We look forward to welcoming our students back to school on Tuesday, August 17, 2021, when the 2021-2022 school year officially begins. Last night, the Grandview Heights Board of Education passed a resolution that requires all students and staff to wear a mask K-12 during the school day. The resolution also requires masking for all indoor school events. This resolution and corresponding requirements will be revisited at our regularly scheduled Board of Education on November 11th. This resolution was passed unanimously and can be viewed here 2021-8-2 - GHS Universal Mask Mandate.pdf
Our goal is to keep students in school, receiving in person instruction, for the entire school year while maintaining the health of our students and staff. We recognize there are many perspectives on issues pertaining to COVID-19 and how to operate during this stage of the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Franklin County Public Health (FCPH), Ohio Department of Health (ODH), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Columbus Public Health (CPH) all strongly recommend universal masking for students and staff.
The following are additional reasons that K-12 universal masking is being required at Grandview Heights Schools at this time:
You can be assured that I will continue to update our community with any/all updates as we learn them. Please visit https://www.ghschools.org/
Again, we will continue to monitor and assess the situation regularly. We are so excited to welcome students back to school on Tuesday. We have a lot to celebrate during the upcoming school year. Let’s make it a great one!
Andy Culp, Superintendent
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH GUIDANCE FOR THE 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR
The Franklin County Public Health Department (FCPH) released clarification regarding the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) guidance for the 2021-2022 school year.
Contact tracing is expected whether students are indoors or outdoors, as it is still an important step in limiting the spread of COVID-19. Per FCPH, this includes recess or during athletic events such as practices, scrimmages, and games. Having assigned seats and small groups/pods will help with contact tracing.
A modified quarantine allows for a student/staff member to safely remain in the normal in-person classroom setting and participate in extracurricular and sport activities as long as they have no symptoms. To meet the requirements of a modified classroom setting ODH requires:
Masking for students and staff (regardless of vaccination status).
Strategies to maximize physical distancing indoors (ex. at least 3 feet between desks) and outdoors (including recess). 6 feet must be maintained during lunch or when taking a mask break.
Documented COVID-19 prevention policies and procedures.
Social distancing continues to be a major factor in meeting the requirements of a modified quarantine. Similar to last school year, in order to utilize the ODH’s guidelines to a modified quarantine, a minimum of three feet social distancing standards needs to be in place. If a school or classroom cannot have at least three feet of social distance in place as a minimum standard, then all close contacts would need to be quarantined outside of school.
Students/staff who have been fully vaccinated (per Centers for Disease Control requirements) will not need to quarantine unless symptomatic. Those who have been exposed will be notified to monitor symptoms and isolate/test if appropriate.
Exposure Requiring Quarantine at Home
If exposure requires a home quarantine, students/staff are prohibited from attending school or extracurricular activities for 10 days. However, they may return to normal classroom and extracurricular activities after day seven if they have received a negative viral (PCR or Antigen) test that was performed at least five days after exposure.
Contact District Nurse Amy Elliott, RN, LSN, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (614) 485-4002 with any questions or concerns.
HEALTH AND PREVENTION GUIDANCE FOR THE 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR
Grandview Heights Schools will return to daily, in-person instruction for the 2021- 2022 school year on Tuesday, August 17, 2021. The following information shares how schools will navigate returning to standard operations following the revised health orders.
MITIGATION STRATEGIES Schools will use layered mitigation strategies for the health and safety of the Grandview Heights Schools community.
All enrolled students are eligible to receive one breakfast and one lunch at no charge for the 2021-2022 school year through United States Department of Agriculture waivers. Lunchroom menus are available here http://www.schoolnutritionandfitness.com/index.php?sid=1406111855424272&page=menus
HEALTH AT SCHOOL
CONTACT TRACING AND QUARANTINE Grandview Heights Schools will follow the Ohio Department of Health contact tracing and isolation and quarantine protocols.
This guidance is based on current public health conditions, recommendations and orders from federal, state and local public health agencies. As with all COVID-19 related matters, it is subject to change based on new developments that may occur at any time.
The Ohio Department of Health released a COVID-19 Fact Sheet: Guidelines for K-12 Student Quarantine and this flow chart with Guidelines for Quarantine After Exposure in K-12 Classroom Settings. Importantly, for any student that is not vaccinated and is not wearing a mask, but experiences a close contact, WILL be required by Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) to do a traditional quarantine. Students, if unvaccinated, are only eligible for a modified quarantine if they are wearing a mask.
The Grandview Heights Schools Leadership Team meets weekly with Elisabeth Root, PhD, faculty in the Division of Epidemiology at the College of Public Health and a team of researchers from The Ohio State University (OSU) regarding its partnership on a pilot project titled CATS Data - COVID-19 Analytics and Targeted Surveillance.
The OSU core team includes:
Alexandria (Alex) Jones, MS, RN, CPH
RWJF Public Health Nurse Leader
Assistant Health Commissioner
Director of Prevention and Wellness
Franklin County Public Health
This partnership will provide our district with data on what is happening within our district’s specific school boundaries regarding COVID-19 cases, spread rates, attendance, etc. This information will provide the Board of Education and our district with yet another layer of information that will help the Grandview Heights Schools (GHS) make the best decisions possible as we move forward.
Data specific to GHS will be updated every Friday. This webpage and CATS Data dashboard are in the development phase, but we are getting closer to being able to share this with our community at large. We are hopeful to have this information and additional dashboard finalized in the coming week. Currently, based on CATS Data for Grandview Heights Schools district boundaries, the case count is highest among all the other school districts in Franklin County for COVID-19 cases when compared to other school districts and areas of Franklin County. This is reflective of our entire community, not just our school age students.
In order to reverse these trends, we need your help! Please continue to be vigilant in wearing masks, washing hands, and watching your distance between yourself and others. It's important to remember that behavior outside of our schools can put our staff and students at risk. When we wear masks and maintain six feet of distance in schools, we keep our students and staff safe. However, spread of the virus is likely taking place in athletics and social events outside of school. As a result, we need to recommit to taking the same precautions across our community. As we’ve stated throughout this process, what is happening in the community will impact our goal to keep students in the classroom. Working together, we believe we can once again lower the community spread in our area.