COVID-19 Information

FY2021-2022 COVID-19 Protocols 
 
Dear Buford Community,
 
The Buford City School System plans for a safe return for our students in the next two weeks. We have outlined below the classroom priorities, mitigation strategies, protocols, and practices for the upcoming school year regarding COVID-19.

We believe the details below prioritize the health and safety of our students, staff, and community while still keeping academic success as our top objective.

You can also download a summary of these safety protocols by clicking here.

Our top two priorities for a safe return to the classroom are:

1. Vaccination is the #1 tool to combat the COVID-19 virus. Everyone 12 years and older has plentiful access to the vaccination.

2. If you are sick, stay home! Students and staff must not come to school with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher and must not come to school until they have been fever-free, without the use of fever-reducing medication, for at least 24 hours.

Mitigation Strategies:

We strongly recommend that non-vaccinated students and teachers wear a cloth face covering when they are at school. However, masking is optional at BCS. Students will be required to wear cloth face coverings on BCS school buses (Federal mandate). Face coverings should be a solid color or one that has the BCS logo on it.
 
Social Distancing will be encouraged indoors and where appropriate. The CDC recommendation of 3 feet distance will be adhered to when possible.

Quarantine & Isolation:

While we are attempting to return to something resembling normal, COVID-19 has not entirely gone away. The requirement to contact trace is not a Buford City Schools’ invention. According to the Department of Public Health, contact tracing must occur anytime an infectious disease is reported to us. Anyone who is fully vaccinated is not subject to quarantining (unless symptomatic).

As we did last year, any student or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate in accordance with the isolation guidelines from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).

• If you are fully vaccinated (14 days after last shot) or if you have recovered from the virus in the past 90 days (and provide lab results/vaccination card to school nurse), you will NOT be subject to quarantine after contact tracing.
• The CDC also adjusted their contact trace definition to limit the need for quarantine when both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks.
 
We have, with careful consideration, revisited and updated our approach to immediately quarantining large groups of students, and a more systematic and intentional procedure will be put in place regarding close contacts quarantine this fall.

Cleaning Protocols:

BCS will continue to provide hand sanitizer in all classrooms, common areas, and school buses. Further, while we recognize that the data shows surface-level contact does not pose a high risk for COVID-19 transmission, daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces in school buildings and on school buses will continue.

If a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed in a classroom, building, or school bus, additional disinfecting will occur the same day.

The water fountains in each school are operational. However, BCS highly recommends students continue the use of clear, personal water bottles.

Journey back to “normal”:

Our lunchrooms are returning to normal service. However, the USDA has extended no-cost meal service for breakfast and lunch to all students through the 2021-2022 school year.

Although meals will be offered at no cost, families are encouraged to complete the free and reduced application for qualifying students to be eligible for other opportunities or discounted services, including fee waivers for college applications, SAT, ACT, and AP exams.

Visitation and volunteer opportunities will be phased back in this school year. Principals will guide parents and guardians about visitation in their buildings.

Buford City Schools will offer athletics and extracurricular activities for the 2021-2022 school year. Current plans are for events to be open to spectators at full capacity per Georgia High School Association guidance. GO WOLVES!

Communication:

Each school will provide appropriate communication when there is a positive case of COVID-19 in their buildings and a need to contact students who may have been in close contact with the infected individual.

To review the updated document about determining and reporting COVID-19 exposures, please Click here for PDF.
 
Lastly, I want to assure you our BCS nurses are highly trained and incredibly compassionate about the health and safety of all students. They will continue to be the school’s main COVID-19 point of contact.
 
I trust their judgment and empower them to make the appropriate medical assessments to maintain the correct safety standards.

If a student exhibits COVID-19 related symptoms while in the school clinic, the nurse has the discretion to request the student wear a mask or be isolated while in the clinic. No child will be forced to wear a mask while in the clinic; rather, an asymptomatic child who does not want to wear a mask will be isolated until the parent/guardian arrives to take them home.

We are still in weekly contact with our local Department of Public Health officials, and if community transmission data or BCS-specific data justifies a need to change any of the above safety protocols, we will make the appropriate adjustments.

Thank you for your continued support and flexibility as we navigate our new normal. We are all very excited to have everyone back in the buildings and making great choices this school year.
Go Wolves!

Sincerely,
 
Dr. Robert Downs
Superintendent
Buford City Schools
 
 
Click HERE for information from the Department of Public Health.