Talbot County Public Schools
Important Message from Dr. Kelly Griffith, Superintendent
August 17, 2021
Dear TCPS Families,
With the start of the new school year rapidly approaching, our primary goal is for a full safe return to in person learning five days a week, with layered preventative measures in place. School districts have received updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Maryland Department of Health (MDH), and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to assist us in responding to COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to rapidly evolve.
The newest guidance was developed to support the re-opening of schools for in-person learning at full capacity, as recommended by the CDC. We are told by MSDE that schools must follow attendance policies at this time. Based on the recommendations of the Talbot County Health Officer, and our current trend of “High” according to the Community Transmission Risk chart, the following layered prevention strategies needed to protect students will be effective immediately:
Requiring universal indoor masking for individuals age 2 years and older, including students/children, teachers, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
Promoting vaccination among teachers, staff and students.
Maintaining physical distancing of three feet to the extent possible without excluding students from in-person learning.
Offering rapid COVID-19 testing in schools if needed.
Maintaining adequate ventilation of all buildings to support air quality
Following health department guidance regarding contact tracing, isolation and quarantine for staff or students who are sick, have COVID-19 symptoms, are exposed to someone with COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 according to the Talbot County Health Department Quarantine Policy (attached).
While this is not the way we hoped to be starting the school year, we will continue to monitor the situation on a weekly basis and will make revisions accordingly. The good news is that we have 88% of our staff and almost 50% of our 12 -17 year-olds vaccinated so we remain encouraged and hopeful about a healthy and productive school year. Stay Healthy! Stay Safe! Stay Tuned!
Kelly L. Griffith, Ed.D.