Updated: February 24, 2022. Updates effective February 28, 2022.

As the country sees overall declines in cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, IPS has updated the district’s health and safety protocols per guidance from the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD), the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

These protocols are subject to change based on new guidance from the health departments/organizations listed above. 

Resources

Face Masks

  • The IDOH has advised us that masking students and staff may be optional as of 2/28/2022. IPS continues to strongly encourage the use of masks when indoors and around others. 
    • Students/families and staff may decide for themselves whether to wear masks on IPS property and it is no longer district policy that they are required to do so.
  • Per CDC guidance, masks are no longer required for all students, staff and drivers on IPS buses.

Health Screening/Testing

  • Each day, students and employees will need to monitor whether they have COVID-like symptoms. Those who develop COVID-like symptoms will need to stay at home and not attend school or participate in the activity.  
  • IPS continues to encourage testing when anyone is exhibiting symptoms. Tests are available at all IPS locations.

Positive Cases/Isolation 

  • The CDC and IDOH isolation guidance for K-12 settings has not changed. Students and staff who has tested positive for COVID will be required to isolate for a minimum of 5 full days. 
  • Staff/students may return to work/school only if the following:
    • Symptoms have significantly improved, including no fever within 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. 
    • The individual should wear a well-fitting mask consistently and correctly at all times, including when outdoors while not eating or drinking for days 6-10
  • Positive cases in children ages 2 to 5 years of age:
    • Children testing positive for COVID must isolate at home for 5 days 
    • May return on day 6 if fever free for 24 hours without medication AND can correctly and consistently mask.
    • If cannot correctly and consistently mask should isolate at home for 7 days, returning on day 8. 
  • IPS will continue to monitor confirmed positive cases and report to the MCPHD.
  • IPS will remain vigilant to changes in school and community COVID cases and will adjust mitigation measures accordingly.

Contact Tracing/Quarantine 

  • IPS school leaders will notify their whole community each instance there is a confirmed case of COVID19 in the building.  IPS will continue to track positive cases on its district website.  
  • The IDOH no longer recommends identifying or quarantining close contacts regardless of vaccination status. IPS will adopt this guidance starting 2/28/2022. 
    • This includes if there is a positive individual in the household. However, continue to monitor individuals for symptoms.
  • Anyone with symptoms should not return to school unless they are fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication and symptoms are resolving. Again testing for COVID 19 is still recommended for anyone exhibiting symptoms. 

Cleaning/Sanitizing/Hygiene & PPE

  • All high-touch surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized in school and office buildings and on buses.
  • Proper hand washing, cough, and sneeze protocols are required.
  • No-touch water bottle filling stations available in schools.

Social Distancing — Classrooms/Cafeterias/Buses

  • Social distancing is no longer required starting 2/28/2022. 

Visitors & Volunteers

  • Parents in Touch Days and other parent-facing events may be held virtually or in-person starting 2/28/2022.
  • Masks are optional for all approved visitors — parents/guardians, community partners, volunteers.
  • IPS continues to strongly encourage the use of masks when indoors and around others. 
  • Volunteers, visitors, and families may be in buildings by scheduled appointment, and interactions within classrooms should be limited. 
  • IPS strongly encourages that any vendors or external partners should ensure they are vaccinated and boosted to reduce their individual risk in schools. 

PE & Recess

  • Masks are optional starting 2/28/2022 during PE indoors, however, IPS continues to encourage the use of masks when indoors and around others.

Athletics & Extracurriculars

  • Schools can resume normal student movement and seating starting 2/28/2022. 
  • Social distancing is no longer required. 
  • Masks are encouraged to be worn by student athletes and coaches at practices and by spectators at games/events.

Testing/Vaccination

  • Currently for ages 5 and older, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the virus. Read more HERE.
  • IPS will continue to encourage vaccination for all eligible populations and host vaccination clinics with community partners.
  • IPS will continue to offer COVID testing at all locations.
  • Students are still encouraged to provide proof of vaccination status:
    • Vaccinated students (ages 12 and older) can voluntarily provide proof of vaccination status. Click HERE to learn how to submit proof of vaccination documentation for students.
  • Staff should continue to provide proof of vaccination status:
    • Vaccinated can provide proof of vaccination to the IPS HR Department. Click HERE to learn how to submit an official vaccination record for staff.

IPS Vaccine and Immunization Clinics

  • IPS will continue to host vaccination clinics throughout the school year. These clinics include COVID-19 vaccines (1st, 2nd and booster shots) and school-required and recommended immunizations (including DTap, Polio, MMR, Hepatitis, flu, etc.).

COVID-19 Citywide Vaccine Sites:

  • Vaccine sites are conveniently located throughout the city. Click HERE for locations.

COVID-19 Citywide Testing Sites:

  • COVID testing information and testing sites can be found HERE.

The district’s COVID-19 dashboard reports the new number of combined student and staff COVID-19 positive cases and the number of those in quarantine. The dashboard will be updated on Mondays.

COVID-19
Reporting

Indianapolis Public Schools is following the protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), and Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) on quarantines and isolating symptomatic staff and students. On advice from our local health professionals, our approach is very cautious to help to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. 

Positive Cases
By Week

The COVID-19 positive data on the dashboard represents new confirmed positive cases that are reported to the district. This does not mean the staff or student contracted the virus while at school or in an IPS facility. The data simply reflects families and staff reporting a new positive diagnosis by week. 

Quarantines
By Week

The quarantine data represents the number of staff and students who have been told  to quarantine due to direct contact with a COVID-19 positive case. The numbers only includes new quarantines for the week. Many of the individuals who are quarantined do not develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.