Harrisburg R-VIII Covid-19 FAQs

Harrisburg R-VIII School District is committed to providing the best possible education to the students we serve even during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This question and answer document is provided to ease concerns related to sending students back to school and help our families make the most informed decisions possible for their children.  This document works in conjunction with the Harrisburg 20-21 re-entry Plan.  

What safety precautions will be put in place to protect students and their families?  

Harrisburg R-VIII strongly encourages all parents to keep students home when they are sick and determine this by conducting a self-screening of symptoms each day before sending children to school.  Parents should screen for the following symptoms: fever or chills, cough, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, new loss of taste or smell, new runny nose or congestion, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, or close contact with a person with COVID-19.  

Harrisburg R-VIII will conduct daily temperature checkpoints for staff and students.  If a student or staff member has a temperature of 100.4℉, or has other COVID-19 related symptoms unexplained by a known condition when they arrive at school, they will be quarantined and further assessed by the school nurse. 

Harrisburg R-VIII staff will be required to wear masks while in close contact with students/staff.  

Will students be required to wear masks at school?

Students of Harrisburg R-VIII will be expected to wear face coverings when social distancing cannot be achieved such as: arrival/departure times, passing times in the hallway, on the bus, during small group instruction, or any time deemed necessary by a staff member. Masks will be provided by the school district if needed. 

If I choose Mizzou Academy or Apex Online virtual learning option for my child/children, what will the expectations be?  

The learning expectations for students enrolled in Mizzou Academy (K-8) or Apex (9-12) will be aligned to that of the regular classroom as closely as possible, with the understanding that instruction will differ in certain areas.   In general, we believe it is difficult to duplicate the value of in-seat instruction.   Students enrolled within these programs will be expected to login daily and complete lessons.  Mizzou Academy and Apex scheduling may differ from that of the Harrisburg R-VIII schedule. This commitment will be made for a semester at a time.   

APEX Course Catalog   Mizzou Academy Parent Information 

Can my child participate in extracurricular and co-curricular activities if she/he is enrolled in Mizzou Academy or Apex?

No. Students enrolled in the Mizzou Academy or Apex learning option will not be eligible to participate in extracurricular or co-curricular activities.  Students enrolled in-seat at school will be able to participate in extracurricular and co-curricular activities as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.  If schools close and offer only virtual learning, extracurricular and co-curricular activities will be suspended.  If a student decides to return back to in seat classes 2nd semester, they must have passed the minimum number of credits 1st semester to be eligible for MSHSAA sponsored extracurricular activities 2nd semester. This is the same expectation as before (High School and Middle School students must earn at least 3 credits and have zero F’s.).

Will my child get to participate in elective classes such as physical education, music, and art with Mizzou Academy or Apex?  

Mizzou Academy does not offer P.E., Music, Art, or Library. Students are encouraged to complete activities of this type on their own during their lunch break.  Apex does offer electives such as P.E., Art Appreciation, and Music Appreciation, as well as other elective courses.   

If my child chooses Mizzou Academy or Apex learning, can he/she still participate in specials/elective classes, such as music, art, and physical education, at school?

Unfortunately, students who choose online learning will not be able to participate in any in seat instruction. In order to provide the safest learning environment possible for all students, we are not offering a hybrid model of instruction at this time.

Will absences due to COVID-19 count against a student’s attendance?  

Any absences due to COVID-19 will be marked as absences; however, Harrisburg R-VIII intends to foster a culture of personal care/responsibility.  Anyone exhibiting symptoms or illness should stay home to help their recovery and the safety of others. The attendance policies for each building have been suspended for the 2020-21 school year and will not have an impact on grades.

What safety precautions will be taken on the school bus?  

Parents wishing for their child to ride the bus should fill out the Transportation Request Form by Friday, August 14, 2020.  All students riding a school bus will be expected to wear a face covering.  Buses will load from the back to the front unless otherwise directed by the driver.  Students will be assigned a seat on the bus and will sit in family groups while riding the bus.  If a student is exhibiting symptoms while riding a bus,  the child may be asked to isolate from other riders.  Windows will be open to circulate air as weather permits.  Drivers will wear a face covering throughout the duration of the route.   We will also be taking extra steps to sanitize and disinfect buses between routes and ensure employees are social distancing at the bus barn.  

If a staff member contracts COVID-19 and is in contact with 150 students throughout the day, do all 150 students have to quarantine?  

Not necessarily. Any individual who has spent 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 will be asked to quarantine. The Boone County Health Department will be contacted for guidance and to help with contact tracing.  Daily health screens, procedures to support social distancing, and increased sanitization procedures will be established in each building to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Will my child be able to use their own electronic devices at school? 

Yes, students will be able to bring their own device.  Students will use district Wi-Fi with our filtering system in place. All current handbook policies and procedures are still applicable.  Harrisburg R-VIII will not be held responsible for lost, damaged or stolen devices. 

Harrisburg R-VIII will modify and change this document based upon the recommendations of the Boone County Health Department, CDC, and other health care providers.  Changes will be adapted to necessity at the time.

If you have any questions please contact your building principal: 

High School – Kyle Fisher, fisherk@harrisburg.k12.mo.us (573-875-5602)

Middle School – Jeff Wardrip, wardripj@harrisburg.k12.mo.us (573-817-5857)

Elementary School – Gabe Burris, burrisg@harrisburg.k12.mo.us (573-875-0290)