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Back to JC Schools Re-Entry Plan

VIEW "BACK TO JC SCHOOLS 2021-2022 RE-ENTRY PLAN" w/UPDATED MASK GUIDANCE HERE 

(If you would like to share feedback regarding the re-entry plan, please send email to communications@jcschools.us)

Message below was shared with JC Schools Families on Monday, August 16th, 2021

Hello JC Schools Families,

In the past week since our “Back to JC Schools COVID-19 Reentry Plan” was released, district leaders have worked diligently to assess local conditions, evaluate the effectiveness of our COVID-19 protocols from last year, and finalize our decision regarding masks for the 2021-2022 school year.

At this time, masks will be required indoors for students and staff in any instances where social distancing cannot be maintained. Social distance is defined as a minimum of three feet within the school environment. This approach was recommended by the Cole County Health Department, aligns with the other schools in Cole County, and is effective beginning Tuesday, August 17th.

IMPORTANT DETAILS REGARDING MASK PROTOCOLS:

  • JC Schools students and staff members should bring a mask to school every day. 
  • Masks should be worn upon entering the school building, within common areas, during passing periods in the hallways, and during small groups, for example. 
  • Any time a distance of three feet cannot be maintained between students, or between staff and students, masks will be required. This includes on all school buses, as required by federal order issued by the CDC. 
  • When students are in the classroom seated three feet apart, masks can be removed, for example. Masks can also be removed if students are seated at a table or desk when plexiglass is present as a barrier. 
  • To go along with this guidance, masks will be required for all staff, parents, and students at this week’s Open House events (see schedule HERE).

As an added layer of protection, the district has developed a rubric for tracing all positive cases that occur within the school environment. The rubric includes three levels: green, yellow and red. 

If the number of positive cases within the school environment exceeds the designated percentage allowable within a school community, then an individual building may be moved to a level with additional mitigation protocols for a minimum of 10 days (until the active cases fall out of quarantine). This could also apply to an individual classroom, grade level, school categories (elementary/middle/high), or the entire district. 

Positive cases within the school environment will be monitored constantly throughout the school day to watch for trends and determine whether any immediate changes are needed to mitigation protocols. Positive cases within the school environment will be assessed weekly, at a minimum, to evaluate the percentage of positive cases among students and staff based on the total population of the school. Staff and parents will be notified of any changes to levels for their school community.

To learn more about the district’s rubric for tracking positive cases within the school environment, and which mitigation protocols will apply for each level, go to pages 12 & 13 of the district’s “Back to JC Schools COVID-19 Re-Entry Plan” HERE.

As a reminder, it will be critically important that we all remain committed to the key priorities of our COVID-19 reentry plan:

  • Social Distancing: maintain a distance of at least three feet from others in the classroom and avoid direct contact such as handshaking, hugging, sharing drinks, etc;
  • Handwashing: wash hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds, avoid touching your face, cough or sneeze into your elbow, and disinfect frequently touched objects;
  • Staying Home When Sick: students and staff who experience symptoms related to COVID-19 or come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 should not come to school. As a reminder, CDC guidelines regarding contact tracing define a close contact within the school environment as any individual less than three feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more in the classroom;
  • Keeping Yourself Safe: wearing a mask and getting a COVID-19 vaccine are proven methods to protect against the spread of COVID-19 virus. In most cases, individuals who are wearing a mask properly or are vaccinated will not be required to quarantine if they come in contact with a positive case as long as they are not experiencing symptoms.

We were incredibly blessed to be able to provide in-seat education last year, and that remains one of our highest priorities, along with ensuring a safe and healthy learning environment for our students and staff.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges which change frequently, JC Schools is committed to making real-time decisions to protect the learning environment and help our students achieve success. We will monitor school and community data closely, and tighten or loosen our mitigation strategies accordingly to help us keep our schools open and our students in-seat.

Thank you for your continued support to have a safe & healthy school year!

Superintendent Dr. Larry Linthacum
#WeAreJCSchools #JCStrongerTogether

 

Message below was shared with JC Schools Families on Friday, August 6th, 2021

Hello JC Schools Families,

The Jefferson City School District was proud to be one of the largest districts in the State of Missouri to remain in-seat last year, and we are looking forward to again welcoming students back for in-seat education on Monday, August 23rd.

Many of us were hopeful that COVID-19 would be in the rearview mirror by now. While that is unfortunately not the case, our district’s COVID-19 reentry plan has proven to work extremely effectively as designed, by minimizing the exposure to any positive cases that do enter the school environment and allowing us to keep our schools open. For that reason, we will be keeping a majority of the same protocols in place for the 2021-2022 school year. 

We have assessed the COVID-19 protocols that were in place last year, and we were able to successfully implement several changes during summer school that we will be keeping in place for the fall. Those changes are outlined in our full 2021-2022 reentry plan.

District leaders remain in frequent communication with the local health department and area schools. We are closely monitoring local conditions and guidance from health experts, which change frequently. A decision on whether masks will be required for staff and students will be made no later than Monday, August 16th.

The mask requirement for staff and students was lifted for the last two weeks of summer school and we were hopeful we would be able to begin the school year without a mask requirement. However, with the recent trend of new positive cases in our community and everything we are learning about the transmissibility of the Delta variant, we do not feel comfortable making a final decision on masks at this time.

As we prepare to come back to school, it will be critically important that we all remain committed to the key priorities of our COVID-19 reentry plan. Please remind your student of the importance of:

  • Social Distancing: maintain a distance of at least three feet from others in the classroom and avoid direct contact such as handshaking, hugging, sharing drinks, etc;
  • Handwashing: wash hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds, avoid touching your face, cough or sneeze into your elbow, and disinfect frequently touched objects;
  • Staying Home When Sick: students and staff who experience symptoms related to COVID-19 or come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 should not come to school;
  • Keeping Yourself Safe: wearing a mask and getting a COVID-19 vaccine are proven methods to protect against the spread of COVID-19 virus. In most cases, individuals who are wearing a mask properly or are vaccinated will not be required to quarantine if they come in contact with a positive case as long as they are not experiencing symptoms.

Despite the many challenges we faced last year, we had a very successful school year, and we are excited to welcome your student back! Our guiding principle throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic has been, and will continue to be, our commitment to ensuring success for all of our students.

We sincerely appreciate your continued support and thank you for standing stronger together with JC Schools!

Superintendent Dr. Larry Linthacum
#WeAreJCSchools #JCStrongerTogether