Vaccines are not Required for School Attendance

Vaccines are not Required for School Attendance

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala--Assistant DeKalb County Board of Education Superintendent, Jennifer Williams addressed the Board at a recent meeting regarding the goals for the DeKalb County Board of Education and the 2021-2022 school year.

A COVID-19 vaccine will not be required to return to school.  

According to Williams, the goal is to return to normalcy as much as possible in day-to-day routines, provide high-quality learning opportunities, and continue to support all students’ needs. 

The Board will still maintain many safety protocols, outlined in this Reopening Plan on the DeKalb County BOE website.  The Board will reduce some requirements due to the current recommendations from the CDC and ADPH to protect students and staff and will continuously monitor health and safety conditions.

Instruction will be in person for students in Pre-k-12th grade.  

The DeKalb Virtual Academy(DVA) will remain an option for students in grades 6-12.  The application period for the DVA is open through July 31. Parents should be aware that the DVA is a rigorous program where the majority of learning takes place at home. Students will be required to attend the DVA campus for testing.  Regardless of whether the students attend school on campus or enroll in the virtual program, they will be expected to attend regularly and following the board-approved attendance policy. 

Parents are advised to monitor flu and COVID-19 symptoms before sending children to school.  A student with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher should not be sent to school.

 Hand washing will still be emphasized throughout the day.  Soap, hand sanitizer, and other sanitizing products will be provided by the school district. Sanitation equipment will still be used to sanitize common areas.  Cleaning schedules will be followed to ensure daily sanitation and cleanliness of facilities. 

Buses will be sanitized regularly.  Custodial staff will receive ongoing training in recommending sanitation and cleanliness. 

The decision to wear a mask by any student or employee will be a personal decision.  The school system will support anyone who chooses to wear a mask for personal protection.

Water bottle filling stations will be in every school so students will have access to water since current guidance directs schools to not use water fountains.

Contact tracing and exposure quarantines will not be regulated by the school system.  According to the Alabama State Department of Education, the Alabama Department of Public Health will resume that responsibility.  The Board asks parents to not send their children to school if there is a confirmed case within the home. 

All DeKalb County students will receive free meals (breakfast and lunch) for the 2021-2022 school year. The students who participated in self-service before COVID-19 will resume this practice.  Cafeteria workers will monitor the serving lines to ensure students are practicing safe food service.  Students will be required to sanitize their hands before entering the service line. After each group of students, cafeteria staff will replace the utensils used to serve with clean, sanitized utensils and sanitize the surfaces of the serving line.  

The above items will ensure that the facility and students will return for the school year in a safe and sanitized environment.

Marla Jones, Managing Editor

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