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2021-2022 COVID-19 Protocols

We hoped we would be past COVID and related restrictions by the time the new school year started so that we would have a normal school year. But unfortunately,  Alabama’s low vaccination rates coupled with increasing circulation of the Delta variant have forced schools across Alabama to institute COVID-19 protocols for the third consecutive school year. Listed below are the protocols and restrictions we will implement in the Cullman City School System to begin the 2021-2022 school year.

Masks and Facial Coverings- Masks and facial coverings are strongly recommended while indoors, however they will not be required. This is subject to change based on positive COVID-19 cases on each campus, our area and the state of Alabama.

Masks will be required while on school buses.

Close Contact Tracing- The school will notify parents of students who possibly came in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period). 

Schools are required to report suspected and diagnosed COVID-19 cases to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). The ADPH is recommending that students who have been identified as a close contact should stay at home. If a child has been identified as a close contact, a letter from ADPH with additional details will be provided to his/her guardian. 

Quarantines- The following individuals DO NOT have to quarantine if identified as a close contact:

  1. Vaccinated and without symptoms, 
  2. Without symptoms and tested positive in the prior 3 months, or
  3. Without symptoms and was engaged in the consistent and correct use of a well fitted mask (verified by teacher or administrator).

Vaccinations- COVID-19 vaccinations are not required in order for students to attend school, however it is strongly recommended that students ages 12 and older receive the full vaccination. 

School administration and nurses have the right to inquire if a student has been vaccinated. Students who voluntarily provide proof of vaccination status do not have to quarantine if they are asymptomatic after exposure. 

If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccinations or would like more information, you may contact our Lead Nurse, Ms. Shugarts at 256-734-3923 (ext. 2001).

Missed Assignments Due to COVID-19 Isolation or Quarantines- COVID-19 related absences will be excused with proper documentation (i.e., doctor’s excuse or notification for the ADPH). Student assignments will be available on the Schoology plattform or by using other instructional software purchased by the school system. Your child’s school and teacher(s) will provide more information when applicable.

Self-Assess- Please monitor your child’s health before coming to school. If your child has a fever, please do not send him/her to school. If your child has shortness of breath, sudden loss of taste, or sudden loss of smell please contact your health provider before sending your child to school. Once at school, if a student has a fever, shortness of breath, sudden loss of taste, or sudden loss of smell they will be isolated from their peers, while being monitored, until their parent or guardian can pick them up. 

Visitors on Campus- Once the school year begins, each school will have limited to no indoor activities involving visitors until COVID-19 positive cases decline in Cullman County and the state of Alabama. If you do visit one of our campuses, we strongly encourage you to wear a mask while indoors and maintain 3 to 6 feet of distance from others.

Social Distancing- We will do our best to maintain 3 to 6 feet distance between students, however this will be difficult due to the current overcrowding we are experiencing on each campus. Again, it is strongly recommended that students wear masks while indoors.

Sanitization- We will continue to keep our campuses clean and supply hand sanitization on all campuses. It is important that our students wash their hands multiple times throughout the day.

Air Quality-  We are in the process of adding air purifiers on all campuses and updating identified HVAC systems. These are two of many measures we will implement in order to improve air quality and mitigate the spread of all viruses on our campuses. 

Virtual Options- During the 2021/2022 school year, the vast majority of Cullman City School System students will be taught in a traditional face-to-face classroom setting. Unlike the 2020-2021 school year, all available teacher units will be used to support traditional face-to-face classroom instruction. A fully (100% virtual) online curriculum will only be available for students in grades 6-12 who meet the specific prerequisite requirements below. Students who choose this option will need to be able to work independently with limited support from certified teachers. This will not be a hybrid option and will exclude participation in extracurricular activities.

  • Students should be on track for graduation with their cohort (9-12).
  • Students should have demonstrated academic success in face-to-face classes.
  • Students should not have excessive absences. 
  • Students should have demonstrated characteristics that would make him/her a good candidate for virtual learning (self-motivated, organized, self-disciplined).
  • Students in 11th or 12th grades must have met his/her College Career  Readiness Indicator.

In addition to the prerequisites, the following criteria will be included in this virtual option:

  • Students will have limited access to elective courses.
  • All state testing will be conducted on campus at the applicable school.
  • Students who commit to the Cullman Innovation Academy, will not be able to transition out until the end of the semester (December 2021). Schools will need to be notified by November 30th.

To apply to the Cullman Innovation Academy, you may contact Ms. Bates at 256-734-2233 (ext. 9076), or visit https://www.cullmancats.net. The enrollment window for this virtual option will close on Tuesday, August 10th at 4:00 PM.

These protocols are subject to change based on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) recommendations, State-wide health orders, and the safety of Cullman City School System students and employees.