Eaglecrest High School canceled classes Wednesday and other school activities starting Tuesday after the death of a teacher over the weekend who passed away from symptoms consistent with bacterial meningitis.
In a letter sent to parents and obtained by Denver7, the Cherry Creek School District identified the teacher as Maddie Schmidt.
In the letter, the district said it is working with the Arapahoe County Public Health Department which would be reaching out to school staff and families of students who might have been in close contact with the teacher.
"The school and district have assisted ACPH in contact tracing to determine what students or staff members have been in close contact with the infected person. ACPH is in the process of notifying close contacts and will offer guidance about how to get preventative antibiotics for students and staff determined by ACPH to have been in close contact," the letter to parents read.
Eaglecrest called off Tuesday evening athletics and activities ahead of canceling classes on Wednesday to allow the district to continue contact tracing, according to the district.
Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the protective covering of the brain and spinal cord and is potentially serious, according to the National Institutes of Health. It can be spread through contact with saliva or respiratory secretions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Read the full letter to parents below, including next steps the district is taking in response to keep students and staff safe.
Dear Eaglecrest High School Community,
The Arapahoe County Public Health Department has informed us that the ILC teacher who died over the weekend, Maddie Schmidt, had symptoms consistent with bacterial meningitis.
Bacterial meningitis is a potentially contagious and serious illness that may require hospitalization but can be treated with antibiotics.
We take this matter very seriously and are working closely with Arapahoe County Public Health (ACPH) to identify students or staff who may have been in close contact with the infected staff person. Arapahoe County Public Health will reach out directly to all staff members and families of students determined to be close contact. Those individuals will be offered preventative antibiotics.
Out of an abundance of caution, athletics and activities will be cancelled this evening and there will be no school on Wednesday, April 12 at Eaglecrest High School. All activities and athletics will be cancelled tomorrow as well. This will give an extra day for ACPH to finish contract tracing and determine next steps. We will share any additional information when it becomes available.
PSAT and SAT testing that was supposed to take place Wednesday will be rescheduled.
Here are the steps Cherry Creek Schools and Eaglecrest High School are taking to keep all students and staff healthy and safe in response to this information:
• The CCSD Health Services Department is following all orders and recommendations from the Arapahoe County Public Health Department regarding this case.
• The school and district have assisted ACPH in contact tracing to determine what students or staff members have been in close contact with the infected person. ACPH is in the process of notifying close contacts and will offer guidance about how to get preventative antibiotics for students and staff determined by ACPH to have been in close contact.
• The school is sending out general information from Arapahoe County Public Health about bacterial meningitis, including information about symptoms and when to call your healthcare provider.
• Eaglecrest High School administration along with the district Health Services Department will continue to monitor the situation throughout this week in cooperation with Arapahoe County Public Health.
As the Eaglecrest community continues to grieve together this week, we will have school and district mental health support staff available.
If you have questions about bacterial meningitis, you can reach out to Arapahoe County Public Health at 303-795-HLTH (4584). If you have questions about your health or your child’s health, please reach out to your health care provider. Thank you for your partnership in keeping our students and staff healthy and well.
Cherry Creek School District