JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Jefferson City Board of Education dicussed a variety of COVID-19 related items at their Monday meeting, but district adminstration recommended not adopting a resolution that could shorter quarentine time for teachers.
If the resolution was passed, JC Schools would let approved employees who are identified as close contacts to return to work on the eight day of their 14-day quarantine. The resolution was not taken up on Monday by the board.
The superintendant Dr. Larry Linthacum said while it could have helped with the staffing issues the district is facing, feedback from parents and staff lead them to stay with the 14 day quarentine period.
"We still need to consider options to provide substitute teachers as needed and then we'll come back," Linthacum said. "But for right now we will focus on creative ways to try and find subs."
According to polls sent out to staff, 54 percent were uncomfortable with the resolution for themselves, and 56 were uncomfortable if a colleauge would have returned to work.
About 50 percent of parents that answered the survey said they were confortable with the resolution.
JC Schools says an increase in the number of staff members being quarantined from exposure to novel coronavirus outside of the school prompted the move.
The resolution was brought up by the Missouri School Boards Association to county health departments. The Cole County Health department asked the district if the board would consider approving it.
According to board documents, designating teachers essential must be approved by the health department where the employee lives.
A list of guidelines for those returning to work is also required under that resolution, including wearing a mask even when they can maintain social distance, being monitored by the school nurse throughout the day and not attending any non-essential school-related functions.
Another concern brough up by member Ken Enloe was the availability of rapid testing. Right now, the district can only use those tests on symptomatic students and staff.
The option to return to work would have only been available for those quarantining because of a close contact, not for those who are isolating after testing positive.