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CCS releases health guidelines for back to school

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Chilton County Schools has released information on the health guidelines it will follow for the coming school year.

While masks will be recommended for everyone on school property, wearing a mask will be required for passengers and drivers on school buses in accordance with CDC and U.S. Department of Transportation requirements.

“Vaccinated individuals identified as a close contact will not have to isolate so long as the individual remains asymptomatic,” according to the guidelines. “Continued social distancing in the schools will be beneficial to mitigate the further spread of COVID.”

Schools will continue to be required “to report suspected and diagnosed cases of COVID to ADPH.” Best practices for hand washing and limiting the spread of germs will continue to be followed.

“All students and staff who have symptoms of COVID should remain at home and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care,” according to the guidelines. “ COVID positive and isolated individuals cannot participate in extracurricular activities. The school will contact the parent/guardian of students identified as close contact of a COVID positive person in a timely manner … Even if the school does not isolate the individual, the parent/guardian may choose to do so. The student will be treated in the same way related to attendance as a student isolated by the school.”

The guidelines are subject to change if the CDC or the Alabama Department of Public Health change their recommendations or the school systems deems it necessary.

“The decisions related to the safety and well-being of our students, employees and community is not taken lightly,” Chilton County Schools Superintendent Jason Griffin said. “There are many opinions on what needs to be done, but ultimately I have to make that decision. I respect your difference of opinion and appreciate your input.  I wish the decisions were clear cut with right and wrong answers, but school systems across Alabama and the nation are doing different things and each one is doing what they think is best for their community.”

He encouraged families to make the decisions they think best within the framework of these guidelines.

All students are back to in-person classroom learning this school year, unless they are enrolled in the virtual school. This option is open to high school students only.

CCS classes begin Aug. 11.