District Returning to Five-Day In-Person Learning March 22

THIS PLAN APPROVED BY THE BOARD 2/25/21

Owensboro Public Schools plan to return to full in-person learning Monday, March 22, 2021, the start of the final nine weeks. Students will attend classes all five days each week. 

Students enrolled in the Virtual Academy will continue the spring schedule as planned, with April 5-9 (Spring Break), as non-school days. If you wish to move your child to Virtual Academy for the final nine weeks or move them to in-person, email virtualacademy@owensboro.kyschools.us by Friday, March 12 . No changes will be made after March 12 and the decision is final for the remainder of the school year. 

Preschool students will operate on a full five-day schedule as well.

While returning to full, in-person learning, Owensboro Public Schools will continue to follow Kentucky’s Healthy at School Guidelines:

  • COVID-19 screening procedures will continue, before boarding buses and entering school buildings (temperature checks, screening questions, etc.);
  • Masks / Cloth face coverings are required in school buildings at all times;
  • Mealtimes with the removal of masks will continue to include efforts to socially distance whenever possible (utilizing larger alternate spaces as necessary);
  • Cleaning and sanitizing of desks and commonly touched surfaces will continue throughout the school day, with full disinfecting of buildings each night;
  • Frequent hand washing will continue to be emphasized throughout the day;
  • All seating charts and rosters (buses, classrooms and mealtimes) will be available for school contact tracing efforts if necessary. 
  • Social distancing can not be guaranteed;
  • No visitors will be permitted inside the school buildings during the school day;
  • There will be no school-wide assemblies. 
  • There will be no field trips until further notice. 

OPS will continue to track and monitor COVID-19 data, including the number of cases and quarantines due to exposure. If it is determined that schools need to return to the hybrid, A/B Model, or move to virtual only, the district will notify parents, caregivers, and the community as soon as possible. 

Throughout the next few months, it may be necessary for classrooms or schools to move to virtual learning for brief periods of time due to the number of individuals in quarantine. The CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days. However, the following options to shorten quarantine are acceptable alternatives if no symptoms are present:  

  • Return to school after 10 days without testing;
  • OR return after day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later).

After stopping quarantine, individuals should watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure, and if symptoms occur, immediately self-isolate and contact a healthcare provider.

OPS has a fully-staffed nursing department to provide daily health functions, such as the delivery of medications, first-aid, triage and more. Our district has identified multiple healthcare partners who can perform rapid and PCR testing for students and district staff at a moment’s notice regardless of symptoms. The district will share a list of these providers frequently with families. School Health Professionals also help lead efforts of contact tracing and parent/caregiver exposure notification. The district follows testing and protocol guidelines provided by the CDC, and the Green River District Health Department. 

All school district employees have been offered the COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 1B of Kentucky’s vaccination plan. Through local partnerships with Walmart, the majority of school employees will begin receiving second doses of the vaccine the first two weekends in March. However, at this time, receiving both doses of the vaccine will not change CDC recommended guidelines for masking, social distancing, but does end the need for quarantining. 

Additional Resources

  1. CDC Guidance Document
  2. KDE guidance on operating schools post vaccine
  3. KDE School-Related Student Travel Guidance
  4. Job Description for additional Support positions
  5. Study regarding incidence and secondary transmission in schools
  6. Information regarding effectiveness of the vaccine even after first dose
  7. Current White House Administration stance on school reopening
  8. Explanation of cleaning products and procedures by our district
  9. Updated March 2021 Calendar