Return to School Message to families 1/2/2022

Dear Community:

Happy New Year! We hope your holiday break was restful and you were able to enjoy time with family and friends.

As we begin to plan for returning to school on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, we have some updated health and safety protocols and reminders as we return to the classroom. Return to school testing is not required, however if you have a personal supply of home antigen tests, we highly recommend that you test your child(ren) prior to returning to school on Tuesday.

*We are not asking for or requiring a PCR test prior to returning to school*

Symptom Monitoring and Exposure Notification:

If your child(ren) are experiencing ANY SYMPTOMS of Covid-19, have tested positive for Covid-19, or have had a known exposure to a positive individual within the last 5 days DO NOT send them to school. Please contact Nurse Sam for further guidance.

Friendly reminder, the following are symptoms of Covid-19 (any of the following symptoms can be indicative of Covid-19):

  • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nasal Congestion or Runny Nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies)

Family Survey:

With the increase in Covid-19 cases throughout the state and country, we are looking to add an additional mitigation strategy to our current toolbelt: Routine Covid Safety Checks. Routine Covid Safety Checks (previously known as pooled testing) would occur weekly, and could follow

three different routes. Please fill out this attached survey by 10am Monday Jan 3rd to help us choose which option would be best for the majority of our students.

Routine Covid Safety Check Survey

After-Break Testing:

We will no longer be able to provide the after-break testing that we had previously completed after Thanksgiving break. New guidelines and protocols from DESE are not allowing us to provide this testing. Instead, we are hoping to implement the routine covid safety checks as soon as possible. We are highly encouraging all families to participate in this new routine covid testing program.

*The BinaxNOW Antigen Tests the school currently has are only to be used for: Symptomatic testing (when symptoms begin during the school day – regardless of vaccination status)

-or-

Test-and-stay testing for unvaccinated individuals identified as close contacts at school.

Masks:

Neck gaiters, bandanas, or other non-mask face coverings are not allowed to be worn at school. Families are responsible for providing students with a well-fitted, appropriate mask for school each day. Masks should cover the mouth and nose at all times, without falling down. Please reach out to the school if you have any questions or need help finding a proper fitting mask for your child.

Students who are not wearing well-fitted cloth masks will be given a disposable mask and asked to change their mask.

Indoor Eating:

We will be continuing to have all indoor eating times be quiet times. Students will be asked to eat their snacks and lunch with no talking, and when finished, they may put their masks back on to socialize.

Mask Breaks:

Students will continue to utilize the indoor mask break areas throughout the day, and will be spending a large amount of time outdoors where masks are continuing to not be required.

Thank you for your continued support with these health and safety protocols. We look forward to seeing the students on Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

Warmly,

Gretchen Morse-Dobosz  
Superintendent/Principal   
413-238-5856
gmorsedobosz@hr-k12.org                   

Samantha Pease, BSN, RN, NCSN
Worthington School Nurse

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