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Tuesday Talk with Dr. Dain - October 27, 2020

Greetings Pirate Nation!

I have an app that pushes fun quotes to me at unexpected times.  Today I received one that was intended to celebrate Halloween, spoken by Oscar Wilde who said, “A mask tells us more than a face.”  Now I get it, the quote was about Halloween and the psychology behind what costume a person decides to wear for Halloween…but I had to chuckle a little bit as I thought about how we are literally wearing masks EVERY.SINGLE.DAY…and we aren’t as delighted wearing them as we are about dressing up for Halloween.   However, it did make me stop and think what we can tell about a person based on the COVID-19 mask they adorn?  Are they silly, a sports fan, or OCD about their mask matching their shirt?  Do they cover their nose with their mask or wear the same mask every day?  Are there masks that won’t fog up my glasses and how do those people that wear gators keep them on their nose?  No matter the answer, I want to tell you how great YOUR kids are doing wearing their masks.  Seriously…they are rock stars…especially our littles in Early Childhood and Kindergarten.  It may not be as much fun as wearing a mask on Halloween, but believe me, our kids are doing a great job in wearing their masks with pride and commitment to the greater good.  GREAT JOB PARENTS!

This edition of Tuesday Talk has some significant information as it relates to COVID-19 updates and the Health Department.  The first is regarding bringing back our secondary students.  The Health Department has given us permission to plan for this but with the condition that we keep secondary students in cohorts, which is really difficult to do.  At the elementary level this is easy—a class has the same teacher all day and so that classroom and teacher become a cohort.  But at the secondary level, with students having 8 teachers, grouping a cohort of kids that have the same 8 teachers is nearly impossible.  Not that our teams aren’t trying to figure it out…they are…but I wanted you to know the reason we can’t seem to get this to happen as quickly as we would like.  We are frustrated and want our secondary students to have the opportunity to be back in school.

Secondly, the Health Department is preparing to conduct training with school nurses for the Saliva COVID.  They will be available for free to students and staff who are not feeling well and/or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.  Here is more information:

When the school nurse sends a student home due to possible COVID-19 symptoms, they will ask the parent/guardian for consent to do a COVID-19 test. The test itself is painless, quick and easy. The school nurse will ask the student to put a cotton swab (like a long q-tip) in their mouth under their tongue for one minute. The swab collects some saliva (spit) from the student’s mouth, which is then tested for the virus that causes COVID-19.

Students who are tested will be required to remain at home until their test result is available. The school nurse will call the parent/guardian to provide their test result. Results are typically available within 24-48 hours.

Participation in testing is completely optional and not required. However, if your student is sent home from school with COVID-19 symptoms and is not tested, they must remain at home for 10 days. If the school nurse feels your child should be tested for COVID-19, they will call to notify you and obtain consent.

Family Quarantine Guidance:
If one of your students is quarantined due to being a close contact of someone at school, any siblings in the household can still come to school unless the child begins exhibiting any COVID symptoms or you elect to have the child tested. If a child is undergoing testing, siblings must remain home until a negative test result is received.

Updated Piper School District COVID-19 Data:
                                             Students (Sept 9-Oct 27)    Staff (Aug 12-Oct 27)
Piper Early Childhood          0                                          1
Piper Prairie Elementary      4                                          1
Piper Creek Elementary       6                                          2
Piper Middle School             2                                          1
Piper High School                7                                          0

Have a safe Halloween and be sure to wear your mask and social distance! Quick reminder, students do not have school October 28-November 2nd due to Parent Teacher Conferences, and will return on November 3rd!

Proud to be a Pirate,
Dr. Jessica Dain