District updates COVID procedures

By Sam Wildow

swildow@aimmediamidwest.com

TROY — On Monday, Troy City Schools Superintendent Chris Piper briefed the Troy Board of Education of the district’s updated COVID-19 procedures, which will also be disseminated to parents and teachers.

While face masks are not required for students or staff in the schools, face coverings are required for the bus riders and drivers due to a federal mandate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding public transportation.

“There have been some questions about Ohio law that is in opposition to that,” Piper said. He said the district has consulted with the legal firm Bricker & Eckler regarding the CDC’s mandate, saying, “The CDC has the authority to issue such orders under the Public Health Services Act, which is a federal act, regardless of state regulations.”

Piper also provided the following list of symptoms where, if a student feels ill in one or more of the following ways, they should stay home and/or seek medical advice: fever or chills, muscle or body aches, fatigue, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing, diarrhea or vomiting, new loss of taste or smell, and new onset of severe headache, especially with a fever.

“We want students in school, obviously, but we also want students in school who are healthy and won’t spread disease to other students,” Piper said. “Whether it’s flu season, COVID season, this is not a new thing because of COVID, it’s just a good time to remind people what those symptoms are.” Piper also commended the nurses in each school building in working with students, parents, and guardians on whether or not students should stay home or be sent home.

Social distancing is also going to be reduced to three feet, so Piper commented the buildings will look “relatively normal.” Both in-person and virtual open houses will be offered to parents and guardians, and visitors will be permitted into the schools in a limited capacity. The district will also be able to resume field trips.

“School is going to look much, much more normal,” Piper said.

Quarantine measures for students come into close contact with other students who test positive for COVID-19 is also changing. Piper defined “close contact” as students within six feet of each other for 15 minutes or more while not wearing masks, or if they are wearing masks, then the distance has to be within three feet of each other for 15 minutes or more. Vaccinated students will not have to quarantine if they come in close contact with students who test positive for COVID-19, and unvaccinated students will have to quarantine if they do.

For more information, visit www.troy.k12.oh.us.

Also on Monday, the board approved a contract with Troy Christian Schools for pupil transportation. According to the district, this is an annual contract with Troy Christian Schools. Ohio law requires public schools provide resident pupils who attend chartered private schools with transportation on the same basis that they provide transportation to their own pupils. In most school districts, this means private school pupils are transported to and from school on public school buses, and this is the case with St. Patrick’s Elementary School, Miami Montessori, Nicholas, Piqua Catholic, and Sidney Lehman. However, for years Troy Christian Schools has agreed, as is permitted by Ohio law, to operate their own buses.

Later on, the board also approved a request for non-routine use of buses for the Tunnel to Towers Exhibit 9/11 Museum between Sept. 10-13. The requesting parties of Miami County Veterans’ Services, the city of Troy, Miami County Commissioners, etc. requested to use the district’s buses between those dates for transporting community members to that exhibit memorializing the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The requesting parties will pay all costs associated with the use of TCS buses.

Also on Monday, the board approved the following:

• Accepting the Troy Music Boosters gift of $ 23,597.36 to Troy High School for the orchestra, choir, and band students;

• A resolution to establish petty cash accounts for 2021-2022;

• The 2021-2022 bus schedule;

• Increasing the daily substitute teacher pay rate to $105;

• Grant applications for federal programs; and,

• Changes to the gifted curriculum.