Prior to the start of the new school year, we want to make sure you have an understanding of the communication you might receive related to COVID-19 in our school system. While we have a robust plan in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our buildings, students often mix with others out in the community. Because of this, it is unlikely that we will make it through the school year without cases in our 16 schools. Here’s an idea of when you will or won’t receive communication from the school district.
When you will receive communication from TFSD:
- When a student in your child’s school has been confirmed to have COVID-19 and was in the school building two days prior to becoming symptomatic. Parents will receive notification of their child’s possible level of exposure:
- Minimal Exposure: The case was simply in the same building as your child. i.e. they are in a different grade level or are never in the same classroom together.
- Moderate Exposure: The case was likely in the same classroom as your child but social distancing precautions were in place. When we are informed of a case we will be talking with the classroom teacher as well as the student who is confirmed to have COVID and his/her parents to determine what kind of contact they had with other students in their classroom within the two days prior to the case becoming symptomatic.
- High Exposure: The case likely had close contact (within six feet for more than 15 minutes) with your student.
- When the school district needs to close a school due to the spread of COVID-19 within the school or multiple cases within a school.
- When the school district changes the level of the operational protocol due to the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Our goal will be to provide five days’ notice prior to changing protocol levels.
When you won’t receive communication from TFSD:
- When there is a case in a school your child doesn’t attend.
- If your student wasn’t in the building on the same days (two days prior to the case becoming symptomatic) as the confirmed or probable case.
- When the case wasn’t at school in the two days prior to becoming symptomatic.
Here’s some additional information that might be helpful for families as they plan for the kinds of communication they might receive this school year:
- We highly encourage parents to keep their children home from school when there is a probable or confirmed case within their household. This keeps the exposure risk for other students very low should a child in a household with a case come down with symptoms.
- Based on guidance from South Central Public Health District, a child who is symptomatic potentially exposes others within the two days prior to the onset of symptoms.
- If it is reported that someone in your family has COVID-19, we may reach out to determine if our students or staff members might have been exposed.
- If you have provided us with your contact information and/or signed up to use the School Messenger App we will communicate by email, phone, and on the School Messenger App. In the event that we close schools due to COVID-19 or when we plan to change protocol levels, we will also post on the school and district website and on our social media platforms.
- Just because a child who lives in our school zone has COVID-19 doesn’t mean they have exposed others in their school building. They may not have been in our school building during the time when they were contagious.
- If there is a case within a school building, we will highly encourage parents of students who have had high exposure to keep their child home for two weeks.
What information will you receive about a COVID-19 case within our schools?
- To protect the privacy of our students as required by the Health Information Privacy Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, we will not publish the name of a student who has COVID-19.
- To help parents/guardians understand their risk of exposure, we will notify parents of the classroom, class period, and/or grade level of confirmed cases that may have been contagious while at school.
- We will provide parents with information about what level of exposure we have identified their student might have had to a student with COVID-19.
Our goal is to be as transparent as possible while protecting the privacy of our students. We know these are challenging times and parents may have many concerns about their children’s health and well-being. If at any time, you have questions about what the school district is doing in relation to COVID-19, please reach out to your child’s school or the district office.
Please note: the version of this email that was distributed on August, 12 defined close contact as within six feet for more than ten minutes. That definition has since changes to within six feet for more than 15 minutes.