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Revision to Pandemic Response Plan for teachers & staff based on new CDC guidelines

1/7/2022 -- The below letter from Superintendent Dr. Keith Marty was sent to staff today. 

Dear Parkway Teachers and Staff:

Effective Monday, January 10, we will revise our Pandemic Response Plan based on new CDC guidelines. This revision shortens the length of isolation for Parkway staff. The purpose is to allow staff members who are feeling well to return to work.

  • Using the most recent CDC guidance for schools, staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be excluded from work and are required to isolate for five days from the onset of symptoms or five days from the positive test.
  • After five days, staff members who are feeling well and have symptoms that are substantially reduced may return to work by completing the Return to Work form and providing documentation of the positive COVID test from a medical or health care provider.
  • This does not mean employees are required to return to work after five days. Rather, staff members who are still not feeling well and have symptoms, should not return until they are feeling well.
  • ALL absences of more than three consecutive workdays require a doctor's note per Board policy. In order to return to work, you will need:
    • A COVID test from a medical or health care provider (ex. physician's office, pharmacy, testing facility, health department). The test can serve as your doctor’s note; OR
    • A doctor’s note

As a reminder, staff with symptoms of COVID-19 who have not tested positive for COVID-19 should stay home, seek medical evaluation and stay in touch with their school nurse or contact tracer for additional instructions. 

These changes will help provide adequate staffing by allowing those who are healthy to return to work sooner. It also means staff will not have to use unnecessary sick time or lose pay if they are healthy enough to return to work. We know the majority of our staff are vaccinated which helps support this decision.

Our board will also consider changes to the exclusion period for students. The board will review potential changes no later than January 19. At this time, there are no changes for students. The board and school leaders will review data related to student illness and plan for the impact of these changes on students during the school day. For example, the new CDC guidance states that when a student returns to school, they would need to mask at all times for five days and distance themselves from others when eating. School leaders are problem-solving these impacts now and we will bring a recommendation to the board.

The Board of Education held a special meeting Friday morning to approve this change. This is the only change to our plan at this time. The board is scheduled to meet again on January 13 and January 19 to review and vote again on any changes or updates.

Dr. Marty