This morning, the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), along with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), communicated to Kansas Superintendents that for a 30-day period starting today, Tuesday, 1/18/2022, Kansas school districts may temporarily suspend identifying specific susceptible close contacts potentially exposed to COVID-19 in a classroom and extracurricular settings. The KDHE and KSDE will reevaluate this recommendation after 30 days. Our local health department is in support of this temporary suspension.
The following is the school district’s plan moving forward during the temporary suspension of contact tracing in schools:
· Switch to diagnostic testing (Test to Know) instead of Test to Stay and Learn to support students and staff who become symptomatic during the school day.
· If an individual tests positive, the student or staff member will have to isolate for 5 days and then can return to school wearing a mask for days 6 - 10. The same will be for students or staff who notify a school that they have tested positive outside of the school for COVID.
· The following will be communicated if there is a positive individual student or staff member while at school: (no contact tracing will be done at school)
o Preschool & Elementary Buildings - an email notification will be sent to parents about having a positive student or staff member in their classroom and that they should consider quarantining for 5 days and wear a mask for another 5 days when they return. Testing will be available on day 6 if they want to Test to Know.
o Middle and High School - Parent should refer to the attendance dashboard (USD 234 COVID Attendance Dashboard) to make decisions about mitigating their child because of building numbers. It will be difficult to send an individual email notification to parents because students are more mixed and mobile than elementary students. Test to Know is available if they choose to be tested at any time. If they participate in an activity, coaches/sponsors will notify participants of the possible exposure for students or staff to decide about quarantine.
· If a building is aware of a high-risk household close contact, those individuals will need to quarantine for 10 days and will have the option to Test to Know on day 11 and should wear a mask on days 11-20.
· COVID testing will be available to students and staff at school if they want to Test to Know.
To keep our school doors open, it will be the responsibility of the students' parents to communicate to buildings if they are an outside of school positive COVID case, a high-risk close contact or a high-risk household close contact, and take the necessary precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID among our students and staff. If you student is not feeling well, keep them at home.
Student Absenteeism 1/18/22:
FSHS = 115(students absent)/573 = 20%
FSMS = 100/456 = 22%
EW = 80/357 = 22%
WS = 58/386 = 15%
PS = 19/86 =22%
Positivity Rate 1/18/22:
FSHS = 3.78%
FSMS = 6.38%
EW = 2.59%
WS = .65%
PS = 2.97%
All buildings have decreased from last week, but we will continue with masking for now.