Dear Boone County Families,
The first three weeks of January have been difficult, as the omicron variant of COVID has presented unique challenges this month. The omicron variant has shown to spread rapidly and produce milder symptoms. Serious complications from this COVID variant are less likely and appear more often in persons that have not received the vaccine or have underlying health conditions. Our district Return to School plan has been updated with the recent recommendations regarding quarantine and isolation from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the KY Department of Public Health. You can find this document on our district website.
Our priority remains keeping our students and staff safe and our schools open for daily, in-person instruction. The COVID-19 daily incidence rate for Boone County is currently 220.3 cases/100k population and remains at the high level. We will continue implementing all layers of our safety strategies, including the wearing of a facemask, until further notice. Below is a two-week summary of COVID-19 positive cases and quarantines for our 20,000+ students:
- Week ending 1/14 875 student positive cases 577 student quarantines
- Week ending 1/21 950 student positive cases 424 student quarantines
Across our nearly 4,000 employees, we recorded the following:
- Week ending 1/14 115 employee positive cases 4 employee quarantine.
- Week ending 1/21 144 employee positive cases 1 employee quarantines.
According to the CDC, individuals that have taken the vaccine are protected from the most severe cases of the disease. Booster shots are 90 percent effective against hospitalization with the omicron variant. We continue to offer the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine or booster voluntarily to our families, employees, and community members. The clinics are scheduled for Monday, January 24th through Friday, January 28th, at one school site each day of the week. These sites are Cooper High School, Ryle High School, Conner High School, Boone County High School, and Jones Middle School. The vaccine is available for anyone age 5-adult. Please use this LINK to set up an appointment; more information will also available on our district website. These voluntary vaccination clinics are held as a service to our students, employees, and community. The Boone County School District does not receive any monetary reward or compensation.
Testing for COVID for students and employees is available at all Boone County Schools and the Transportation Department through our school nurses and during the times our partner, Wild Health, conduct the test-to-stay program for our students. If you have questions or needs for COVID testing or vaccines, you may go to The Health Collaborative, a regional organization of over 16 major hospitals in the tri-state area. COVID-19 vaccines and testing are also available at the Wild Health location on the 2nd floor of the Florence Mall.
The typical challenges of winter weather continues and sometimes affects the safe transportation of students to and from school. We routinely check the roads across our county on the mornings when snow or ice are predicted and our transportation staff and school staff do a tremendous job of salting and plowing the roads, parking lots, and sidewalks of our school campuses. Please be sure to thank your bus drivers, custodial staff, and district transportation staff for their hard work.
During the last three weeks, our school leaders, teachers, and classified staff have been incredible in their efforts to keep our schools open for in-person instruction with our students. Each day our school district may have employees absent in a variety of positions: teachers, administrators, paraeducators, bus drivers, support staff, etc. We do have a large pool of substitute teachers. However, when we cannot get a substitute in place for an absent employee then we have an “unfilled” position. Positions that are unfilled in a school must be covered by other employees. This means that administrators or other teachers must cover the classes of an unfilled teacher position. These last few weeks district leaders have assisted with covering positions in our schools. Our employees, across the board, have worked hard on behalf of our students.
We have made progress in recruiting new employees, however, we still have an urgent need for additional substitute teachers, bus drivers, paraeducators, and custodians and would like to invite people to apply for these positions or others on the Employment Opportunities page of our school district website (https://www.applitrack.com/booneky/onlineapp/).
Thank you for your care and support and remember that we all have the same end goal. We want a safe and healthy place for students and staff in our schools, a place where they can focus on learning and teaching.
Please keep yourself and your family safe,
Superintendent of Schools