Nearly 75% of the Marshall County School District’s students will return to campus on Wednesday for in-person instruction after a back-to-school plan was approved by the school board Thursday night.
A total of 1,124 students will learn virtually during the 2020-21 school year.
The plan dictates protocols for all aspects of daily operations including screening and isolation, transportation, on campus activities and meals. “The Marshall County School’s first priority is the health and safety of our students, staff and families. We are committed to providing a safe learning environment for our students, staff and families while dedicating ourselves to creating quality learning experiences for all learners,” the plan states.
All students will have their temperature checked upon entering the school, and students displaying a temperature of 100.4 or higher or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home. Students who are sent home may return to class after the school is provided with a negative COVID test, an alternative diagnosis for the symptoms and the student has been fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication. This protocol also applies to staff members.
While at school, students in grades 1-12 must wear a face covering when they are not able to stay six feet apart. All students riding the bus will be required to wear face coverings, and all drivers and monitors will be required to have their temperature checked before starting bus routes. Bus monitors will also be required to wear gloves at all times.
Should there be a confirmed COVID case on a school campus, staff members and parents of those students exposed will be contacted by the health department. The names of students testing positive will not be disclosed due to confidentiality laws. Exposure is now defined as being within six feet of an infected individual for 15 minutes at one time with the use of the mask being taken into consideration. Those exposed may be required to quarantine for 14 days.
The amount of infections will be tracked daily and weekly and will be posted on the district’s website, according to Superintendent Trent Lovett.
The plan also details procedures to disinfect all classrooms, cafeterias, common areas, buses, playground equipment and bathrooms. All classrooms and bathrooms will be disinfected every morning before the start of school and again at lunch. Sharing of items and supplies like toys, school supplies and electronics will not be allowed.
All classrooms, buses and cafeterias will have assigned seating. Students learning virtually will have the option to pick up breakfast and lunch daily. Meals can be picked up from 10-10:15 a.m. at any school with a photo ID and the student’s lunch number.
On campus, breakfast will be served as a ‘grab and go’ after the health screening upon entering the school. Lunch will be served in various locations depending on the school and the spaces available.
Prior to the action items on the agenda, the board accepted the resignation of board member Diane Barga as the District 2 representative due to a conflict of interest. Barga also served on the state board of education and resigned from both positions on Aug. 11. A company that Barga’s husband owns was purchased by another company the district does business with, resulting in the conflict.
The board also:
• Approved the monthly treasurer’s report.
• Approved a resolution to use board-approved emergency days should staff need extra sick days due to COVID;
• Approved non-resident contracts with Graves County Schools and Paducah Public Schools;
• Was updated on new cyber security measures put into place for the upcoming school year;
• And, approved payments and change orders for multiple facility renovations and upgrades.