DISTRICT UPDATE 7/28/2021

2021-2022 MCS COVID RESPONSE PLAN

OVERVIEW

For the 2021-22 school year, Maryville City Schools will prioritize and focus on our mission of educating students and partnering with the Health Department and health care agencies who will predominately manage positive COVID cases and close contact tracing.

A LOOK BACK

An analysis of our comprehensive COVID data (student and staff positive cases, quarantine tracking, community tracking, and staff vaccination statistics) provides the rationale and confidence in making decisions for this year. Last year, 7% of our K-12 students had a confirmed case for COVID. However, 63% of our students were quarantined at least once – over 3,000 students. Some students were quarantined as many as four times. We are aware of only a handful of quarantined students who subsequently received a positive test, and most of these had a social connection outside of the classroom environment.

TESTING

The district will offer both student and staff testing for symptomatic cases in each school clinic. Testing is an optional service and a personal decision. School employees will not pressure or encourage anyone to be tested and no student will be tested without parent permission. Likewise, vaccinations are personal decisions, and school employees will not pressure or encourage anyone to be vaccinated.

CONTACT TRACING

For positive employees, complete contact tracing and tracking will occur by the school clinic. However, the district will conduct limited contact tracing for confirmed student cases. We will rely on families and health care agencies to identify any additional close contacts. The district will enforce isolation of positive cases and quarantines of known or health department reported close contact cases.

REPORTING

The Director of Schools will provide a weekly summary report of all known positive cases to all staff. Schools will inform appropriate staff members of positive cases. Parental notification of positive cases will occur when there are identified clusters or upticks of cases in any school. Monitoring of community COVID data will continue to be available on the TN Department of Health Website: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov/data/county-data-snapshot.html

OTHER PLAN DETAILS

Face Covering, Temp Checks, Health Monitoring – Regardless of vaccination status, the district will have no mandate regarding face covering, PPE, Temp Checks, or Health Monitoring at the opening of the new academic year. However, the district will continue to be a responsive district and monitor both community and internal district data to advise additional actions. As always, students and staff are welcome to wear face coverings, especially when social distancing is not possible.


COVID Symptomatic Student – If the school clinic identifies a preponderance of COVID symptoms, the nurse will make a call to the parent(s) and offer a COVID test. Permission for COVID testing/Authorization to Release form may be provided through email or with a signature on the form. Parents may choose to be present for the testing when/if they pick up the student from the clinic.

  • For those untested, provide the student a 10-day COVID Symptom isolation letter.
  • For those tested, inform the student he/she must remain at home pending test results. Provide the parent a copy of the Permission/Authorization to Release Form.


Positive COVID Identification Results. The schools may receive positive notification through their own testing systems or from outside agencies. The school clinic will follow the 10-day isolation protocol from the onset of symptoms or from test date if asymptomatic. The school clinic will ask positive students to identify household/critical contacts (siblings, parents, high-risk social contacts of prolonged engagement such as sleep-over friends) who attend or work in the school district. The school district will rely on families, health care agencies, and the health department to identify all additional close contacts. Schools will enforce isolations of known positive cases.


Identified Close Contacts. The schools may receive close contact notification through their own critical tracing as described above or through outside reporting. For parental reporting, verification may be requested. The schools will follow the same protocol for 10-day quarantine as in 2020-21 with the following revisions: provision for vaccinated students to be exempt from close contact quarantines and provision for asymptomatic students who have been diagnosed with COVID within 90 days to be exempt from close contact quarantines. Schools will enforce quarantines of known close contact cases. In addition, schools will verify all close contact quarantines with the Health Department to determine the level of excused or unexcused absences.


Optional COVID Testing: All in-school COVID testing will be prompted by nursing staff in the school clinics and will accompany a preponderance of symptoms. Parents may not request random testing. Asymptomatic students who are on a close contact quarantine and want to reduce the length of the quarantine through testing may request an appointment with the school nurse in the school clinic. Testing is an optional service, and school employees will not pressure or encourage anyone to be tested.


Instructional Provision for Positive COVID and Quarantined Students: Under almost all circumstances of quarantined students (isolated incidences or small numbers impacted), the school system will not provide digital instruction for positive COVID students or close contact quarantined students. Teachers will apply the school’s sick and make-up work policy as with any other illness and provide a variety of support structures that could include digital components. Students will be granted an automatic excused absence with proper documentation for all quarantines. Full digital delivery would only occur in unusual or extenuating circumstances.

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STAGGERED START

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL REMINDER


Students will return to school on the following staggered schedule:


  • August 3 - Students whose last name starts with A - K


  • August 4 - Students whose last name starts with L - Z