• Athens City Schools will implement a screening continuum and other mitigating strategies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission. 

    Screening Continuum for Students 

    screen plan

    HOME is the first point on the screening continuum.

    • Parents should monitor for fever and COVID-19 symptoms
    • Students with a fever of 100.4 or greater must not come to school and must be fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications before returning to school.
    • Students and employees who have symptoms of infectious illness should stay home and consult a healthcare provider for testing and care.

    TRANSPORTATION is the second point on the screening continuum.

    • Based on the CDC order, masks will be required on all school buses. 
    • Students who begin to show symptoms during transportation will be assigned a specific seat for the duration of the route. Upon arrival at the local school, the driver will communicate with the school administration and/or school nurse as to the observed or noted symptoms.
    • Students identified as possible close contacts (within 3 feet for at least 15 minutes) on a school bus should receive the COVID-19 Exposure Notification from their school.

    SCHOOL is the final point on the screening continuum.

    • In the event a student begins to show symptoms of COVID-19 while at school, they will be sent to a quarantine area until a parent picks them up. 
    • It is the responsibility of the Alabama Department of Public Health to notify individuals of possible exposure to COVID-19. 

    What should I do if I get sick or am exposed to COVID-19?

    • Individuals who test positive for or are diagnosed with COVID-19 must stay home for 10 days following the positive test result (or the date of return provided by the healthcare provider), be 24 hours without fever or fever-reducing medications, and experience symptom improvement before returning to school. (amended 9/15/21)
    • The parent/guardian of a student who tests positive should notify their school nurse and/or school principal upon knowledge of this positive result (student/staff identification will remain confidential).
    • Individuals who are identified as close contacts to a diagnosed COVID-19 case should follow guidelines set by ADPH or instructions provided by a medical professional.
      • Students who may be considered close contacts due to exposure to positive cases at school will receive a COVID-19 Exposure Notification. (amended 9/15/21)
        • These students SHOULD remain out of school and monitor for symptoms for 10 days (or follow guidance from a healthcare provider). 
      • The CDC definition of close contact is someone within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of at least 15 minutes over a 24 hour period. In the K-12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were 3 feet or more (but within 6 feet) of an infected student when both students were masked and practicing physical distancing.
      • Asymptomatic vaccinated close contacts do not need to quarantine but should monitor for symptoms and isolate if symptoms develop.
      • Asymptomatic close contacts who have tested positive for and recovered from COVID-19 in the prior 3 months do not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms.
      • Unvaccinated individuals who are identified as close contacts and do not meet the K-12 indoor classroom setting are encouraged to remain out of school for 10-14 days. See ADPH COVID-19 Exposure Notification for Parents and Guardians. (amended 9/2/21)


    Facial Coverings 

    • Face coverings will be required by employees, students, and visitors over the age of two while inside any ACS facility regardless of vaccination status. This requirement also applies to any indoor activity or event. This requirement is subject to change as COVID-19 conditions improve.
    • Face coverings/masks must cover the nose and mouth. 
    • Students should bring a face covering from home. 
    • Face coverings will be provided while supplies last.
    • Designated face-covering breaks will occur throughout the day.

     Exceptions - Face coverings are not required in the following circumstances:

    • Any child two years of age or younger.
    • Any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents him/her from wearing a face covering.
    • Any person consuming food or drink.
    • Any person required to remove the face covering to confirm identity.
    • Any person experiencing difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or feeling winded, until able to resume normal breathing with the face covering.
    • Any person while communicating for brief periods of time with a person who is hearing impaired when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
    • Any person for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty, as determined by the relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations.
    • Any person who is engaged in strenuous physical activity.

    Physical Distance

    • Physical distancing will be practiced to the extent possible in the classroom. 
    • Teachers will be making adjustments to their classrooms to allow for students to spread out as much as possible.
    • Hallway traffic may be staggered to promote physical distancing.
    • Arrival/Dismissal procedures may be altered to allow for physical distancing.


    • Visitors will be allowed as long as masks are worn at all times while inside the building. (Visitors will not be allowed during lunch since masks cannot be worn).

    Sanitization and Personal Hygiene

    • Teachers will teach hygiene and sanitization practices, including the proper use of facial coverings.
    • Athens City Schools will partner with parents in educating students on the importance of handwashing, hygiene, and physical distancing.

    Employee Leave (amended 9/2/2021)



    ADPH Back To School Guidance 2021-2022 can be accessed here.




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