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Principal's Message 1/9

Good afternoon Githens families!  This is Dr. Lanier with important information regarding COVID-19 protocols and reminders, sports, report cards, and school pictures.  Please listen carefully to all details.

As a result of the rapid spread of the omicron variant, all Principals have been asked to review the following information regarding COVID with our school communities as there have been recent updates to the StrongSchoolsNC toolkit regarding COVID-19 protocols following the increase in cases.  Please note, Githens Middle School will continue to follow COVID-19 protocols in an attempt to minimize and contain the spread of the virus.  Please be mindful of and adhere to the following for the safety of others:

  • If your scholar does not feel well today or you know they were around unvaccinated and/or unmasked individuals, keep them home and let them get the rest they need.  Please, don’t risk potentially spreading COVID-19 to others by allowing your scholar to "power through" their symptoms. 

  • If you’re waiting on the results of a COVID test for yourself, a sibling, or your scholar,  please DO NOT send your scholar to school as you should assume they are positive.

  • Parents must notify the Principal immediately of a positive diagnosis.

  • A child who has tested positive for COVID-19 should be kept at home and must follow the health department’s guidance on isolation requirements.  

  • Masks are required for all students five years of age and older, teachers and staff, and visitors in accordance with recommendations of the CDC, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the Durham County Department of Health.  Please DO NOT send your scholar to Githens without a mask.

  • A child who has been exposed to an individual with COVID-19 at home should be kept at home and follow the health department’s guidance on quarantine requirements.

  • Parents should keep all sick children at home, and any student who becomes sick while on campus will be sent home.

  • The siblings of sick children should also be kept home.  The siblings of sick children will be sent home if a student becomes sick while on campus.

  • Parents will have three options for sick children to return to school whether they were kept home or were sent home from school:

    • A negative COVID-19 test result AND symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, or

    • A doctor’s note with an alternate diagnosis AND symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, or

    •  If the parent is unable to exercise the options above, then the student will not be allowed to return for 5 days, meaning your scholar comes back on the 6th day, as DPS assumes the student could have COVID-19.

    • Parents will be notified if their child has been identified as a close contact to an individual who has COVID-19 at school.

DPS can ONLY accept a rapid test (not a rapid home test) when a child is sick or symptomatic.  Anyone deemed as close contact exposure must have a PCR test 5 days after exposure prior to returning to school.  All asymptomatic students must have a PCR test.

The boys and girls basketball team will travel to Lakewood on Tuesday and Shepard on Thursday.  Games start at 4:00.  Parents, a reminder that due to the increased level of potential spread produced by the omicron variant, DPS will now require student-athletes to wear masks at all times, including in the field of play.  This requirement comes as an additional safety measure for our student-athletes and should be implemented immediately.  Coaches will continue to be required to wear masks at all times.  The DPS Athletic Department has decided to enforce a limit on the number of tickets sold to spectators for athletic events.  The limits are as followed: Home Team – four (4) tickets per athlete and coach; Visiting Team – two (2) tickets per athlete and coach.  Parents must receive a code from Ms. Stackhouse in order to purchase tickets.

Friday, January 14, is the last day of the quarter.  Report cards will be available to view the following week through PowerSchool Parent Portal.  If you have yet to sign up for an account, there are links in the email that accompanies this phone message that will walk you through the process.  Please note, students are out of school on Monday, January 17, Tuesday, January 18, and Wednesday, January 19.

Finally, school pictures have been postponed until the spring due to the rapid spread of the omicron variant.  It is the top priority of this administration to ensure the health and safety of our scholars and staff and we will work to eliminate any possible threat to their safety and security.

That’s all for now.  Have a great week!

Links:

PDF: How to Set up a Parent Portal Account (Eng | Spa)

Video: How to Set up a Parent Portal Account (Eng | Spa)

Web: How to Create a Gmail Account

Web: How to Create a Yahoo Account

PDF: How to Complete Returning Student Process (Eng | Spa)

Video: How to Complete Returning Student Process (Eng | Spa)

Immunization Link: https://immunize.nc.gov/schools/k-12.htm

Register to (COVID) test your student today with this link: https://home.color.com/covid/sign-up/start?partner=tf-dur-684-students 

Ticket Spicket:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w-NAcWmKMsxOKq2j3JTCpAYqLyyy11wP/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=111524642789948469711&rtpof=true&sd=true