In-seat Instruction Resumes Monday, Nov. 30 with Mask Requirement

posted Nov 20, 2020, 11:08 AM by web Eagle   [ updated Nov 20, 2020, 11:08 AM ]
November 20, 2020

Dear Jamestown Families,

Thank you very much for your support during the school’s temporary closure due to COVID-19 cases and staff shortages. Although COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising across the state, we have seen a decrease in cases impacting our staff and students. Staff and students will return to in-seat instruction on November 30, 2020.

On November 12, 2020, Governor Parson released modified guidance related to identifying close contacts in the school setting. In an effort to allow more opportunities to provide in-seat instruction, school districts who adopt a building-wide mask ordinance now have modified guidance on the need to quarantine due to an exposure to COVID-19 through close contact. If the person diagnosed with COVID-19 and the close contact were both wearing masks appropriately during the time of exposure in the school setting, the close contact would not need to quarantine.

Our staff, parents, and students are working hard in the virtual learning environment. However, the importance of in-seat instruction is evident as we experience the effects of an extended school closure. Beginning November 30, 2020, all students, teachers and staff will be required to wear appropriate masks during the regular school day. Appropriate masks must fit comfortably on the face. Face shields or desk shields are not substitutes for the use of appropriate masks. Gators must be double-layered to be considered appropriate face coverings. Masks will be available in the front office if a student or staff member does not have one. The guidance provided to  K-12 school districts define the school setting as including classrooms, gyms, library, playgrounds, buses, etc. Students may remove their masks during meal times, and the district will continue to provide physical distancing during breakfast and lunch shifts.

After receiving this information last week, administration and staff met to discuss the implementation of this policy. With guidance from the Moniteau County Health Department, the decision was made to adopt the mask ordinance in order to lessen the number of close contact required quarantines. This guidance only applies to individuals who were properly wearing masks in the school classroom setting; it does not exclude such individuals from being considered close contacts for sports or other extracurricular school related activities. 

As a district, we will continue to work to keep our students and staff healthy and in school. Although we hope the modified guidance on mask use and quarantine will allow for in-seat instruction, we will continue to monitor all students and staff for COVID-19 symptoms and follow public health measures. Additional information regarding the mask ordinance is attached to this letter.

We hope your family has a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving Break. Class instruction will continue Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24. Classes will resume in-person Monday, November 30, 2020.

Sincerely,

Gretchen Guitard