• COVID Plan- January 10, 2022 Update

    COVID Highlights

    • All students will attend in-person every school day and schools will be at full capacity, as in a normal school year.
    • Masks are required indoors during the school day and on buses for all staff, students and visitors. Masks may become optional in individual schools if certain criteria are met. 
    • Parents and staff must maintain COVID illness protocol to ensure continuous in-person operations.
    • Visitors will be welcomed into buildings on a limited basis.
    • The standard school day hours will be 7:35AM-2:35PM (elems) and 8:40AM-3:40PM (middles/NHS).
    • There will be a 40-minute delayed start at all schools every Wednesday.
    • Social distancing will be practiced when possible, but it will not be possible in most cases.
    • When there is a positive case of COVID, we expect higher numbers of direct contacts due to less social distancing.
    • If you are identified as a COVID direct contact at school you will be notified and may need to quarantine. 
    • The COVID vaccine is not required but is available and recommended for students and staff ages 5 and above. 
    • School staff who are required to quarantine/isolate may need to use sick days to cover their time away from work.
    • Clubs will operate in person.
    • Field trips will return, as possible based on venue/location.
    • School lunch choices will be expanded.
    • Water fountains will be open.
    • Students K-12 and Early Childhood will have (5) scheduled eLearning from home days.
    • Students may share school or art supplies, sanitizing hands before and after use. 
    • Noblesville Schools will continue to maintain weekly reporting of confirmed cases of COVID for public access but will no longer send direct messages for each case. 

     

    Academic Support

    We know some parents have concerns about academic loss and we want to assure you that our teachers are professionals and they will meet students where they are in their learning. 

    Teachers will be assessing, instructing and challenging academic growth, as appropriate for each student, and will provide additional academic support, if needed.  

     

    Attendance 

    We’ve reviewed our overall attendance policies for staff and students, and have eliminated any attendance recognitions that could encourage attending school when not feeling well.

    No consequences will be assigned if students are absent due to illness or mandatory quarantine. 

    Levels of absenteeism among student and staff populations will be monitored daily.

    Parents should continue to follow their school attendance reporting procedures if their child will be absent.  

    Student handbook language on this subject reads: 

    Note that all expectations and procedures related to absences and makeup work will be applied with reasonable consideration given to the effects of COVID-19 on students and their families.

      

    Cafeteria

    For the 2021-2022 school year, the federal government will continue to provide free school meals for all students K-12. 

    Water fountains will be open, but water bottles are still recommended and can be filled at fountains. 

    In our cafeterias, utensils and most food selections will be pre-wrapped. 

    Meal options will be increased over last school year (back to normal), but a-la-carte choices may be limited and there will be no self-serve food bars. 

    As always, students can also bring their lunch from home. 

    No cash or checks will be accepted in lunch lines. Cash and checks will still be accepted in the office for prepayments and prepaid deposits can also be made online at K12PaymentCenter.com.

    Students will check out using keypads, with assistance as needed. 

    Cafeteria tables and serving lines will be cleaned between each lunch period.

    Free/reduced meal applications will be available on our website later this summer. Paper applications will also be available at any school or at the Educational Services Center. Even with free meals this year, families are encouraged to complete these forms, if applicable, to receive reduced curricular and programming fees.  

    For more food service information including menus, please visit our website

     

    Calendar/Schedule

    You can find school calendars on our website

    New for the 2021-2022 school year, students K-12 and Early Childhood will have (5) scheduled eLearning from home days. eLearning days provide our educators time for academic planning and professional development, ensuring that our teachers remain highly skilled and able to provide the best classroom experiences for students. eLearning days also provide students with flexibility and ownership over their studies. 

    The 2021-2022 district eLearning days will be: 

    • August 25, 2021
    • September 22, 2021
    • November 3, 2021
    • February 9, 2022
    • March 2, 2022 

    Your school may have additional eLearning days. You will receive specific information on your school schedule from your principal. 

    In past years, we have had a 30-minute early release every Wednesday at all schools. We will not be releasing early next school year and instead are implementing a new 40-minute delayed start at all schools every Wednesday. Like eLearning days, this time provides our educators an important opportunity to plan and learn together. 

    Beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays the school day will be: 

     

    Elementary                       7:35AM-2:35PM

    Middles and NHS               8:40AM-3:40PM

    Beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, on Wednesdays (with a 40-minute delayed start) the school day will be: 

     

    Elementary                       8:15AM-2:35PM

    Middles and NHS               9:20AM-3:40PM

      

    Class Schedules/Classroom Assignments

    All students will attend in-person every school day and schools will be at full capacity, as in a normal school year.

    Students who were 100% virtual learners during the 2020-2021 school year will also return in-person for the 2021-2022 school year. If your student has documented personal medical issues that prohibit their ability to attend school in-person, you may contact your principal to discuss services we provide in support of students with significant medical needs. 

    Schools will share specific classroom assignments, schedules, locker assignments, and return to school information in late July. 

     

    Classroom Practices

    Students may share school or art supplies and will be asked to sanitize hands before and after shared supply use.

    Classrooms will continue to keep doors closed and locked while students are present in the classroom for the safety and security of students and staff.

    Hand sanitizer will be available in classrooms and students will have the opportunity to clean hands as they enter/exit classrooms. 

    Practices will be designed appropriately for students with disabilities.  

     

    Cleaning

    We will continue to use enhanced cleaning practices and provide extra hand washing materials and cleaning supplies. 

    Proper handwashing techniques and other health and safety procedures like respiratory etiquette will be taught and reinforced. Hand sanitizer will be available when hand washing is not possible.

    In addition to our regular facility cleaning, we’ll continue to disinfect more often in common areas like hallways, cafeterias, water fountains, bathrooms, playgrounds and buses, as well as high-touch surfaces like door handles and desks. We’ll also be using electrostatic disinfectants as needed in buildings and buses for intense after-hours cleaning. 

    Soft furniture has been removed wherever possible and teachers will work with students to regularly clean their own workspaces. 

    We’re already meeting the Indiana State Department of Health’s recommended environmental steps to reduce indoor COVID transmission through humidity, air-conditioning, air filters, etc.

     

    Closing Schools

    As we were able to be open every day for the 2020-2021 school year, we do not anticipate needing to close schools due to COVID. If we were to have significant absenteeism or COVID spread, we would follow our absenteeism policies and any direction from state or local health departments. This could include moving a classroom(s), school, or schools to online learning for a period of time. 

     

    Communications/COVID Data 

    Noblesville Schools will continue to maintain weekly reporting of confirmed cases of COVID by school. Positive cases and close contacts must be reported by schools under the Indiana Disease Reporting rule.

    Noblesville Schools COVID Overview Data 2021-2022

    Data is updated every Monday morning when school is in session to reflect the previous week. We will no longer send messages for each case of COVID. Anyone identified as a direct contact will be notified directly.     

    Last year's overview data 2020-2021                     

     

    COVID-19/Illness 

    Anyone experiencing any symptoms of illness may be excluded from school buildings and events.  

    If your child is ill (or quarantined at home), teachers will provide missed school work per our normal procedures. 

    Parents need to be attentive to the daily health of their children and should ensure their child is symptom free and safe to attend school each day. School staff should also ensure they are symptom free before coming to school/work. 

    Noblesville Schools will observe the 100-degree temperature as the fever threshold for illness. Please contact the school nurse with concerns or questions about your student’s current health symptoms. 

    Parents should continue to follow their school attendance reporting procedures if their child will be absent.  

    Daily health screening guidance for parents from ISDH. Spanish version

    Schools will not conduct COVID-19 tests. Testing Sites in Noblesville. PCR tests are recommended, however positive home tests will be accepted. Negative home tests are not accepted. A negative PCR or rapid test at a facility is required.

    Suspected COVID

    Suspected COVID symptoms include: 

    • Fever (low grade, less than 100 degrees)
    • Nasal congestion
    • Sneezing
    • Body aches
    • Sore throat
    • Headache

    If a student or staff member exhibits a potential COVID-19 symptom they may not attend school until one of the following have been met: 

    1. Documentation of a negative COVID test (home negative tests are not accepted. A PCR/rapid test should be done) + fever free for 24 hours (without fever-reducing medicine) + symptoms significantly improved/resolved + not identified as a direct contact exposure

    (OR)

    1. Isolate at home for 5 days from the first day symptoms first appeared + fever free for 24 hours (without fever-reducing medicine) + symptoms significantly improved/resolved + not identified as a direct contact exposure + masked upon return to school for days 6-10 (including during extracurriculars, recess, PE, athletics, etc.) and will be given an alternate lunch location. If day 6-10 guidelines cannot be followed individuals will need to quarantine for a full 10 days. 

    (OR)

    1. Medical documentation of a non-COVID diagnosis provided + fever free for 24 hours (without fever-reducing medicine)

    Contact the school nurse to provide documentation and/or ask questions. 

    The Hamilton County Health Department and/or Indiana State Department of Health may require additional documentation or impose additional medical restrictions on a case-by-case basis. 

     

    Confirmed COVID

    If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID, they will not be able to return to school until all of the following conditions are met (1) out of school for at least 5 days, (2) symptoms significantly improved/resolved, (3) fever-free (without fever-reducing medicine) for 24 hours. (4) masked upon return to school for days 6-10 (including during extracurriculars, recess, PE, athletics, etc.) and will be given an alternate lunch location. If these guidelines cannot be followed, individuals will need to quarantine for a full 10 days. 

    Contact the school nurse to provide documentation and/or ask questions.

     

    Household Member

    If a household member is referred for COVID-19 testing, all unvaccinated students living under the same roof should remain home from school until the findings of the COVID-19 test.  

    If a household member tests positive for COVID-19, all unvaccinated students living under the same roof will remain home from school and quarantine. 

    Contact the school nurse to provide documentation and/or ask questions.

     

    Contact Tracing/Quarantines

    Per state department of health guidelines, we are required to contact trace all confirmed cases of COVID. 

    Direct contacts are defined as an exposure of 0-3 feet to a COVID positive individual for 15 minutes or more. 

    Direct COVID contacts at school will be notified and asked to identify their vaccination status. Quarantine could be recommended. Quarantines for other direct contact situations may be required by the health department.

    Contact the school nurse to provide documentation and/or ask questions.

    When masks are required we no longer need to quarantine healthy, direct COVID contacts from classrooms. Quarantines may still be required for direct contact that occurs outside the classroom (lunch, athletics, home, etc.) or for those who are experiencing symptoms of illness.

    Indiana Department of Health Quarantine Guidance for Schools

    Wear a Mask, Stay in School

    In general, vaccinated individuals identified as a close contact will not need to quarantine unless they have symptoms of illness. However, we may quarantine vaccinated individuals in an outbreak situation or in other situations on a case-by-case basis. CDC guidance now requires those ages 18+ to receive a booster shot (if it has been 5+ months since their second vaccination) to be considered “fully vaccinated”. We expect this could change in the near future to include those ages 12-17. This means if ages 18+ want to avoid quarantines, they must be fully vaccinated including a booster (when applicable). We recommend parents with children of all ages speak with their medical provider about vaccines and boosters. 

    Outbreaks are defined as situations where (1) positive COVID cases are spreading to both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, (2) numerous positive cases are found to be related to one another, (3) illness absenteeism is significant, and (4) a high level of positive COVID cases appear in a rapid, high spike. 

    School staff who are required to quarantine/isolate will need to use sick days to cover their time away from work.

     

    Extracurricular Activities

    We will continue athletics and performing arts, with guidance from the Indiana High School Athletic Association and the Indiana State School Music Association.  

    Clubs and extracurricular activities will return to in-person meetings.

    Masks are recommended for spectators at public extracurricular activities such as athletic and performing arts events that do not take place during the school day.

     

    Field Trips

    Field trips will return as possible, depending on venue/location guidelines. 

     

    Funding

    Noblesville Schools received Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) federal funding to assist with COVID management. To learn more, go here

     

    Immunizations

    Scheduled immunizations are required every year and students must have required immunizations, unless they have an exemption on file. 

    Please note that students entering kindergarten, 6th and 12th grades require new immunizations and all grades now require a two-vaccine immunization series for Hepatitis A.  

    The COVID vaccine is not required, but is encouraged for students and staff ages 5 and above. 

    Go here for more information on immunizations. 

     

    Masks

    Masks are recommended for spectators at public extracurricular activities such as athletic and performing arts events that do not take place during the school day.

    Once the metrics below are both met for two consecutive weeks, qualifying school buildings will be “mask optional”. Masks could again become required should a school go above either one of these thresholds. 

    Positive COVID case rate of 1% or less (based on overall building population).

    AND

    Quarantine rate of 3% or less (based on overall building population).

    We will notify parents and staff when these criteria have been met. Please note that this would be January 26, 2022 at the earliest. 

    The COVID mask benchmarks and timing are based on the following considerations: 

    • Honoring significantly increased COVID-related workloads of teachers, nurses, bus drivers and other employees critical to operating our schools.
    • Overall COVID spread in Hamilton County.
    • Vaccination rates of school-age children.
    • The ability for students ages 5-11 to be fully vaccinated. 
    • Guidance from health professionals.
    • Compliance with state health orders. (Currently, universal masking during the school day allows us to significantly reduce the quarantining of healthy students. The state has indicated they plan to reevaluate their quarantining requirements in January.)
    • Federal mandate for masking on buses.
    • Quarantine rates from activity happening outside of school.

    The following organizations support masking in schools to reduce the spread of COVID: 

    • Indiana Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics
    • Indiana Academy of Family Physicians
    • Indiana Department of Health
    • Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
    • American Academy of Pediatrics
    • Community Health Network

    Wear a Mask, Stay in School

    The CDC now recommends surgical masks for best protection. These are not required at Noblesville Schools and cloth masks are still acceptable. 

    Improve How Your Mask Protects You- CDC  

    Mental Health/Counseling

    We recognize the importance of providing students and staff with extra emotional support as they return to school this year. Parents and students can expect to see special welcome activities, extra time for building relationships and establishing new routines, and focus on coping strategies. 

    Our counselors, social workers, and psychologists are ready to assist students and staff in need of support. We provide individual and small group mental health supports. Additionally, school-based mental health professionals through Community Health Network are available. 

    Parents with questions regarding their student’s emotional well-being, should contact their school’s counselor or social worker. 

    Additional information related to basic needs are available from the school counselor or social worker.  

     

    Miller Explorers (ME)

    Noblesville Schools’ Miller Explorers before/after school care is offered onsite at all seven elementary schools and will follow the same health and safety protocols as our schools. 

    You can register for morning care, afternoon care or both. For more information and to enroll, visit Miller Explorers

     

    Nurse/School Clinic 

    There will be separate areas created in our school nurse clinics—one for regular care and a designated area for anyone who presents any signs or symptoms of illness.  

    Parents should contact the school nurse with questions about illness symptoms, specific concerns regarding a child’s medical care or to inform staff of a chronic medical condition such as, seasonal allergies, strep throat or frequent ear infections. 

     

    Restrooms

    Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day. 

    Students will be asked to use proper handwashing techniques and will wash their hands after recess and before lunch. 

    Restrooms will have CDC posters to promote proper washing techniques. 

     

    School Supplies

    Elementary & middle school supply list information is posted on the front page of your school’s website. 

    NHS does not maintain a school supply list. NHS students should plan to bring their iPads, a notebook, and a pencil on the first day and will get more information on required items from teachers.  

    If you need assistance in obtaining school supplies, please contact your school counselor.

     

    Social Distancing 

    Due to the size of our facilities and student body, and our decision to return to full capacity for the 2021-2022 school year, social distancing will not be possible in most cases. 

    Families and staff should expect that this may drive larger numbers of direct contacts and possible quarantines (for those who are not vaccinated) when positive COVID cases occur. 

     

    Technology

    Schools will issue (or in many cases have already issued) iPads to students for the new 2021-2022 school year. 

    All students with a district issued iPad will be enrolled in our device protection program, MillerCare+

    This link provides options for students in need of assistance with internet access.

    We encourage regular cleaning of iPads. Learn more about how to clean Apple products at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204172

      

    Transportation

    Per federal order, masks are required on buses for students and drivers. 

    Buses will be cleaned between routes and at the end of the day, and students will wash their hands after entering school.

    Contact transportation@nobl.k12.in.us with questions regarding bus service. 

     

    Travel/Vacations

    Travel to high-risk COVID areas outside the US is discouraged for those who are not vaccinated. 

    Travelers should follow CDC/Indiana Department of Health COVID recommendations. 

     

    Visitors/Volunteers

    We plan to welcome visitors and volunteers back into our buildings this school year. 

    Visitors will unfortunately not be able to eat lunch in elementary school cafeterias at the beginning of the school year. Elementary schools will evaluate COVID safety and cafeteria space and may welcome lunch visitors as the school year progresses.  

    Volunteers will be allowed on a limited basis, typically not in close proximity to students. This will also be evaluated as the school year progresses.

    Please be sure your background check status is current and approved. For more information on our background check/visitor process, please go here

    Masks are required for all visitors. 

    Please note visitors and volunteers will be asked for their vaccination status if they are identified as a direct COVID contact at school. 

     

    Note: This plan is designed to meet criteria for the Return to In-Person Instruction Plan, as required by the US Department of Education as a part of ESSER III funding.