BPS Updated COVID Protocols and Guidance

Changes to Isolation and Quarantining Protocols
Posted on 01/12/2022
Update from the Superintendent, Dr. Carl Shultz

(Updated January 12, 2022)

Bedford Public Schools has worked vigilantly to maintain a safe and productive learning environment for students and staff members. The protocols included in this document are in no way an indication of permanent changes to our pre-pandemic learning environment and may change as our local, state, and national landscape improves or worsens based on positive or negative case data. This most recent update is believed to be a positive step in the right direction and is based upon updated guidance by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

VACCINATION:

As we have done throughout the pandemic, BPS supports and strongly recommends that all individuals be vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. BPS has collaborated and hosted four separate vaccination clinics in the previous twelve months. This includes the largest 1-day vaccination clinic held in the county with over 1,000 vaccinations administered. Currently, 80% of the BPS teaching staff and an additional large percentage of the district support staff are vaccinated. In addition, many of our district’s eligible students have also been vaccinated in part, thanks to the support of MCHD and our neighboring partner providers.

FACIAL MASKS:

All students grade K-12, district staff, and visitors will be required to wear a facial mask when inside any district facility and while riding on district buses. To ensure mask effectiveness, the following diagram demonstrates acceptable types of masks and proper wearing position for all individuals when inside district facilities.

• Masks are not required when outside of district buildings.

• Student athletes actively participating in an indoor athletic event or practice and gym class participants are not required to wear masks during competition/physical activity. However, when not engaged in physical participation of the event or practice, masks must be work by student athletes and coaches (ie. Sitting on benches or standing on sidelines).

• Masks may be removed whenever actively eating or drinking when inside of buildings and must be replaced when finished.

• Students and staff members may wear school appropriate personal masks if they meet the criteria outlined in the diagram linked above. Students and staff members needing a mask when entering buildings will have them provided by the district.

• Any student or staff member who cannot medically tolerate wearing a mask should present authentic documentation from his/her medical doctor to the building principal or department director.

CONTACT TRACING:

BPS has adjusted our contact tracing protocols to reflect the current masking mandate. Students and staff members wearing masks inside district facilities will not be considered a close contact for COVID-19 exposure unless the contact is during lunches or other unique circumstances. For the purpose of close contact exposure, an unmasked individual must be within three feet of an unmasked positive individual for a minimum of fifteen minutes or have direct physical contact during an activity while unmasked. The determination for close contact tracing requiring quarantine is based on district nursing staff members.

ISOLATION AND QUARANTINING:

Following CDC and MDHHS Guidance, the updated quarantine and isolation length is five days for both positive individuals who are symptom free and close contact exposures. The complete updated protocol for district isolation and quarantining can be found here: Updated BPS Isolation and Quarantining Protocols. Additional information regarding the updated Isolation and Quarantining protocol and options can be found using the following links:

Updated BPS Isolation and Quarantine Protocols Visual Graph

BPS Test-To-Stay Option Protocol 
(Available beginning Tuesday, January 18, 2022)

BPS Test-To-Stay Option Parent/Guardian Consent Form

BPS DAILY MITIGATION STRATEGIES:

Bedford Public Schools continues to successfully implement many mitigation strategies during the 2021-2022 school year. These strategies will be continued throughout the remainder of the school year or until our district’s key data metrics indicate a change is appropriate.

• All buildings within the district have now received updated HVAC units with improved ventilation thanks to the community approved 2018 district bond and supplemental federal COVID Relief Funds. The newly installed MERV 13 Air Filters provide additional contaminant filtering for improved classroom ventilation.

• Daily classroom and building disinfection utilizing 360-degree electrostatic disinfectant sprayers

• Daily scheduled hand washing break at the elementary level

• Hand sanitizer stations in every district classroom and main area

• Zoned playgrounds at the elementary level to limit large group gathering and promote cohort adherence

• Cafeteria seating to promote social distancing where available

• Limited building guests to ensure safe environments and limit outside exposure for students and staff. Classroom volunteers will be permitted inside buildings beginning with the start of the 2nd semester. All volunteers must follow the same mitigation strategies as students and staff.

• Maximized classroom spaces by reducing non-essential classroom furniture and materials

• Increased classroom supply of disinfectant wipes for hard surfaces

• Increased number of water bottle filler stations across the district to eliminate water fountain use

ATTENDANCE:

During the 2020-2021 school year, amidst the pandemic, schools in Michigan were given flexibility around meeting the normal attendance for students. The State of Michigan legislature adjusted the Michigan School Code to relax these attendance requirements anticipating student and staff quarantines, as well as periods of remote/virtual learning.

In a typical school year, however, state law requires that students attend school for a minimum of 180 school days AND a total of 1098 hours. Additionally, in order for an individual school day to actually count as one of the 180 school days, at least 75% of students must be in attendance. On any given day, if fewer than 75% of students are in attendance, that school day will need to be made up. For the 2021-2022 school year, these laws are back in place with zero option for flexibility regardless of whether attendance at school is pandemic-related. Therefore, the Bedford Public Schools Attendance Policy is once again in place for the current 2021-2022 school year.

POTENTIAL ALTERNATE LEARNING MODELS:

Bedford Public Schools believe that in-person learning is the best learning model for a large majority of our students. However, In severe circumstances, BPS may be forced to transition from in-person to remote learning for a specific classroom, school building, grade level(s), or the district as a whole. If this transition becomes necessary, district leaders will outline the specific information that will help assist in the process. The 2021-2022 remote learning process includes students learning synchronously from their scheduled teachers using district approved remote learning platforms.

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