Marion School District

Plan for Continuity of Services

(2021-22 Covid-19 Safety Guidelines)

Updated August 10, 2021

Updated October 18, 2021

Updated October 22, 2021

The Marion School District is committed to providing the safest learning environment in the face of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. The guidelines below outline our strategy for the 2021-22 school year. These guidelines are based on current conditions and the information available. All guidelines are subject to change at any time as the public health environment evolves.

In-Person Classes

Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person schools for the 2021-22 school year is a priority. We know our students learn best when they are physically present in a classroom, with a dedicated, talented teacher leading the effort. The Marion School District will not offer a virtual option for the 2021-22 school year.

Vaccination

Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the Covid-19 pandemic. We strongly encourage all eligible individuals to be vaccinated. At present, this includes everyone ages 12 and up. Vaccines are available locally at several sites, including the Marion Family Pharmacy, Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, EAFHC, ADH. In addition, the MSD will continue to hold vaccination clinics for students and staff regularly.

Facemasks

All students, staff, and campus visitors will be required to wear facemasks while indoors at any Marion School District facility, during normal school hours, regardless of vaccination status. This includes while riding school buses. During school functions outside of normal school hours, facemasks are strongly encouraged. The full text of our facemask policy can be found here.

In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors, unless attending a crowded outdoor event that involves sustained close contact with other people who are not vaccinated.

School Visitors

MSD will limit nonessential visitors and volunteers on its school campuses. All visitors to any campus should check-in at the school office upon arrival. All visitors will be required to wear a facemask during normal school hours.

 Example:

  • Allowed visitor: Parent checking out their student for a medical appointment, meeting with an administrator, meeting with child’s teacher by appointment

  • Not allowed: A parent who wishes to eat lunch in the cafeteria with their child

Extracurricular activities

For events held during normal school hours, students, staff, and visitors will be required to wear facemasks while attending any indoor events, including athletic contests, band concerts, choral concerts, drama productions, or any other extracurricular activities.

For events held outside of normal school hours, facemasks are strongly encouraged for all attendees, including students, staff, and visitors.

During normal school hours, students may remove facemasks and face coverings on a case-by-case basis for specific activity needs, as determined by building administration at the request of a teacher or coach.

Mask requirements for participants at sporting events and other extracurricular activities will follow AAA guidelines. Attendees at events will be encouraged to physically distance. For outdoor events, attendees will be encouraged to wear facemasks.

Students, staff, and visitors who are fully vaccinated can be excused from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic. This will allow uninterrupted participation in in-person learning, sports, and extracurricular activities for those who are vaccinated.

Physical distancing

MSD will strive to implement physical distancing to the extent possible. When feasible, staff and students will maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance within the classroom. When not possible, individuals are encouraged to layer multiple other prevention strategies, including:

  • Indoor masking

  • Cohorting

  • Ventilation

  • Regular cleaning

Quarantine

Quarantine will be required for unvaccinated individuals who are identified as a close contact to a person who tests positive for Covid-19, and in any situation where either party of a close-contact situation is not wearing a facemask. The safest quarantines should be 14 days from the date of exposure. If no symptoms have occurred, the quarantine can end after day 10 with no test requirement. Additionally, if no symptoms have occurred, the quarantine can end after day 7 if a negative test result is returned. Test results will only be accepted if the testing date is at least 5 days after exposure to a positive case. Isolation is required for all individuals testing positive for Covid-19. Individuals must isolate themselves for a minimum of 10 days.

Quarantine will not be required for close contacts in the following circumstances:

  1. The close contact has been vaccinated

  2. Both the close contact and the infected individual are properly wearing facemasks, and the close contact is showing no symptoms

Handwashing/Respiratory Etiquette

Covering coughs and sneezes helps stop the spread of germs. Staff will monitor and reinforce these behaviors. Students will be provided adequate handwashing opportunities and supplies. Hand sanitizer will be available at all campus locations.

Cleaning & Disinfecting

All student spaces will be cleaned at least once a day. In general, cleaning once a day is enough to sufficiently remove potential viruses that may be on surfaces. If a classroom or space has had a sick person or someone who tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 24 hours, the space will be cleaned and disinfected, using disinfectants on the U.S. EPA Covid-19 list to remove any remaining germs on surfaces.

Food Service & School Meals

MSD will strive to maximize physical distance as much as possible for students while they are moving through the food service line and while eating (especially indoors). Given the very low risk of transmission from surfaces and shared objects, there is no need to use single-use items and packaged meals. Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned regularly and hand-washing will be encouraged.

Staying home when sick and getting tested

Students, teachers, and staff who have symptoms should stay home and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care. Individuals who are fully vaccinated and do not have Covid-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine or get tested after exposure to someone with Covid-19.

Daily Screenings

All students and staff will be asked to conduct a daily self-screening before coming to school. Individuals should check for any of the following high-risk symptoms of Covid-19:

  • Fever (100.0 or higher)

  • New, worsening cough (moderate to severe)

  • New loss of taste/smell

  • Shortness of breath or increased work of breathing

  • Body Aches/Chills

  • Vomiting/Diarrhea

If one or more symptom is present, individuals should stay home, contact their healthcare provider, and consider testing for Covid-19. Siblings of a child with higher-risk symptoms should be kept home until it is determined if the child has COVID-19.

 Individuals should also check for the following lower-risk symptoms of Covid-19:

  • Sore throat

  • Mild cough

  • Muscle aches

  • Headache

  • Nasal congestion/runny nose (except for children under 10, which is common in school-aged children)

If one more symptom is present, individuals should consider past medical history of asthma, allergies, and migraines. These individuals do not require exemption from work or school if not accompanied by further symptoms. If two or more lower-risk symptoms are present, the individual should stay home, call their healthcare provider, and consider testing for Covid-19.

Delta Variant

The Delta variant (B.1.617.2, formerly the India variant) of SARS-CoV-2 originated and rapidly spread in India, and is emerging in the United States, as well as in many other countries. Data shows that the most common symptoms of Delta variant infection are headache, followed by runny nose and sore throat, while fever and cough were less common. Loss of smell was not a common symptom. Most cases have been in young people who had not yet been vaccinated, and the variant appeared to be far more transmissible with every person infecting several others.

State Guidance

Guidance provided by the Arkansas Department of Education can be found here.

Questions?

For more information about these guidelines, or any other health-related concern, contact Marion School Health Coordinator Kelly Fogleman at 870-739-5140 (office), 901-401-0265 (cell) or kfogleman@msd3.org.