Schools across the United States are canceling trips abroad, preparing online lessons and even rethinking “perfect attendance” awards as they brace for the possibility that the new coronavirus could begin spreading in their communities.

Districts are rushing to update emergency plans after federal officials warned that the virus, which started in China, is almost certain to begin spreading in the U.S.

Many are preparing for possible school closures that could stretch weeks or longer, even as they work to tamp down panic among students, parents and teachers.

School letters sent home from Florida to California seek to assure parents the risk is still very low.

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