At the Monday, August 10 School Board Meeting the TFSD announced that based on the metrics developed by the South Central Public Health District, the 2020-21 school year would begin (Aug. 19) in the Yellow Level Protocol. (click here to see the complete TFSD Operational COVID Protocols) As SCPHD announces changes to the metrics, the Board will revisit the issue.
The Yellow Protocols allow all students to attend school in-person during normal school hours. However, there are many precautions in place under the Yellow Protocols. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Teachers will utilize classroom activities that encourage social distancing whenever possible.
- Students, staff members, and visitors will be required to wear a face covering in the building (mask or shield that covers nose and mouth and is made of material capable of containing droplets). Exceptions will be made for breakfast/lunch while eating and other instances designated by school administration where social distancing can be maintained (not less than six feet for 15 minutes). Considerations/exceptions will be made for staff and students who provide documentation from a state licensed medical professional stating the wearing of a face covering could be a health risk for that individual. Considerations/exceptions will also be made per IEP/504 team recommendation.
- All staff and students will be provided with washable masks for use. Face shields will be provided upon request and availability. In addition, disposable masks will also be made available.
- Staff will ensure students have the opportunity for a “covering break” every hour with social distancing maintained. Visitors must have prior approval from the school administration or designees and are required to wear a face covering at all times.
- Attendance policies are waived and families are encouraged to screen students for symptoms every morning before attending school. (see the CDC website for a list of symptoms)
- Students who develop symptoms at school will be placed in a designated “health room” until arrangements are made for the student to be picked up.
- If we need to change protocol levels because there is an increase (or decrease) in community spread of COVID, it is our intention to give at least five days notice to parents ahead of that change.
Keep in mind that we continue to have teams working the many complexities that are created by opening schools this fall. Our goal is to communicate and engage with families on a consistent basis when information is available about what precautions might be implemented. This is a challenging time and I commend the TFSD staff members who are working tirelessly to make tough decisions that will serve the needs of our community while ensuring that we are being cognizant of the health and safety of our staff and students.