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FCPS outlines procedures for safe return to school

Fayette County Public Schools will welcome students and staff back to campus for the 2021-22 school year with layers of precautionary measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce interruptions to in-person learning.

“Our district believes students learn best when they can experience the joys and advantages of being together on campus with classmates and caring adults,” Superintendent Demetrus Liggins said. “The past year has proven that our district can safely provide in-person instruction and minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 when proper precautions – including layers of prevention strategies – are implemented with fidelity.”

Based on the most recent recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Kentucky Department for Public Health, district leaders worked in partnership with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department to develop Health and Safety Procedures for the upcoming school year.

Guidelines include:

  • Mask requirements for all employees, students in grades K through 12, contractors, and visitors, regardless of immunization status, on school buses and inside FCPS facilities.
  • Physical distancing of at least three feet to the greatest extent possible indoors and six feet outdoors and in other settings where masks are not worn.
  • An emphasis on hand washing and healthy habits.
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols.
  • Required assurances of health and daily health screenings by families and employees.
  • Strict adherence to contact tracing and quarantine protocols in the event a student or staff members tests positive for COVID-19.

Should students be required to quarantine, Liggins said, schools will work with their families to ensure they continue to receive instruction. Per recommendations from the local Health Department, students and employees who are fully vaccinated or have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days will not have to quarantine.

Liggins acknowledged that the acceleration of new COVID-19 cases fueled by the onset of the delta variant was a major consideration for district leaders. Other concerns were low vaccination rates among 12- to 17-year-olds and the lack of an approved vaccine for children younger than 12. “We will continue to monitor these conditions and update our protocols as they change or state and national guidance is updated,” he said.

“We believe all of these precautions will work in concert to make our schools safe places where students and staff can otherwise resume normal activities. We look forward to the return of orientations, open houses, family nights, field trips, afterschool clubs, and school performances. Visitors and volunteers providing educational or therapeutic services will once again be welcomed on campus. Working together, we can make this school year a great one!”

Resources:

COVID-19 Health & Safety Procedures

Superintendent's video announcement

Contact: District spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall, (859) 699-1441


(Posted Aug. 3, 2021)