Good news!! When we return to school on Tuesday 2/22/22 masks will be recommended for students but not required. Students are required by federal law to wear masks on the bus. We do ask that you continue to monitor your children’s illnesses and keep us in the loop for any positive Covid cases. Those that test positive will have to follow masking quarantine procedures.
Parents, if someone in your family tests positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to Covid-19 please make sure you notify Mrs. Stenger by email at [email protected]. She will then assist you with quarantine/return dates to school. This also is very important information that we need to record for the Health Department. Thanks!
Quarantine Update 12/27/21
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.
Have been boosted
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months
Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months
If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home.
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted
Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted
If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home
If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine) at school:
The new guidelines state that if a student is exposed to COVID at school they may continue to attend school in person by wearing a mask for 10 days and remaining symptom free as quarantine protocol.
St. Joseph Consolidated School Preventative Measure Plans
All students will encounter some changes (requirements) that are being put in place to ensure their safety, the safety of their families, and the safety of our staff members who work with them on a daily basis. The most important of these prevention requirements address the need to control and maintain social distancing. Our approach to prevention will also include our plans for PPE (masks and face shields), enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures, and steps being taken to reduce touch/contact points.
The key issue regarding social distancing is to come up with a plan that keeps students as far apart as possible (ideally, 6ft) during their time in our building. Accomplishing this objective involves some significant adjustments to student seating and mobility. Our plan for controlling and maintaining social distancing is as follows:
Students arriving to our school each morning will be directed to go directly to their classrooms and immediately take the seat assigned to them. In past years, they reported to the auditorium until 7:25. This will no longer be allowed. Students must be in their desks ready for school to start by 7:30 or they will be marked tardy.
Parents will not be permitted to enter the building with their child/ren during the student drop off/arrival time period. All business with the school office in the morning that requires entering the building must be taken care of after student arrival (7:45). Parents/visitors will be directed to remain in their cars and call the school office to request entry. As indicated in our plan for visitors/parents, this will include:
With the goal of maintaining maximum spacing between students at all times, we will be taking the following steps:
In past years, teachers in the lower grades (K-3) have used classroom fees to provide shared snacks for their students. This was done to ensure that every student received a snack. This practice will not be permitted this year. Each student will be expected to bring his/her own snack to school each day. Parent cooperation with this change will be critical. A limited supply of individually wrapped snacks will be available for, what we hope will be, occasional emergency use.
Students (4-8) access to lockers will be scheduled and limited to control social distancing. Students will be permitted to store only their backpacks, coats, and lunches in their lockers. All books and materials will be stored in desks in classrooms.
Our library will be open when school starts and students will be permitted to check out books.
All restroom doors will be propped open and additional screen/divider panels added to permit entry and exit without the need to touch door handles.
All restrooms have been converted to touchless fixtures for water and soap. Touchless faucets and sinks are in the hall outside the cafeteria.
Blow dryers have been disconnected and paper towel dispensers installed in the hallways outside all restrooms. Trash can lids have been removed to eliminate another contact point.
The school water fountains will be open for students and staff. Students will be permitted to bring their own school-approved water bottles to school each day. (Please see our website for details on school-approved water bottles.)
Students and staff will be trained on good hygiene practices. Signs and posters will be in place throughout the building to reinforce these practices. Ongoing parent communications will include information and reminders. Key issues that will be addressed here are handwashing, face covering (wearing masks/shields), and stay-at-home-when-ill directives.
Multiple opportunities will be provided each day for students and staff to wash their hands with soap and water. Planned and monitored opportunities will be built in student schedules. Upgraded facilities will make this process safer. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available throughout the building.
Wearing a mask while indoors will be required, strongly recommended, or option for 2021-2022 school year based on guidance provided by our local health department and data provided by the CDC. The specific data used will be the "Level of Community Transmission." Transmission rate data is provided county by county in four levels: Low, Moderate, Substantial and High. St. Joseph will use these data in our decision making on masks. At this time 8/17/21 the level in Butler County is HIGH l so at this time it is Required for students and staff to wear masks.
Stay At Home When Ill or Exposed
When Ill - Parents must to build into their family’s daily morning routine the taking of each child’s temperature and checking for any symptoms that may warrant keeping a child at home. Based on CDC recommendations, any child registering a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more must not be sent to school. A check list of other symptoms will be provided. Helping us by monitoring these symptoms at home may prevent unplanned trips to school to pick up sick children and will go a long way toward preventing the spread of COVID-19 and all other illnesses. An ill child may return to school when symptom free and fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.
When Exposed - Students or staff may become exposed to COVID-19 from coming in close contact with a family member who tests positive or through a family member who has recently traveled to a COVID-19 hot spot. In either case, the school must be notified. Members of this family may be required to be quarantined at home for 14 days, or as directed by the City of Hamilton Health Department. Parents assume a moral obligation to follow this directive faithfully and honestly for the safety of our school community.
Our school cafeteria will continue to provide hot lunches each day. We will operate under the guidance and direction of the City of Hamilton Health Department. All cafeteria staff will wear masks and gloves at all times. Other changes to our food service plan to increase safety will include:
We are fortunate to have air conditioning throughout our building. The settings on our air conditioning units will be adjusted to provide a constant exchange of air with outside air. Because our system is not a central air system, we are able to limit to some degree the sharing of air from room to room.
Daily Cleaning and Sanitation
Thorough cleaning of all surfaces will be done on a daily basis by our maintenance staff and teachers. Special attention will be given to critical touch points, such as railings, door knobs, restroom facilities, etc.
We will make every effort to limit the number of visitors permitted to enter our building in general, as well as the number permitted to enter at any one time. At this time, 8/17/21, the level in Butler County is HIGH so at this time it is all visitors need to wear masks. Parents who need to come into the building during the school day are encouraged to call ahead and notify the office of their arrival time or schedule a time.
Health Department officials have guided our planning for responding to a student who becomes ill during the school day and shows symptoms of COVID-19. The most obvious of the symptoms we will be monitoring will be a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more. When this occurs:
When an ill student tests positive for COVID-19, the school will report the incident to the City of Hamilton Health Department and follow their directives. (Parents are expected to cooperate fully with the Health Department’s contact tracing efforts.) We have been advised that, with appropriate safety measures (wearing masks/shields) and social distancing practices in place, this may not require the quarantining of the entire class.
All other ill students will be permitted to return to school when symptom-free and fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. COVID-19 testing will not be required unless symptoms warrant. The decision to have a child tested will be left to the child’s physician. The school must be notified if a child tests positive for COVID-19. Parents assume a moral obligation to follow this directive faithfully and honestly for the safety of our school community.
COVID-19 Safety Policy for 2021-2022 - Masking Policy Updated 8/17/21
Wearing a mask while indoors will be required, strongly recommended, or optional for 2021-2022 school year based on the guidance provided by our local Health Department and data provided by the Center for Disease Control. The specific data used will be the “Level of Community Transmission.” Transmission rate data is provided county by county in four (4) levels: Low, Moderate, Substantial, and High. We will use these data in our decision making on masks as follows:
Masks will be required, strongly recommended, or optional for all students and staff, whether vaccinated or not, based on the Level of Community Transmission Data for Butler County provided by the Center for Disease Control:
Level of Community Transmission Data for Butler County
***CURRENT LEVEL OF TRANSMISSION (8/17/2021) is: RED/HIGH. Therefore, masks will be required for all students and staff, vaccinated or unvaccinated. This will remain the case until the rate of transmission drops below RED.
WEEKLY STATUS UPDATES
We will update our status on masks as necessary based on weekly data reporting provided by the CDC. These data updates can be tracked via the following link: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view
HEALTH DEPARTMENT GUIDANCE
Our local Health Department has issued the following guidance for schools: “Based on current data (8/17/21) which indicates that our community transmission rate is HIGH, we recommend that students and staff returning to school in August wear a mask while indoors whether vaccinated or not.”
CLASS BY CLASS, SCHOOL BY SCHOOL OUTBREAKS
Each school will respond to a class by class or school-wide outbreaks with adjustments to this policy as circumstances require.
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
Ill Student Guidelines
This letter is to notify you of the school guidelines and expectations for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the following guidelines will be followed and strictly enforced.
OR 2 or more of the following symptoms
COVID Vaccine Clinics