Muscle Shoals City Schools

January 5, 2022

Spring 2022 Updates to School Operations


This is a modified school operations plan for the Spring 2022 semester.

As school re-opens in January, please know that MSCS will continue to implement practical health and wellness procedures in coordination with the State Department of Education and the Alabama Department of Public Health.

After battling this pandemic for almost two years now, we know the types of behaviors by individuals that can slow the spread of COVID-19. It is vital that each person in the Muscle Shoals faMily take the steps necessary to protect themselves and others from infection. It is the responsibility of ALL OF US to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

This plan IS NOT intended to be comprehensive of all the precautions that MSCS will take.

As we continue to learn more about COVID-19 (Omicron variant information), we acknowledge the seemingly ever-changing aspect of guidance we receive from state and federal health officials. Hence, this plan is subject to change without notice, but as always, your child's safety and wellbeing are of utmost importance as we also work to provide a high quality educational experience.

As we have done since the summer of 2020, we will continue to monitor the community spread of COVID-19 and alert you to any changes impacting school operations.

District Health Protocols (As of 1/3/2022)

ADPH Back-to-School Toolkit (Guidelines) as revised 9/30/2021

Screening - Parents should continue to screen children at home for signs or symptoms of any illness. As always, a child with a temperature of 100.4 shall remain at home and will not be permitted to return to school for 24 hours after the temperature is back to normal.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Facial Coverings (Masks) - It is PREFERRED that all staff, students, and visitors wear a mask when indoors and within 6 feet of another person.

Each school campus will have facial coverings (masks) available for student or staff use.

Social Distancing - The ideal distance to prevent/slow the spread of viruses is 6 feet. In the absence of a 6 foot space barrier, distances as little as 3 feet provide a level of protection, particularly for children. When 6 feet distance cannot be achieved, a mask should be worn to slow the spread of germs.

Personal Hygiene - Hand sanitizer will be available in each classroom and throughout the hallways of each campus. Staff will constantly encourage hand washing and proper ways to sneeze and cough to slow the spread of germs.

Water Fountains - Will be open, but staff and students are encouraged to bring their own water to minimize use and touching of water fountains. Some water fountains are equipped with touchless bottle filling stations.

Exposure, quarantine, and contact tracing - Schools are required to report suspected and diagnosed COVID-19 cases, just as they are required to report other communicable diseases in the school environment, such as chickenpox and measles. When COVID-19 cases are identified in or reported to a school, they must be reported to public health using the Online COVID-19 Report Card. In addition, schools are required to report outbreaks of any kind, including outbreaks of COVID-19.

New isolation guidance for COVID positive **AS OF JANUARY 5, 2022**

If an individual is diagnosed with COVID, he/she should isolate or quarantine for at least 5 days from the onset of symptoms or diagnosis (whichever comes first) and consistently and properly wear a mask for 5 additional days. This applies to asymptomatic and mildly ill people!

Individuals who refuse to (or cannot) mask or continue to exhibit symptoms should continue to follow the 10 day isolation guidance (and be fever free for at least 24 hours). Individuals who exhibit major symptoms of COVID should also follow the 10 day isolation guidance.

New isolation guidance for COVID exposure **AS OF JANUARY 5, 2022**

If an individual is exposed to COVID ("6/15" rule without a mask, "3/15" rule when both people mask), he/she should isolate or quarantine for at least 5 days and consistently and properly wear a mask for 5 additional days.

Individuals who refuse to (or cannot) mask should continue to follow the 10 day isolation guidance for an exposure.

-If you have received the vaccine boost, OR have been vaccinated with Pfizer/Moderna in the past 6 months, OR have been vaccinated with J&J in the past 2 months, you do not have to quarantine or isolate. It is recommended that you wear a mask around others for 10 days.

School principals and nurses are mandatory reporters under Alabama’s Notifiable Disease law; therefore, all suspected and diagnosed COVID-19 cases must be reported using the Online COVID-19 Report Card.

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

This message should not be interpreted that we will require any individual to prove or reveal their vaccination status.

Big picture


While not a requirement to attend school, vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help keep students in school for in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.

From the CDC: Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.
Definition of Being Fully Vaccinated

Vaccine Eligibility

Please remember that the COVID vaccine, like all vaccines, is not 100% effective. Everyone should expect to hear of breakthrough cases (i.e. fully vaccinated people who contract the virus). That does not mean that the vaccine is not effective. To the contrary, vaccinated people who test positive generally experience milder symptoms and less hospitalizations.

Information on the COVID-19 Vaccine (ADPH)
Information on the COVID-19 Vaccine (CDC)

Getting Your Vaccine (CDC)

Find A Vaccine (CDC)
After You Are Vaccinated (CDC)

This message should not be interpreted that we will require any individual to prove or reveal their vaccination status.

International Travel

MSCS will follow CDC guidance on international travel for all students and staff. It is important to note that CDC does not recommend international travel until you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.The link below contains recommendations for fully vaccinated people and unvaccinated people.


Each school will communicate arrival and dismissal procedures.


Each school will communicate scheduling plans.


There will be a systematic review of all current student plans (e.g., Individual Healthcare Plans, Individualized Education Plans, or 504 Plans) for accommodating students with special needs, and their plans will be updated as needed.

Extracurricular Activities

Normal operations with facial coverings PREFERRED and social distancing when feasible. Masks ARE REQUIRED on school buses.

Assemblies and Special Events

Limitations may be imposed. Normal operations with facial coverings PREFERRED and social distancing when feasible.

Daytime Field Trips

Limitations may be imposed. Masks will be required on school buses in accordance with a federal mandate for public transportation.

Visitors on Campus

Limitations may be imposed. Facial coverings PREFERRED when indoors and in situations where social distancing cannot be achieved.

Bus Transportation

CDC’s order to wear masks while on public conveyances applies to all public transportation including school buses. Regardless of the mask policy at school, passengers and drivers must wear masks on school buses, including on buses operated by public and private school systems, subject to the exclusions and exemptions in CDC’s Order.

Meal Service

Enhanced protocols and limitations will be imposed.

Cleaning Facilities

Enhanced protocols.

Use of lockers

Normal operations.


DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this document does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Instead, all information, content, and materials available in this document are for general informational purposes only. Information in this document may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This document contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader or user. MSCS and its staff do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites. Readers of this document should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. No reader or user of this document should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information in this document without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein, and your interpretation of it, is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation. Use of and access to this document or any of the links or resources contained within the document, do not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and document authors, contributors, contributing law firms, or committee members and their respective employers. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this document are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content in this document is provided "as is." No representations are made that the content is error-free. This guidance is not mandated, or state required. Local school districts have the authority and flexibility to meet their individual needs and be responsive to their communities.