Dear Pettisville Parents & Community,

I’d like to be transparent for a moment: Being a parent of a school-aged child during a pandemic is frustrating. It is a cycle of calming fears and trying to explain a situation that-- let’s be honest-- can feel more and more exhausting by the day. If your children are like mine, they are asking the same questions we silently ask ourselves: “When will COVID be over?” “When will things be back to normal?” “What is normal anymore?” We are living in frustrating times. Anxiety and tension are high, and we are often left with more questions than answers as we simply seek to navigate our daily lives and to do the best we can for our children and for ourselves. Schools across the country, state, and region are asking themselves the same questions. We, too, are frustrated, and we empathize with parents who are frustrated.

When we began the school year, the Fulton County superintendents met with a representative from the Fulton County Health Department, and we laid the groundwork for the Fulton County Schools Common Opening Agreement. In that agreement, parents had--and still do have--the option to send their children to school with or without a mask. The agreement also speaks to what happens when a student or staff member comes into contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus. The agreement states:

In instances of positive cases, each district will communicate with the appropriate parties:

-Communication will be shared per Health Department protocol.
The school district will cooperate with the Health Department’s work in contact tracing and quarantine requirements.

The Fulton County Health Department, consistent with statewide protocols, will define what is considered “exposure” to COVID 19.
-Anyone who has been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 does NOT have to quarantine if they are exposed unless they are symptomatic.

-Any unvaccinated individuals wearing a mask and socially distanced at least three feet would not be subject to quarantine.

-Quarantine measures are still in place at the discretion of the health department for those who are unvaccinated and unmasked within six (6) feet for fifteen (15) minutes or more accumulated minutes of someone with COVID-19

Per the Fulton County Health Department/Ohio Department of Health, students may return to normal classroom and extracurricular activities after 7 days if they have received a negative viral (PCR or antigen) test that was performed at least 5 days after exposure. This test must be proctored by a health official and sent to the student’s principal. More information regarding quarantining procedures, including a helpful flow chart developed by the Ohio Department of Health, can be found here: . All in all, if your child is sick or experiencing symptoms, please do not send him or her to school.

We are all tired and frustrated by the virus. We are parents and school officials trying to navigate all of this the best we can. We all can use a little grace, understanding, and positivity as we take on the present and look toward the future. At some point, we will get through all of this. Until then, let’s channel our frustrations into being #TogetherPettisville. We are truly better and stronger when we are together.

Proud to be a Blackbird,

Josh Clark