Dear Harrison County School Family,
We look forward to greeting students on their first day back to school next Monday, August 30th and welcoming our staff members back into our schools on August 24th. Administrators and staff will be working diligently over the next week preparing to open our buildings and looking forward to the return of our students. Our summer maintenance and custodial crews have worked tirelessly all summer to make our schools shiny and clean in anticipation of a new school year!
It is pleasing to note that Harrison County Schools will offer in-person instruction five days per week. Our Pre-K through grade 12 school day will return to pre-pandemic schedules, and all teachers will be in-person in their assigned classrooms.
As we head into the 2021-2022 school year, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create challenges. With us all working together to determine the best path forward, it is important that our students remain in-person and engaged with our teachers.
On August 19, 2021, the Harrison-Clarksburg Health Department, pursuant to the recommendations put forth by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, issued a formal letter to Harrison County Schools recommending that all students enrolled in the Harrison County School District wear masks while attending school. The Harrison County Health Department has confidence that this is the best strategy to keep students in school and in-person as much as possible. Our local health officials and the CDC have advised that if we are masked, quarantining will not be required in K-12 indoor classroom settings if both the infected student and the exposed student are wearing masks. This mask requirement will be in effect for 30 days. At that time, an assessment will be made in conjunction with Harrison County Health Officials as to any further mask requirements.
Our goal is to remain safely in-person. With mitigation strategies and our new indoor mask requirement beginning on August 24th for all students and staff, we can reach this goal. This indoor mask requirement is a fluid protocol that will take into consideration emerging guidance and recommendations from state and local health officials as we monitor the rates of COVID-19 in our community.
To ensure the best protection from the COVID-19 variants and to maintain in-person instruction, state and federal health agencies continue to encourage everyone ages 12 years and older to get vaccinated.
In addition, students and staff will continue to follow safety protocols and adhere to COVID-19 School Guidance which is subject to change based on emerging information.
We are grateful that over the past two academic years, students were kept safe by the adherence of administrators and staff to the safety protocols implemented throughout all schools, busses, and facilities. Mitigation strategies effectively implemented are shown to decrease incidents of virus spread. Harrison County Schools will continue to follow mitigation strategies for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting of our buildings and busses.
We do know more about COVID-19 than we did a year ago, and we continue to learn more each day. We also know that school is the best place for our children to learn and grow. Let’s work together to get through this pandemic and support one another as we begin an exciting new school year in Harrison County Schools.
Dora L. Stutler, Superintendent
Harrison County Schools