Note: See JC Schools board meeting rescheduled for an update on this meeting.
An update on how the Jefferson City School District is doing with its COVID-19 re-entry plan will be the highlight of this week's school board meeting.
"Our staff will be talking about the number of cases we've had reported since the start of the school year and how many students and staff have been quarantined due to contact outside of schools," district spokeswoman Ryan Burns said.
Burns said they are keeping most of the same COVID-19 protocols that were in place last school year, with some loosened restrictions. Some of the changes include:
- Students moving out of their primary classrooms for music, art, library and PE classes. They will remain in cohort groups, and seating charts will be used.
- Some schools allowing students to eat meals in the cafeteria in small groups while social distancing and using seating charts.
- Schools no longer monitoring thermal cameras at building entrances or scanning temperatures in car lines, but the cameras will remain in place. If a temperature above 100.4 is detected, building staff will be notified.
The key priorities in the re-entry plan are increased sanitation efforts, social distancing, staff and student screening measures, personal protective equipment, limited visitor access to buildings, virtual education options and procedures for COVID-19 infections.
The district also required masks to be worn indoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.
Students and staff are expected to bring a mask to school every day and wear them when a distance of 3 feet from others cannot be maintained, such as when entering the building, in common areas, during passing periods in the halls and during small group activities, according to the district's re-entry plan. Masks are also required on school buses per a federal order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
"Overall we feel like the re-entry plan has worked as it was designed to," Burns said. "We're seeing a similar number of cases so far this year compared to this same time last year. Right now, there is nothing that is giving us cause for concern, but we are keeping a close eye on things."
Burns said they are watching to see if there are changes due to the different strain of the virus from last year to this year. The Delta variant is the dominant strain, which health officials said was first detected in March and spreads faster and is more virulent that early forms of COVID-19.
Burns said there is a COVID-19 tracker on the district's website, jcschools.us, which updates every night. As of Friday, there were 17 active student cases and six active staff cases. Burns added the district follows Cole County Health Department guidelines as far quarantining of students and staff who are found to have tested positive for COVID-19.
Due to scheduling conflicts, the board will meet on a Tuesday, just as they did last month. Tuesday night's meeting starts at 6 p.m. and will be held at the Miller Performing Arts Center.