Dear Parents and Students,
The 2021-2022 school year is just a few days away from opening our doors to welcome our families and their students to “Our Best Year!” Many questions have been asked about opening, masks, mitigation strategies and options when we have to quarantine students. Let me assure you we are looking at all sides as decisions are made so that the health, safety and welfare of both staff and students remain our priority.
Tuesday, August 24, 2021, the Taylor County Board of Education accepted the following recommendation regarding masks.
The superintendent respectfully requests that families be permitted to make the decision for their student to wear masks unless the WVDHHR map is red showing the highest level of community transmission whereby all staff, students, and visitors in Taylor County Schools will wear masks for fourteen days beginning the following school day on buses and inside our school buildings. Masks will not be worn during outside activities or recess. The superintendent will revisit the community transmission rate at the end of the fourteen days to determine if we need to continue wearing masks or remove and continue with the other mitigation strategies in place.
It is important to add that the superintendent will continue to consult with local health officials and support additional measures when necessary at individual schools should an outbreak occur requiring a change in measures for that classroom or school.
To support the safe return and continued offering of five days of instruction we do want to remind everyone of the mitigation strategies we will follow.
- Vaccines are the number one strategy for those eligible to receive. If interested, please reach out to the board office so a clinic can be set up.
- Cleaning and disinfecting
- Hand hygiene and coughing/sneezing etiquette
- Evaluate large gatherings outside of classroom/core groups
- Social distancing according to county board guidance (3 feet when possible)
- Face coverings at county board discretion (recommend but not mandating at this time)
- Contact tracing in collaboration with local health departments
- In addition, our transportation department will keep roof vents open and windows cracked to allow the exchange of fresh air while transporting students.
- When buses have completed their final drop off of students they will disinfect the bus in the morning and evening.
- Schools will be equipped with masks, disinfectant and cleaning supplies to use throughout the day to ensure high traffic and touch spots are addressed.
We also want to make sure we share the guidelines for quarantining if we should determine staff or students are impacted with the identification of a positive case.
Students who have been vaccinated do not have to quarantine.
Quarantine period can end after Day 10 without testing and if no symptoms have been identified during daily self-monitoring.
» Day 0*-10 quarantine for close contacts can end if no symptoms develop during daily self-monitoring without testing.
» If an individual develops symptoms within the quarantine period, immediately isolate and contact the local health department to report change in clinical status.
Quarantine period can end after Day 7 if someone tests negative (PCR or antigen test) and if no symptoms have been identified during daily self-monitoring. Post-quarantine transmission risk: 5%-12
» Day 0*-7 quarantine for close contact can end if COVID-19 test is negative and if no symptoms develop during daily self-monitoring.
» Specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation.
» Self-monitoring and mask wearing should be continuous.
» If an individual develops symptoms within the quarantine period, immediately isolate and contact public health to report change in clinical status.
*Duration of quarantine applies from the last date of exposure
We are all in this together and together we remain Taylor Strong. Thank you for your continued support in helping us make this “Our Best Year!”
Christy Miller, Superintendent