Fulton Focus

For the parents and patrons of the Fulton School District

September 4, 2020

A message from the Superintendent

One of the most common questions I get is what number or percentage will cause the school district to close in person and pivot to distance learning. The response, unfortunately, is that it depends. The reality is the most likely cause for moving to distance learning will be the lack of staff needed to adequately run the school district because of quarantine due to exposure. The quarantine is precautionary but follows the guidelines from the Callaway County Health Department and the CDC. The goal would be to return to in-person instruction once staffing is adequate.


We are currently updating the numbers daily on our website and now include new positive cases, total active cases, and the total quarantined due to exposure. The tier level for athletics is also listed on the same webpage and will be updated weekly.


It's a great day to be a Hornet!


Ty Crain, Superintendent

A message from the Health Services Director

First, I want to thank all our families and students for their patience and understanding as we work through this year. We have been in school for a week and a half now and have had to do quite a bit of contact tracing already. Our contact tracing as of today is currently excluding 78 students and staff. These individuals are not positive themselves, but being excluded as a precaution to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. I would like to explain our policies and procedures in an effort to provide clarity and trust that all is being done to keep the students and staff of Fulton Public Schools safe and healthy.


What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is a tool that can help slow the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. It starts with the health department conducting an interview with the person positive for COVID-19. During the interview, they will ask about people with whom they've recently had close contact. Health department officials then alert people who are close contacts that they may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. This does not mean those people are positive. Health Department or school officials can't share the name of the person who may have exposed them due to laws for maintaining confidentiality. The sooner close contacts can be alerted, the lower the risk of the COVID-19 virus spreading further. To help with contact tracing Fulton Public Schools may assist in contacting the families of our students who were considered a close contact.


How is exposure determined?

To be considered exposed by the Health Department the person must have been in close contact with someone positive for COVID-19:

  1. Within 48 hours of their symptoms starting. If they had no symptoms then 48 hours since their COVID-19 test was administered.

  2. Within 6 feet of them, with or without a mask.

  3. For a duration of longer than 15 minutes.

If you were around someone before that 48-hour window then you would not be considered exposed.


What happens if a student is deemed exposed?

Someone that is considered exposed will be instructed to self isolate away from others for 14 days since the last time they were around the person that is positive. For example: exposed on Sept 2nd, can return to school on Sept 17th.


If someone is considered exposed should they get tested?

Current Health Department guidelines don’t recommend getting tested unless you begin to show symptoms yourself.


If someone is considered exposed can others in that household attend school?

Yes, current Health Department guidelines allow others in the household to continue to attend school and work unless someone in the household tests positive. At that time all in the household would need to quarantine for 14 days.


What if a student tests positive for COVID-19?

If you have not been contacted by the Health Department please call them at 573-642-6881, so they can begin contact tracing. Also please call the District COVID Hotline at 573-590-8070.


How does the school handle a student who tests positive for COVID-19?

We ask that all families report a student positive to the District COVID Hotline at 573-590-8070. This will allow the school to quickly provide the Callaway County Health Department with information to aid them in contact tracing for the school day. Once we get confirmation from the Health Department we begin helping alert all students who are considered a close contact and will need to quarantine for 14 days. Students who are determined to have been around the positive student, within 48 hours of their symptoms starting, within 6 feet for 15 minutes will be excluded from school for 14 days.


How long will a student/staff be out of school if they are positive for COVID-19?

They will be out 10 days from the day their symptoms began. If they had no symptoms they are out 10 days from when their COVID-10 test was administered. After the 10 days they must also:

  1. Have symptom improvement.

  2. Be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.

A negative test is not required to return to school.


Why does someone that tests positive for COVID-19 get to return to school sooner than someone that was exposed to a person positive for COVID-19?

Current CDC guidelines state a person positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days. At the end of the 10 days they are no longer considered contagious so are free to return to school. For a person that was exposed to someone positive for COVID-19, they must be home for 14 days since their contact with the positive person. The extended quarantine is due to the amount of time it can be before a person shows symptoms after exposure. At the end of 14 days, the person is no longer at risk for becoming ill due to that specific exposure, and can not spread COVID-19 to others.


How does the school handle a teacher who tests positive for COVID-19?

We will consult with the Health Department to determine if any students or other staff need to quarantine due to exposure. A district-wide notification will not be sent due to confidentiality laws. The individual students that are deemed exposed will be contacted and made aware of their exposure, and given the date they can return to school.


How does the school handle a parent/sibling that tests positive for COVID-19?

If they live in the same home all FPS students in that home will be excluded from school per Callaway County Health Department guidelines for 14 days.


What if an athlete tests positive for COVID-19?

We will consult with the Health Department to determine the students or staff who need to quarantine due to exposure. Because of the differences between sports, each situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine exposure. A district-wide notification will not be sent due to confidentiality laws. The individual students that are deemed exposed will be contacted and made aware of their exposure, and given the date they can return to school.


How will a student continue to receive their assignments and stay caught up in school?

Counselors and teachers are notified when a student will be absent so they can reach out to them. Google Classroom will be utilized by teachers to provide continued learning while out of school.

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Important Dates

NO School - Monday, September 7 - Labor Day

NO School - Monday, September 14 - Professional Development

NO School - Friday, October 9 - Homecoming Dismiss 90 minutes early

NO School - Monday, October 12 - Professional Development

NO School - Friday, October 30

NO School - Monday, November 9 - Professional Development

NO School - Wednesday - Friday, November 25 - 27 - Thanksgiving Holiday

NO School - Monday, December 7 - Professional Development

NO School - December 21 - January 1 - Winter Break

NO School - Monday, January 4 - Professional Development