Royal Valley Parents,
Last night at the Royal Valley Board of Education meeting, the Board approved the low-risk exposure policy for students in grades PK-8 as allowed by the Jackson County Health Department. This means that there are several changes in our quarantine and mask protocols within the district.
The masks worn by students and staff must meet the criteria defined by the Jackson County Health Department. Must be N95, KN95, Procedural Mask (hospital mask with elastic), surgical mask (hospital mask with ties), or other masks with two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric.
***Since many gaiters and bandanas are single ply, we are no longer allowing these as acceptable masks. We will give until Tuesday, January 19th to allow time to make this change.
Effective 1/12/21, students that are identified as a low-risk exposure while at school in grades PK-8 will no longer be required to quarantine at home. Below I will define the situations that are identified as high-risk exposure and low-risk exposure. Those students that are identified in a high-risk exposure will still be required to quarantine at home.
Low-Risk Exposure: (may still attend school, but need to monitor symptoms at home)
• Being in the same classroom with proper mask wearing • On the same school bus with proper mask wearing • On the playground during low-exertion activities
High-Risk Exposure: (quarantine still required)
• Contact with anyone unmasked, when less than 6ft. for longer than 10 minutes • Eating breakfast/lunch/snack less than six feet apart • Physical exertion, indoors or outdoors, when less than 6ft apart for more than 10 minutes • High-risk sports, as defined by NFHS, including "sports that involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants." • Playing woodwind or brass instruments without other precautions (mask, distance) • Singing/shouting without other precautions, when less than 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes
The Board of Education made it very clear that this low-risk exposure policy could be removed at any time in the future if deemed necessary. I observed the number of students failing this past semester to be 3 to 4 times greater than usual in our district. A consistent learning environment is an essential component of student success; this policy is in place to help maintain that consistent environment for more students to be successful. Since the beginning of the year, we have quarantined a large number of students and have very little evidence that those quarantined students have gone on to contract the COVID virus.
This new policy will have little effect on the elementary school students due to breakfast and lunch times during the day, however, this will help with elementary student bus exposures.
The Board would like to extend this later on for the high school students to help keep them in school, however, the students are going to have to show an improvement in their ability to properly wear their mask during the school day and on the school bus before that will happen.
If your PK-8 student is currently in quarantine due to a school exposure, you will be contacted by a school administrator to invite your student back if they were a low-risk exposure.
Mr. Aaric Davis USD #337 Superintendent