Request for Continued Communication Regarding COVID Reporting, Dec. 3
To follow up regarding how the recent changes in contact tracing will affect Henry County Public Schools and how you can help as we move forward:
Previously, contact tracers from the health department would contact a COVID positive individual and interview them to determine anyone they had potentially exposed. They would then reach out to each individual and recommend the state directed quarantine. If any of these individuals were students or staff of our school system, we were then notified and provided with a school or work note for that individual. Additionally, they then followed all of these individuals throughout their quarantine to see if they developed symptoms and then provided the school system with a note when they were released to return to in-person learning for students or work for employees.
It is important to note:
- Contact tracers will no longer be reaching out to anyone that is directly exposed to COVID and are often not even reaching out to the COVID positive individual due to current caseloads.
- The "job" of contact tracing, as outlined above, is now the sole responsibility of the COVID positive individual and individual facilities, businesses and schools.
- While public health agencies can mandate quarantines, individuals, facilities, businesses and schools cannot.
HCPS Health Services will now take on the role of the contact tracer for all of our students and staff. We will recommend quarantines based on current state public health guidelines. While we cannot mandate or enforce quarantine times, we will adhere to those standards within our buildings.
Communication regarding quarantine times will now come from HCPS health services including when a student or staff member may return to in-person learning or work, and again will be based on current public health guidelines.
What you can do to help:
Communicate - COVID-19 is a reportable disease, therefore it is not a HIPPA violation to share COVID information with a reporting agency (which includes HCPS health services)
Communicate – Parents must call the health services team member at their respective school with information regarding COVID positive cases or exposures that would impact our schools. The HCPS health services team knows what information we need to collect to facilitate the best response.
Communicate – HCPS Employees should continue to notify their supervisor and Melissa Jeffries if you become ill, have close contact with a COVID positive individual, have a household member that tests positive for COVID, or have taken a COVID test, and the ensuing result (positive or negative).
We want to do the very best we can to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff! Even though we are currently not able to conduct in-person learning, it is just as imperative now that we continue to track and monitor cases amongst our students and staff. HCPS appreciates all of your help to do this!
If you have questions regarding our health services policies, please contact Health Services Director Melissa Jeffries at 845-8621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT, Dec. 2
As we move forward in our current educational world and all of the challenges we face, Henry County Public Schools preschool and elementary students will NOT be returning to in-person learning on December 7, 2020 according to the governor’s Executive Order.
In a meeting with the Commissioner of Education today, he reiterated what the governor’s order covered; one being the status of our county. The order states that if a county is still in the red category, no in-person learning can take place. Today’s county incidence rate is 48.7 and we need to be at 25 or below. Yesterday’s state totals of reported COVID cases were over 4,100 which is extremely high for a one-day total.
Again, I will evaluate mid-week, every week, to discuss a return to in-person learning if requirements are met. I will be notifying the school community and parents each week so that plans can be made for child care, etc.
Henry County Public Schools will continue to provide meals to students as noted in the current schedule that can be found on our website [front page] as well as on social media. Should you have additional questions, please feel free to call our board office at 502-845-8600 or your child’s school.
Please periodically check our media outlets to be informed. Information is added and/or changed frequently. Thank you for your cooperation and support!
CHANGES TO CONTACT TRACING, Nov. 30
Henry County Public Schools (HCPS) was recently notified of changes in the health department’s contact tracing program that we want to pass on to you. Effective immediately, the health department will no longer be reaching out to individuals that have been exposed to COVID positive cases. Instead, the health department wants us to identify contacts within our buildings and provide those contacts with information regarding the recommended quarantine period.
Based on these changes, HCPS will continue to follow the guidance of the CDC and local health department regarding the quarantine recommendation following a COVID exposure. If you think that your school-age child(ren) has been exposed to COVID (as defined by closer than 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period), it is essential that you report that information to your child’s school immediately. Our district nurses will then share information with you regarding the recommended quarantine period and when your child may return to in-person classes. Until that return date, students are excused from in-person attendance but can still participate virtually. Additionally, as previously outlined, families are also required to notify their child’s school within 24 hours of a positive COVID case within your household.
As we strive to minimize exposure and spread of COVID-19, please know that the expectations and directives for HCPS staff are the same as for students.
If you have any questions regarding this change in policy, please feel free to reach out to our Health Services Coordinator, Melissa Jeffries RN, at 845-8621.
District Health Report, Week of Nov. 23
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT, Nov. 19
In accordance with the Executive Order from the governor, Henry County Public Schools will transition to at-home virtual learning for all students beginning Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. The order contains the following stipulations regarding the return to in-person instruction:
•Middle and High School ONLY: The first date that Henry County can resume in-person learning will be January 5, 2021. Prior to this return, I will continually and consistently be studying the state and local data as well as the status of our students and staff when finalizing a return date.
•Preschool and Elementary ONLY: The first date that Henry County can resume in-person learning will be December 7, 2020. I, along with district leadership, will be studying the data and status of the state and Henry County. This date should be considered a tentative return date. More information will follow closer to this date for preschool and elementary-aged students and their families.
•Superintendent Communication: I will send out communication via district news announcements on our website, Facebook, Twitter and/or a One-Call every Friday to update our district’s and county’s status and what is planned for the next scheduled school week.
•Athletics: The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) has approved fall high school sports play-offs to continue as planned. The start of winter athletics was postponed by KHSAA. Winter sports may resume indoor practices on Dec. 14, 2020, and games on Jan. 4. 2021. These dates are governed by the KHSAA and are subject to change.
I am disappointed to have to move away from in-person learning since Henry County has been so successful. Credit goes to the incredible amount of hard work all our staff and your students have devoted to this unusual school year. We hope to be able to resume in-person instruction by the above dates or soon thereafter. Please watch for additional communications from me and your school with more specific details, as well as information regarding how to obtain school meals - a service we are committed to continue to provide to all our students.
Henry County students are resilient; they bounce back, but please keep your children and young adult(s) on top of their school assignments. If your child is struggling academically, please reach out to his or her teacher. If there are basic needs we may be able to help you with, please call either the Family Resource Center for elementary families or the Youth Services Center for middle and high school families. If your child has a counseling need, please do not hesitate to contact your school’s counselor. The times that we are in are harder on our kids than one may know.
I know this transition to virtual learning is difficult for many of you and your students, but please understand that we are here to support our families, with a commitment to provide high quality instruction to our students. We appreciate your collaboration, support and patience as we all work together as a school district and a community to do what’s best for our children and families, as well as our friends and neighbors.
District Health Report, Week of Nov. 16
District Health Report, Week of Nov. 9
District Health Report, Week of Nov. 2
A message from Superintendent Terry Price, Nov. 16
As of the writing of this message I can say that our district and internal health numbers are looking great. Again, understand that I am continually checking on our county's percentage as well as those of surrounding districts. Given all the data, which includes the county map incidence rate, information from our local health department and data from our District Health Report and HCPS Health Services Department, Henry County Public Schools will continue in-person instruction until the collective data indicates otherwise or unless directed by public health and/or state government.
The health precautions, PPE, planning, and organization in place at HCPS is paying off for the district. We are seeing that most reports of positive cases of COVID and ensuing exposures and quarantines are coming from outside of the school district in the form of community spread. I urge families, please monitor what is occurring on time spent outside of the school day.
Thank you again for your cooperation, collaboration and support.
District Health Report, Week of Oct. 26
Superintendent's Message Oct. 30, 2020
Superintendent's Message Oct. 27, 2020
COVID Decision Tree
KDE COVID-19 Mode of Instruction Metrics for K-12 Education
HCPS Reopening Plans
KDE Healthy at School Guidelines