JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (KMIZ)
The Jefferson City School District returns to class on Monday with COVID-19 protocols and precautions in place.
In the district’s return plan for the school year, JC schools emphasized the importance of social distancing, hand washing, staying home when sick, and the importance of wearing a mask and to get vaccinated.
Watch ABC 17 News live as schools in Jefferson City begin their first day of classes today.
Recently, the Jefferson City School District decided that masks would be needed for students and staff when social distancing is not possible. Social distancing is defined as a distance of three feet by the district.
The district said the move was supported by the Cole County Health Department and aligned with other schools in Cole County. According to Superintendent Larry Linthacum, 16 of the 18 schools in the district are located in Cole County.
“Ultimately, our decision to require masks indoors when they are unable to ensure proper social distancing [is the] recommendation from our Cole County Health Department, ”Linthacum said.
Linthacum said that since the release of the mask policy, the district has received numerous comments from parents both for and against the policy.
Dress codes for students and staff will still apply to masks worn in schools.
Masks will also be required on school buses as directed by the CDC.
If a student or staff member tests positive, a contact tracing investigation will be initiated and close contacts of the positive case will be notified.
Students and staff who are in close contact will not be allowed to return to school until they complete quarantine or follow return-from-school guidelines.
Linthacum said the district is not tracking vaccination, but whether or not a person is vaccinated could affect actions taken after a person’s exposure.
“If there is a positive case and they determine the seriousness of that or the situation,” Linthacum said. “If they can prove they’ve been vaccinated, it could impact where they stay in school. If they say they’ve been vaccinated, but can’t prove it, we we will have to side with caution. “
The district will have three different category levels with different COVID-19 precautions varying by level. The levels of green, yellow and red will alter precautions and protocols based on the different levels of COVID-19 cases in the region.
JC School’s back-to-school plan says outdoor activities such as sports games will continue to have no restrictions on masks or attendance. Depending on the community spread of COVID-19, protocols for these events could be evaluated.
If there are any changes in the community, the plan was that the application of mask wearing and / or presence limitations could be changed, especially for indoor activities.
Current district state mask guidelines are required indoors when social distancing is not possible.
Travel within the district will be approved for student activities out of town, out of state and overnight. Travel destinations
classified as hotspot will be banned for district events.
Activity directors and coaches plan to work with the JC Schools Director of Health Services to determine a destination’s level of risk before traveling.
New roads to streamline traffic
The Jefferson City School District announced new roads to improve traffic flow at Lawson Elementary and Thomas Jefferson Middle Schools.
Roads open Monday to help drop off and pick up for families.
All drivers making morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups must enter and exit via Patriot Drive from Edgewood Drive, and bus traffic will only be permitted to enter from Fairgrounds Road.
With the exception of those accessing the Special Learning Center, the general public will not be allowed to use the roads during morning disembarkation from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and afternoon pick-up from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. .
Tune in to ABC 17 News This Morning for live reporting at 6 a.m.
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