School board votes on county health department disease mitigation protocols – Mill Valley News

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The board approved the department’s recommendations for universal masking of all students and teachers inside school buildings as well as its regulations quarantining individuals and COVID-19 testing

By Gabby Delpleash

The school board met on Monday, August 2 to discuss the district’s communicable disease mitigation protocols and other logistical agenda items.

The board approved the policies recommended by the health department to hide all K-12 teachers and students in school buildings as well as adopting the recommendations to provide COVID-19 testing to symptomatic people during the day. ‘a meeting on Monday August 2. The board also approved the reuse of last year’s building operational guidelines for the school year.

The board actively debated the health department’s recommendations on masking, ultimately voting to adopt guidelines 4-3. Almost evenly divided, board members pushed forward on proposed masking criteria, which require K-12 students to wear barrier masks inside school buildings but allow them to remove their masks in school buildings. outdoor environments. Likewise, teachers will be required to wear face masks inside the building, except in close contact with students and in the privacy of their own classrooms.

Board member Danielle Heikes advocated for universal masking among students and staff so that students can continue to attend school in person. Heikes cited the recent COVID outbreak at Clear Creek Elementary’s JCPRD summer program as justification for revoking the board’s previous decision to allow optional masks in $ 232 buildings.

On the other side of the argument, board member Bill Fletcher fought against the universal masking guidelines, believing that the board was unable to make the personal and autonomous decision for more than 7,000 students. .

“We’re making decisions that we’re not really qualified for,” said Fletcher. “Parents and pediatricians, the people who know our students best, should decide whether to disguise themselves to go to school or not. “

The board ultimately re-enacted last year’s school exclusion guidelines for people deemed contagious or suspected to be contagious with a communicable disease. People exposed to COVID-19 and recommended for quarantine by JHCDE will be excluded from school. Individuals who are fully vaccinated, have a documented case of COVID-19 within the past six months, are not considered exposed, and will not be excluded from school unless they are symptomatic followed by guidelines recommended by JCDHE.

A graphic displayed on screen by Superintendent Frank Harwood during the District Governing Board meeting. (Per USD 232)

Superintendent Frank Harwood also introduced criteria to determine whether buildings in the district will operate under normal or abnormal circumstances based on the number of COVID cases per week in the county. Every four weeks, the district will use these criteria to reassess the functioning of the school building. A graphic displaying the standards is integrated here. If the school were to reopen today, the criteria would require the building to operate under the circumstances of “high” COVID-19 cases.

The district also approved a partnership with NAWD and KDHE to provide voluntary COVID-19 testing for symptomatic people, screening for non-symptomatic people, and for people exposed to COVID-19.

In addition to the requirement for all students and staff to wear masks inside school buildings, students who take the bus to school are required to wear protective masks inside the school building. bus, except more restrictive directives.

The council is due to meet again on Monday, September 13.

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