Coronavirus School and Community Information

Preston Jr. High

Preston School District Parents, Students, and Teachers,

As we progress through the fall there will be many changes to our planning for schools and students as our community works through the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Our overarching goal is to have students at school, working directly with teachers as much as is possible.  All of our plans are designed to maximize the amount of time students can be in school together with their teachers. 

As we receive additional information and add details to our plans for re-opening, we will post those plans and information on this website.  Updates will be made each week on Thursday.  If you have concerns, questions, suggestions, please refer those to me (marc.gee@psd201.org). 

Thank you for all you do for education in our community!

Sincerely,
Marc C. Gee

Superintendent

Preston School District

UPDATE 9-17-2020

COVID Mitigation Plan Update

If a student in school has been diagnosed with a positive COVID test

Only parents of students who had direct contact with the student will be alerted.

It is tremendously helpful if parents, upon learning of a positive case in a student, will contact the school as quickly as possible.  To that end we have created a method whereby parents, after hours, can contact the school to alert them of the positive test. The link will be on the district home page as of Friday, September 18th.  If positive results are received during the school day please contact the student’s school directly. 

After Hours Notification of positive COVID case:  Positive COVID Case Reporting Form

Form includes:

  • Name of Student
  • Parent/Guardian Name
  • Date and time of first symptoms
  • Date and time of test
  • Date and time received notification of positive result
  • Location of Testing
  • Swab testing or antigen/antibody testing
  • Students, besides those sitting by the student in class who have been within 6 feet for fifteen minutes or more.

Please notify as soon as possible.  If you receive positive results during the school day, please contact the school directly.

If students or staff were in close contact with a student or staff member with a positive COVID test. (any discussion of days is in terms of all days, not just school days)

  • If students or staff were wearing a mask when in close contact, no further action will be required.
  • Students and staff are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines to stay home for 14 days from last date of close contact (Within 6 ft for 15 minutes or more)
  • However, students and staff will only be required to stay home from school for 7 days from last date of close contact with a confirmed case.
    • Median date of infection is 5 days
    • With school-based close contact, most students will be required to miss school for 1-2 days.
  • If a student prefers to stay at school he/she will be required to wear a mask and symptoms will be checked regularly (daily) by school staff.  If symptoms appear, the student will be expected to go home.

Participation in Activities

Follow same guidelines as above

Testing for COVID as method for maintaining participation in school activities

There are two types of tests currently being offered to the general public.

  1. COVID-19 Viral Testing (nasal swab):  This test looks for the COVIC-19 virus in a machine that uses the PCR method to detect the virus.  It will detect the virus if you are currently infected.  It is most accurate in the middle of the infection period.  It will not detect the virus if you were infected in the past.
  2. COVID-19 Antibody Testing (blood):  This test detects the antibodies that your body develops to the COVID-19 Virus.  There are two types, IgM and IgG antibodies.  IgM indicates the body is currently infected and is only accurate 7-10 days after the most recent exposure to the virus.  IgG are only detected 7-10 days after an infection, indicating a past infection. 

While the district does not require or request students to be tested after a potential exposure it should be made clear that an antibody test cannot be used by the district to certify negative test results until 7 days have passed since the most recent potential exposure. 

The nasal swab test can be used to certify negative test results, regardless of the number of days after the most recent exposure. 

In any case, whether for extra-curricular activities or school attendance, if a student is symptomatic they should not participate is school classes or after school activities (games, practices, performances, etc). 

If the number of days recommended to stay home has passed and the student is still symptomatic, they should not participate in school classes or after school activities (games, practices, performances, etc).

UPDATE 9-8-2020 (en espanol)

Dear Preston School District parents, staff, and community members:

Today, we received notification that a student attending Preston High School has tested positive for COVID-19. While we must protect the privacy of the person involved, we believe it is best to communicate transparently with you so you can make well-informed decisions for your family.

There is nothing more important to us than the safety and health of our students, our staff, and their families. We have contacted those students and their families who had contact with this student and given recommendations for how to proceed.  If you or your student were not contacted by the principals or secretaries, your student was not identified as one who had been in contact with the student who tested positive.

As a district it is impossible to create a school environment that is both educationally sound and free of all possible avenues for virus transmission.  We will continue to follow all COVID-related safety procedures as outlined in the plan available on our website (prestonidahoschools.org).

COVID-19 is transmitted through person-to-person contact and through the exchange of respiratory droplets. As more cases are being confirmed across the state, including in our community, we must be vigilant. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you or any member of your family exhibit these symptoms, please contact your medical provider for advice immediately. Symptoms usually appear 2-14 days after exposure.

The CDC recommends the following best practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. 
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick. 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. 
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects. 
  • Stay at home when you or family members are sick.
  • Practice social distancing, leaving at least six feet between
          you and other people. 
  • Wear a cloth mask in public when you cannot social distance.

 

Our greatest priority is the safety of our students, staff, and community members. It is important to remember that children are greatly influenced by the reactions of adults when facing difficult circumstances. I encourage everyone to remain calm and to be empathic and respectful to those affected.

We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you and your family, especially as we face this challenging situation together. Thank you for your support of Preston School District.

Sincerely,

Marc Gee
 Superintendent

UPDATE 8-12-2020

While there have not been significant changes to the overall plan for the district, many details have been filled in in this updated plan for returning to school.  

UPDATED RETURN TO SCHOOL PLAN

UPDATE 7-30-2020

We continue to fine tune our plan based on the feedback you shared on the survey.  A final draft of our plans will be available next week (ideally on Monday or Tuesday).  We have, however, created the application for parents to fill out if they would like to participate in the virtual option, as well as having created a virtual learning Frequently Asked Questions page, which we will update as we get more questions about virtual learning.  Those links can be found here:

VIRTUAL LEARNING APPLICATION:  FALL 2020

VIRTUAL LEARNING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We are asking that this application be completed by the end of the day on Monday, August 3rd to give us time to prepare and organize the virtual classrooms.

UPDATE 7-16-2020

In last night's school board meeting, a draft plan was shared with the school board.  Some adjustments have been made to that draft plan and that plan can be found at the link on the next line.

PRESTON SCHOOL DISTRICT:  DRAFT PLAN FOR OPENING SCHOOLS IN FALL 2020

We encourage all who are affected by this plan to read through this document, understanding some of the limitations.  First, there are still many details that we will work out as school approaches and will inform you as those are solidified.  Second, this plan is still in draft form.  This is deliberate at this point, so as to give you as patrons of the district an opportunity to share your feedback.  To that end we have developed the following survey that we would ask all parents and any other interested parties to participate in.  It is a little long (about 20 questions), but your input will help us as we continue to develop and finalize our plan.  The link for this survey can be found on the next line.

PRESTON SCHOOL DISTRICT:  PARENT/PATRON SURVEY

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work towards a positive start to the school year and wonderful educational experience for your students. 

NOTE: This message is being shared via our district messaging service, but we will continue to update each Thursday via this webpage.

UPDATE 7-9-2020

Idaho State School Board members released the recommendations for schools opening in the fall today.  Here is a link to those re-opening guidelines.  Our district has a preliminary plan that is being shared among teachers and administrators this weekend.  Between now and Wednesday the 15th we will be adjusting the plan to accommodate for feedback from those groups.  The plan will then be presented in board meeting and on Thursday shared with the public for comment.  Thanks to those who have shared ideas and concerns with the district through teachers, administrators, or school board members.  

We know this is a stressful time and that having a plan is important, but we think it is equally important to have all the pertinent information before we share so that we can keep further adjustments to a minimum.

UPDATE 7-2-2020

Unfortunately there is not a lot of new news this week.  Mr. Gee and district principals met together Tuesday to work through some questions and details regarding some of the different scenarios.  State School Board recommendations did not come out this week as they had indicated it would.  For a news report regarding the state board process you can click here

We will continue monitor news from the state board, but we are still on schedule to have a plan to review with the Preston School Board by the July 15th board meeting and immediately following the board meeting we will release a survey for parents to share their thoughts and input on the plan.