Per the recommendation of the Office of Head Start Program Specialist for the Zaasijiwan Head Start program and the Zaasijiwan Head Start Policy Council, the Zaasijiwan Head Start 0 to 5 program will remain closed for students and families for the rest of the 2019-20 school year. The program currently provides early childhood education, health, and nutrition services for 80 students on-site and 24 families off-site. Although services and the staff that provide them are considered essential, the risk of opening poses great risk to program participants and the surrounding community.
Given the current situation, many concerns were raised during discussions on the possibility of re-opening if and when the state stay at home order expires. Some of them include: commuting staff potentially contributing to the spread of the virus, staffing shortages brought on by high-risk conditions of staff members making them unable to return to work, an inability to implement timely and thorough preventive actions as prescribed by the CDC especially social distancing and disinfection, and expected low attendance due to various factors (the school remaining closed, parent concerns about virus, lack of transportation (no busses)).
We have discussed a variety of potential scenarios and solutions. However, the general consensus is that even the best available options to allow for continued provision of services are inherently risky as the age of our student body and our staffing and building structure are not conducive to maintaining the appropriate preventive measures. We hope that this response addresses any questions that may arise as a result of this announcement. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns or if you require any additional action to be taken on our part.
Tari L. Wolfe | Program Director | Zaasijiwan Head Start | P.O. Box 67 Lac du Flambeau, WI | 2899 US Hwy. 47 South | Phone: (715) 588-9291 | Fax: (715) 588-9576 | TWolfe@ldftribe.com