2021-22 COVID-19 Plans at CSCSHC

Last Updated: 1/7/2022 9:22 PM

(Updated January 7, 2021)

CSCSHC families,

On this page, you will find the most up-to-date information regarding the district’s COVID-19 mitigation plans for the 2021-22 school year. Our goals are to keep our students safe and keep them in school as much as possible. In-person learning is important. Our team is making every effort to create a safe environment for students to attend school while also working to keep them in school. You can help us by keeping your sick students home. If your student presents any symptoms of COVID-19, do not send them to school. 

Over the summer, the district received requirements regarding contact tracing and quarantining from the Indiana Department of Health and Hancock County Health Department. Pursuant to IC 16-41-2-1, all mandates listed in the linked document above must be followed by all Indiana schools. On September 1, the district received Executive Order 21-24 from Governor Eric Holcomb, which included updated quarantine procedures described below.

These plans are subject to change based on the status of COVID-19 in our community or new requirements from the Hancock County Health Department, Indiana Department of Health, and/or Governor Eric Holcomb. As always, we will comply with all mandates and requirements as required by Indiana law.

Masks

 As of August 23, 2021, face coverings are required inside all CSCSHC schools. Significant absences due to contact tracing have caused the district to require masks to reduce the threshold for contact tracing. Executive Order 21-24 from Governor Eric Holcomb provides schools the option to not quarantine students in situations where face coverings are properly worn. 

Accommodations may be required for some students with disabilities. These situations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis as part of a student’s IEP or 504 Plan. Moving forward, we will periodically review face-covering procedures based on the COVID-19 climate. Our goal is to return to an optional face-covering procedure when the current surge diminishes. 

 Per federal regulations from the US Department of Transportation, face coverings are still required on all school buses for all schools in the United States. Our district is required by law to comply with this regulation. Students and staff will wear a face covering on the bus at all times. After exiting the bus, face coverings may be removed.

Positive COVID-19 Tests

Members of our school community who test positive for COVID-19 must stay home from school. This is critical to stopping the spread of the virus at school. The health department has recommended a time period of five days. All students and staff members who test positive will be required to stay home for five days from the first onset of symptoms.

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and all other illnesses, students who display COVID-19 symptoms at school will be sent home until symptoms are resolved. When this occurs, the school nurse will share information about when your student can return to school. We encourage all parents to monitor their students for symptoms of all illnesses, including COVID-19. If your student is ill, please keep them home from school.

Contact Tracing and Quarantining

The Indiana Department of Health released new quarantine protocols for schools on December 30, 2021. These requirements have been issued for schools with a mask mandate in place. Separate requirements with longer quarantine times were issued for schools without a mask mandate. 

In accordance with these requirements, please see below for a full list of COVID-19 quarantine protocols at Southern Hancock:

If a student develops symptoms of COVID-19:

  • The student has ONE symptom: Will remain home for 72 hours. May return to school with a negative COVID-19 test. Must be fever, vomit, diarrhea free for 24 hours without the use of medication.

  • The student has TWO OR MORE symptoms: Will remain home for five days. May return to school with a negative COVID-19 test. Must be fever, vomit, diarrhea free for 24 hours without the use of medication. 

If a student tests positive for COVID-19:

  • Stay home for five days

  • Return to school on Day 6 provided the student has no COVID-19 symptoms or symptoms have resolved.

If a student is identified as a close contact by school staff:

  • Continue to come to school unless COVID-19 symptoms develop.

  • The Indiana Department of Health recommends all close contacts be tested for COVID-19 after Day 5. This is not required to attend school.

  • If the student or staff member develops any COVID-19 symptoms, they should stay home.

If a student is exposed to COVID-19 outside of school (including at home):

  • Contact the Hancock County Health Department at (317) 477-1125 for information on contact tracing and return dates.

  • Indiana Department of Health guidance requests families to take the following action:

    • If a student or staff member is fully vaccinated (The CDC defines fully vaccinated as being at least 14 days removed from a booster shot or having completed the Moderna vaccine within the last six months, the Pfizer vaccine within the last five months, or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last two months):

      • Continue to come to school unless COVID-19 symptoms develop.

      • The Indiana Department of Health recommends all close contacts be tested for COVID-19 after Day 5. This is not required to attend school.

      • If the student or staff member develops any COVID-19 symptoms, they should stay home.

    • If a student is partially vaccinated or unvaccinated:

      • Stay home for five days unless they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.

      • Return to school on Day 6 provided they have not had any COVID-19 symptoms or symptoms have resolved.

Extracurricular participation for early returnees:

The requirements from the state health department allow students who test positive for COVID-19 and return to school on Day 6 to participate in extracurricular activities, but a mask must be worn at all times during participation. Parents will be given the option to allow their students to participate in practice with a mask or stay home. There will be no penalty for choosing not to participate between Day 6 and Day 11. During the window between Day 6 and Day 11, students may participate in practice, but may not compete.

COVID-19 Notifications

Notifications will be sent only to those families who are identified as close contacts. Information on each school’s COVID-19 cases is available on the Indiana Department of Health’s dashboard.

Vaccinations

Since the COVID-19 vaccine has not been required at the state or local level, our district will not require a student to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to attend school in 2021-22. Families who wish to get their students vaccinated against COVID-19 may do so at this link from the Indiana Department of Health.

Cleaning Procedures

Our custodial staff will continue with heightened cleaning procedures to keep our schools clean and sanitary. Rooms will be regularly cleaned and sanitized to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment. Regular handwashing or hand sanitizing is encouraged for all students and staff. 

Each school’s principal has created building-level plans for lunch, unified arts, and other spaces where students gather. Please inquire with your principal about these details.

Social Distancing and Classroom Environment

While each classroom’s specific environment will be determined by the teacher, a number of social distancing measures from 2020-21 will remain in place to increase the distance between students. Small group intervention time will be provided for students. Seating charts will be kept in classrooms and cafeterias in order to accurately contact trace positive cases of COVID-19.

Visitors to the Buildings

Visitors to our buildings will be by appointment only. If you need to drop off or pick up an item, please call the office and they will direct you on how to proceed with their specific building procedure.

If you need to pick your child up from school early, please call the office ahead of time so that your child is waiting for you at the assigned time.

At this time, parents may not visit with their child in our cafeterias. When parents drop their children off at school during normal student arrival times, we ask all parents to remain in their cars. 

School/Classroom Volunteers

Classroom volunteers must be pre-arranged with the teacher for an assigned amount of time to complete a task.  

All classroom and school volunteers must complete the background check process prior to volunteering in the classroom or school.