#PantherUpWeekly, Aug. 23-29
By Rex Booth, RHS Principal

Posted on August 22, 2021 1:13 PM



Updated Facial Covering Guidance

On Friday, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released updated guidance on proper use of face coverings within all public schools. At Russellville Independent Schools, and more specifically Russellville High School, we will be compliant with this updated guidance. Included below are a few of the key points from the new guidance document, but if you would like to review the document in its entirety, I have linked that https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NPrCWlW6CWOscH8xGBTVmNh0yi15MVbQ/view


  • Face coverings must consist of two or more layers of breathable fabric
  • 702 KAR 1:195E defines a face covering as “a material that covers the nose and mouth to prevent respiratory droplets from being expelled into the air.” It goes on to specify that a face covering should be secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops or be wrapped around the face. 
  • Ensuring the face-covering fits securely against the face and does not hang loose below the chin. 

Throughout the pandemic, the use of free-hanging bandanas, neck gaiters, or t-shirt collars lifted over the mouth and nose has been discouraged. These materials do not consist of two layers of protective fabric and do not fit securely against the face or wrap.

Russellville Independent Schools continues to implement all necessary protocols and layered approaches to health and safety in an effort to keep our students safe and in school. While the number of quarantines is slightly higher than earlier in the week, these are mainly the result of sending symptomatic students home to prevent further spread and those quarantined due to close contacts or household contacts. 

The spread of COVID-19 within the school buildings has remained relatively low. Effective seating charts, social distancing, and proper mask-wearing have resulted in a limited number of quarantines from contacts with new positive cases. As we move forward, we ask parents, family members, students, and staff to pay close attention to symptoms and if they feel sick, the recommendation is to stay at home. Even symptoms that would otherwise be treated with medication in the past. Sinus symptoms, headaches, fatigue, sore throat, and nausea/vomiting are the symptoms most are reporting. 

These numbers are current as of 8/20/2021 at 5:00 PM

Students Positive = 21

Students Quarantined = 188

Total students involved in active COVID cases = 209

Staff Positives = 9

Staff Quarantined = 2

Total staff involved in active COVID cases = 11

Renaissance Star Assessment

Freshman through Junior Panthers will be taking their first STAR Reading and Math assessments for the 2021-22 school year. For those unfamiliar with STAR, the assessment is a short test that provides teachers with learning data in both reading and math. Star tests are computer adaptive, which means they adjust to each answer the student provides. 

At RHS, Panthers will take the STAR Assessment three times throughout the year. After completion, teachers and staff will analyze data so that we as a school can see where students currently are from a grade level and percentile range perspective. This data will provide an opportunity for us as a school to use students’ current levels to plan for more individualized instruction based on each student’s needs and measure growth throughout the year by comparing each assessment's data.

STAR Reading will be administered in English classes on Monday and Tuesday while STAR Math will be given on Wednesday and Thursday. Students who are not present on one of these days will make up their assessment(s) on Friday.  

Trio Talent Search

Educational Talent Search is...

A program that identifies and assists qualified youth who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants, and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to the postsecondary institution of their choice.

ETS is one of eight Federal TRiO Programs funded by the US Department of Education. Some ETS Programs serve high school dropouts by encouraging them to reenter the education system and complete their education. The goal of Talent Search is to increase the number of youths who complete high school and enroll in postsecondary education institutions.

Talent Search will have their first meeting with Panthers at 9 a.m. in the auditorium Monday morning. For more information on ETS, please click HERE to visit their site.

Stapleton on Record Pace

The Lady Panther Soccer team is off to a hot start to the 2021-22 season, sporting a 3-0 record after last week’s tournament play action in the Greenbrier, TN Tournament. The Lady Panthers will return to Greenbrier on Monday night to compete in the tournament championship before setting their sites on a 13th District matchup against Franklin-Simpson on Tuesday night.

Although all the Lady Panthers are making contributions to their team’s success, one Lady Panther in particular is on record shattering pace through her first three games. Senior Emily Stapleton has recorded a hat-trick in all three of the Lady Panthers games, giving her nine goals already on the young season. If you see Emily in the hallways at RHS or out in the community, please wish her congratulations on a great start to the season and tell her to keep up the good work!  

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