Ozark Tiger E-News

First Day of School is Aug. 20

From Superintendent Dr. Bauman

We have some big changes to announce this week and I want to take a moment to share how we came to these conclusions and our plans moving forward.

First of all, I want to thank all our staff and parents for their feedback and questions. As this situation continues to evolve, so will we. We will continue to analyze and shift our plans based on the latest information.

The active COVID-19 cases within our community are continuing to climb, which is alarming as we are looking to open our doors to almost 7,000 students and staff members. When we began planning for Aug. 20, our guiding principle has been to have students in our buildings five days per week experiencing in-person instruction. In order for us to safely accomplish this, we have developed a layered approach to ensure the greatest amount of safety for students and staff:

1) Monitor your health & protect yourself outside of school by minimizing your risk of exposure

2) Social distancing - Staying 6 feet apart is the best way to eliminate the risk of exposure

3) Face coverings - When social distancing is not an option, this is our best line of defense

4) Exposure time (15 minutes or longer) - The level of risk increases the longer groups are in close proximity

5) Disinfecting & hand washing

Our best line of defense is social distancing. Our team evaluated every classroom in the District regarding size, number of students and furniture design to assess our ability to socially distance. For classrooms where this is not an option, face coverings give us the best opportunity for opening school on time and in person. As a result, our emergency operations committee has updated our Emergency Operations Plan to include a Social Distancing and Masking Annex approved by the school board, which requires face coverings when social distancing is not an option.

I wish I could say to you, "This is it, there will be no more changes," but that is not realistic. The unknowns are unsettling for many people. I completely understand as it is unsettling for us as well. We need to keep one thing in mind, we will get through this together. #tigersstrongertogether

Dr. Chris Bauman, Superintendent

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To reduce the risk of widespread virus transmission, social distancing and wearing masks when social distancing is not an option will be required for all students and employees in classrooms, labs, hallways, offices, buses and inside school facilities.

Face Covering Guidelines

Social Distancing and Masking Annex

How to wear a face covering

Clear barriers are being created for classrooms when social distancing is not an option due to size or seating type. Having barriers such as these will allow students more opportunities to remove their face coverings throughout the day.

Below shows some examples of barriers. We are working to create the best size and layout for each classroom to ensure line of sight between students and teachers is not impacted.

We have created a priority schedule based on classroom size and seating. Our most critical classrooms will be outfitted first and this initiative will continue through the fall.

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We know you all have questions about what happens and what to do if a staff member or student tests positive in your child's class and/or school. Here is an FAQ that helps answer those questions.

School, COVID-19 & Quarantine FAQ

This video and Q&A session provided by St. Louis Children's Hospital provides some great information regarding navigating back to school for parents.
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We are slightly shifting our start/release times at OMS, OJH and OHS so we can eliminate our shuttle buses from OMS and OJH. This will eliminate mixing students on multiple buses (in previous years a student would ride one bus from OMS to OHS, then another bus from OHS home).

We need to provide additional time for all buses to get through OJH and OHS before picking up students at OMS.

Start times are listed on our website here.

If you have questions about the available educational options or wish to enroll in a hybrid/online program, please fill out our Counseling Office Contact Request Form and our counselors will reach out to you. Please fill out one form per student. If you have already reached out to your student's building or counselor, you do not need to fill this form out.

View your 2020-21 educational options here.

Find more information on MOCAP here.

What you need to know before school starts

As information or plans change, we will utilize these updates to notify parents. We will also post pertinent changes on our social media and website. All Back to School information is located on our website: Registration information, important dates, virtual meet the teacher, school supply lists, educational options and more!

Schedules/Teacher Assignments available Aug. 10

It's almost time! On Monday, Aug. 10, you can find your schedules, teacher assignments and bus routes on Parent Portal! For more details on how to access Parent Portal, click here.

If you haven't already, be sure to fill out your back-to-school forms in Parent Portal as well!

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Next week's food box distribution remains at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5 at Ozark High School. See you there!
If you are in need of food assistance, click here.

If you are in need of help with school supplies, click here.

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