Potosi Schools 2021-22
At their meeting on August 16th, 2021, the Potosi School Board decided that the decision to wear a face covering at school would be left to each individual student/family; a “mask optional” atmosphere. As we (and other neighboring districts) have dealt with larger numbers of COVID positive students and staff during the start of the school year, the Board recognizes that there may come a time when masks need to be mandated during the school day. Also, the Board understands that concrete guidelines are needed to avoid confusion, as well as the need for your advance knowledge of how and when a switch in the masking policy might occur. The School Board’s hope is that this will make it easier for parents/families to prepare for such a change if it is needed.
To this end, at their meeting on Monday, October 18th, 2021, the Potosi School Board and Administration approved utilizing the following guidelines in determining masking for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year.
Be aware that levels of masking may move to the higher category at any time depending on the number of positive cases in our school. Conversely, once the higher level has been reached, the school will monitor the numbers for two (2) weeks before dropping down to the lower level. Hopefully, this will eliminate the issue of constant changing of levels; a scenario that we realize will be tough to deal with by students and parents.
Any changes in levels will be communicated to students/families by email and through our SkyAlert system.
To date through the start of the school year, we have been fortunate to remain well below the 10 positive cases at any one time in school. In fact, we currently have no active positive cases. While we are excited about the current level of cases, we feel it is necessary to be prepared should another spike arrive in our numbers. This preparedness is the reason behind enacting this matrix at this time.
As a reminder of the stipulations put in place by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (and in turn the Grant County Health Department) with regards to contact tracing. Each time there is a positive COVID case, we are required to do contact tracing to see if any other individuals would be deemed “close contacts” and would then need to complete a quarantine period. Typically, close contacts are decided upon if an individual is within 6 feet of a positive case for at least 15 total minutes over a 24-hour period.
Two important caveats to contact tracing.
- If individuals are masked, the distance for close contacts moves to 3 feet within a positive case.
- Individuals that are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine if they are symptom free.
If you feel that these measures could be useful in an attempt to limit the possibility of your child/children being deemed a “close contact” and thus improve the chances of keeping them in school, we invite you to utilize these precautions.
As always, if you have questions regarding your child’s education and the steps we are taking to keep them in a safe environment, please reach out to us.
Kurt L. Cohen