Henderson Schools release plans; masks optional

Henderson Schools release plans; masks optional
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 1:05 PM CDT
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HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - Back to school is just around the corner across the tri-state, including in Henderson County.

Monday, school officials released the following plan, which includes optional masks:

Henderson County Schools Families and Staff,

We are looking forward to the first day of school on August 11th. We value in-person instruction over any other mode of instruction and we are looking forward to the return of a traditional 5 days per week school year. Our goal is to provide extraordinary education for our students while maintaining a healthy and safe learning environment. The following is Henderson County School’s Healthy at School guidelines for the 2021-2022 school year based on recommendations from Team Kentucky and Kentucky Public Health.

HCS Healthy at School Guidelines

  • Vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask at this time. Individuals who are unvaccinated or choose to wear a mask are allowed to do so. (Masks are optional.)
  • Social distancing of 3 feet will be practiced to the greatest extent possible.
  • Proper handwashing techniques will be practiced and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the building.
  • All have access to school nurses for symptom screening & contact tracing protocols will be in place.
  • Parents/guardians are requested to screen students for symptoms before sending them to school.
  • High traffic areas and school buses will be cleaned frequently.
  • We will continue to limit visitors to schools. Nonessential visitors, volunteers, activities, & field trips will be limited.
  • Vaccination clinics (for those 12 & up) are available at the local health department and hospital/clinics.
  • Fully-vaccinated persons are not required to quarantine following an exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 if he/she is not experiencing symptoms.
  • Proof of vaccination is not required.
  • Henderson County Schools strongly encourages wearing masks while on the school bus. This will not be mandated, but will be allowed by anyone choosing to do so.
  • Parents/guardians that would like to discuss possible alternative learning options may call HCS Student Services at 270-854-0141.

The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority. Henderson County Schools will continue to partner with the Green River District Health Department and monitor our local positive case numbers. We will continue to seek guidance from the Kentucky Department of Public Health and the Kentucky Department of Education. We will monitor and comply with any federal, state, or local requirements in regards to Covid-19. This plan is subject to change. Any changes made to our guidelines will be communicated as soon as possible with our staff, students, family, and community. We appreciate your patience and support this school year and we are looking forward to seeing everyone back together again on August 11th.

“We’re excited to release our re-opening school’s plan. That includes a plan to return to school in person five days a week,” said Superintendent Bob Lawson. “It’s the consensus they would like masking to be their option.”

Jennifer Miller, mom of two in Henderson County schools, says school officials made the right move.

“I think that’s great, that’s exactly how I feel it should be because I think it should be each individual parent’s, child’s choice to what makes them feel comfortable,” Miller said.

Miller says she realizes with fewer kids in masks, more kids can get sick. She says if her kids feel more comfortable wearing a mask to school, she’ll support that too.

“So they choose. I’m not going to take that from them either. If they decide one day they want to wear a mask to school, I’ll let them but I won’t force that upon them. But I do have them available,” Miller said.

“We know that those who choose to wear the masks can do so, and we also have some alternative learning options that people can find out about at our student services, so as we move forward, we know the COVID era can be a fluid situation, and as it is, we’ll continue to move forward, study the data and make decisions in a very inclusive process,” Lawson said.

“We are the captain of those vessels,” Miller said. “We’re the ones in charge of making their education decisions, health decisions, so I think it should be an individual choice or an option.”

Tuesday is a big day for Henderson County students. It’s Readifest.

This is when officials make sure students have access to resources and information to start the new school year.

That’ll be at South Middle School from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There are different time slots depending on which school you go to, so you’ll want to check when your school is supposed to attend.

The first day of school for Henderson County students is August 11.

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