Click HERE to download Ethos Lab "Test to Stay" registration information. More information about "Test to Stay" and location/availability of vaccines and boosters is included at the bottom of this message.
See BELOW for Summary of DCPS COVID-19 Operations Plan (updated Dec. 31, 2021)
Jan. 23, 2022
DCPS Families -
DCPS schools will be open to in-person teaching and learning tomorrow (Monday, Jan. 24).
That is the information I know you want and need regarding our plans for the upcoming week.
Throughout the past two years, I have communicated regularly with our families, providing updates, guidance and directives as the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved, and with it, the information made available to all of us from local, state and national health organizations.
Now I want to share a personal message from me to each of you.
The current status of the virus in Kentucky and in Daviess County is at its most critical level ever. Right now, at least one in three Kentuckians is infected with the omicron variant. This includes myself and my family - despite the fact that we are all fully vaccinated and boosted. However, this is not about me: It is about all of us, and our willingness to do our part as individuals and as a community, on behalf of our kids.
There have been and continue to be many opinions and points of view about COVID-19, but there is one thing on which we all agree: In-person teaching and learning is best for kids. As leader of the Daviess County Public Schools district, I am committed to modeling behaviors that have been proven to mitigate the spread of this virus, which has caused so many disruptions and challenges for our students, families and staff.
For the next two weeks, our district and school leadership teams and I will be wearing KN-95 masks and making those masks available to all DCPS staff members. KN-95, N-95 and other medical-grade masks - properly worn - are most effective in reducing the spread of the virus, and vaccinations and boosters are proven to lessen the symptoms when the virus is contracted.
For your thoughtful consideration, I am passing along this information from the CDC:
Masks offering greatest protection (released Jan. 14, 2022):
Benefits of vaccinations and boosters (released Jan. 21, 2022):
The Green River District Health Department, the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control are unanimous in their recommendations. We respect the rights of each individual to make the choices they believe are best for themselves and their families. Parents/guardians are the final authority regarding masking and vaccinations for their child.
At this pivotal moment, I encourage all of us to consider the recommendations of our local, state and national health experts regarding practices that will allow us to keep our kids in school, ensure we have adequate staff in place to provide services, and remain safe and well.
Thank you for the support and cooperation you have demonstrated throughout these past two years.
Updated Dec. 31, 2021
Dec. 31, 2021
DCPS Families -
This message reflects our continued commitment to keeping our families informed regarding our district’s COVID-19 operations plan and response procedures, and includes updates that will be implemented beginning when staff returns to work on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, and students return to classes on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022.
All DCPS school buses will continue to require Universal Masking for elementary, middle and high school students per an existing federal mandate/order pertaining to mass transit, including school bus transportation.
DCPS elementary schools will transition to Mask-Optional status. This includes after-school events and activities, and pertains to students, staff and visitors. For students, this will be guided by parent/guardian decisions.
DCPS middle and high schools will remain at Mask-Optional status, which includes after-school events and activities. For students, this will be guided by parent/guardian decisions.
Robust mitigation efforts and all remaining COVID-19 protocols will remain in place, including:
Continued advocacy for the COVID-19 vaccine/booster
Distancing of 3 feet or greatest extent possible
Use of proper hygiene, including frequent hand-washing
Contact tracing, quarantines and “Test to Stay” availability
HVAC controls and proper ventilation
We encourage each person to consider whether the vaccine and/or boosters are the right choice for you and your family
We respect the rights of parents/guardians and staff regarding the decision to wear face masks based upon individual health needs and personal choice as we begin the new year in January. Anyone who wishes to continue wearing a mask at that time may do so, and that decision will continue to be honored. We will also respect the decision of individuals who choose not to wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status.
By now, I believe we have all grown to accept that COVID-19 will always be a part of our lives, just as colds, flus and other viruses are always with us. We encourage everyone to continue following basic health and hygiene practices, and it is our expectation that the rights and decisions of each individual and family will be respected.
As Superintendent, I have made decisions that I believe have been in the best interests of the students entrusted to our care - and that commitment continues. We know children - and adults - are struggling with emotional and mental health issues brought upon us by this pandemic, and we have done our best to return to, and maintain, uninterrupted in-person teaching and learning.
It is important to emphasize that if local school or community conditions should warrant, masking may again be among the mitigation tools used to help reduce viral spread. Our ability to provide uninterrupted in-person teaching and learning is predicated on maintaining adequate staff at each school to properly educate our children.
Please direct any questions or concerns to my attention at email@example.com - and please join me in continuing to follow basic health and safety practices as we move forward.
As we begin a new semester and a new year, please allow me to also take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to every member of the DCPS family for your cooperation and support as we have navigated this unprecedented experience together, and extend best wishes to all for a healthy and happy 2022.
AVAILABILITY OF VACCINES AND BOOSTERS:
Locations of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters may be found at www.vaccines.gov
Click the link and follow the prompts.
DETAILS ABOUT TEST TO STAY:
This information is designed to clarify eligibility and procedures regarding Test to Stay. This Rapid Antigen model is designed to allow students who are not showing COVID-19 symptoms to remain in school after a possible exposure to the virus. However, there are some qualifying conditions that must be met:
1 - Test to Stay is administered to students ONLY with parent/guardian permission. Parents/guardians may authorize the test in advance by creating an account at http://www.ethosbacktoschool.com/
You may un-enroll at any point, but the parent/guardian must give consent prior to the test being administered to the student. Advance registration facilitates the process so that the student may remain in school without interruptions.
2 - Students who are quarantined as per Health Department guidance because of a positive case at home are not eligible for Test to Stay. They cannot return to school until the quarantine is lifted.
3 - Students who are considered close contacts will be tested for five consecutive school days. The student should arrive at school in time to complete testing before classes begin. At the end of the five-day period, assuming results are negative each day, the student will not undergo further testing.
4 - As long as the COVID-19 testing remains negative, students will be allowed to remain in school. However, students and families should continue to follow appropriate mitigation strategies.
If you have questions or need more information about Test to Stay, COVID-19 vaccinations or boosters, please contact your health care provider or school nurse. Thank you for your continued support and partnership as we work together to ensure the health and safety of our students, and implement practices to provide uninterrupted in-person teaching and learning.