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Wayne County Schools issue safety protocols for in-person attendance

water fountains in schools

       Wayne County Schools are anxious to welcome their students back to campus who have chosen an A/B Alternating Day schedule during the pandemic. The staff will also continue to provide online virtual education to those who have chosen to study full time remotely.

      The staff are working hard to accommodate the students, whether they have the privilege of teaching them in-person or long distance. All kinds of safety protocols have been put into place to deter the spread of COVID-19 at Wayne County Schools for in-person learning.

      “We have gone to great lengths to provide protections for our students and staff by disinfecting our school buildings, adding protective barriers and making arrangements to spread out in our classrooms – just to name a few of the  plans during these unusual times,” said Wayne County Superintendent Wayne Roberts.

       For instance, bottle filling stations have been installed in each of our schools. Students are encouraged to bring a water bottle to reduce the number of students drinking directly from the water fountains.

       “We are taking the COVID-19 threat very seriously. Our staff is setting the example for our students and community by wearing masks and maintaining social distancing,” added Roberts.

        “Our employees have risen to the occasion by learning new skills and taking on challenges that we never dreamed were part of our future,” Roberts said. “Whether it has been teachers learning new technology to teach remotely, our nutrition department feeding the hungry, or our transportation staff traveling to sites with school buses completely packed with meals.”

         The positive side of this unforeseen scenario is that Wayne County Schools have reinvented education because the staff have been so willing to serve students and have become so adaptable outside their comfort zones.

          It has truly been a learning curve for everyone and the local staff has improved their skill sets. Teachers agree that in-person school is the best option, however, they have been willing to work long hours to implement all their custom designed virtual classrooms. Hopefully, the “new normal” will create a climate where education is even more valued and everyone involved will take more ownership and responsibility for their individual educations.

         In the meantime, students can expect to follow safety protocol that will be enforced for in-person attendance. District Health Coordinator Patty Burton is receiving a daily update, tracking any COVID-19 related student or personnel cases within the school district. She reports that information to the local health department as they share the number of COVID-19 and quarantined cases in the community. In addition, all Kentucky school districts are mandated to report their findings on the K-12 School COVID-19 Self-Report Daily Tracking on the Kentucky Online Gateway program, beginning September 28.   

           “Parents are required by law to notify their child’s school within 24 hours following a positive COVID-19 diagnosis,” Burton said.

       “We want everyone to be well and safe,” she said. Her advice was to stay home if sick, wash your hands frequently, social distance and wear a mask.

       The Healthy Kids Clinic has conducted COVID-19 testing on campus for the employees on two occasions before the students return.

        “Our school nurses will be on the front line to evaluate students, making sure they are safe and to treat any acute illnesses that may be associated with COVID-19 or any other illness,” explained Burton. “Parents need to make sure their child’s immunizations and physicals are up to date. It is more important now than it has ever been for these to be current.”

     She said flu shots will be very important. Once in-person school is back in session, flu shots will be made available to students and staff on campus through the Healthy Kids Clinic.

      For all of these plans to work, everyone will need to follow Wayne County Schools Safety Protocol and Expectations for Returning to School which are as follows:

What to Expect When Returning to School

The following safety protocols will be in place for students who attend school in-person:

Parents should complete a quick health assessment including temperature check before sending their child to school. Any child with symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home. Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include: 

  • Temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Sore throat
  • New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain
  • New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever

Students who have had close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) with a person confirmed to have COVID-19 should not attend school.  If you or your child has had close contact with a confirmed case, please contact the local health department for guidance on next steps.

Students in grades K-12 are expected to wear a mask while boarding and riding the bus.  If your child does not have a mask, the bus driver will provide one as the child boards. 

Students will sit in an assigned seat on the bus. 

Students who have a medical waiver from wearing a mask will be assigned a seat in the front of the bus. They are also expected to wear a face shield when on the bus or in the school building. 

All students will have a temperature check performed upon arrival at school.  Any child with a temperature of 100.4 or greater will be placed in an isolation room until the parent can arrive to pick them up.

Students in grades 1-12 will be required to wear a mask at all times (except when eating or drinking) while in the school building.

Students will report directly to class upon arrival at school.

Students will eat breakfast and lunch in the classroom.  Schools may develop a rotating schedule for eating in the cafeteria.  If the cafeteria is used, all students will sit facing the same direction.

High contact surfaces will be sanitized frequently.

Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the school.

Students will wash their hands or use sanitizer on a regular basis. 

K-8 students will remain with the same group all day to limit the possibility of exposure.

School nurses will have procedures in place to deal with students that exhibit COVID-19 symptoms in a separate area away from the nurse’s station.   

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