August 25, 2021
As previously communicated, the Highland Local School District has established COVID-19 safety protocols for the 2021-22 school year. These protocols were developed to maintain the health and safety of our school community, facilitate timely contact tracing and prevent transmission of COVID-19. We ask all parents to review this important information so you are aware of the protocols and procedures that will be used when we begin the new school year.
COVID-19 Health Guidance
Like our staff members, parents and students should self-monitor health each morning before coming to school. Students experiencing any one of the following COVID-19 symptoms should stay home from school and seek medical advice:
- Fever (100.4 or higher)
- New or worsened cough
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- New onset of severe headache
*If your child is awaiting COVID-19 test results, please do not send your child to school until negative results have been received. Please report any positive test result to your child’s school.
COVID test kits are currently available, free of charge, to families and staff for school/work attendance purposes. A test kit may be requested by contacting your child’s school clinic.
Medina County has provided a list of COVID-19 testing locations. See the list HERE.
If your child is diagnosed with COVID-19, there are some basic guidelines to follow to prevent the virus spread in your home. See Guidance for Parents Caring for Children Diagnosed and in Isolation with COVID-19.
Health and Safety Mitigation Efforts
The Highland School District continues to support a layered approach to safety and mitigation protocols including vaccination, masking, hand washing, physical distancing, ventilation and cleaning.
Health officials recognize vaccination as the primary source of COVID-19 protection and strongly recommend vaccination for anyone eligible.
Please note, the vaccination status of any student or staff member is not public information. We respectfully request that you do not ask anyone on our school campus about their vaccination status. A parent or guardian may self-disclose the vaccination status of their child if contacted regarding a contact tracing event at school. That information will remain confidential.
In alignment with the Ohio Department of Health, the Medina County Health Department and the CDC, it is recommended that all students and staff wear facemasks while in school and in crowded indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.
Please be aware, due to a federal health order, masking is required for anyone using any form of school transportation at any time (to/from school, athletics, extracurricular activities, etc.) until further notice.
Students and staff are encouraged to hand wash frequently throughout the day. Hand sanitizer will be provided in classrooms as well as sanitizing stations in high traffic and common areas.
Physical distancing will be provided to the greatest extent possible. A minimum of 3 ft. distance between students is desirable for the classroom and will occur as much as possible.
School building ventilation systems have been upgraded with MERV-13 rated filters (highest rating) and are regularly monitored for optimal air exchange, makeup and filtration in accordance with health recommendations.
Regular cleaning of high touch areas will continue following health department guidelines including disinfecting buses.
The Ohio Department of Health has provided Guidelines for Quarantine After Exposure in K-12 Classroom Settings which help guide quarantine decisions after a student or adult contact is exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the classroom setting. These guidelines have been adopted by the Medina County Health Department, which is the local health entity governing school quarantines.
Close contacts are determined through contact tracing. Should contact tracing result in the possibility of self-quarantine for a student or staff member, the following questions will determine the outcome of the case investigation:
- Is the contact vaccinated?
- Did the contact consistently and correctly wear a mask?
- Does the school district have documented COVID-19 prevention policies and procedures?
Basic Quarantine Guidelines
Those individuals who are fully vaccinated will not need to self-quarantine if identified as a close contact as long as they are asymptomatic. Vaccinated individuals may also continue to participate in all school related activities if identified as a close contact as long as they are asymptomatic. However, it is recommended that these close contacts wear a mask while indoors for 14 days or until they receive a negative COVID-19 test result within 3-5 days of the exposure.
Those individuals identified as a close contact who are not fully vaccinated but are wearing a mask and have distanced a minimum of 3 ft. from the positive case do not need to self-quarantine as long as they remain asymptomatic. These contacts may continue to attend school and participate in all school related activities. These contacts are also recommended to remain masked indoors for 14 days or until receiving a negative COVID-19 test result.
Voluntary disclosure of vaccination status OR wearing a mask at school if unvaccinated will permit a student identified as a close contact during contact tracing to remain in school AND participate in extracurricular activities, including athletics, as long as asymptomatic.
Those individuals identified as a close contact who are not fully vaccinated and are NOT wearing a mask will receive notice from the Medina County Health Department directing the individual to self-quarantine at home for 10 days. Individuals may consider ending quarantine after day 7 by obtaining proof of a negative COVID-19 test on day 5 or later.
If any student or staff member is exposed and identified as a close contact outside the classroom setting (including athletic and extracurricular activities), the identified close contact will receive notice from the Medina County Health Department directing the individual to self-quarantine for 10 days, unless vaccinated.
We are excited to soon begin the 2021-22 academic year. Joining together as one team - one family on these health and safety protocols will help us stay well and keep students and staff in school five days a week. Thank you in advance for your partnership.