New DESE Quarantine Guidance

New DESE Quarantine Guidance
Posted on 08/18/2021
This is the image for the news article titled New DESE Quarantine Guidance  On Tuesday, August 17th, the Rolla 31 School District received updated guidance from DESE and DHSS regarding quarantine protocols for K-12 schools. On Wednesday, the district administrative team met to consider any changes this may mean for the opening of the upcoming year. As a result of this new guidance,and with the support of the Phelps-Maries County Health Department, we will begin the year with the protocols below.  Beginning Monday August 23rd, masking will be highly encouraged, but not required (except when riding on buses). If high case-count and quarantines dictate, masks may be required at a future date.

Elementary & Middle School
The cohort model and quarantine protocols will continue in grades Pre-K-3, just as they were last year. Please see the SRCSP on our website for a detailed plan. Grades 4-6 will also follow the cohort model, but will utilize the quarantine protocols below. Masks may be required when students are outside their classroom groups.

Grades 4-12
Students and staff members are not required to quarantine after being exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 indoors if:
They are fully vaccinated (2 weeks post second dose or single dose vaccine).
They were properly masked during exposure and at a distance of at least three feet. This change will now allow students and staff who choose to wear a mask to remain in school provided they are asymptomatic, even if the positive party was unmasked.
They were unmasked, unvaccinated, but at a distance of more than 6 feet.
They have documentation of a COVID positive test in the past 90 days.

All students and staff members identified as close contacts are required to quarantine per DHSS guidelines if:
They were unmasked, unvaccinated, and at a distance of less than 6 feet while indoors. 
Both parties were masked and the exposure was at a distance of less than 3 feet (modified quarantine allows the exposed student to attend school while masked).

The timing of our Monday message just prior to the revised DESE/DHSS guidance was unfortunate, to say the least. Had the guidance been issued prior to our announcement, our plans certainly would have been different. We know many of you are navigating the same type of continual flux in your own personal and professional lives, and understand the frustration that accompanies the ever-changing circumstances. We are educators, and we will continue to look to our state and local health professionals for guidance while striving to maintain a balance between health, safety, and student success. Our primary concerns are the safety of our staff and students, and keeping our schools open and operational for the duration of the school year. We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding, and apologize for any confusion created by the swift changes in protocols.