(Updated September 27, 2021)
On this page, you will find the most up-to-date information regarding the district’s COVID-19 mitigation plans for the 2021-22 school year. Our goals are to keep our students safe and keep them in school as much as possible. In-person learning is important. Our team is making every effort to create a safe environment for students to attend school while also working to keep them in school. You can help us by keeping your sick students home. If your student presents any symptoms of COVID-19, do not send them to school.
Over the summer, the district received requirements regarding contact tracing and quarantining from the Indiana Department of Health and Hancock County Health Department. Pursuant to IC 16-41-2-1, all mandates listed in the linked document above must be followed by all Indiana schools. On September 1, the district received Executive Order 21-24 from Governor Eric Holcomb, which included updated quarantine procedures described below.
These plans are subject to change based on the status of COVID-19 in our community or new requirements from the Hancock County Health Department, Indiana Department of Health, and/or Governor Eric Holcomb. As always, we will comply with all mandates and requirements as required by Indiana law.
As of August 23, 2021, face coverings are required inside all CSCSHC schools. Significant absences due to contact tracing have caused the district to require masks to reduce the threshold for contact tracing. Executive Order 21-24 from Governor Eric Holcomb provides schools the option to not quarantine students in situations where face coverings are properly worn.
Accommodations may be required for some students with disabilities. These situations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis as part of a student’s IEP or 504 Plan. Moving forward, we will periodically review face-covering procedures based on the COVID-19 climate. Our goal is to return to an optional face-covering procedure when the current surge diminishes.
Per federal regulations from the US Department of Transportation, face coverings are still required on all school buses for all schools in the United States. Our district is required by law to comply with this regulation. Students and staff will wear a face covering on the bus at all times. After exiting the bus, face coverings may be removed.
Positive COVID-19 Tests
Members of our school community who test positive for COVID-19 must stay home from school. This is critical to stopping the spread of the virus at school. The health department has recommended a time period of ten days. All students and staff members who test positive will be required to stay home for ten days from the first onset of symptoms.
In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and all other illnesses, students who display COVID-19 symptoms at school will be sent home until symptoms are resolved. When this occurs, the school nurse will share information about when your student can return to school. We encourage all parents to monitor their students for symptoms of all illnesses, including COVID-19. If your student is ill, please keep them home from school.
Contact Tracing and Quarantining
Pursuant to Executive Order 21-24, quarantines are only required in situations where students are not wearing face coverings. This could include lunch, physical education classes, athletics, or some extra or co-curriculars. In these situations, our district is required to contact trace and quarantine close contacts of students who test positive for COVID-19.
Close contacts must quarantine for a period of at least 10 days. Please see below for options for reducing the length of close contact quarantine:
Parents may provide a negative test dated on or after day five of quarantine to return to school on day eight. Testing will be offered weekly at Southern Hancock on Mondays and Fridays when school is in session from 8 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Due to limited testing supplies, this is only available to students and staff traced from school. This testing is not open to the general public. Parents and staff members should use this link to reserve an appointment for testing. This negative test result should be shared with your school nurse.
If a parent can provide proof their student has been fully vaccinated, the student does not need to be quarantined. Please send proof of vaccination to your school nurse. COVID-19 vaccines are available via this link from the Indiana Department of Health.
Notifications will be sent only to those families who are identified as close contacts. Information on each school’s COVID-19 cases is available on the Indiana Department of Health’s dashboard.
Since the COVID-19 vaccine has not been required at the state or local level, our district will not require a student to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to attend school in 2021-22. Families who wish to get their students vaccinated against COVID-19 may do so at this link from the Indiana Department of Health.
Our custodial staff will continue with heightened cleaning procedures to keep our schools clean and sanitary. Rooms will be regularly cleaned and sanitized to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment. Regular handwashing or hand sanitizing is encouraged for all students and staff.
Each school’s principal has created building-level plans for lunch, unified arts, and other spaces where students gather. Please inquire with your principal about these details.
Social Distancing and Classroom Environment
While each classroom’s specific environment will be determined by the teacher, a number of social distancing measures from 2020-21 will remain in place to increase the distance between students. Small group intervention time will be provided for students. Seating charts will be kept in classrooms and cafeterias in order to accurately contact trace positive cases of COVID-19.
Visitors to the Buildings
Visitors to our buildings will be by appointment only. If you need to drop off or pick up an item, please call the office and they will direct you on how to proceed with their specific building procedure.
If you need to pick your child up from school early, please call the office ahead of time so that your child is waiting for you at the assigned time.
At this time, parents may not visit with their child in our cafeterias. When parents drop their child off at school during normal student arrival times, we ask all parents to remain in their cars.
Classroom volunteers must be pre-arranged with the teacher for an assigned amount of time to complete a task.
All classroom and school volunteers must complete the background check process prior to volunteering in the classroom or school.
All clubs, groups, extra and co-curricular groups may meet as normal. Each group’s sponsors or coaches will be responsible for seating charts and contact tracing of these groups.
-Dr. Lisa Lantrip