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Anderson County Schools

Masking Information - Updated 9/15/2021
Anderson County Students, Parents and Staff,

     I would like to thank each of you for your help keeping our schools safe and open during this challenging time.  The last several weeks have proven to be difficult with the increased number of Covid positive cases and quarantines within our community.  The mitigation strategies currently in place are working to help us eliminate the spread of the Covid virus in our schools.  As you know, the General Assembly shifted masking requirements to local decision making.  The Anderson County School Board and I want to make a decision tailored to our school community.  The Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan as required by SB 1 and KDE has been updated with input from Anderson County staff, local health officials and the school board attorney regarding masking.  I continue to work closely with our local health department watching community transmission rates and we track the number of positive and quarantined students and staff daily.  Household quarantines are the biggest concern we are currently experiencing.  Your strong communication has helped us keep ahead of quarantining to prevent the spread of the virus.

At this time, based on our current positivity rate and quarantine protocols in place, removing the masking requirement completely would certainly result in more students and staff being placed in quarantine. This, in turn, could potentially cause school closures and negatively affect our students academically. Our plan has been updated to reflect a system to allow us to function within three Tiers.  The Green Tier has no mask mandate, continued social distancing and continued routine disinfecting and cleaning.  The Yellow Tier is a “masking if moving” tier that only requires masks to be worn if in large areas or at times when social distancing is not able to be maintained. This tier allows for mask breaks with continued social distancing and cleaning to be in place.   The Red Tier mandates masks to be worn while in the building, allowing for up to a 10 minute mask break each hour for students and staff as needed.  If school data reflects the need to utilize Districtwide Non-Traditional School Instruction (10 approved) or Flexible Remote Learning (20 small scale individual school, classroom, group etc closures approved) notifications will be made. The current Tier will be determined by the school district officials in consultation with the Health Department officials based on school transmission and community transmission data. Beginning 9.17.2021, all Anderson County Schools will be in the Red Tier continuing to implement masking. Please note that as we move forward that it is possible that schools may be on different Tier levels based on their school data.  Each school will post a flag indicating the Tier their school is currently on. District website will indicate all school Tier colors. Cloth or plastic masks or shields are acceptable. Masking on school buses is a separate Public Health mandate and remains in effect for all tiers until lifted.  

We are currently waiting to review Public Health guidance to implement a free “Test to Stay” program to allow students who are in-school exposures (household exposures excluded) the option to remain at school if parent or guardian permits the student to test on days 1-5 of their quarantine. Protocols are currently being developed and will be in place soon. Students opting  to “Test to Stay '' will not be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities based on guidance at this time and will be required to wear a mask during the full quarantine period, regardless of Tier. Household exposures will be able to test at our Healthy Kids Clinic at no charge if testing to return to school on day 8 of a 10 day quarantine.  
I know there are differences of opinion on mitigation strategies. I respect everyone’s opinion. Our number one priority is to ensure the safety of all students and staff and prevent the spread of Covid as we remain in school.  I appreciate your continued support, strong communication and collaborative efforts as we continue to make the best possible decisions during these unprecedented and challenging times.  Our goal is to remain open to ensure we are providing the best quality of education we can.  The plan may be tweaked as new guidance is provided or changes occur.  We will continue to monitor and communicate.   Thank you for working with us as we move forward through this pandemic.  

Sheila Mitchell, Superintendent
Anderson County Schools

ACSchools 2021 Covid-19 Page

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The Anderson County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities and provides equal access to designated youth groups. Inquiries may be directed to the Anderson County Title IX Coordinator, Travis Harley. He may be contacted at the district office, located at 1160 Bypass N. Lawrenceburg, KY 40342; by phone at 502-839-3406 or by email at [email protected]
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