No doubt about it – being a student at home when all your friends are at school is difficult. It is difficult for the student and parents, but also for the teachers and the student’s classmates as well.
The plan developed for working with students who are under quarantine was based largely off what we found helpful during the spring semester, the feedback we received from the students and teachers, and data from our school and others as well. We remain committed to being flexible and agile and constantly monitoring the plan for its effectiveness.
Things we had to keep in mind included technological issues such as devices and connectivity, social/emotional issues, student and teacher workload, student engagement, curricular outcomes, and we tried to keep in mind that a quarantine situation is a temporary one. We also had to consider that the number of kids under quarantine could be small or large and we needed to be able to deal with both.
From the spring, we know that being on Zoom for an extended period of time is exhausting. Student engagement starts to suffer, and they have little energy for doing work outside of the classroom. We also know that extended amounts of screen time can impact our physical health and magnify emotional health issues as well.
So, rather than extended amounts of time on Zoom, we looked at ways we could creatively address the needs of our quarantined students. We received training on Google Classroom which is a Learning Management Solution (LMS) where teachers could post assignments, syllabi, and other resources such as class notes, answer keys, homework sets and worksheets, and power points, which students could utilize while away from the building. Students will do something similar in college, although those resources will be either CANVAS or Blackboard or some other LMS. We also recognize that what works in the math classroom might be entirely different than what works with show choir or computer classes, so each teacher is working with their students and others in their department to develop avenues to best help their particular students.
The key to making this work is COMMUNICATION with the teacher. Teachers have also been creative in trying to help kids stay up with their peers. They are creating email chains so groups of students can communicate, and they are opening up online discussion boards. To address specific questions, teachers are hosting open Zoom sessions for quarantined students and are checking with students via email. Teachers are creating videos that students can watch over and over to pick up concepts. They are trying many other things as well, all while also planning for a classroom filled with eager learners. They are trying very hard to make sure that every student is successful regardless of whether they are in the classroom or in quarantine. So far, we’ve had about 34 students who have returned from quarantine. Those 34 students have done a great job of coming back and seamlessly transitioning back into the classroom.
Persons who have not received a test proving or disproving the presence of COVID-19 but experience symptoms may return if the following conditions are met:
- 10 calendar days have passed since the onset of symptoms AND
- Fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine
- Improvement of other symptoms (cough, shortness of breath is improved)
Persons who are suspected of having COVID-19 and are awaiting test results should be isolated at home until test results are received. Upon notification of test results, the parent of the student should contact the school attendance clerk.
- Symptomatic individuals may return when the following conditions are met:
- 10 calendar days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND
- Fever free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medicine
- Asymptomatic individuals may return when the following conditions are met:
- 10 calendar days have passed since the date the test sample was collected
- Symptoms have not developed
- If symptoms developed during the 10-day period of isolation, then the above criteria for symptomatic individuals should be followed and adhere to a timeline of 10 days from the first day of onset of symptoms
People who are identified as close contacts of a COVID-19 case or who have traveled from a location on the KDHE Travel-Related Quarantine List must be quarantined for 14 days and will not be allowed to enter the school environment. A negative test result within the 14-day quarantine does not allow the individual to return earlier than the 14 day out requirement.
No known exposure to COVID-19 individual or travel-related exposure.
Students or staff who have not been identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case and have not traveled from a location on the KDHE list may return to school/work.
Other Students and Employees in the Household
If a student or staff member is excluded from school because of a positive COVID-19 test result, other students or employees living within the same household are considered a close contact and will be excluded mandatorily for a 14-day quarantine period which begins after the date of their last known exposure to the case. If the household contact continues to live in the same household as the case while in isolation, the 14-day quarantine period for household contacts is to begin once the case is released from isolation as identified by public health.
If a student or employee has recently traveled from a location on the KDHE Travel-Related Quarantine List the student or employee is subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine starting from the day after they return to Kansas. If involved on a sport’s team you will not be able to practice/play until the quarantine period has ended.
- Fever (100 or higher)
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing)
- Loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or Runny Nose
- Nausea or Vomiting