November 14, 2020
Parents/Guardians of the Kingston K-14 School District,

Thursday, November 11 at 9:00 a.m., Governor Parson held a press conference detailing a change in quarantining protocols for school districts. As a measure to reduce the number of quarantined students, The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services in conjunction with The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has revised the guidelines related to quarantine. Under the new guidelines, when students are exposed to a positive covid case but both parties are wearing masks, only the positive case must isolate. All students within close contact are allowed to remain at school and self-monitor for symptoms. If symptoms develop, the student must quarantine.
If either of the students is not wearing a mask, both students must quarantine. In order to use
the protocols, a district must put a mask mandate in place.

Although a student wearing a mask will not have to be quarantined if the person testing positive was also wearing a mask, it is extremely important to continue to self-monitor for symptoms if in contact with a positive case. Scenarios are provided on the informational flyer titled “Wear a
mask. Stay in school.” This flyer will be posted on our website. Districts must have a mask mandate in place in order to implement the new quarantine guidelines. Kingston K-14 will begin the mask mandate on Tuesday, November 17 with students in 3rd through 12th grades being required to utilize face coverings in situations as detailed below.

Students and staff will be required to have a mask or face covering available with them at all times. If they do not have access to a face-covering/mask, one can be provided. Please contact
your building principal.
⮚ Face coverings/masks are required to enter any building in the Kingston K-14 School District
for students, adults, and visitors.

⮚ Face coverings/masks are required when riding a school bus for all students.

⮚ Kingston K-14 students will not be required to wear a face-covering/mask when they are able
to keep 6 feet from others, but they ARE required to have access to a mask and wear as needed or as
instructed.

Students in 3rd-12th grades will be asked to wear masks or face coverings when:
● in passing times such as hallways and crowded common areas.
● social distancing can’t be maintained such as working in small groups or in close proximity with a teacher or medically fragile student.
● directed by the teacher or school leaders.

Students in preschool-2nd grade may be required to wear a mask when working in small groups with
students or teachers, when social distancing is not possible, or when medically
fragile students may be present.

⮚ Masks and Face Coverings will not be worn:
● When students/staff have a medical reason that will not allow them to wear a mask (please
communicate with your building principal).
⮚ When masks and face coverings are necessary, teachers will give students mask breaks whenever
possible.

⮚ Staff will be required to wear face coverings/masks when in common spaces and when social
distancing can’t be maintained, such as in small groups.

⮚ Teachers will not have to teach in a face-covering/mask when social distancing can be
maintained.

The District appreciates your understanding as this requirement is put in place. We see this as an opportunity to keep our students in school. Quarantining has been a major obstacle, and we
appreciate the Governor, DHSS, DESE, and the Washington County Health Department for listening to the concerns of districts locally and across Missouri.

**A side note to our families, we want you to know that we worry daily and have for months trying to find the best solution to keep our students, staff, and families safe while providing a quality education. Safety is always our number one priority, we have families just like you. We care deeply about all of our students and for you. Making any decision is not something we take lightly, we genuinely have the best interest of everyone involved. We ask that you help us in this fight
against the spread of
COVID-19. This requirement is about keeping our kids, our staff, your family, and our families safe.

We looked at going virtual for a period of time, but that has been detrimental to our students and a burden for many families. We discussed a blended learning model for grades 6-12 where we would have kept families together but split students into a green team and a white team and they would come to school every other day. Then we thought about what would happen if our elementary school saw a spike in cases and they had to go to blended learning, what would that look like for our families? We think blended learning is better than how things went this semester with all of the quarantines. If we can keep kids safe and have them here at school by wearing a mask or a face covering, we believe this would be the best-case scenario. We realize we can’t please everyone, and no matter what decision is made, there will be people opposed, but more than anything we want our kids, our staff, and our families to be as safe as possible. If we could wave a magic wand and make it all go away we would, but we can’t. So, we have to do the best we can with what we have in front
of us today.

One of the best ways to help slow the spread is to not send your children to school if they are
sick OR if you or someone in your household is sick OR having symptoms of COVID OR are
being tested for COVID. If students are sick on the weekend and feel better Monday, wait a
couple of days before sending them back to school to make sure symptoms don’t reoccur.

Please see the charts below:

The charts below indicate the number of students & staff quarantined because of in and out of school exposure.

As of 11/10/2020 at 7:47 AM, we have had to quarantine a total of 326 students and 76 staff members
since the beginning of school.

Students
Staff
As of this morning, 11/13/2020, we had an increase in the number of students and staff put out on
quarantine 367 students and 82 staff members.
Students
Staff
In looking at the data, if we had been able to keep students and staff in school while wearing masks, our numbers would have been significantly lower. The only individuals that would have been quarantined would have been our positive individuals and those who had someone in their household who tested positive with COVID. The number that would have been quarantined would have been less
than 50 instead of the nearly 400.
We hope that this plan will help us keep our in-school exposures to a minimum, but should the
the number of positive cases in students and/or staff members increase at any time during the remainder
of the school year, it may still become necessary to change our on-campus learning schedule or
close completely for a brief period for remote/virtual learning. At that time, we will notify
parents about the changes and begin working on an updated reentry plan.
As always, we appreciate you and your support. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. We will be happy to answer any questions.
Sincerely,

Dr. Lee Ann Wallace
Dr. Lee Ann Wallace
Superintendent of Kingston K-14 School District