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Updated Return to Learn Plan (11-18-2020)


Last week Governor Mike Parson, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) announced the state made a change to the quarantine guidelines for schools. The full press release can be read HERE, but in essence, those who are properly wearing a mask during their exposure to a person who has tested positive to COVID19 may be exempt from quarantine. The district is still working through the guidelines, but the following update is available: 

  1. District procedures will remain the same through the end of this semester, with 7-12 grades remaining hybrid.
  2. Masking rules will not change at this time. More information on the masking rules can be found at 

Spring Semester Return to Learn Update

Currently, the district plans for all grades to return to school in regular seated classes on January 4, 2020. (pending additional guidance, COVID cases in the area, etc.). Virtual/online enrollment is still an option.  Enrollment dates will be released after Thanksgiving break. 

  1. Grades 5-12 will remain masked, and the current opt-out mask clause will change. Only students with a medical excuse or those with disabilities can opt-out of wearing a mask.
  2. To comply with the quarantine guidance, specific information regarding masks has been provided here.
  3. No changes are being made for grades PreK-4 at this time. PreK-4 students are not required to mask, will continue to attend school as normal, and social distance as much as possible.

Faculty & Staff Quarantine Assurances 

With the support of the Howell County Health Department, the board approved changes to the current faculty return to work procedures and will be made effective immediately. If a district employee has been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or the 48 hours prior to symptoms and has been quarantined by the Howell County Health Department:

  • District employees must stay home for five days (120 hours) and then must receive a negative test to return to work. If the employee provides documentation of a negative test, they may return to work but must wear a mask for the 14 days after exposure. The procedure does not change for faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19 or are presumed positive.  
  • Return to Work Expectations 14 days after exposure.
  •       Remain masked at all times, no exceptions
  •       Will eat/drink in isolation (non-group or co-worker settings)
  •       Come to work and leave work at prescribed times.
  •       Perform daily personal home wellness checks
  •       Perform two (2) temperature checks with the building nurse
  •       Will isolate immediately if demonstrate any COVID-19 related symptoms.
  •       If symptoms appear, the employee must remain at home.

Thank you for your continued support, and should you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by calling 256-6155 or by email at


Lori Wilson
Superintendent of Schools
West Plains School District