COVID Communication Protocols
City Schools of Decatur is committed to protecting the safety of our staff and students. We are making every effort to plan for and execute mitigation strategies and will continue to take appropriate action steps to work to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Furthermore, City Schools of Decatur leaders are committed to communicating information regarding close contact exposure, probable and positive COVID-19 cases, and quarantine information in a timely manner.
The following Q&A will provide families with details about what to expect.
What happens if CSD becomes aware that a student or staff member in your child’s school, bus, or activity tests positive for COVID-19?
- The CSD contact tracing team will identify and communicate with “close contacts.”
How is “close contact” determined?
- The CSD contact tracing team uses the CDC’s definition of “close contact.” Click this link to view the CDC definition and additional information about close contact.
If it is determined that my child was in “close contact” with someone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, how will I be contacted?
- A phone call to let you know about the close contact.
- If during school hours, you will be contacted to discuss quarantine protocol. You may be asked to pick up your child from school immediately.
- If we are notified of a positive case after school hours or evening hours and weekends, parents may receive an email and/or text letting them know about a possible exposure. Parents will receive additional information the following day confirming or not if their child is determined to be close contact. This will allow the additional time needed to contact trace.
- A follow-up email with additional information, including quarantine options and how long your student will need to stay home.
- Email from your child’s teacher or school regarding at-home quarantine learning.Will I receive a notification if my child is not determined to have been in “close contact”?
- All families and staff in the school, bus, or activity will be sent a message informing them that a positive case has been identified.
Will a community-wide announcement go out about positive cases?
- No. Schools will only send out notifications to staff and families in the school. Interested community members may see the reported cases and quarantine numbers posted on the district website. The report is updated every Monday and only after contact tracing has been completed. The report is updated weekly to coincide with state and local reporting. Please note -- the quarantine numbers in the report are only for staff or students quarantined due to exposure during school-related activities. We may be notified that a student is quarantined due to activities outside of school or school-related activities. Those numbers will not be included in our total count.
This graphic illustrates the communications process.
How and when will the report be updated?
- The report on the CSD website is updated every Monday at noon.
Why is the report not updated in real-time?
- While the report is only posted weekly, parents and staff are notified of positive cases in their child’s school or in the facility where they work in real-time via email. The report on the website is posted weekly to allow time for our contact tracing protocol to be fully completed. Our school health team, contact tracing teams, and district and school leadership constantly monitor the status of COVID transmission to determine the need for adjustments to our mitigation strategies.
What is in the report?
- The COVID report outlines the total number of positive cases reported in our facilities as well as the number of staff and students in quarantine.
- The quarantine numbers in the report are only for staff or students quarantined due to exposure during school-related activities. We may be notified that a student or staff is quarantined due to activities outside of school-related activities. Those numbers will not be included in our total count. For example, if a student is exposed to COVID-19 at their recreation league team practice and must quarantine, that student will receive at-home quarantine learning, but their quarantine will not be reflected in the dashboard since it was outside of school.
- Information related to positive cases in afterschool programs, including programs run by the City of Decatur, is not included in the report.
My child’s teacher has been absent for several days. Could this absence be a positive case, and we were not notified?
- Keep in mind that all absences are not related to COVID-19. An extended absence is not necessarily a positive case of COVID-19. There are multiple reasons (another illness, an injury, family emergency, staying home with a quarantined child, etc.) that could cause an absence of multiple days. If the teacher’s absence was due to COVID-19, all close contacts would be notified.
Sick at School
What happens if my child gets sick while at school?
- As always, if your child becomes ill while at school, they may see the school nurse. If it is determined that your child is displaying any COVID-related symptoms, you will be contacted to pick your child up immediately.
- If parents have provided written consent, students can receive a BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 test at school. The school can not accept verbal consent for testing. The test will be administered by the school nurse or a member of the school health team. Click here to learn more about rapid testing in CSD.
It is important to remember the school/home partnership when sending your child to school. Parents will be asked to monitor and screen their children daily for any COVID-related symptoms. For all of our staff and students’ safety, children should not be sent to school if they display any of the COVID-19 symptoms.
Furthermore, we ask that families notify your child’s school immediately upon receiving a positive diagnosis for your child. The more immediate the notification, the better our staff will be at determining close contact and quarantine timeframes.
Who do I contact if my child is diagnosed with COVID-19?
- Contact the school nurse or principal by email or phone to disclose the diagnosis.
Will the school communicate with me regarding when my child may return to school after a diagnosis?
- The school nurse or a member of the CSD contact tracing team will communicate with families regarding return to school timelines.
Who will the district communicate with about my child’s diagnosis?
- We will communicate with the Department of Public Health for the purposes of doing contact tracing. Click here to learn more about DPH's reporting requirements.
Will you release my child’s name to the school community as someone that has tested positive for COVID-19?
- No. Student and staff health information is protected by state and federal laws and we can not release any information that would identify a student or employee.