The health and wellness of our students and staff is our top priority at the Marion School District. We are excited to be welcoming back our students on Monday, July 26, and we want to ensure we provide adequate information regarding the guidelines we will be following in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
We are filled with gratitude for our families who have been with us through these challenging months. We are happy that school will look a little more normal this year, but the pandemic is not over yet, and we will still be taking many precautions. To learn more about what school will look like this year in the Marion School District, please watch the video below, or read on below for additional information.
2021-22 Covid-19 Safety Guidelines
Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person schools for the 2021-22 school year is a priority. We know our students learn best when they are physically present in a classroom, with a dedicated, talented teacher leading the effort. The Marion School District will not offer a virtual option for the 2021-22 school year.
Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the Covid-19 pandemic. We strongly encourage all eligible individuals to be vaccinated. At present, this includes everyone ages 12 and up.
Vaccines are available locally at several sites, including the Marion Family Pharmacy, Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, EAFHC, ADH. In addition, the MSD will continue to hold vaccination clinics for students and staff regularly.
Facemasks are highly encouraged for all individuals age 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained. In compliance with Act 1002 of the Arkansas Legislature, public schools in Arkansas are no longer allowed to require facemasks for students or staff.
In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors, unless attending a crowded outdoor event that involves sustained close contact with other people who are not vaccinated.
MSD will limit nonessential visitors and volunteers on its school campuses. All visitors to any campus should check-in at the school office upon arrival. Any visitor who has not been vaccinated is encouraged to wear a facemask.
- Allowed visitor: Parent checking out their student for a medical appointment, meeting with an administrator, meeting with child’s teacher by appointment
- Not allowed: A parent who wishes to eat lunch in the cafeteria with their child
- Indoor masking
- Regular cleaning
Students, staff, and visitors who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask or physically distance while participating in sports and extracurricular activities. Students, staff, and visitors who are fully vaccinated can also be excused from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic. This will allow uninterrupted participation in in-person learning, sports, and extracurricular activities for those who are vaccinated.
Attendance at sporting events and other extra-curricular activities will not be limited at this time. However, attendees are encouraged to physically distance, and those who have not been vaccinated are asked to wear a facemask.
MSD will strive to implement physical distancing to the extent possible. When feasible, staff and students will maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance within the classroom. When not possible, individuals are encouraged to layer multiple other prevention strategies, including:
Quarantine will be required for unvaccinated individuals exposed to a person who tests positive for Covid-19. The safest quarantines should be 14 days from the date of exposure. If no symptoms have occurred, the quarantine can end after day 10 with no test requirement. Additionally, if no symptoms have occurred, the quarantine can end after day 7 if a negative test result is returned. Test results will only be accepted if the testing date is at least 5 days after exposure to a positive case. Isolation is required for all individuals testing positive for Covid-19. Individuals must isolate themselves for a minimum of 10 days.
Covering coughs and sneezes helps stop the spread of germs. Staff will monitor and reinforce these behaviors. Students will be provided adequate handwashing opportunities and supplies. Hand sanitizer will be available at all campus locations.
Cleaning & Disinfecting
All student spaces will be cleaned at least once a day. In general, cleaning once a day is enough to sufficiently remove potential viruses that may be on surfaces. If a classroom or space has had a sick person or someone who tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 24 hours, the space will be cleaned and disinfected, using disinfectants on the U.S. EPA Covid-19 list to remove any remaining germs on surfaces.
Food Service & School Meals
MSD will strive to maximize physical distance as much as possible for students while they are moving through the food service line and while eating (especially indoors). Given the very low risk of transmission from surfaces and shared objects, there is no need to use single-use items and packaged meals. Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned regularly and hand-washing will be encouraged.
Staying home when sick and getting tested
Students, teachers, and staff who have symptoms should stay home and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care. Individuals who are fully vaccinated and do not have Covid-19 symptoms do not need to quarantine or get tested after exposure to someone with Covid-19.
All students and staff will be asked to conduct a daily self-screening before coming to school. Individuals should check for any of the following high-risk symptoms of Covid-19:
- Fever (100.0 or higher)
- New, worsening cough (moderate to severe)
- New loss of taste/smell
- Shortness of breath or increased work of breathing
- Body Aches/Chills
- Sore throat
- Mild cough
- Muscle aches
- Nasal congestion/runny nose (except for children under 10, which is common in school-aged children)
If one or more symptom is present, individuals should stay home, contact their healthcare provider, and consider testing for Covid-19. Siblings of a child with higher-risk symptoms should be kept home until it is determined if the child has COVID-19.
Individuals should also check for the following lower-risk symptoms of Covid-19:
If one more symptom is present, individuals should consider past medical history of asthma, allergies, and migraines. These individuals do not require exemption from work or school if not accompanied by further symptoms. If two or more lower-risk symptoms are present, the individual should stay home, call their healthcare provider, and consider testing for Covid-19.
The Delta variant (B.1.617.2, formerly the India variant) of SARS-CoV-2 originated and rapidly spread in India, and is emerging in the United States, as well as in many other countries. Data shows that the most common symptoms of Delta variant infection are headache, followed by runny nose and sore throat, while fever and cough were less common. Loss of smell was not a common symptom. Most cases have been in young people who had not yet been vaccinated, and the variant appeared to be far more transmissible with every person infecting several others.
For more information about these guidelines, or any other health-related concern, contact Marion School Health Coordinator Kelly Fogleman at 870-739-5140 (office), 901-401-0265 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org.