A new feature is rolling out in Microsoft Teams to have greater control over student microphones.
Marion County Schools and the Marion County Health Department have confirmed ONE case of COVID-19 at the East Park Elementary School, located at 1025 Fairfax Street.
The case is associated with one confirmed student, which was identified on Thursday, October 15, 2020.
After initial contact tracing and case investigation, the decision was made to quarantine ONLY Cohort B of the Kindergarten class of East Park Elementary School, at this time.
The quarantine will continue through Friday, October 23, 2020. Students and staff in Kindergarten Cohort B will be permitted to reenter the building starting on Monday, October 26, 2020, following their regular work and cohort attendance schedules.
Media contact: (Lloyd White, Marion County Health Department) at (304-366-3360).
Need help with Marion County technology programs, like clever or google classroom? Sally Morgan, C&I coordinator, will be available to help you on Tuesdays in October from 4:00 to 6:00. Please call 304-367-2100 extension 128.
If you need help with Office 365, gsuites or basic computer issues Tara Stanley please call 304-367-2100 extension 139.
The Marion County Health Department has confirmed one (1) case of COVID-19 at the Meadowdale building of East Dale Elementary School, located at 57 East Dale Road.
The case is associated with one (1) confirmed staff member, which was identified on Sunday, October 11, 2020.
After initial contact tracing and case investigation, the decision was made to close the Meadowdale building of East Dale Elementary School at this time.
The Meadowdale building of East Dale Elementary School has been closed and will not reopen until October 25, 2020. Students and staff will be permitted to reenter the building on Monday, October 26, 2020.
Media contact: Lloyd White, Marion County Health Department at 304-366-3360.
Due to the coronavirus, many households have suffered a loss of income or some other financial hardship. Marion County Schools are able to provide all students with free meals through December 2020. This helps our schools expand nutritious meals to your household at no charge to you.
Other federal relief benefits, however, might become available and could be related to the free/reduced-price school meal status of your child.
We invite you to complete a standard application for school meal benefits if you have not already done so for this school year, and if you believe your child may now qualify for free or reduced price meals if this were a regular school year.
This is out of anticipation of other federal relief benefits that might become available in the future that could be related to the free or reduced-price meal status of each student.
Completing this application will not impact or change your child’s ability to access free school meals through December.
To complete a school meal benefit application, please visit www.schoolcafe.com or contact our county child nutrition office at 304-367-2106.
Mitigating COVID 19 is a fluid and dynamic process that includes constant evaluation and decision making. For school systems to remain open for in person activities a system of protective measures to limit person to person spread of this infectious disease must be in place including:
Symptom Identification and Management: (Reference 1)
Definitions: (Reference 1)
Case Investigation: Public Health infectious disease investigation associated with an individual with a positive laboratory test for COVID 19
Close contact: A person who:
Contact Tracing: Public Health infectious disease investigation associated with a close contact with an individual with a positive laboratory test for COVID 19
Confirmed outbreak: Two or more confirmed COVID-19 cases among students/staff from separate households, with onset within 14 days in a single classroom or core group.
Core Grouping: The practice of keeping the same individuals in the same group at all times during the school day. Changes in core groups are timed to align with school breaks. Core grouping helps limit the number of contacts each individual has. As a result, quarantines, dismissals, or suspension of in-person learning in the event of a student or staff member with COVID-19 affect fewer people. Students may be in multiple core groups (for example, bus ride to school, after-school sports, classroom).
COVID-like symptoms: Temperature of 100.4 or higher, fever or chills, new cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Isolation: Staying home from work, school, and/or activities when a person has a confirmed case of COVID-19. Isolation lasts for at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms, 24 hours fever-free without fever reducing medication, and an improvement of symptoms. For people who have not had symptoms, isolation lasts 10 days from the day they had their first positive test. In some instances, as determined by an individual’s medical provider, isolation may last in excess of days.
Joint Information Center (JIC): a collaboration established with response partners to unify public information for response actions.
School outbreak-associated case: A confirmed case among students/staff should be classified as outbreak-associated. Family members or others outside the school who get sick should not be classified as a school outbreak-associated case.
Quarantine: Staying home from work, school, and/or activities when a person is a close contact of someone with COVID-19. Quarantine lasts for 14 days (unless the person develops symptoms, then they will be put in isolation).
We are moving through our first month of school re-entry. Our school professional and service personnel have been diligently implementing practices aligned with COVID 19 protocols. We applaud school staff and families for being open to learning and adhering to safety practices that help keep our schools and communities safer. Our students have been wearing face coverings, learning how to travel hallways and orient themselves to the various social distancing guidelines and seating arrangements across their school environments. The combination of the Blended Model and Distance Learning is helping to keep the cohorts small, which helps with contact tracing and containing the virus.
We continue to communicate regularly with the Marion County Health Department. This plan has been customized to address our specific school re-entry scenarios. It reflects the coordinated efforts of public health actions and school system actions to meet the goals of safety and mitigating the spread of COVID- 19. The Marion County Health Department SCHOOL OUTBREAK RESPONSE PLAN reflects four primary goals.
Goal 1: Limit the spread of COVID 19 in schools and communities.
Goal 2: Establish a socially conscious safe learning environment in the school system during the COVID 19 Pandemic.
Goal 3: Promote actions that mitigate the spread of COVID 19 in schools and communities.
Goal 4: Identify and investigate cases and contacts of COVID 19 quickly and efficiently to establish disease intervention actions.
Our school nurses have been strictly following the WV School Nurses protocol under the strong leadership of our lead/head nurse Mandy Boylen. We are fortunate to have a LPN in every school in Marion County. These LPNs are supervised by an experienced group of 6 (RNs) school nurses. In addition, to our nursing staff we are fortunate to continue our relationship with Monongahela Valley Association (MVA) Health Center. MVA provides Wellness Center opportunities for our school population. Their offices are strategically located at both ends of the county on the North Marion High School campus and East Fairmont High School campus. School nurses have worked with principals to ensure that there are appropriate arrangements to keep symptomatic students and staff separated from other students and staff that may be visiting the nurse for other health reasons. The Marion County Schools nursing staff has been focused on responding to our populations health needs and their record keeping and communication back to the head school nurse is remarkable.
Although many practices are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the school system must also be prepared to respond when we get information that staff and/or students have a positive COVID lab test. Schools provide a vital role in working with the health department for contact tracing when staff or students are diagnosed. Crucial information is gleaned from school level documentation such as the master cohort lists, classroom seating charts, extra-curricular activity participants, attendance logs, bus numbers, bus seating charts, etc. This information affords us the pertinent information needed to alert the focused populations that will need to quarantine.
It is certainly understandable that staff and families are frightened when we get information of a positive COVID 19 lab test. All parties in the school worry about the person(s) diagnosed and fear for the potential of wider spread. When notified of an exposure, we appreciate staff, students, and families that responsibly quarantine as advised.
Final thoughts to remember
Be well, stay safe.
Marion County Schools will post relevant news, updates, and guidance for parents, students, teachers, and staff on this page to keep you informed.