COVID Decision Tree
Changes to our Temperature Check Policy, March 31, 2021
Beginning April 1, Henry County Public schools will adopt the recently released guidelines regarding temperature checks for students, staff and visitors into our buildings.
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), in consultation with the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), has updated the flagship Healthy at School guidance based on the latest information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Temperature screening expectations have been changed to state that only symptomatic students and staff need to be screened for fever.
“Routine temperature screenings prior to school or bus entry are not required. Students or staff who exhibit symptoms of illness while at school should have their temperature taken as part of a physical assessment completed by school staff.”
While daily temperature checks are no longer required, families are still asked to monitor their child daily for symptoms, and to not send them to school if they are having any COVID-related symptoms. Please refer to the COVID Decision Tree (found on our website henry.kyschools.us under COVID-Related Info) for exclusion criteria. Students with a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees should follow the isolation criteria as described in the Healthy at School guidelines.
Please contact our Health Services Department at 845-8621 with any questions.
District Health Report, March 9-March 22
Message from Superintendent Terry Price, March 17
I cannot tell you how excited I am to have both our A and B hybrid students from the middle and high schools finally coming together again on March 22. That means all of our in-person students will be attending Monday through Thursday, with a virtual learning day on Friday. It is my hope that bringing our students back together will lead to their academic success, as well as aid in their age appropriate social and emotional health. Our Online Learning Academy students, those that chose that option, will continue their studies at home until the end of this school year.
This has been a trying time for everyone, and I see this start back as a light at the end of the tunnel. After 31 years in education, this feels as if we are starting from day one. And all the excitement is rejuvenating!
On another note, for your planning purposes, Henry County Public Schools intends our return to school in the fall to be a “normal” school year (2021-22 school year). All of our students will be returning to in-person learning Monday through Friday, and our Online Learning Academy will not be offered. The strategies learned from our Online Learning Academy experience will offer students new in-person learning opportunities using the platforms that teachers have implemented through this process. We expect that there will still be health protocols we will have to follow similar to those that are currently in place, but the kids will be back, which is our main goal.
As we move toward the end of this school year, we can see a bright horizon. Stay healthy and follow all protocols. We look forward to our hybrid students’ return on March 22, as well as having ALL students back next fall for the 2021-22 school year.
District Health Report, Feb. 26-March 8
District Health Report, Feb. 17-Feb. 25
Message from Superintendent Terry Price, Feb. 24
While elementary students in Henry County Public Schools have been attending in-person classes Monday through Thursday, middle and high school students have been on an A/B hybrid schedule, attending in-person classes two days each week.
Beginning March 22, all hybrid in-person middle and high school students will attend classes Monday through Thursday. Students enrolled in our Online Academy will continue to receive instruction through that platform. Friday will continue to be a virtual learning day for all students – elementary, middle and high.
Our decision to bring all students back to a four-day school week is based on guidance from the Center for Disease Control and supported by the recent announcement by Governor Andy Beshear. HCPS personnel who chose to receive the COVID vaccine will have had their second dose over 14 days prior to March 22, as is recommended by the CDC. The CDC also acknowledges that younger children benefit more from in-person instruction, and the same argument can be applied to older students. We have many middle and high school students who would also benefit from more in-person instructional time, providing for observation, evaluation, feedback, social interaction, emotional support, student voice, etc. We also believe that bringing back our middle and high school students for four days a week will reduce the number of possible failures and summer school referrals.
We are hopeful that a return to normal school as we knew it before COVID is not only possible, but expected. Psychological studies have shown the negative impacts that NOT attending school in-person can pose to our children and youth. Attending classes in-person four days a week as opposed to two will present a more “normal” school experience for our students, provide an opportunity to support their well-being and lay the groundwork for a more normal 2021-22 school year in the fall.
Bringing all our middle and high school students back to in-person status is not without its challenges. We will continue to practice all district health and safety protocols, such as wearing masks, checking temperatures, washing hands, social distancing to the greatest extent possible and ensuring density control with creating “pods” of student groups and by creating traffic patterns during transitions and lunchtimes.
District administration will continuously monitor the community incident rate percentages as well as district rates of positive COVID cases and exposures. We will also monitor the effectiveness of our protocols and could revise this plan as needed. Our goal at this time is to maintain this attendance plan through the end of this school year unless we encounter a safety issue we must address. Actions could include closing a classroom, a school, the entire district or reverting back to our hybrid schedule.
The second dose of staff vaccinations will take place on March 4, which will be a virtual day for all students. On March 22, we plan to see all our in-person students back in our middle and high school classrooms. If you have an in-person student at HCMS or HCHS, you do not need to do anything at this time to transition your student. If you would like to further discuss your student’s attendance options, please contact your school.
We know this is what is best for our students – academically, socially and emotionally. They need to be in the classroom, and we need to do everything we can to keep them there. Again, I thank you for your support and cooperation.
District Health Report, Jan. 27 - Feb. 16
District Health Report Week of Jan. 25
Message from Superintendent Terry Price, Jan. 29, 2021
Henry County Public Schools is excited to announce that the first dose of the COVID vaccine will be administered to our staff members next week. In order to accommodate the mass vaccination event, we will close to in-person instruction on Thursday, Feb. 4. All students will learn at home virtually on this day.
We have appreciated your support, flexibility and cooperation throughout this pandemic. Providing these vaccines is a huge step forward in getting things back to normal while continuing to offer added protection and safety to our staff and students.
All HCPS employees who requested the vaccine have been provided an appointment. In total about 240 employees throughout the district will receive a vaccination.
We will likely announce another NTI day next month to administer the second dose after we receive confirmation of receipt of the vaccinations. Please know we are working under the constraints of receiving, storing and administering the vaccine as well as the time and administrative constraints of our vaccination provider.
Thank you in advance for your continued collaboration as we do everything in our power to protect the health and safety of our staff, students and families, and that we work hard to ensure our ability to hold in-person instruction.
District Health Report, Week of Jan. 18
District Update from Superintendent Terry Price, Jan. 15, 2021
Let me begin by saying how proud I am of our students, both virtual and in-person, who are doing their best to keep up with their school work in these trying times. We have been back for two full weeks of in-person instruction and students are doing an outstanding job with their classwork, as well as complying with all of our required protocols to be able to attend in-person.
As of the writing of this update, if things do not drastically change and I am not directed otherwise, I have no plans to cancel in-person learning for the remainder of this school year. Our district continues to fare well in light of COVID and state numbers, thanks to our students, staff and community for doing their part to stay healthy and safe. I hope that you continue to refer to our district COVID Decision Tree to understand our health protocols for positive cases and quarantine situations.
Families, I ask that you do your best to provide an appropriate face covering for your in-person students. We will always provide a student with a mask if they do not have one; however, the district is running low on available masks, and I ask for your help in this area.
The vaccine for educators is quickly approaching. There are a few variables out of our control in scheduling the large-scale vaccination event, like when the doses will be available. We also want to plan ahead should some staff members experience side effects that would cause them to be absent. There may be a couple of school days that we learn virtually at home so that we can provide vaccinations to all staff members who have opted to receive it. You will be notified as soon as possible regarding a closure for this reason.
Looking ahead, I plan to hold an in-person graduation for our seniors this year. The graduation may look or feel a little different, but the plan is to provide our students the opportunity to walk across the “famous” high school stage and shake my hand confirming they are graduates. The plan may include allowing seniors to have a limited number of tickets for family to attend, but all of this is tentative at this point and more information will follow.
In closing, thank you for your continued support of our district and instructional plan. Hopefully soon, more students can be back in our buildings each day for in-person learning so that we can maximize student opportunities. Keep up the good work by wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing. Our district vision says it all: “A district of educational excellence, the PRIDE of our community.” We are definitely proud of our students and staff, district and community.
District Health Report, Week of Jan. 11
MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENT TERRY PRICE, Dec. 16, 2020
As you probably have heard from the governor, even though most of Kentucky’s counties are in the “red” category, there must be a plan for getting students back in the classrooms in a healthy and safe manner. Recent guidance from the Kentucky Department of Education has been modified to include information for school districts to consider when doing so. It is my number one goal to provide the best and safest education possible for our students. The situation we are in is not ideal and kids are suffering - academically, socially and emotionally. As a school district, we must do what we can to assist all of our students.
Based on the current information and discussions with district leadership, Henry County Public Schools students will return to in-person learning on Jan. 5, 2021. Our middle and high school students will return to in-person learning using the A/B hybrid plan. If your child is a part of the Online Academy, they will continue learning virtually. All students will continue to learn at home on Fridays.
When we go back to school, students’ placements for the remainder of the second quarter - either online or in-person - will be the same as they were prior to Thanksgiving. If you wish to change your student’s placement for the third grading period beginning Jan. 25, you must request that change by contacting your student’s school no later than Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 at 3pm. This placement will be in effect for your student through the end of the third quarter (March 23).
Requests to move elementary and middle school students from online to in-person will not take effect until the new quarter begins on Monday, Jan. 25. As we receive those requests, we must look at classroom spacing and transportation options before moving students. Please understand we cannot guarantee that we can accommodate your request given the guidelines under which we are required to operate.
Because Henry County High School students are working on credits for graduation, we will consider requests to switch from online to in-person learning for all high school students as soon as possible, even before the next grading period begins. This will allow students to focus on credit completion prior to the end of the current quarter.
HCPS will continue to provide virtual instruction for those families that feel their students are safer learning from home. While HCPS has limited slots for its elementary Online Academy, newly requested changes from in-person to at-home learning may be accommodated through services provided by the student’s regular classroom teacher. However, we will need to know specifically if your in-person student is not planning to return to in-person classes on Jan. 5.
If any information from the governor should change these plans, you will be notified. Please be aware that our return plan includes the possibility of closing an individual classroom, school or the entire district due to staffing issues or outbreaks. We will notify you with as much advance notice as possible if this is the case.
Winter Break is Dec. 21 through Jan. 1, and there is no school for students on Monday, Jan. 4, for a scheduled teacher work day. We hope you enjoy this time with your family and stay safe and healthy. We can't wait to see our students back in January!
MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENT TERRY PRICE, Dec. 10, 2020
Today, Henry County’s incident rate for COVID-19 is resting at 62.9, which is close to the highest we have had as a county. Based on the current Executive Order by the governor, Henry County Public Schools will NOT be returning to in-person learning next week, the last week of school before our scheduled winter break. As you may have heard via news outlets, the governor is developing a plan to allow for a return to in-person classes in January.
However, any ideas or plans have NOT been communicated by the Commissioner of Education nor the governor to Kentucky school superintendents, which does not help me communicate to you what additional requirements we will be asked to meet in order to make this happen. Should additional information become available regarding a return to in-person learning in January, I will communicate this to you as soon as possible.
All students will continue virtual learning the week of December 14. Targeted assistance groups will continue next week as planned. Meal boxes will be available this Friday, Dec. 11, and again on Friday, Dec. 18, from 11am to 1pm at Campbellsburg, Eastern and New Castle elementary schools as well as Henry County High School, and from 4 to 6pm at Campbellsburg and New Castle elementary schools.
The status of our school district as related to COVID-19 cases is very low, which can be attributed to our guidelines for student and staff safety, along with all of the health and safety measures we have in place for students and staff. Most cases being reported involve interactions within the community or at home.
Please check our district page under “News and Announcements” and our Facebook page for more information. I do know that there will be communication regarding returning to in-person instruction as some point over the break, if not sooner. As stated on many occasions, thanks to our parents, students, teachers, staff, and community for supporting our district’s efforts to return to in-person instruction and our current at-home learning model.
SUSPENSION OF DAILY HEALTH REPORT
Beginning Tuesday, December 9, Henry County Public Schools will suspend its practice of publishing a Daily Health Report, which provides data regarding our staff and student COVID positive and quarantine cases.
With delays in receiving timely information from our local health department, coupled with inconsistent self-reporting from our families, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the data we have been providing with this report.
We will reinstate the Daily Health Report only when we have confidence that the data we can provide to our families and communities is more accurate. We apologize for any inconvenience this may create for our families.
We will continue to monitor COVID cases and exposures as information is received, and report COVID cases to the state as required based on the information we receive. That data can be viewed at kycovid19.ky.gov.
If you have questions regarding our student and staff health policies related to COVID-19 or need to report positive cases, please contact Health Services Coordinator Melissa Jeffries, RN, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-845-8621.
MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENT TERRY PRICE, DEC. 7
There have been some inquiries as to why our buses are currently transporting students when our buildings are closed to in-person instruction. Schools are allowed to have small group targeted instruction for a portion of the day at 15% building capacity based on the governor’s and commissioner’s last Executive Order in closing in-person instruction.
There are specific guidelines surrounding how students are selected for targeted small group instruction. According to the Kentucky Department of Education, these targeted services could include activities such as: “evaluation, necessary hands-on experiences (career and technical education), mental health or academic counseling, occupational, physical or speech therapy, or targeted remediation or tutoring.” Students who are considered the most marginalized and have complex needs were the first group to receive targeted instruction.
HCPS worked with schools under the 15% capacity rule to create very small intense targeted instruction groupings at each school. These groupings were created by each school based on individual student needs; the selection was not randomly made. For the next two weeks these groups will continue. Following winter break, schools may rework those groups based on need and capacity availability.
All students will continue with virtual instruction until otherwise notified based on any new information from the Commissioner of Education, Governor Andy Beshear, or local and state data.
District Health Report Week of Nov. 29
Request for Continued Communication Regarding COVID Reporting, Dec. 3
To follow up regarding how the recent changes in contact tracing will affect Henry County Public Schools and how you can help as we move forward:
Previously, contact tracers from the health department would contact a COVID positive individual and interview them to determine anyone they had potentially exposed. They would then reach out to each individual and recommend the state directed quarantine. If any of these individuals were students or staff of our school system, we were then notified and provided with a school or work note for that individual. Additionally, they then followed all of these individuals throughout their quarantine to see if they developed symptoms and then provided the school system with a note when they were released to return to in-person learning for students or work for employees.
It is important to note:
- Contact tracers will no longer be reaching out to anyone that is directly exposed to COVID and are often not even reaching out to the COVID positive individual due to current caseloads.
- The "job" of contact tracing, as outlined above, is now the sole responsibility of the COVID positive individual and individual facilities, businesses and schools.
- While public health agencies can mandate quarantines, individuals, facilities, businesses and schools cannot.
HCPS Health Services will now take on the role of the contact tracer for all of our students and staff. We will recommend quarantines based on current state public health guidelines. While we cannot mandate or enforce quarantine times, we will adhere to those standards within our buildings.
Communication regarding quarantine times will now come from HCPS health services including when a student or staff member may return to in-person learning or work, and again will be based on current public health guidelines.
What you can do to help:
Communicate - COVID-19 is a reportable disease, therefore it is not a HIPPA violation to share COVID information with a reporting agency (which includes HCPS health services)
Communicate – Parents must call the health services team member at their respective school with information regarding COVID positive cases or exposures that would impact our schools. The HCPS health services team knows what information we need to collect to facilitate the best response.
Communicate – HCPS Employees should continue to notify their supervisor and Melissa Jeffries if you become ill, have close contact with a COVID positive individual, have a household member that tests positive for COVID, or have taken a COVID test, and the ensuing result (positive or negative).
We want to do the very best we can to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff! Even though we are currently not able to conduct in-person learning, it is just as imperative now that we continue to track and monitor cases amongst our students and staff. HCPS appreciates all of your help to do this!
If you have questions regarding our health services policies, please contact Health Services Director Melissa Jeffries at 845-8621 or email@example.com.
A MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT, Dec. 2
As we move forward in our current educational world and all of the challenges we face, Henry County Public Schools preschool and elementary students will NOT be returning to in-person learning on December 7, 2020 according to the governor’s Executive Order.
In a meeting with the Commissioner of Education today, he reiterated what the governor’s order covered; one being the status of our county. The order states that if a county is still in the red category, no in-person learning can take place. Today’s county incidence rate is 48.7 and we need to be at 25 or below. Yesterday’s state totals of reported COVID cases were over 4,100 which is extremely high for a one-day total.
Again, I will evaluate mid-week, every week, to discuss a return to in-person learning if requirements are met. I will be notifying the school community and parents each week so that plans can be made for child care, etc.
Henry County Public Schools will continue to provide meals to students as noted in the current schedule that can be found on our website [front page] as well as on social media. Should you have additional questions, please feel free to call our board office at 502-845-8600 or your child’s school.
Please periodically check our media outlets to be informed. Information is added and/or changed frequently. Thank you for your cooperation and support!
CHANGES TO CONTACT TRACING, Nov. 30
Henry County Public Schools (HCPS) was recently notified of changes in the health department’s contact tracing program that we want to pass on to you. Effective immediately, the health department will no longer be reaching out to individuals that have been exposed to COVID positive cases. Instead, the health department wants us to identify contacts within our buildings and provide those contacts with information regarding the recommended quarantine period.
Based on these changes, HCPS will continue to follow the guidance of the CDC and local health department regarding the quarantine recommendation following a COVID exposure. If you think that your school-age child(ren) has been exposed to COVID (as defined by closer than 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period), it is essential that you report that information to your child’s school immediately. Our district nurses will then share information with you regarding the recommended quarantine period and when your child may return to in-person classes. Until that return date, students are excused from in-person attendance but can still participate virtually. Additionally, as previously outlined, families are also required to notify their child’s school within 24 hours of a positive COVID case within your household.
As we strive to minimize exposure and spread of COVID-19, please know that the expectations and directives for HCPS staff are the same as for students.
If you have any questions regarding this change in policy, please feel free to reach out to our Health Services Coordinator, Melissa Jeffries RN, at 845-8621.
District Health Report, Week of Nov. 23
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT, Nov. 19
In accordance with the Executive Order from the governor, Henry County Public Schools will transition to at-home virtual learning for all students beginning Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. The order contains the following stipulations regarding the return to in-person instruction:
•Middle and High School ONLY: The first date that Henry County can resume in-person learning will be January 5, 2021. Prior to this return, I will continually and consistently be studying the state and local data as well as the status of our students and staff when finalizing a return date.
•Preschool and Elementary ONLY: The first date that Henry County can resume in-person learning will be December 7, 2020. I, along with district leadership, will be studying the data and status of the state and Henry County. This date should be considered a tentative return date. More information will follow closer to this date for preschool and elementary-aged students and their families.
•Superintendent Communication: I will send out communication via district news announcements on our website, Facebook, Twitter and/or a One-Call every Friday to update our district’s and county’s status and what is planned for the next scheduled school week.
•Athletics: The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) has approved fall high school sports play-offs to continue as planned. The start of winter athletics was postponed by KHSAA. Winter sports may resume indoor practices on Dec. 14, 2020, and games on Jan. 4. 2021. These dates are governed by the KHSAA and are subject to change.
I am disappointed to have to move away from in-person learning since Henry County has been so successful. Credit goes to the incredible amount of hard work all our staff and your students have devoted to this unusual school year. We hope to be able to resume in-person instruction by the above dates or soon thereafter. Please watch for additional communications from me and your school with more specific details, as well as information regarding how to obtain school meals - a service we are committed to continue to provide to all our students.
Henry County students are resilient; they bounce back, but please keep your children and young adult(s) on top of their school assignments. If your child is struggling academically, please reach out to his or her teacher. If there are basic needs we may be able to help you with, please call either the Family Resource Center for elementary families or the Youth Services Center for middle and high school families. If your child has a counseling need, please do not hesitate to contact your school’s counselor. The times that we are in are harder on our kids than one may know.
I know this transition to virtual learning is difficult for many of you and your students, but please understand that we are here to support our families, with a commitment to provide high quality instruction to our students. We appreciate your collaboration, support and patience as we all work together as a school district and a community to do what’s best for our children and families, as well as our friends and neighbors.
District Health Report, Week of Nov. 16
District Health Report, Week of Nov. 9
District Health Report, Week of Nov. 2
A message from Superintendent Terry Price, Nov. 16
As of the writing of this message I can say that our district and internal health numbers are looking great. Again, understand that I am continually checking on our county's percentage as well as those of surrounding districts. Given all the data, which includes the county map incidence rate, information from our local health department and data from our District Health Report and HCPS Health Services Department, Henry County Public Schools will continue in-person instruction until the collective data indicates otherwise or unless directed by public health and/or state government.
The health precautions, PPE, planning, and organization in place at HCPS is paying off for the district. We are seeing that most reports of positive cases of COVID and ensuing exposures and quarantines are coming from outside of the school district in the form of community spread. I urge families, please monitor what is occurring on time spent outside of the school day.
Thank you again for your cooperation, collaboration and support.
District Health Report, Week of Oct. 26
Superintendent's Message Oct. 30, 2020
Superintendent's Message Oct. 27, 2020
COVID Decision Tree
KDE COVID-19 Mode of Instruction Metrics for K-12 Education
HCPS Reopening Plans
KDE Healthy at School Guidelines