Letter to Parents & School District LEAs Regarding Coronavirus

    March 13, 2020

    Dear Parents and School District LEAs:

    The Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (WCBVI) the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction value the health and safety of our students, staff, and families. Here at WSBVI, we are monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation. While the immediate health risk from this virus is considered low, students attend WSBVI from all areas of the state, increasing the chances of quickly spreading the virus throughout the state.

    Parents and guardians should work closely with the WSBVI attendance and health center staff concerning absences due to illness. Details such as fever and cough will help us track trends. There may be some instances when a student’s illness or your local public health department indicates that isolation or self-quarantine is appropriate. Please help us reduce the spread of the COVID-19 by making careful decisions about school attendance when your child is ill. Parents have the right and responsibility to keep their children at home when they are sick. Please work closely with your health provider to make an informed choice regarding the health of your student and family. Note: Parents who have a child or family member with health concerns may choose to keep their child home. Please let us know if you choose that option. 

    The Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction have been proactive in planning for a pandemic and our school is ready to respond to increased illness if WSBVI should experience that. In order to meet the requirements of Free Appropriate Public Education, parents may be contacted about school closure and additional days added to the school year if necessary. You will be contacted by WCBVI staff in the event we must pursue this option.

    WSBVI is taking precautionary measures to reduce the spread of illness in our school. Daily cleaning and sanitizing of classrooms, cafeteria, common dorm areas, and bathrooms is occurring. We advise you to consider these precautions at home as well:

    • Avoid close contact with people that are sick.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing.
    • Do not share drinks from your personal water bottle.
    • Avoid travel, large events or gatherings.

    We will continue to communicate with you in the days and weeks to come as necessary. If state or local health officials determine it is necessary, we will alert you to cancellation of school and any necessary make-up days.

    The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving and changing. We understand there is uncertainty involved in this situation. We also wanted to stress the importance of avoiding assumptions or stereotypes about who may be sick. We plan to keep you informed as we receive more information.

    If students, parents, or LEAs have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the WSBVI Principal or Center Director. Mrs. Piper’s contact information is listed below and mine can be found in my signature line:

    Julie Piper, WSBVI Principal
    julie.piper@wcbvi.k12.wi.us
    (608) 758-6110

    Sincerely,

    Dan Wenzel, Director
    Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
    1700 W. State Street
    Janesville, WI 53546
    O: 608-758-4925
    C: 608-751-2082
    F: 608-758-6161
    dan.wenzel@wcbvi.k12.wi.us