A New Beginning at School
School districts are gearing up to begin the new school year this fall. Last year, there was a great deal of uncertainty with the school environment because of trying to prevent the spread of the virus. This year has become very similar with districts making last minute changes to virus prevention methods. If you are keeping up with the Covid updates, you will have noticed that there have been pockets of outbreaks more recently and school districts must make plans to keep a safe learning environment for everyone involved.
As of the start of the 2021-2022 school year, the board of education has not made any adjustments to our current Covid policy and plan of action, should anyone be exposed to a positive Covid case or be positive themselves. We will continue to follow the same action plan that has been adjusted since the close of the previous school year. The plan includes:
Any individual that has been exposed to a positive case will have a 10-day quarantine period that must be adhered to. We can follow a modified quarantine as long as the individual shows no symptoms of the virus. Under the modified quarantine, the individual must wear a mask at all times, maintain a social distance as much as possible, sit in the same seat (assigned seating), and eat away from others. This applies to everyone exposed regardless if they have received a vaccine shot or not. No one will be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities if they are quarantined. This applies to both coaches and students. If the individual does not wish to follow the modified quarantine guidelines, they must stay at home until the 10-day exposure has expired regardless if they show symptoms or not. All exposures must be reported to the NCHD so that they can maintain a record of the quarantine period. All students that are home because of a quarantine or minor illness, will have work sent home and will not be connected with the teacher via a live stream or remote learning. The Kansas legislation has voted to discontinue with remote education so it will no longer be an option for education.
The board has maintained that all individuals have the option to wear a mask at school, but must also follow the quarantine procedures outlined above. As you know, the exposure level is very unpredictable and could impact individuals in our community and schools at any time because of how mobile society is. District personnel will do their best to notify parents as quickly as possible if there are any exposures at school or the need to quarantine. It will be very helpful to control the exposures if parents assist by not sending students to school if they feel ill or have been subjected to any exposures outside of the school environment. We will all have to work together to keep the exposure to a minimum.
On another note, the district has been working on many projects this summer that have included updating HVAC equipment in the district. The project is winding down at the elementary and will soon begin at the JH. I am confident that both the students and staff will greatly appreciate the more efficient system in the buildings making the learning environment more enjoyable.
Please continue to support students, staff, and the board of USD 101 as we move forward to the new school year. It is the desire of the district to make the school year a fun and exciting opportunity for all students.