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GICSD cancels travel in light of COVID-19 pandemic

Sat, Mar 14th 2020 07:00 am

The Grand Island Board of Education took steps to address the coronavirus pandemic by canceling out of state school travel.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Graham gave the Board of Education an update at its meeting Monday after consulting with Erie County Department of Health’s Dr. Gale Burstein and said, “With respect to travel for our students and faculty, the district will not consider school sponsored travel programs for any students and staff are currently visiting China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea. We will also be developing plans to suspend programs, field trips and trips to any country outside the United States. So I’ll be working with our principals and teachers who are currently planning trips out of country to suspend those programs.”

The district website posted a message this week that said:

“Based upon (Burstein’s) recommendation, we will be suspending all out of country and all out of state travel for students, faculty and staff until further notice. This decision is difficult but based upon the belief to act with an abundance of caution in an effort to protect our Grand Island community. Our first priority is and always will be the safety of students, faculty, staff, administrators, parents and our loved ones.

Graham said the district will increase the use of cleaning by allowing Director of Facilities James Rozler “to hire and bring on board current substitute cleaners when we don’t have a need for a substitute ... to provide us with additional support and disinfecting.”

“Additionally, the district is approving the purchase of four more handheld electrostatic spraying devices,” Graham said. “The board might recall a couple years ago where we purchased two, one for the Transportation Department and one for buildings and grounds. And we’re grateful for the board seeing the need to do that a couple years ago. Today I gave authorization for Mr. Rozler to purchase four more of those. So there will be now one available in every building. And again, that’s a handheld, cordless electrostatic sprayer that uses the pure tabs disinfecting tablets.”

The district is also buying a cordless electrostatic backpack sprayer that will disinfect and “take care of 10,000 square feet in a very short amount of time,” Graham said.

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Erie County yet.

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