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Superintendent Update, January 4, 2021
Superintendent Update, January 4, 2021
Kevin Ross
Monday, January 04, 2021

Marshall Schools Community,

Welcome back!  I hope all had a good, safe Christmas and New Years.  I want to thank you all again for your patience and cooperation during 1st semester, and ask for the same as we work through the 2nd semester together.  As we begin the 2nd semester, I wanted to check-in with a few updates and reminders with regards to where things currently stand at Marshall Schools.

In-Person and Remote Learning Options Both Remain Available

We remain committed to providing both  In-Person and Remote Learning options.  While we are in a new year, the potential need at some point to move to Remote Learning still exists.  As shared previously, reasons to consider a move to Remote Learning would include:

1.  Rising Case Numbers in Students and Staff particularly due to spread within the schools. 

As we begin school today, we are aware of 4 current positives among our students and 3 current positives among our staff.  During the 1st semester we saw no outbreaks and little to no spread of Co-Vid within the school environment. 

2.  Not enough staff available to continue In-Person.  

We currently know of 28 students and 2 staff currently in quarantine due to being identified as a close contact through contact tracing.  We have been blessed thus far to be able to cover staff absences utilizing substitute teachers and our own personnel. 

3.  Forced Closure

To this point in the year, Illinois Schools have been able to make local decisions regarding In-Person Learning as long as the guidelines set forth by the Governor, IDPH, and ISBE are followed in cooperation with the local health department.  

*The choice of the Remote Learning option is still available to any student who feels or whose parent feel that it is the best option.  The ability for a student to return from Remote Learning to In-Person is also still available by notifying the school a week in advance.*

Sports and Extra-curricular Activities continue to be on an Indefinite Pause

Per the Governor and IDPH, all sports and Extra-curricular activities continue to be on hold until further notice. 

Daily Self-Certification, Masks, etc. Continue

Please continue to make sure that your students have their masks and do the self-certification each day before sending them to school. 

Co-Vid Testing Available for Students and Staff

Marshall Schools is an approved CoVid testing site for our symptomatic students and staff using BiNax Now Antigen tests as part of a pilot Illinois program.  BiNax Now is a “fast” test that only requires a nasal swab, 15 minutes to get a result, and can be administered by our health care staff.  This is completely optional to parents and staff, is free, and is only used when a student or staff member is symptomatic at school or has symptoms when completing the self-certification health check. In having access to these tests on site, we are able to speed up the process of ruling out CoVid and getting staff and students back to the classroom quicker. 

If a student is symptomatic in the morning before school, you can contact the office and we can arrange for the student to come in and test.  If a student becomes symptomatic at school, we will contact the parent before testing.

If interested in participating, you may still sign up.  Follow the link below for a waiver for you to complete and return to the office of your child’s school.

Student Permission Waiver

Test results, as is the case with any testing site, would be shared with the Illinois Department of Public Health. Positive tests would also be reported to the Clark County Health Department.

 Contact Tracing at School

 With each positive case in the school setting, we will continue to work closely with the Clark County Health Department, students, and staff on identifying close contacts through contact tracing (less than 6 feet apart for 15 minutes).  Our students and staff have done a great job in doing their part with regards to masks, social distancing, washing hands, cleaning, etc. This has allowed contact tracing within our walls to be as minimal as possible.   This does not mean that close contact doesn’t or won’t happen. Despite our best efforts, we do have some classrooms that do not allow for seating at social distance, we have busses where even with 1 to a seat students are not six feet apart, and other situations where close contact is unavoidable. 

Most Recent Quarantine Guidelines

Quarantine guidance for students continues to change.  The most recent guidance regarding students is a quarantine of 14 days or an early release option after 10 days with a negative PCR Tests. 

Contact your health care provider regarding a PCR Test.  The testing must be done within 48 hours of the anticipated early release date.  Result times for PCR tests vary, but can take 2-5 days.  Rapid / Antigen Tests may not be used for early release from quarantine.

If symptoms are reported, quarantine length would continue to be at least 14 days.

The school will still need a confirmed release from Clark County Health.

For staff and adults, Quarantine can end before 14 days w/ confirmation from the Clark County Health Department after Day 7 with a negative PCR CoVid test or after Day 10 with no symptoms. 

Free Meals

Free Meals for all students will continue through the rest of the school year.

Continued Updates

As this fluid situation continues, I will continue to keep you updated as well as possible via email, app notifications, and the website.  Also, you can tune into Joey O and I on WMMC, each Thursday, 8:30 a.m. for a weekly update discussion.

Sincerely,

Kevin Ross

Superintendent, Marshall Schools