Principal's Update 1/211/21/2022
Dear Cleveland Families,
We are concluding our first week back from Temporary Distance Learning (TDL) and I wanted to give you an update. I received a variety of feedback from parents about our return to in-person school. While we continue to get reports of COVID-19 positive individuals, that number has decreased. I feel students learn best in community with their peers and teachers. Please know that we are committed to supporting your student whether they are learning here in person or at home.
COVID-19 Protocol Changes
Isolation and quarantine timelines have changed to be in line with the CDC. Isolation is used to refer to individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and quarantine refers to individuals who have been in close contact with a positive individual. For COVID-19 positive individuals, isolation periods will be 5 days from onset of symptoms. On day 6, individuals who have been isolating at home may return to activities outside of the home as long as they wear a well-fitting, multi-layer mask and are experiencing improving symptoms with no fever. They may lower their mask briefly to eat and drink. This guidance with a return date to school will be provided via email to parents and guardians of students who have tested positive. Please remember to let the school know if your student tests positive for COVID-19.
PPS will no longer notify close contacts who were not part of an onsite, high-risk, unmasked cohort that included an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact tracing will be conducted when the situation is indoors and masking is inconsistent or not possible. For high school that includes indoor sports such as wrestling, basketball and swimming. If a student who is on one of these teams tests positive for COVID-19, we will contact trace and notify individuals who were exposed. If the close contacts are fully vaccinated and are symptom free, they may continue to participate in normal activities at school. Fully vaccinated means having all the shots for which the individual is eligible. For students 17 years of age or younger, two doses of Moderna and Pfizer or one dose of Johnson and Johnson still constitute being fully vaccinated. For individuals aged 18 years or older, if they qualify for a booster shot, then they must have that dose to be considered fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated close contacts must quarantine and will follow the same timelines as a COVID-19 individual. The county is shifting their response to the pandemic to emphasize vaccinations and boosters and are not relegating resources to contact tracing because Omicron has a much shorter incubation period. By the time someone realizes they may be sick, gets tested and that test is reported, it is often too late for contract-tracing to interrupt disease transmission. We will only be sending notifications and guidance to COVID-19 positive individuals or identified close contacts. PPS will no longer be sending out community notifications.
Finally, if your student is experiencing any symptoms of illness, they need to stay home. I will emphasize once again the importance of wearing a well-fitting mask that is multi-layered. Cloth masks are not nearly as effective as surgical masks or medical grade masks. We have surgical masks for students at school. Wearing a cloth mask over it helps to keep it close fitting.
The school board approved January 31 being a non-school day for students and a professional development and planning day for teachers in advance of the second semester. Below is a chart of our schedule for the next two weeks.
The end of a semester can bring stress to students as they are finishing up work and preparing for finals. The grades for the semester do go on the transcript and are used to calculate GPA and credits earned. Not all subject areas give content based final exams because of the nature of the subject. Students may have a final paper or project due. Each day of the finals includes a Flex period at the end of the day where students can meet with their teachers to get support in finishing up the semester. Please encourage your student to take advantage of these periods if they need help from a teacher to study for a test or to finish a project or paper. Please emphasize that learning is a journey and a single number does not represent the whole achievement of a student. Showing and appreciating growth is so important. I know that each of our students has grown in some way and that should be celebrated.
Jo Ann Wadkins
Cleveland High School