October 4, 2021

To Parents and the Shelby Community,

Throughout the pandemic, the Shelby City School District has strived to be transparent in an effort to keep students, staff, and parents informed.  I am sending this message today, not to alarm you, but rather, to give you a better sense of how the pandemic is currently affecting our district.

I believe it is important for you to know that our administrative team is having ongoing discussions regarding the current state of COVID within our district.  On the homepage of our district website we have a COVID dashboard that is updated daily and if you have viewed it recently, you will know that we are experiencing an uptick in numbers from where we were in the past two weeks. Keep in mind that the dashboard only documents our active COVID cases, it does not track the number of students and staff who are absent due to any other kind of illness or quarantined because of contact tracing.

With the elevated numbers of active COVID cases, quarantined students and staff, and absenteeism due to general illness throughout our district, we will be closely monitoring data, as we always do.  If numbers continue to rise and become unmanageable, the district may have to consider a temporary mask mandate to slow the spread or even switch to remote learning because we can no longer properly staff our buildings and departments.

Please know that we are not taking this situation lightly and we are very aware that everyone has different perspectives on this topic.  Ideally, we will be able to continue as we have since this school year started (with masks optional) but we need your help to achieve that goal.  Please continue to monitor your children’s health and if they are experiencing any symptoms of illness, please keep them home and do not let them return to school until they are symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication.  Also, we have students who are experiencing a stuffy, runny nose; some parents interpret those symptoms simply as allergies, but the child actually ends up testing as positive.  Please keep this in mind while monitoring your child’s health. 

With that in mind, the district has tests available if you would like to administer a COVID test to your child…this can help alleviate any questions you may have and can help to prevent transmission at home and at school. It’s also worth noting that a student properly wearing a face covering at school greatly reduces the possibility of quarantining if he/she is identified as a close contact to a positive case.

Together, hopefully we can get through this challenging time and remain in “in-person” learning.  Thank you for your continued support…we will certainly keep you updated with regard to any decision about the status of our district’s procedures.

Tim Tarvin
Superintendent, Shelby City Schools