Exira-EHK Community Schools Back to School and COVID-19 Update
August 10, 2021
We hope that you are as eager to begin the 2021-2022 school year and as excited for what this new year will bring as we are. In order to provide the best education possible for our students, we will be following the guidance of the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Education and the Governor's Office. Exira-EHK Schools has and will continue to diligently engage with and evaluate the ongoing and ever-changing guidance regarding COVID-19 mitigation strategies. We anticipate that we will continue to receive updated guidance and clarity on this topic over the next several weeks.
We will continue to monitor and pay close attention to our local conditions as we prepare for the opening of school with students on August 23rd. As we were last year, we will continue to be deliberate in our approach in planning for a successful 2021-2022 school year with a focus on student learning, engagement, and safety for everyone.
All COVID-19 information is subject to change at any time as the situation evolves. Any changes in our COVID-19 plans, procedures, or policies will be communicated to families and staff through the usual channels such as email and social media.
Daily Health Practices and Routines
The school district is well equipped, and staff will be prepared to continue with “enhanced cleaning” strategies that were implemented and utilized with success last year.
- Frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing will continue to be emphasized throughout the district.
- The district has an abundance of hand sanitizer on hand and will be made available to students, staff, and guests at school.
Monitoring and Reporting Illness
- It is very important for parents / guardians to monitor their child’s health. If a child has a temperature of 100.4 or higher, the child(ren) should stay home from school.
- Students who exhibit signs of any illness will be evaluated by school personnel and may be sent home in accordance with a typical illness.
- Symptoms such as sore throat, rash, vomiting, diarrhea should be discussed with your healthcare provider.
- If your child is absent from school, please be sure to contact your school’s front office to report the absence.
- Please consider contacting the school nurse to report a positive case of COVID-19 and/or any potential exposure your child may have to a positive case of COVID-19.
- Exira-EHK staff will not be conducting “contact tracing” this year.
Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must remain home until they are no longer infectious. This applies to those who are unvaccinated as well as those who have been vaccinated.
Students and staff exhibiting signs of COVID-19 are considered infectious until:
- At least 10-days since symptoms first appeared AND
- At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication AND,
- All other symptoms of COVID-19 have improved
Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 (even if they do not develop
symptoms) are considered infectious until:
- 10-days have passed since the positive COVID test specimen was collected.
School Day Procedures
- There are no plans to change the school district calendar that was approved by the Exira-EHK school board.
- Exira-EHK will be offering full-time, 100% on-campus (face to face) learning opportunities for students. Students will be on their regular school schedules Monday through Friday.
- At this time, Exira-EHK does not plan to offer online instruction for the 2021-2022 school year.
- Students will eat breakfast and lunch in the regular designated cafeteria / commons area in their school.
- Drinking fountains will be available for use throughout the school day. Students are welcome and encouraged to bring water bottles to school and use our touchless water bottle filling stations for drinks.
- Face masks and coverings are optional for Exira-EHK students, staff, families and visitors to school. This includes during the school day, and at school events, ball games, practices, camps, etc.
- In accordance with Iowa House File 847, which was passed during the last legislative session, local schools and school boards no longer have the authority to require students, staff, or visitors to wear a face covering at school.
- IDPH is following the influenza model for surveillance and is not issuing quarantine or isolation orders at this time. Some people found masks helpful in reducing exposure to illness and so everyone is welcome to continue wearing one on school property. However, it is optional to the family's individual discretion and cannot be mandated by the school.
- We are waiting for clarification on mask mandate on buses as there is a conflict between Federal and State requirements. We will share once clarification has been given.
- The district will order an updated supply of disposable cloth masks should they become required.
Will students and/or staff be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- No. While we do not have data on student vaccination rates, our best estimate is that over 75% of Exira-EHK staff were vaccinated last spring.
Thank you for all you've done and will continue to do to keep our children safe so that they can learn and grow.
Mr. Trevor Miller Superintendent
Mr. Nate McDonald 6-12 Principal
Mrs. Carrie Bauer PK-5 Principal