Mo. officials address questions on school reopening guidance

Mo. officials address questions on school reopening guidance
They aimed to clarify and provide consistency for Missouri school leaders and public health officials as they make decisions about reopening schools. (Source: Live 5)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - The Department of Health and Senior Services and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education answered some frequently asked questions on reopening guidance for kindergarten through 12th grade.

They aimed to clarify and provide consistency for Missouri school leaders and public health officials as they make decisions about reopening schools.

Currently, there are no statewide health mandates related to K-12 school reopening. Local school boards and local jurisdictions have the authority to implement more stringent or less restrictive preventative measures than those listed in the document.

“While closing school buildings in March was necessary, there are a number of serious consequences that can come from our students not attending school in-person,” Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven said. “These implications are being considered along with the continued risk of COVID-19. Therefore, school leaders and local health officials are working thoughtfully to reopen our schools – knowing that school operations must take place differently to better protect public health and combat the spread of the virus.”

DHSS and DESE leaders are working alongside a group of Missouri’s top pediatric infectious disease doctors to quickly answer additional questions about reactive strategies and procedures for K-12 schools. Those procedures that continue to be discussed include: how to isolate symptomatic students or staff members when they are at school, how to handle positive cases of COVID-19 and how to best be prepared to assist local health officials with contact tracing efforts.

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