magnolia school district 2021-2022 COVID Guidelines

Students and families,

Greetings Panther Nation:

When we finished school in May, I did not anticipate us starting school having conversations about how we would safely reopen school in response to COVID. Yet here we are, with the Delta variant dominating our thoughts and decision-making processes for starting school.

As much as we had hoped for the normal excitement about the start of a new school year, that is simply not the case, yet. I know you have many questions about what we, as a district, are going to do to make sure our kids are protected. Just like last year, we are going to do everything we possibly can to ensure our kids are protected. We learned many lessons last year that I believe will help us have a successful school year and keep our kids safe.

We learned that every child needs to be at school, engaged in the educational process. The virtual option we provided our kids last year simply did not keep our students engaged, and we saw the results of that in our test scores. As a matter of fact, that was proven on a national level as well. Being at school, around peers, is critically important for our students’ academic development as well as their social and emotional well-being.

Our MSD Mask Policy states that “Should the COVID-19 positive test rate for Columbia County exceed 8%, then masks will be worn by all school district employees, students, and visitors while inside any school district building, bus, van, or other vehicles.”

Currently, the Columbia County Positivity rate per ADH is 10.7%. Therefore, effective immediately, this policy shall be implemented.

Our number one goal is to protect the wellbeing of our kids by utilizing common-sense practices while keeping them in school, onsite, and engaged in daily instruction. This mask policy helps us accomplish that goal.

Arkansas Department of Health requires us to quarantine any close contact to a positive COVID case. Those individuals who have received the vaccine are not required to quarantine unless they are showing symptoms. Also, if you have not received a vaccine but are properly wearing a mask, you will not be required to quarantine. We also learned last year that students on quarantine were not committed to staying engaged in the educational process throughout their quarantine. Each campus will have clearly defined expectations for students on quarantine and isolation that will hold them accountable until they can return to class.

As far as the school environment, as we did last year, we will sanitize classrooms and surfaces throughout the day to minimize our students’ exposure to contaminated surfaces, and we will practice social distancing when feasible.

We are absolutely committed to keeping our kids safe. I ask that you do everything in your power to help us achieve that by not sending your kids to school if they are running fever, coughing, or showing any other symptoms of COVID. Also, please keep your child at home if they have been tested and are awaiting the results.

Just as last year, the information and guidance we received changed frequently. We will post our Ready for Learning plan on our district website at www.magnoliaschools.net along with specific plans for each campus. We will also track active and total positive COVID cases in our district for your information. We could not have asked for a more patient and understanding community last year, and we ask the same of you this year.


Mr. John Ward

Superintendent of Magnolia Public Schools