February 12th, 2021
Dear DACC Families,
The weekend of February 6th, all educators in Delaware County had the opportunity to receive the first vaccine at Olentangy Berlin High School. I appreciate the immense effort on the part of the Delaware Public Health District to coordinate the event. It was a smooth process for all who participated. At DACC, 89% of staff opted in to receive the vaccine.
As time passes and more research is done, health officials provide adjustments to the safety protocol guidelines. Our goal in following the guidance of our health officials is to minimize contacts and curtail the spread for our students and staff. The importance of minimizing the chance of any student or staff becoming a contact is important for multiple reasons, including avoiding the required 14-day quarantine that a contact must follow.
When we returned to school in August, in order not to be considered a contact, the guidance required at least two barriers. When two people were wearing masks, the guidance also required maintaining 6’ social distancing in order not to be considered a contact.
Your child may have shared with you some changes in our lunchroom procedures. In the fall, during lunch, two students sitting at one table with no masks did not meet the two-barrier standard, therefore, would have been a contact if one of the students contracted COVID. While operating under Plan C, health officials adjusted the identification of contacts during lunch. The newer guidance permits students, at lunch only, to be without masks and at least 6’ apart, and they will not be considered a contact. Wanting to reduce the risk of your child being a contact and a potential 14-day quarantine, we changed the lunchroom protocols to one student at each table that is 5’ in diameter. Additional tables have been set up and students now sit at least 6’ apart.
In addition, I shared safety protocol changes with you in January. As long as students are wearing masks, they can remain 3’ apart without being considered a contact. Whenever possible, we encourage a distance of 6’ between staff and students. However, that is not always possible and therefore, the 3’ of distance becomes allowable. There are always anomalies that the Health District will consider in identifying contacts.
As our health officials learn more, additional adjustments may be necessary. DACC will follow the guidance of our Health District and adjust our practices accordingly. Providing a high quality education while keeping our students and staff safe are at the forefront of our decisions.
Seeing students back for blended academics has been exciting for all of us. They bring an energy that we all appreciate and missed. Returning to the classroom on a blended schedule is a step in the right direction toward having all students back, five days a week sometime this spring. We will be working in conjunction with the Delaware Public Health District to review the latest CDC Back to School considerations along with other respective data, to determine what this means for DACC and returning to school under Plan A.
I appreciate all of our students, families, and staff for following our safety protocols and monitoring symptoms before coming to school. Thank you for your flexibility and patience as we navigate the ever-evolving situation.
Mary Beth Freeman
Delaware Area Career Center