COVID-19 Information

TO:  Emporia Public Schools
FROM: Community Relations Department
DATE:  August 25, 2022
RE: Updated Board of Education Approved COVID Protocols

On Wednesday, August 24, 2022, the Board of Education voted to adopt the recommendations related to COVID-19  that align with the Center for Disease Control and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Those recommendations are listed below and will be followed by Emporia Public Schools until further notice.

  • If COVID positive 
    • Individuals must isolate at home for a minimum of 5 days and be fever-free for 24 hours with symptom improvement before returning to work/school. A negative antigen test will not be required to come back to work/school. Individuals returning from isolation must wear a mask between days 6-10. Individuals may enroll in the Test to Know strategy as stated in the previous slide if they want to remove their mask before day 10. These tests must be arranged with the nursing staff.
  • As part of the Test to Know strategy if you think you have been exposed, the school district has access to at-home tests and will be highly encouraging our staff members, students, and their families to utilize at-home tests to follow this testing strategy.
  • Masking is recommended when community levels are high. This can be communicated to our staff, students, and families and allow those individuals to make their own decisions based on community levels.
  • For district buildings that maintain an absenteeism rate of less than 5% related to COVID, masking will be optional for students, staff, parents, and visitors. This percentage is considered the threshold for masking or using optional masking.
    • Percentage rates for COVID positives will be calculated weekly with buildings reporting the information to the Director of Nursing and the Human Resources Office. The updates will be made each Friday with recommendations for the following week to begin on Monday.
    • If a building reaches or exceeds the 5% of absenteeism related to COVID, universal masking is to be implemented at that building for at least two weeks. The principal and the building school nurse will work together to communicate with staff members, students, and family members.
    • The two-week period will continue to be implemented until the percentage of COVID positivity declines to less than 5%. Additional weeks may be needed until the building decreases to less than 5%.
  • Vaccination, and boosting (if eligible) is highly recommended. 
  • Testing and vaccination clinics will be offered throughout the school year. 
  • District athletes and activities will continue to follow KSHSAA guidelines.

COVID-19 Student-Athlete Return to Participation Guidelines

COVID-19 Notification Procedures – September 2022

COVID-19 Dashboard

Operations Plan

Please click the buttons to expand each box for more information.

Healthy Schools
  • Enhanced cleaning efforts will continue throughout the district.
  • Water fountains will be accessible, however, bottle fillers will be encouraged.
  • Regular hand washing and/or sanitization is strongly encouraged.
Caring Employees
  • District health staff will monitor student and employee COVID cases.
  • Staff, students and families are expected to self-monitor for COVID symptoms.
  • Encourage staying home when sick.
  • Encourage COVID testing by testing at school and providing at-home tests to the fullest extent possible.
Flexibility and Feedback
  • Adjustments may be necessary due to updated regulatory guidelines.
  • The USD 253 school community will be updated routinely on cases in the district and modifications to these guidelines.
Safety Precautions
  • All Federal funded COVID sick leave provisions expired in May of 2021.
  • All students and employees are expected to stay home when sick.
  • Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 will be excluded from school or work for the time period consistent with public health policy and statutory requirements.
  • COVID county transmissions will be updated on USD 253 website every Friday.
  • COVID-related absenteeism will be calculated weekly to determine if a building will have to be required to wear masks for two weeks. This will be tracked by nursing staff and adjustments will be coordinated with the Director of Nursing.
  • Vaccinations are strongly encouraged.
Student and Staff Social, Emotional, & Mental Health
  • Students or staff who are experiencing questions or uncertain feelings should contact the counselors, administrators, or another staff member at their school.
  • Communities in Schools staff are available at Emporia High School, Walnut, William Allen White, and Logan Avenue.
  • SAEBRS – this social and emotional screener will be conducted for all students 3 times per year.
  • New Directions is a confidential service available for staff members who may be experiencing difficulties. Employees have access to counseling, online resources, work-life solutions and more.
  • Crosswinds is available locally for families who may be experiencing difficulties – Crosswinds Counseling & Wellness – 1000 Lincoln St. – Emporia – 620-343-2211
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