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2021-22 COVID-19 Response

OUR PLAN AS WE RETURN TO CAMPUS

As we announced this summer, University High School will begin the 2021-22 school year with all students on campus together. In-person learning will be the primary mode of instruction this year; e-learning will only be used in cases of quarantine or other school-approved, medical-related extended absences. Writing during the middle of the pandemic, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy stated that “…healthy relationships are as essential as vaccines and ventilators for our national recovery.” We worked hard to remain connected and grounded in our relationships through the last year of social distancing and hybrid learning, but we know that our community and our connections will be even stronger when we are fully present together this year.

In the months since the vaccine became available to those in our school community, many have chosen to get vaccinated. As of early August, 100% of our faculty and staff are vaccinated against COVID-19, and 80% of our students are vaccinated. 

Throughout this pandemic, we have followed the guidance of the CDC, the Indiana State Department of Health, and the Hamilton County Health Department to great success. Cases and transmission of COVID-19 in our school community have been very limited. While we had hoped to begin this school year without requiring masks, Hamilton, Boone, and Marion counties are areas of substantial COVID-19 spread currently, the CDC has recommended that people wear masks while indoors at schools. As such, we believe it is the right choice to begin the school year with all people wearing masks while indoors. We will continue to evaluate this decision based on the CDC’s reported community transmission levels, and we hope to be able to move to a mask-optional policy soon. 

Policies & Practices for 2021-22

Below please find details about the health and safety policies and practices for the upcoming school year.

General Health Policies & Practices

Here’s what families should know about general health policies and procedures at University High School.

  • Students should not come to campus when they are sick.
  • If a student experiences a fever, they must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • If a student will miss school due to sickness (or any reason), parents/guardians should call the attendance line or email Kathy Davis (kdavis@universityhighschool.org) to report the absence. Unreported absences count as unexcused.
  • All students should perform a daily temperature check before coming to campus each day.
  • Practice proper hand washing by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds whenever hands are visibly soiled, before and after eating, and after using the restroom.
  • All students should practice good sneezing technique, doing so into a disposable tissue or shirt sleeve rather than into a hand.
  • Students who have an extended medical absence (such as quarantining) will be able to join classes via Zoom.  There is not otherwise an elearning option for classes.
  • The following are the required Indiana immunizations. Please send immunization records to Kathy Davis (kdavis@universityhighschool.org).

Here’s what families should know about our facilities and how we are mitigating virus spread.

  • We have water bottle filling stations on each floor of each building. Students should bring a water bottle. Water fountains are disabled.
  • We continue to drive our HVAC systems to purge buildings each morning and cycle air all day at a faster rate than we did pre-pandemic.
  • We have hand sanitizer at in all rooms.
  • We have picnic tables, chairs, and benches outside to encourage students to be outside as much as possible.
COVID-19 Policies & Practices

Here’s what families should know about COVID-19 policies and procedures at University High School.
(Please note that these policies are subject to change based on updated guidance and the public health situation.)

  • Masks are required while indoors on campus regardless of vaccination status. Masks may be removed for eating and drinking. 
  • Masks are required on buses, no matter vaccine status.
  • Vaccinations are highly encouraged for those who are eligible
    • Students do not need to provide proof of vaccination if they were vaccinated in Indiana. We can review state student immunization data. 
    • Students immunization outside of Indiana should send proof to Ms. Davis.
  • Per Indiana Department of Health (IDOH), families must report a student COVID-19 diagnosis to the school. 
  • Per IDOH, UHS is required to report ALL COVID-19 cases to the local health department and enter them into the IDOH K-12 school portal. 
  • Students and employees who are positive for COVID-19 will isolate, per current IDOH and CDC guidelines.
  • If we have a COVID-positive person on campus, we will contact vaccinated and unvaccinated close contacts. 
  • People who are fully vaccinated or recovered from a COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days, who are a direct contact with someone positive for COVID-19, will monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Other direct contacts will quarantine. Return policy to UHS from isolation and quarantine follows CDC and IDOH guidelines. We will convey current standards to affected individuals.
  • Because we are not mandating 6’ social distancing this year, we expect contact tracing will show that every student in a given classroom is a direct contact with all classmates.