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As you know, over the past week there have been some cases of children in the state of Connecticut who have been exhibiting symptoms of the Enterovirus D68 (EVD68). As of September 17th the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and State Department of Public Health confirmed one positive case.  The child who tested positive was admitted, treated and released from the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. I have discussed the situation with our District Nursing Coordinator, District Medical Director and the Connecticut River Area Health District (CRAHD).   For most people the symptoms and severity of EVD68 have been mild. However, EVD68 and influenza can be easily spread from person-to-person. Therefore, we are taking steps to reduce the spread of EVD68 and flu in our schools. Although we have not yet seen any cases of flu, our goal is to keep the schools open to students and functioning in a normal manner during this current clusters of EVD68 in Connecticut and other parts of the country.  But we need your help to accomplish this.   There are important actions that you can implement now to help keep you, your child, and family well during the flu season. Here are a few things you can do to maintain good health. §  Emphasize to your children that they wash their hands often and thoroughly with soap and water. §  Teach your children not to share personal items such as beverages, food or unwashed utensils, and to cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue, their elbow, arm or sleeve instead of their hands. §  Encourage your children to eat well, exercise, enjoy fresh air daily, drink fluids, and get plenty of sleep. §  Mild symptoms of the EVD68 may or may not include fever, runny nose sneezing, cough and body or muscle aches. EVD68 is respiratory in nature. §  Most of the children who have become very ill across the country with EVD68, had difficulty breathing and some had wheezing.  Many of these children had a history of asthma or wheezing. §  Know the signs and symptoms of the EVD68 and flu. Symptoms of the flu include fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater), cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and fatigue. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea. §  Keep sick children at home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or do not have signs of a fever, without using fever-reducing medicine. §  Please do not send children to school if they are ill. If a child becomes ill while at school, you will be contacted and asked to take your child home.   The CDC ( will be the primary site to obtain the most current information about the EVD68 outbreak as well as the State Department of Public Health website. We will also post information on the Region 4 Public Schools website   We continue to work closely with the State Department of Public Health and the Connecticut River Area Health District to monitor EVD68 and flu conditions and make decisions about the best steps to take concerning our schools. We will keep you updated with new information as it becomes available.   Thank you for your cooperation and vigilance in maintaining good hygienic practices and in keeping your children home if they exhibit EVD68 and flu-like symptoms. We appreciate your assistance. If you have additional questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school nurse,  (your medical director) or Sherry Carlson at CRAHD 860-661-3300, or me.
Posted by Pam.Murphy  On Oct 06, 2014 at 9:27 AM
The Deep River Elementary School Board of Education is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Christian Strickland to the position of Principal at Deep River Elementary School. Christian Strickland has most recently served as the Assistant Principal at Griswold Elementary School in Berlin, Connecticut for the past four years. Prior to his experience as Assistant Principal, Mr. Strickland was a Math Instructional Specialist for two years. Mr. Strickland began his career in education as a third and fourth grade teacher in Maryland and then in the Berlin Public Schools. Mr. Strickland has been recognized as a Teacher of the Year, and nominated for the CAS Assistant Principal of the year. Outside of school, Christian is an avid swimmer and enjoys participating in Spartan Races. Mr. Strickland completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary education, his Master of Science Degree and his Sixth Year Degree in Educational Leadership, all from Central Connecticut State University. The Deep River Board of Education and Search Committee were very impressed with Mr. Strickland’s knowledge, commitment to excellence, integrity, sense of humor, and enthusiasm for elementary school students, families, and the Deep River community. The Board of Education unanimously endorsed Mr. Strickland on Thursday May 15th, at their Board of Education meeting. We are confident that Mr. Strickland will provide excellent leadership for the students at Deep River Elementary School. Mr. Strickland resides in Middletown with his family. He will begin his tenure in the Deep River Public Schools on July 1st, 2014. We are looking forward to Mr. Strickland becoming an integral part of our leadership team in his new role as Principal of Deep River Elementary School.
Posted by Pam.Murphy  On May 23, 2014 at 12:41 PM
It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Sarah Smalley, our new Director of Pupil Services for the Chester, Deep River, Essex, and Region 4 Schools commencing July 1st, 2014. Ms. Smalley has been a special educator, Department Coordinator, and Interim Associate Principal at Valley Regional High School from 2003- through 2011.  She served as Director of Pupil Services in New Hartford, CT, a Pre-Kindergarten through grade six school district.  Ms. Smalley continued her administrative experience as the Supervisor of Pupil Services in Region 17, Haddam-Killingworth for the past two years. Ms. Smalley attended George Washington University for her Bachelors and Masters Degrees, and Sacred Heart University for her Sixth Year Degree in Educational Leadership. Ms. Smalley comes to us from a family of educators, and serves her community as a member of the Region 18, Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education. Please help me welcome Sarah Smalley back home to our communities in her new position as Director of Pupil Services. Best, Ruth Levy
Posted by Pam.Murphy  On May 21, 2014 at 10:36 AM
Welcome back and I wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year. I am writing to inform you of a change in our procedure for visitors in our five schools. Beginning Monday, January 14th, all visitors to Chester Elementary School, Deep River Elementary School, Essex Elementary School, John Winthrop Middle School, and Valley Regional High School will be required to present a license or valid identification while visiting the building during school hours. The front office staff will keep the identification and issue a visitor badge to the visitor to wear while they are in the school. The identification will be returned to the visitor upon completion of their visit. This practice is designed to add an additional layer of safety for our children and staff while they are at school. As a result of the Newtown tragedy, the Chester, Deep River, Essex, and Region 4 Schools will be conducting a security audit as a part of an ongoing Security Oversight Committee. As always, our main concern is for the safety and well being of our children and staff members.
Posted by Pam.Murphy  On Jan 11, 2013 at 2:26 PM
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