COVID-19 CENTRAL

COVID-19 Protocols for 2021-2022 School Year

The Pulaski County Special School District is prepared to take the necessary steps to create a safe environment for students and staff in the upcoming school year. The District will follow guidelines and recommendations from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) as well as CDC when it comes to COVID-19 concerns. On July 9, 2021, the CDC released updated guidance for K-12 schools in regards to the prevention of COVID-19. Click here to review the key takeaways from the CDC.

MASKS

MASK MANDATE (APPROVED BY BOARD 8.10.21)

PCSSD Board of Education unanimously approves recommendation that masks will be required for all students, staff and guests. After 60 days, in consultation with the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), PCSSD will review the indoor mask requirement.

On Friday, August 6, 2021 Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox issued a preliminary injunction against Act 1002 that Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed in April banning mask requirements by governmental entities. Fox ruled the law violates Arkansas’ constitution, saying it discriminates between public and private school students. He said it also infringes on the governor’s emergency powers, as well as the authority of county officials and the state Supreme Court.

Wellness Dress Code Violation

Students who do not follow the dress code in regards to wearing a face covering will face a wellness dress code violation. The violations will be processed as follows:

  1. Student/Parent Conference documented via School Status; mask offered to student

  2. Student/Parent Conference documented via School Status; mask offered to student

  3. Parent contact made and student goes home due to refusal to follow policy; 1 day

  4. Parent contact made and student goes home due to refusal to follow policy; 1 day

  5. Parent conference with possible reassignment to digital learning platform

All students should wear a mask to school everyday. If your student arrives without a mask, they will be given a disposable mask for the day.  If your student refuses to leave a mask on throughout the day, that becomes a safety issue and will be addressed  according  to the above protocols. Appeals for this procedure must be made to the PCSSD Coordinator of Health Services.  Exemptions will be made ONLY for students with an Individual Health Care Plan which provides written medical documentation from the student’s physician. Thank you for your support in helping us keep all students safe.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING
PCSSD will enforce a 6-foot distance whenever possible to maintain the safest environment in an enclosed area in accordance with recommendations from the ADH. Many of our classrooms are at full capacity for the 2021-2022 school year; therefore, schools will create physical distances in classrooms and other public spaces where possible.

TEMPERATURE CHECKS
Temperature checks will take place at every school for students and staff just as they did in the 2020-2021 school year. Staff will continue to complete building entry screening to monitor COVID-19 related symptoms upon entering the building each day. Temperature checks will also be required for any visitor who wishes to enter a PCSSD building at any point during the day.

VISITORS

PCSSD will allow visitors on a  limited basis this school year:

  • Open House - follow instructions on limited attendance provided by each school.

  • First Day of School - new students may be escorted to his/her classroom on the first day of school. Parents may walk their child to the classroom, but we ask that you not linger after dropping them off. Masks are required of all guests in the building.

  • No visitor should be inside the building for more than 15 minutes.

VOLUNTEERS

In our ongoing efforts to safeguard the health of all students and staff, volunteers will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the last 24 hours in order to enter and remain in the building for more than 15 minutes for volunteer purposes. If a volunteer plans to be in the building multiple days, he/she must provide a negative COVID-19 test result every two weeks. In lieu of a negative COVID-19 test, volunteers may present proof of full vaccination. Additionally, volunteers must wear a KN95 mask while in the building. If the volunteer does not have this type of mask, one will be provided.


HAND SANITIZING AND CLEANING
Hand sanitizing stations will continue to be present throughout the schools and district buildings. Hand washing and sanitizing will be encouraged for all students and staff throughout the day. The PCSSD custodial staff will continue with the intense cleaning measures that were implemented in the 2020-2021 school year. Part of those extensive cleaning measures include the dedicated deep-cleaning efforts every Wednesday by the custodial teams. All staff will be out of the building during this time on Wednesdays. Additionally, all PCSSD school buses will have the additional cleaning and sanitizing measures between bus routes.

QUARANTINE PROTOCOLS
If a student or staff member is identified as a probable close contact he/she must quarantine for the required number of days as recommended by the CDC and the Arkansas Department of Health. However, if he/she is vaccinated and does not have any COVID-19 related symptoms, the CDC does not require that person to quarantine. If any symptoms do exist, he/she will be required to follow the quarantine guidelines set forth by the CDC

Furthermore, an individual exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 will not need to quarantine if the individual exposed has no symptoms and both the infected and exposed individual consistently and correctly were wearing a mask. This quarantine guideline comes from the Arkansas Department of Education's Ready for Learning COVID-19 Guidance (refer to page 2-3 of PDF).

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