but have not yet earned the credential.

Will there still be graduation ceremonies for all SPS high schools and program centers?

Unfortunately it is too soon to answer this question due the current limitations of large group settings. We are exploring other options such as a Virtual graduation, but We will keep you posted as more information is available. Will students move up to the next grade level? Our school leaders are actively exploring options for how we will close out grades for the 2019-20 school year. We are working toward outcomes that will be fair, equitable and positive for all students. The Virginia Department of Education has provided flexibility to local school divisions as it relates to promotion to the next grade.

At our school board meeting on April 9, 2020, we will also present potential grading options for our Virtual Nine weeks, including a pass/fail option.We expect to send a separate communication with more details as soon as possible.

Will students receive report cards?
At the time of school closure, only six weeks had been completed in the 3rd nine-weeks marking period. We are discussing options to determine final grades and will provide an update as soon as that process is complete.

How will students know if they are accepted into Project Lead the Way, IB  or Gifted Education?
Suffolk Public Schools has received inquiries on the status of candidates for entrance into our Project Lead the Way specialty programs at Lakeland and Nansemond River High Schools, and the International Baccalaureate Program at King’s Fork High School. Admission notification letters will be mailed on April 10, 2020. Elementary gifted students will receive enrichment activities from their school gifted resource teachers virtually. Parents may contact their school’s gifted resource teacher for more information. We will determine a date later this summer for district screening for gifted education.

Will Part-Time Employees be paid during the school closure?
April 10 will include payment for permanent part-time 3,4, and 5-hour cafeteria staff, part-time teacher assistants, part-time custodians, part-time school resource officers, part-time parent resource assistant, part-time nurse assistant, part-time assistant (Teacher Supply Store), priority substitutes (both teacher and bus driver), and long term designated teacher substitutes. 

Will the extended school closure effect Spring Break?
As of our Superintendent's conference call with the Virginia Department of Education on Friday, March 13, no decisions have been made to change Spring Break at this time.

How Will SPS Continue Teaching and Instruction?

Instructional packets went home with elementary students on Friday, March 13, 2020. At the secondary level, we encourage our students to use the SPS connect initiative to participate in learning activities through Google classroom, the Google suite, and additional instructional resources that can be found HERE.

Is It Possible to Have COVID-19 and Remain Asymptomatic?Yes, and if you are infected, you can still transmit the virus with mild to no symptoms. Transmission is greater by air/droplet than on surfaces. However, the risk of transmission still remains when touching contaminated surfaces. 

How Can I Help Prevent the Spread of Illnesses?

We want to remind our community to sanitize frequent touch points (handles, doorknobs, etc. frequently. We are promoting the practice of good hand hygiene and cough etiquette to limit the spread of germs and prevent infection. Suffolk Public Schools asks that you continue to encourage and model this behavior at home. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash bin.

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