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Westside Community Schools

March 9: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

Posted March 9, 2020

The following is a message from Superintendent Dr. Mike Lucas.

Good morning, Westside families –

It has been an eventful weekend with lots of updates and such regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Please rest assured that we are working on this situation on an hourly basis. We had four to six district level administrators working on it all weekend and our building leaders are working on plans as well. We are participating in conference calls, zoom sessions, and lots of work behind the scenes.

As we prepare for another great week, right here, right now, we have ZERO confirmed cases within our organization to include students and staff. In fact, we are unaware of anyone within District 66 that has any symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath) at this time.

As we have already communicated, we know that we did have some participants and some spectators at the Special Olympics event in Fremont on February 29th.

Russ Olsen, Director of Facilities, and some of our amazing building services staff spent extra time this weekend cleaning in facilities throughout the district. They will continue to hit this hard as we look to control what we can control. We can control what we do and how we do it. We can’t control each individual family’s reaction to this unique situation.  It is an interesting time.

We are receiving irate messages from some parents demanding that we close schools immediately. We are receiving just as many irate messages from parents demanding that we stay in school. HERE’S THE DEAL – for families that think it is best to keep their children home, please do so. Simply, let our schools know and we will do our best to provide them with timely assignments and support. For families that think it is best to send your children to school, please keep doing so. We are going to continue to provide great structure and learning opportunities for those that attend.

Do what YOU think is best for your family. Making threatening or malicious comments over emails to school administrators, via social media, or through phone messages isn’t going to sway our decision making. We are going to continue to get advice and support from some of the most talented medical minds in the world that are luckily just a few miles away.

Due to the fact that we have ZERO confirmed cases, we are planning on a regular week of school with Friday being a scheduled, non-school day. We realize that Fremont and Plattsmouth school districts have decided to close for the week. They must feel that is in their best interest.  At this time, we feel it is in our best interest to remain open with the mindset of “business as usual” working with the great kids we get to educate every day.

This is my 17th year as a superintendent in Nebraska and this is a unique and difficult situation.  Some families will applaud our stance while others will detest it. We assume some of our staff members will like this approach and others will not. We are doing what we think is best based on the info we have gathered from medical professionals.

We will continue to gain insight from the wonderful and dedicated health officials that we are so fortunate to have nearby.  If anything changes, we will let you know. Let’s have a great 4-day week!

 

Mike Lucas 

Westside Community Schools

Innovation-Community-Excellence 

(402) 390-2100

 

CLICK HERE to read our district update from 3/8.

CLICK HERE to read our district update from 3/6.

 

ELEMENTARY | Start 8:40 - Dismiss 3:30 ( Wednesdays | Dismiss 3:00 )
MIDDLE SCHOOL | Start 8:00 - Dismiss 3:15 ( Wednesdays | Dismiss 2:44 )
HIGHSCHOOL | Start 8:00 - Dismiss 3:10 ( Wednesdays | Dismiss 2:50 )