The Wayne County Board of Education has voted to continue requiring masks for students, staff, and visitors so long as the local COVID incidence rate remains at 50 or above. With the current incidence rate at 125, masks will continue to be required for now.
The board chose to approve a recommendation to keep the masks policy, except for pre-school and kindergarten children and end school related close contact quarantines. Masks will continue to be required by the students, staff, and visitors, until COVID-19 cases go down, based on the Lake Cumberland Area Health Department’s daily incidence rate guidelines. The board established a metric of 50 to determine when masks would be required.
In addition, masks must remain on individuals riding school busses per federal rules. Masks will continue to be required at the Area Technology Center, based on their state regulations.
Superintendent Wayne Roberts told the board members that their challenge was to establish protocols that created the greatest opportunity for the greatest number of students to receive the greatest number of in-person instruction. He presented four options to consider in establishing the school district’s Covid-19 School Operations Plan. He suggested the option that would have the greatest positive impact on in-person instruction. School data shows that of 134 students and staff that have participated in the test to stay program through Friday (September 17), only two have tested positive. This indicates that many students and staff may be needlessly quarantined, while creating problems for families and staffing. Athletes would need to test due to the closer contact during athletic activities.
The local plan requires parents to be notified of their child’s exposure and testing would be offered for those that choose. Families would choose: to quarantine, stay in school without testing or stay in school with testing, provided everyone is still masked. Students could still ride the bus to and from school. Household close contacts would still follow current quarantine rules set by the health department. Athletes would be eligible to participate, but would be required to participate in test to stay.
A recent school staff survey which included 411 respondents revealed 69.6 percent of the employees supported the continuation of the mask requirement, while 30.4 percent were opposed. The survey also showed that 70.8 percent of the staff believed that students and staff were safer when everyone wears a mask. Several principals and school nurses indicated that the main problem they were facing was the time being consumed with contact tracing. Wearing masks was not an issue.
Three of the board members voted in favor, plus two abstentions.
(Check out the COVID-19 School Operations Plan on the left-hand column of the front page of the website for more details)
In other business:
*Tabled an opportunity to approve the state funded COVID-19 vaccine stimulus program for school employees. Vaccinated employees could receive $100 through the incentive plan. Districts have been asked to match the state contribution.
*Approved the new elementary Early Learning Building project location which would be where the old Turner Intermediate building is located.
*Approved naming the football stadium the Shawn Thompson Football Stadium, in recognition of the former football coach. Jewell Field will remain the name of the playing field.
COVID-19 School Operations Plan
Update: The following COVID-19 operations plan was adopted by the Wayne County Board of Education on September 16, 2021 and will be effective immediately.
Masking: Masks for students, staff, and visitors will continue to be required so long as the local COVID incidence rate remains above 50 cases per 100,000 population per day (as reported by the Lake Cumberland District Health Department). The incidence rate on Thursday of each week will determine whether masks will be required for the following week. Masks will no longer be required for preschool and kindergarten students except on buses.
Contact tracing and quarantines: The district will continue contact tracing of close contacts at school, and parents will be notified. School close contacts will no longer be required to quarantine, so long as they are not showing any symptoms. Parents will be offered the option to have their child tested at school or may choose to quarantine their child for 10 days. Close contacts who participate in athletics or extracurricular activities will be allowed to participate in those activities if they do the “test to stay” protocol.
Wayne County Schools will continue enhanced cleaning practices and encourage all students and staff to follow these important guidelines:
Wash your hands frequently.
Refrain from touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth.
Cover your cough.
Practice social distancing when possible.
Stay home if you have any symptoms of COVID-19
PLEASE NOTE: This plan is subject to revision as the COVID situation in our community changes.
Safe Return to In-Person Learning
2020-2021 School Year
During the 2020 - 2021 school year, all Wayne County students will have the choice of attending school in-person or virtually. When community spread of COVID reaches critical levels, (as determined by the Kentucky Department of Public Health) all students may learn virtually for a period of time.
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 or greater
Shortness of breath
Loss/change in sense of smell or taste
Nausea or Vomiting
Unexplained muscle aches or pains
Headache – mild to severe
All employees should complete a health assessment including temperature check before reporting to work. Any employees with symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home.
All employees will be expected to wear a mask any time they are within six feet of others.
Students will be required to wear a mask when boarding and riding the bus.
Students will sit in an assigned seat on the bus. Students who have a waiver from wearing a mask issued by a medical professional will be assigned a seat in the front of the bus.
Students and staff who have a medical waiver from wearing a mask are required to wear a face shield in situations where social distancing isn’t possible.
Buses will be sanitized after each route.
All staff and 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. Staff members with a temperature of 100.4 or greater will be sent home.
Students will be required to wear masks anytime they are on their feet, moving around the classroom or building.
Hallway traffic will be directional.
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 that allows for social distancing. If the cafeteria is used, all students will sit facing the same direction.
No self-service in the cafeteria.
Students will have assigned seats in the classroom and all student desks will face the same direction.
High contact surfaces will be sanitized frequently throughout the day.
Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the school.
Students and staff 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.
Playgrounds will be divided into zones to limit mixing of students.
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 office.