ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – As children return to schools, the Centers for Disease Control released a new list of recommendations for parents. It includes conducting health screening on children every day before sending them to school.
St. Johns County Schools Superintendent Tim Forson sent an email to parents Tuesday night asking parents to comply with the recommendation.
“For those students returning to the brick and mortar platform, we ask that parents use the next two weeks to begin the habit of daily health screening and wearing of masks. I am confident that by working together and complying with procedures, we will have a wonderful start to the school year,” the email read in part.
The CDC’s checklist recommendation includes monitoring for the symptoms of coronavirus. The daily health screening is as follows.
You can find a printable version of the checklist with more instruction here.
Mothers Chrissy Henry and Tiffany Sral are sending their 5-year-old boys to Hendricks and Neptune Beach elementary schools when Duval County schools open next week.
“Do I feel ready to have to have a kindergartner? No. Do I feel ready to send them back to school for the first time? No. And with Covid? We’re just doing our best,” Sral said.
For 5-year-olds Max and Elijahh, face masks and face shields will be required inside their schools. While not every school district is requiring masks, many are asking parents to be mindful of safety guidelines.
Even though the CDC checklist is new, a lot of the items on the list are things parents are used to looking for.
“With a lot of the things on here like abdominal pain, and diarrhea -- all the normal things that I wouldn’t send him to school anyways, if he was experiencing a sore throat or a cough or anything that seemed out of the norm,” Henry said.
Students return to school in St. Johns County on August 31. Parents had a choice between virtual learning and in-person class instruction. For students returning in person, masks are required for students and staff.
The school will provide masks for students who don’t have one. The St. Johns County superintendent sent the following message to parents:
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope that you and your family are well and looking forward to the start of a new school year. Teachers and staff have returned to work and are busy planning for the unique challenges that this year will likely bring. Our teachers are excited and anxiously awaiting the arrival of students after this long period without face-to-face learning. Rest assured, we are prepared whether your child will be instructed face-to-face or through a virtual pathway. I support and appreciate the decision that you have made for your family.
As we have planned for both virtual and brick and mortar learning formats, we have continued to refine our state approved COVID-19 Return to School Plan. For families who have chosen one of the online options, much of your communication will occur in a virtual manner.
As students start the year at the school physically or transition back into the school after the year begins, it will be imperative that all students follow the safety protocols established by the district. Regular screening by parents at home and compliance with wearing masks at school will be necessary to minimize the health risks to students and school staff. All schools will have appropriate protective equipment for students and staff, and will be diligent in providing clean, sanitized facilities for learning.
Students will always be required to wear facial masks if they cannot or do not social distance. It is our goal to communicate and work with students and families related to school-based requirements and expectations embedded in our Return to School Plan. Not everyone will agree with the enforcement of masks, but it is our responsibility to keep safety at school the highest priority. Refusal to wear a mask may lead to a student being assigned to the Distance Learning platform for a specified period of time.
For those students returning to the brick and mortar platform, we ask that parents use the next two weeks to begin the habit of daily health screening and wearing of masks. I am confident that by working together and complying with procedures, we will have a wonderful start to the school year!
Tim Forson Superintendent of Schools St. Johns County School District