COVID-19 security, protocols discussed at Garden City schools meeting

The Garden City Public School District Operational and Security Plan 2021-22 was discussed at the regular $ 457 Education Council meeting on Monday evening.

No final decision on the plan has been made.

Glenda LaBarbera, assistant superintendent of $ 457, said three documents have been created to explain the COVID-19 process for the 2021-22 school year.

The first document explains the status of the class / school in the same green, yellow and red system that was used in the last school year.

Green means there are no positive cases of COVID in a classroom / school.

Yellow means there is a positive result and students and teachers will be monitored for symptoms during the 14 day incubation period. Persons under supervision should be isolated from other students and staff and should use separate entrances and / or staggered arrivals, pass through hallways, recess and not participate in school gatherings when possible.

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Red means there are at least three positive and active cases related to exposure in a classroom. This class / school is then closed.

LaBarbera said the Red is different this school year from last school year when it comes to the three or more positive cases found in a classroom.

“We have never had three positive points of the exhibit verified in a classroom,” she said. “We had some, where we had teachers eating together and giving it to each other, but no positive results in the same class were due to the exposure in that class.”

LaBarbera is hoping that doesn’t happen and believes green, yellow and red are a good way to communicate to families what is going on in classrooms / schools regarding COVID status.

The second document is a one-page summary of the highlights of COVID-19 information.

Strengths include:

  • Masks are optional for all staff and students effective July 1.
  • All public health measures will be monitored and daily staff screenings will continue. Screening can be reassessed as the school year progresses and will include travel restrictions, quarantine expectations, vaccination protocol, etc.
  • Continued promotion of vaccination opportunities for students and adults. This will be done in conjunction with the Finney County Department of Health and school nurses.
  • Hand sanitizers and cleaning products will be available to order.
  • Continued focus on hand washing.
  • The ventilation of buildings will continue to be optimized for the district plan.
  • Improves sanitation procedures.
  • Nurses will continue to monitor illnesses and follow COVID protocols.
  • Students and staff should stay home in the event of illness.
  • COVID tests will be available in schools by appointment.
  • Employees will use the accumulated time off if they need to quarantine themselves.

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Another highlight of the second document was that “vaccinations are not mandatory and strongly encouraged,” however Board member Jennifer Standley voiced concerns about the language used.

“I just don’t feel comfortable having the ‘but strongly encouraged’ there, because I think as a district we give medical advice and it’s up to the parents to make those decisions. unless a vaccination is required by the state, “she said. “I’m afraid it places a responsibility on us just by saying those three words.”

Standley said she said they could put it in as the CDC strongly encourages her, but doesn’t think the district should state that they strongly encourage her.

“I think it should be up to parents to weigh the risks of giving this vaccine to their child,” she said.

Another board member, Dana Nanninga, also raised concerns about the wording, as the chip did not specifically state the COVID-19 vaccine, furthermore the document itself did not have COVID- 19 in the title.

“Usually, honestly, it can be interrupted as a little vague because it’s… just the Garden City public school safety plan, just even that hole that just says vaccinations,” she said. “Maybe it needs to be spelled out more clearly and it’s a COVID-19 vaccination or something, otherwise it’s just general vaccinations.”

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Also on the second document, there is a section titled Learning Opportunities which include:

  • Students will continue to have individual devices and Internet access at school. Teachers will continue to integrate the use of innovative technologies into classroom instruction.
  • IEP teams, which include the student’s parents, will have access to each student’s unique needs and determine if additional supports are needed to provide that student with free and appropriate public education.
  • Virtual learning is available for students in Grades 7 to 12 through the Garden City Virtual Academy.
  • Academic and socio-emotional learning will continue to be a priority for the use of COVID-19 relief funds.

The third document was a longer, descriptive version of the one-page document.

In the other cases, the new election of education officials has taken place. Alex Wallace has been appointed President and Janene Radke has been appointed Vice President.

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