- If a teacher (or other staff member) tests positive, what will the quarantine procedure be?
- If a class of students is exposed to a teacher/staff member that has tested positive, what will the quarantine procedures be?
- If the teacher tests positive and must quarantine, is their sick leave covered? Is it paid? How many times will it be allowed to happen?
- How will all this testing be paid for?
- What are the metrics that dictate an unsafe environment and warrant immediate school closure and a move to virtual learning only?
- What if a teacher is exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive? Do all the same protocols go into effect, is it the same as if they had tested positive themselves?
- Substitute teaching staff poses a whole other layer of complexity
- Will the districts be able to find people willing to teach in a classroom of students who are potentially infected or have been exposed to the virus, for standard wages currently paid to substitutes?
- What if a substitute teacher who has taught at multiple schools, is then found to have been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19?
- Do all the kids at every school they taught at need to be tested and quarantined?
- What about the other teachers those students have now potentially infected with the virus?
- Will they require quarantine and testing as well?
- Who pays for the teacher’s time off?
- All the testing that would need to be done, who is covering that bill?
If someone in school should happen to test positive, how will you be notified? What if it is your child that tests positive, do you have to disclose that? Will the entire school population be notified who is infected and when they may have exposed you? Or will we be dreading the form letter we may get that says, “your student may have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19” all year long?
I hope this provided you with some considerations that are important and worth investigating. This is not just a one size fits all situation, there are many layers that involve deep thought and creative options. For the time being we must be creative, patient, and think outside the box. We all want things to go back to regular routines, but it needs to happen in a safe and thoughtful manner taking into consideration all sides of the equation. There will be no perfect solution, but if everyone makes their best efforts to follow the guidelines provided we can at least start progressing forward.
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