COVID-19 Update Center
September 3, 2020
Dear Parents & Guardians,
As we finish our second week of the 2020-2021 school year, I want to express my sincere appreciation for your support and effort in partnering with us to provide an educational program of excellence for your children. Numerous challenging obstacles are encountered every single day, but knowing we have your support and trust makes navigating them much easier. Your children, either joining us in person or online, have been terrific. The resilience our students and staff have shown in adjusting to our new norm has been amazing. Please commend your children for the great job they are doing in wearing their face masks appropriately, social distancing, for their positive attitudes, and being faithful in their virtual attendance and participation.
I have communicated the necessity of adapting to a flexible mindset. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) protocols are regularly changing based on the health needs of our community and county. We are adjusting to these protocols as they are being provided to us. I am posting on our district website, under the COVID-19 update link, two recently revised flow charts from the OCDPH. The first flow chart outlines What Happens When Someone at School Gets COVID-19? The second flow chart outlines the appropriate action for symptomatic individuals (students or staff members).
Considerable discussion and debate is occurring throughout the state regarding transparency reporting. Families want to know what kind of exposure their children are encountering in their schools. The Families Education and Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) protects the privacy of those who may have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are in quarantine because of exposure. We are committed to being transparent while being mindful of the rights of privacy afforded our students and staff.
The following information is being provided in order to bring some clarity to how we are planning to address transparency reporting moving forward:
- When we are made aware of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, that individual is excluded from our schools and instructed to isolate for 10+ days. The family is contacted by district personnel and medical officials from the Ottawa County Department of Public Health.
- Contact tracing is immediately launched to determine who may have been exposed to this individual. Those individuals found to have been within 6’ of this individual for an accumulative 15 minutes of time are quarantined for a minimum of 14 days. Parents of those considered to be contacts are notified as quickly as possible by district personnel with follow up written communication coming from the OCDPH.
- In an effort to keep you informed and provide transparency in our reporting, parents whose children were in the classroom with a child or adult diagnosed with COVID-19, but deemed not to be a contact, will be informed in writing by the building administrator.
- Parents with students in the school building where a COVID-19 case was confirmed will receive communication from the building principal making them aware of this fact.
We continue to work closely with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health in implementing the best health and safety practices in alignment with the CDC. If we work together in following the established safety protocols, we will assist you in keeping your children healthy and maintain the opportunity to provide face to face instruction in our classrooms.
Thank you for choosing Jenison Public Schools to partner with you in the education of your children.