Johnson City Schools Update
June 30, 2020
We appreciate our families’ patience and flexibility as we make decisions to support our students and staff in this evolving environment. Based on current data, we will open schools, with caution, based on acceptable threshold criteria found here (page 11), defined as an average of 6 – 10 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Washington County residents in the last 14 days. Johnson City Schools will communicate with stakeholders as changes occur.
- Johnson City Schools will return to school on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Our main priority is the health and safety of our students and staff. Although schools will open in a traditional manner, a remote learning option for families will be available. Families must choose between traditional or remote learning no later than Friday, July 17. Parents will declare their intent by completing a survey distributed through School Messenger on July 1 or by contacting your child’s school.
- Flexibility will be important as information related to COVID-19 changes daily. Instructional adjustments may need to be made over the course of the 2020-2021 school year.
- Communication will occur, regularly, through the following methods: JCS websites, School Messenger, JCS E-mail, Facebook, and Twitter. Our approach will be to communicate through your child’s home school to maintain clear lines of communication; therefore, to receive School Messenger notifications, your child’s school must have your correct phone number and e-mail address. To subscribe to texts once your number is on file, please send a “Y” or “Yes” to 67587.
- As there may be customized implementation of safety protocols between school campuses, please contact your child’s school with additional questions.
Health and Safety Protocols
- Precautions will be implemented including, temperature checks, masks in common areas, social distancing, and CDC guidelines for cleaning. Refer to the Protocols for In-Person Learning for additional details.
Traditional Instruction: Daily instruction will be provided for all students in-person while adhering to additional safety guidance related to group sizes, handwashing, and cleaning.
Remote Learning Instruction: Remote learning will be provided for families as an option. Specific guidance about requirements for remote learning including grading, hours per day, and learning expectations will be provided when the district’s “Continuous Learning Plan” is approved by the TN Department of Education.
- Visitors: Visitors to buildings during normal operating hours will be allowed by appointment only. All visitors will have a health and temperature screening.
- Custodial Services: Enhanced daily and weekly cleaning protocols will be in place at all school sites.
- Educare: Educare will continue at nine locations (elementary schools and Indian Trail) following current cleaning and safety protocols.
- Extracurricular Activities: We will provide updates as information becomes available from the TN Department of Education, Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association, and the Washington County Regional Health Department.
- Health Services: Hand-sanitizer will be available in all classrooms and common spaces.
Full-time LPNs will be available to provide medical support to students. Handwashing breaks will be provided throughout the day and personal hygiene practices will be encouraged.
- School Nutrition: Grab-and-go and pre-dished breakfasts and lunches will be available.
Spaced seating and alternate eating locations will be available to limit groups where feasible.
Enhanced cleaning protocols including increased use of PPE will be implemented.
- Bus Transportation: Seating with family members will be encouraged. Drivers will receive training on new procedures and cleaning protocols. All bus drivers will wear face masks. Buses will be cleaned twice daily.
Responding to Positive Tests Among Staff and Students
- In the event that a student or adult tests positive, the Washington County Regional Health Department will contact the school. The Health Department will notify close contacts (those who spent more than 10 minutes in close proximity to the student) so that they can be quarantined at home. Classmates should be closely monitored for any symptoms. At this time, empiric testing of all students in the class is not recommended; however, tests may be recommended if there is suspicion of asymptomatic spread.
- Parents should check the student's temperature at home every morning using oral, tympanic, or temporal scanners; students with a temperature of 100 and above should stay home and consider coronavirus testing if no other explanation is available.
- Parents should monitor for any cough, congestion, shortness of breath, or gastrointestinal symptoms every morning. Any positives should prompt the parent to keep the student home from school and consider testing for COVID-19.
- Students sent home from school should be kept home until they have tested negative or have completely recovered according to CDC guidelines.
- In the event of a positive test among staff or a student, the classroom or areas exposed should be immediately closed until cleaning and disinfection can be performed. If the person was in the school building without a face mask or large areas of the school were exposed to the person, short-term dismissals (2-5 days) may be required to clean and disinfect the larger areas. This decision will be made in concert with the Washington County Regional Health Department.
- If possible, smaller areas should be closed for 24 hours before cleaning to minimize the risk of any airborne particles. Cleaning staff may wear an N95 respirator when cleaning these areas along with gloves and a face shield.
June 4, 2020
We are currently working with our administrators, teachers, and staff to help develop a re-entry plan for our return to school on August 4, 2020. We will make that plan available to the public as soon as possible.