Vaccines and masks optional for students in LPS proposed plan

Lincoln Public Schools on Thursday released the first draft of its proposed 2021-22 'Safe Return to School Plan.'
LPS COVID-19 Update

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Lincoln Public Schools on Thursday released the first draft of its proposed 2021-22 ‘Safe Return to School Plan.’

Here are some of the highlights:

Vaccinations

LPS is asking parents whose children have received the COVID-19 vaccine to email a copy of their vaccination card to their school nurse. For children who have not received the vaccine, the district says “there is nothing you need to do.”

Masks

LPS says the plan for masks will be based on current community trends and conditions, as well as recommendations from health officials.

For students who are fully vaccinated, face coverings are optional. For students who are not fully vaccinated, face coverings are strongly recommended.

Masks will also be optional for fully vaccinated staff. However, staff who aren’t fully vaccinated will be required to wear them. The same policy will apply for volunteers and visitors.

LPS says vaccination status will be based on a self-identified system, and proof of vaccination may be required in some circumstances.

Drivers, paraprofessionals and passengers (students and staff) must wear face coverings on all school buses (this includes activity and athletic buses).

If face coverings are required at any time, information about applying for face covering exemptions will be sent to families, the district said. 

 Social distancing 

LPS will continue to keep people as physically distanced from others by maintaining three to six feet whenever possible. Desks will be placed as far apart as possible.

Self-screening 

Staff, students and visitors entering any LPS facility are expected to conduct a self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms every day prior to arriving.

Cafeterias

Elementary

  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for students as they enter the cafeteria.
  • Meals will be served in individual containers.
  • Students will be assigned to a table.

Secondary

  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for students as they enter the cafeteria.
  • Meals will be served based on past practice.
  • Any utensils for self-service will be replaced every one-half hour.

Contact Tracing – Close Contact

Close contacts are described as someone who has been within six feet of a positive case for a cumulative 15 minutes or more where neither person wore a mask.

Quarantine and Exclusion

Vaccinated individuals identified as a close contact without symptoms will need to self-monitor for symptoms and are not required to quarantine as long as they remain symptom free.

Unvaccinated individuals identified as close contacts without symptoms can return to work or school:

  • After day 10 without testing,
  • After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later),

All close contacts with symptoms still need to quarantine for the full 14 days, even with a negative test result.

Remote Learning Program

The Remote Learning Program will not be an option for quarantined students or students with an extended absence. Extended absences from in-person school will be handled as they were prior to the pandemic. It is the responsibility of the student to contact their teachers and make up work which has been missed because of any absence. The school staff will support the student’s initiative to make up work missed.

LPS stressed the plan is subject to change during the school year.

The district says protocols may change for a specific school building, program, classroom or settings based on cases, contact tracing, community conditions and risk of spread.

LPS is asking for feedback, comments, and suggestions from staff, students, families and the community from now until July 9. You will be able to view the proposal and give feedback on their website: lps.org/safereturn.

The finalized 2021-22 Safe Return to School Plan will be posted on July 15, 2021 and will go into effect on August 2, 2021.

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