On Wednesday, March 11, Durham Public Schools announced additional steps to protect students and staff in responding to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Effective immediately, DPS is:
canceling all student and employee out-of-state travel,
canceling all in-state and overnight student field trips,
following NCHSAA guidance regarding whether to hold athletic events,
continuing in-district field trips, and
continuing in-state staff travel, including teacher recruitment efforts.
Superintendent Pascal Mubenga will seek guidance from the Durham County Department of Public Health, and DPS will determine criteria for whether to continue upcoming extracurricular and public events. As of March 12, events with anticipated attendance over 100 such as An Evening of Entertainment at the Durham Performing Arts Center and Matilda the Musical at Hillside High School have been canceled.(Updated at 4 p.m. March 12 in line with guidance from the Governor and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.)
Following its pandemic response plan, DPS is increasing disinfection of schools and buses; monitoring and providing support from counselors, social workers, and school nurses to students and staff; and monitoring staff and student attendance. At an emergency meeting on March 11, the Durham Public Schools Board of Education authorized Superintendent Mubenga to enter into expedited contracts in excess of $90,000 without board approval for emergency responses to COVID-19.
DPS leaders will provide additional guidance and information about the district’s response to COVID-19 at its school board work session at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at the Fuller Building, 511 Cleveland St.
CLICK HERE for a complete listing of Coronavirus updates.