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August 9, 2021

District Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services

 The American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, Public Law 117-2, enacted on March 11, 2021, provides a total of nearly $122 billion to states and school districts to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s students.


USD 325 Background: 

On July 27th, 2020 the Phillipsburg USD #325 BOE adopted a Re Opening Plan.  The plan was updated August 9, 2021.



 Describe how the district will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff and the extent to which it has adopted policies, and a description of any such policies, on each of the following safety recommendations established by the CDC:


(A) Personal health assessments. 

Students and staff will continue to be encouraged to conduct a personal health assessment prior to entering any district facility or participating in any district sponsored activity or event. We will not be taking temperatures upon entering buildings and events. Individuals that suspect they are ill (i.e. fever, chills, cough, etc.) and are not feeling well should stay home.


(B)Universal and correct wearing of masks.

Phillipsburg USD #325 no longer has a mask requirement. Masks are optional inside Phillipsburg schools and other facilities for those individuals who have not been fully vaccinated. Masks are also optional for all students and staff during outdoor activities. No individual shall be treated unfairly or uncivilly based on their masking choices.


(C) Modifying facilities to allow for physical distancing

Physical distancing will be encouraged where and when possible, within and outside Phillipsburg Schools and other facilities. Classrooms, lunchrooms, and other educational areas will strive to maintain 3 feet separation between individuals.


(D) Hand-washing and respiratory etiquette.

Individuals are encouraged to wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.  Hands should be washed or sanitized before and after using shared supplies.  Covering coughs and sneezes is always recommended.


(E) Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation.

In spaces that are regularly occupied, enhanced cleaning and maintenance protocols will continue to be used. Teachers may choose to do additional cleaning. Managing and monitoring air quality through HVAC systems will continue to be used as a mitigation strategy.


(F) Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments.

Phillipsburg School District will cooperate with PCHD for contact tracing purposes. Contact tracing and follow up instructions to be provided by PCHD to exposed individuals.
Phillipsburg School District will collaborate with PCHD to determine necessary action in the case of increased positivity rates in a class, group, school, etc.
Students and staff who have been exposed by COVID-19 but are not positive will not be isolated unless required by PCHD. Students and staff who have been exposed by COVID-19 and are positive or showing COVID-19 symptoms will be isolated.


 (G)  Diagnostic and screening testing.

Students, staff, and community members can access COVID-19 diagnostic or screening tests through a variety of community partners. School nurses and health support staff will continue to monitor for symptoms, trends, and clusters, and request that students and staff seek medical services as appropriate.


(H) Vaccinations.

Phillipsburg School District will not be collecting COVID-19 vaccination information for students as part of the school enrollment process.
COVID-19 vaccination is not a requirement for school attendance. Vaccination information is utilized by PCHD when making quarantine decisions. As appropriate, the district will inform parents/guardians of COVID-19 vaccination opportunities for eligible students.


Requests for vaccination status would only occur in cooperation with Phillips County Health Department. If parents want to voluntarily share this information with us, it would help eliminate some contact tracing.


(I) Efforts to provide vaccinations to school communities.

USD 325 is encouraging students and staff who want to be vaccinated to visit with one of the following: their family physician or Phillips County Health Department.


(J)  Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies.

USD 325 will provide accommodations to its policies for students with disabilities as determined appropriate based upon the individual student needs and in accordance with an individual accommodation plan or individualized education plan. Students requiring accommodations should contact the building administrator to request information on plans for students with disabilities.

Specific student health needs are addressed through a student health plan.


(K)   COVID-19 outbreak. 

Because there is the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak within our school community, we must all be prepared to adapt to any number of actions to increase preventive measures in response to changing circumstances throughout the school year. Guidance from local, state, or national agencies influence these measures and could result in revisions to this plan.

The Phillipsburg School District will comply with any local, state, and federal mandates associated with COVID-19. If there is a conflict in laws, we’ll consult our school district attorney.


(L)   Coordination with State and local health officials.

USD 325 officials meet regularly with the Phillips County Health Department.

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