WHMS Opening Day Information
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Dear Parents/Guardians of WHMS Students,
Recently the school district released an updated addendum to our Health and Safety plan for the Wayne Highlands School District that can be found on our website (https://www.whsdk12.com/News/2021-2022/08202021). We want to highlight specific portions of that plan and address how it will impact the opening of school for students at the Wayne Highlands Middle School. Students that attended the middle school last year will be familiar with some of the parts of this plan and several parts will be new to all students entering or returning to the middle school.
Per the updated plan, face coverings/masking will be required when the level of Community Transmission is in the High Transmission category for Wayne County during two consecutive weeks. Currently, Wayne County is in a High Transmission category. Updated data will be released and analyzed on Friday August 27th, if the county stays in a High Category all students and staff will report to the first day of school with properly fitted face coverings. If the level of transmission in the community changes at that point to Substantial, Moderate, or Low, then face coverings would be recommended, but not required for the first day. During times throughout the school year that face coverings/masks are required, please remember that teachers will still be able to institute masks breaks for periods of time when proper distancing is able to be accomplished.
Arrival at School/Breakfast
When students arrive at school they will have the opportunity to pick up a grab-n-go breakfast that they can eat during homeroom. All students entering school early should report to the cafeteria and 8th graders that arrive after 8:00 A.M. will report directly to the LGR.
Traffic in the hallways will travel in two directions and students will be switching classes according to their schedules. In addition, during lunch, students will be spaced out to maximize physical distancing while eating. Like last year, we will be utilizing the cafeteria and gymnasium to provide effective distancing during eating times.
Unlike last year, all students will be issued a locker. Students will be given time and assistance to figure out their locker combinations. Lockers will be used for the first time by our 6th and 7th grade students.
There will be one temporary change to the student dress code to start the school year. Students will be permitted to wear shorts until October 31st. Any shorts students choose to wear must meet the following guidelines:
- Need to be at least fingertip length
- No rips, holes, or tears
Physical Education Classes
Students will be utilizing the locker rooms and are expected to change for physical education classes. Students will be able to purchase a gym uniform or must wear appropriate athletic clothing that is approved by their physical education teacher.
We will continue to contact trace if notified of a COVID positive case within the school setting. Students and staff following the updated mitigation measures outlined will be helpful in preventing quarantines and potential spread. If it is determined a student has been in close contact of a positive COVID case, he/she would need to quarantine. However, students would be exempt from quarantining if they meet any of the following provisions:
- Provide medical documentation that they have been fully vaccinated (2 weeks after the final dose).
- Provide medical documentation that they have had COVID within the last three months.
- Provide medical documentation that they have COVID antibodies.
- It was determined that the person that is a positive case and the person who is a close contact were both wearing a properly fitted mask during the exposure, the close contact would not need to quarantine.
If it is determined that a student is a close contact and they do not meet any of the above exemptions, then they will follow the 5, 7, 10-day rule. Five days after the last known contact, the student is eligible for a COVID test. If the test result is negative, the student can return to school on the 7th day after contact. A student is eligible to return to school on the 10th day after the last known contact if there is no testing.
As we begin a new school year with an ever-changing pandemic, we appreciate your flexibility and understanding. We will frequently keep our students and parents/guardians updated with any changes to the plan as soon as they are made. We will also go over each of the above topics in detail with our student body on the first day of school. Our ultimate goal is to keep our students safe while still providing an excellent educational experience, and we thank you in advance for your collaboration in accomplishing these goals.
John D. Kretschmer
Gerard Burns, Jr.