What steps and precautions are we taking to continue to do all we can to keep our students safe while on campus?
MPSD was one of the first districts in our area to implement a universal mask mandate which requires all students and staff members to wear a mask. Our educators are enforcing mask-wearing while indoors and while in the presence of students; hand washing, wiping down areas in the classrooms, and social distancing. Custodians are also fogging classrooms and hallways with disinfectant. The district is hosting vaccination drives in partnership with local healthcare providers to encourage staff and eligible students to get vaccinated. We are asking staff members and students not to report to school if they are ill to avoid spreading germs and forms of the virus.
What can you do as a parent or guardian to help with our efforts to keep our students in school?
- If your child is sick or showing symptoms such as a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, or fever, please allow them to stay at home. We are urging our teachers to not report to work ill so we encourage you to do the same as parents.
- Continue to encourage your child to wear their mask at all times when they are in the presence of others (within three to six feet).
- If your child is 12 or older, we strongly encourage you to consider allowing them to take the vaccine. Health professionals continue to stress that vaccinations save lives!
What happens when we are notified that a student or staff member tests positive for COVID?
The district immediately begins the process of contact tracing to determine students and staff members who may have been exposed for more than 15 minutes in a close setting. Communication will only be shared with parents/guardians of those students who are impacted by possible exposures/close contacts, positive cases.
Quarantine Due to Close Contact
- Parent receives notification from the school that their child is a close contact with a positive individual.
- According to CDC guidance for a K-12 setting, individuals who are considered a close contact of a positive case must quarantine for 14 days.
Positive Test of COVID-19
- Notify the school of positive test
- The student should isolate for 10 days
- The student may return to school on Day 11 if symptom-free for 24 hours.
Outbreak of COVID-19
The Mississippi Department of Health defines an “outbreak” as 3 or more positive cases of COVID-19 within a class or group within a 14-day period.
Do all cases reported by MPSD occur in the school setting?
When reporting cases to the MSDH, MPSD is required to notify them of any/all positive COVID-19 cases that we are aware of, even if the positive result didn’t occur in a school setting.
When will we move to hybrid or virtual learning?
The district monitors the number of cases at each school, in grade level, and in individual classrooms. Based on guidance from the MS Department of Health and the number of cases, district officials make the decision to shift to hybrid or virtual learning when cases rise or when there is not sufficient supervision or a shortage of staff members. We know that the best place for students to be is in school.
What are schools doing to prepare students for virtual learning when and if schools have to transition?
The district purchased chrome books for individual students in grades first through twelve. Lessons are being created in Google Classroom (K-5 students) and Canvas for middle and high school students (6-12). Parents need to make sure they have signed up for a device and they have access to the internet. Students will be required to log in daily, participate in live instruction, and complete assignments. PreK and kindergarten students will be required to complete practice materials and be available for teachers to assist with instruction. Our goal is not to have younger students participate in virtual learning unless it is absolutely necessary for safety purposes.
We will continue to monitor cases and make decisions that are in the best interest of all students and staff. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.