Guidelines Updated September 13, 2021
We will continue to monitor all federal, state, and local guidelines. We will seek input from stakeholders as we strive to provide a safe learning environment, quality instruction, and social and emotional support for our students. Beginning September 13, 2021, the Taylor County School District added online distance learning as an option for delivering instruction. For students continuing with in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year, we will follow the health and safety procedures and strategies listed below. We have plans to make improvements to HVAC systems and water fountains to provide a healthier environment. Additionally, we are enhancing our intervention programs to address academic needs that have been exacerbated as a result of COVID-19.
The Health and safety practices and strategies include:
Maintain communication with local health officials and the Department of Public Health.
Participate in contact tracing efforts as directed by local health officials (to the extent feasible).
Teach and reinforce good hygiene measures such as hand washing, covering coughs, and face coverings.
Conduct deep cleaning of schools prior to students/staff returning and schedule additional cleanings during weekends or school holidays/breaks.
Provide hand soap and hand sanitizer, paper towels, and no-touch trash cans in all bathrooms, classrooms, and frequently trafficked areas.
Post signs in classrooms, hallways, and entrances to communicate COVID-19 symptoms, preventative measures, and school/district specific protocols.
Designate an isolation room or area to separate anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms.
Routinely clean/disinfect frequently touched surfaces and shared objects.
Require face masks/coverings (Dress Code applies) on our school buses.
Follow a modified quarantine method for students exposed in the school setting.
Offer free school-based COVID-19 testing provided by the Georgia Department of Public Health.
With the additional funding made available from the federal government, we plan to make the following changes:
Replace existing HVAC systems with a modern system that will help improve the air quality.
Remove carpet and install hard-surfaced flooring.
Upgrade water fountains to include water bottle fillers.
Purchase and implement a math intervention program in kindergarten through fifth grade to include ongoing professional development.
Utilize teachers to provide tiered supports in reading and math.
Use Masks to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
Hand Hygiene Recommendations
Social distancing, also known as "physical distancing," means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. To practice social distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms' length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.> CDC Guidance
What families can do to support the health and wellness of students, peers, and school staff:
Be informed about this reopening plan and ask questions to clarify procedures.
Update parent contact information in Infinite Campus, the parent portal.
Actively monitor your child’s health daily for any changes or concerns.
Inform the school as soon as a positive COVID test result occurs with any members of the household.
Follow healthcare provider or health department directives regarding the need for quarantine or isolation for you or your family.
Provide your child with age appropriate explanation of COVID-19, and ask what questions they may have to ensure they have accurate information and to relieve their fears.
Educate your child to consistently self-regulate their behaviors in following CDC and school guidelines for the safety of themselves, other students, and staff. Educate them about handwashing, social distancing, refraining from touching others, and refraining from touching their face.
Practice ways your child can greet/interact with peers without using physical contact.
Encourage your child to wear a face covering, wash hands frequently, and follow good general hygiene practices.
Provide personal face covering and hand sanitizer for your child.
Reinforce/educate your child on proper handwashing, covering coughs or coughing into a tissue, sneezing into their elbow, wearing a face covering, and social distancing.
Avoid any after school face-to-face social interactions between your child and their peers unless CDC guidelines are followed.
Speak with your healthcare provider regarding the importance of flu vaccination this season to avoid absences.
Encourage your child to eat healthy, exercise, and develop good sleeping habits.
Be patient and understanding when plans and procedures need to change to keep students and staff safe.
What families can expect from the District and schools regarding mental health and wellness:
The Taylor County School District is aware that all of our students and families have been impacted in some way by COVID-19, and is prepared to continue to support our students when they return to school.
Resources are available to assist your student with mental health needs. This ranges from direct support from our school counselors, mental health specialists and the school nurse, as well as connecting your child with community resources.
What families can do to support the mental health and wellness of students, peers and school staff:
It is important to understand that we are all in this pandemic together. Just as your family has been impacted by COVID-19, your student’s classmates, teachers, administrators and all school staff have been impacted as well. The safety and wellbeing of our community is extremely important as we prepare to reopen our schools. Crisis resources are available for your child. New procedures have been established to ensure safety in our schools. Please talk to your student about the importance of learning and following the new procedures.
When a Child or Staff Member Becomes Sick at School
Each school will identify an area where anyone exhibiting COVID-like symptoms can be kept separate from other individuals.
Employees who present with symptoms of illness will be sent home and advised not to return until they have met DPH criteria to discontinue home isolation.
Anyone who has had exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19(outside the school environment) will be required to follow DPH guidance.
Anyone who has had possible exposure at school will be allowed to remain at school as long as they remain asymptomatic.
The following protocol will be utilized in the event that a student presents with symptoms of illness:
Student Illness Screening Protocol
1. Assess symptoms of ill student.
If the student is exhibiting behavior that could produce airborne droplets (coughing, sneezing, clearing throat), place a procedural face covering on the student.
Take the temperature of the student. Students with fever will be sent home until they are fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication. The student presenting with two - three symptoms of illness listed below should go home until symptoms resolve and they are fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication. Please keep ill student separate from other staff and students while arranging transport home.
fever of 100.00 or higher
congestion or runny nose
shortness of breath
chills/repeated shaking with chills
new loss of taste or smell
rash/red eyes, cracked/swollen lips or tongue, swelling of hands/feet/ stomach pain
2. Screen student and parent using questions below to determine if further action should be taken.
Have you or anyone in your household had a fever, chills, muscle or body aches in the previous 14 days?
Have you or anyone in your household had a cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or sore throat in the previous 14 days?
Have you or anyone in your household had fatigue, headache or new loss of taste or smell in the previous 14 days?
Have you or anyone in your household had congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea in the previous 14 days?
Have you or anyone in your household been diagnosed with COVID-19?
Have you or anyone in your household been in contact with or cared for anyone diagnosed with COVID-19?
If the student and/or parent answer yes to any of the above questions, the parent/guardian should be notified that they will be sent home and should seek care from their health care provider. Obtain/verify a contact phone number for the parent/guardian for follow up on the student’s health.
Report any ill student with above symptoms and/or positive health screening responses to your school nurse. The school nurse will follow up with the parent/guardian and determine a return to school date as appropriate.
The isolation area will be thoroughly cleaned.