January 14, 2022
- Jan. 17- No School for MLK Jr. Day
- Jan. 19- Kindergarten Info Night @ 6-7 pm, Werner gym
- Jan. 20- In person 2022-23 Kindergarten Registration Day (8 am-4 pm)
Jan. 10, 2022
Dear Poudre School District community,
As the considerable rise in Omicron cases impacts our county and schools, public health guidance continues to change. In this update, we will address what staffing shortages may mean for district operations; public health changes to guidelines for quarantine, isolation and exemption from quarantine; and a county health department change to contact tracing COVID cases.
Our district remains resolute in our commitment to in-person learning. That said, we want to be transparent about our significant, daily staffing challenges. In PSD last week, there were 40 custodians and 21 Transportation staff out on one day – numbers that nearly impacted our ability to provide these services. At 6:30 a.m. Monday, there were 274 employee absences across the district, and that rose to 317 within three hours. Getting substitutes to cover during a sub shortage is particularly difficult, as one example.
We have and continue to do everything we can to maintain in-person learning, planning proactively to cover open positions. At the same time, we may need to shift classes, programs, grade levels or even entire schools to remote learning. This could be due to the number of staff and student absences (COVID or illness symptoms) or a lack of staff needed to ensure we have enough caring, trained adults with our students. To be clear: We do NOT want to shift our entire district to remote learning and are being intentional with this targeted approach.
Please know that we will communicate shifts to remote learning as soon as possible but that these could occur with little notice. Learn more about PSD’s expectations for remote learning at every school >>
Overview of federal, state and local protocols for schools: We know that some have felt confused by ever-changing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE). It is worth noting that the majority of our protocols have not changed. Here are some highlights of the new adjustments, with more detailed information available below:
- The length of quarantine AND isolation time has been shortened to five days, with individuals able to return on day six if their symptoms are improved.
- Guidelines for exemption from quarantine due to vaccination status are updated.
- Individuals who test positive for COVID in the past 90 days ARE exempt from quarantine. The CDC originally said this was not the case, but later reinstituted that guidance.
- The county health department has asked school districts to prioritize contact tracing for high-risk COVID cases only due to high volumes of current cases and limited resources.
Updated isolation guidance: Last week, the CDC clarified that the shortened isolation guidance should apply to PK-12 schools. Larimer County health officials are aligned with this adjustment.
- Staff and students who test positive for COVID should receive orders from LCDHE to isolate from school settings for five days.
- If they are asymptomatic or all symptoms are improving, they can join in regular public activities (e.g. go to grocery store) and return to school on day six.
- Please don’t return to school earlier than day six and only if all symptoms are improving (count the first day of symptoms as day 0).
- Early Childhood Education students, as well as any students and staff who are unable to wear a mask around others due to an approved medical mask exemption, should isolate or quarantine for the full 10 days and may return to school on day 11.
- Guidelines are different for what you are required to do if a member of your household tests positive versus if your student is exposed to a positive case at school.
- Exposure within a household will lead to quarantines greater than five days if people in the household are unable to isolate from the positive individual, unable to wear masks, and unable to eat and sleep in separate rooms. We understand that this may not be possible in some households, especially those with young children.
- If additional household members test positive or become symptomatic, that exposure and return date will likely change due a new exposure.
Change to definition of immunization and quarantine exemption: CDC also updated its guidance to clarify eligible ages requiring boosters to be considered exempt from quarantine. With this update, those under 18 are not required to have booster shots to be considered exempt from quarantine for school-related exposures. They just need to be two weeks past their second dose. Boosters continue to be required of those 18 or older to be exempt from quarantine.
- It is no longer enough to be “fully vaccinated” to be exempted from quarantine. Only close contacts to a positive case who have met one of the following criteria are exempted from quarantine, according to new CDPHE guidance:
- You are aged 18 or older and have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
- You are age 5-17 years and completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.
- You had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days.
Change to contact tracing: Please see the attached letter that the health department asked PSD to share with our communities. LCDHE has recommended that all schools discontinue contact tracing and quarantines for routine classroom exposures. Contact tracing is no longer possible the way we’ve been doing it because of test result delays, an increase in the county’s case volume and our district’s need to have staff focus on filling shortages to prioritize in-person learning. High-risk exposures, as defined by the county health department, will continue to be traced. PSD will discontinue routine contact tracing effective immediately. Case information will continue to be made available on the PSD COVID-19 Data Dashboards.
Your partnership and support are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your assistance as we work together to help maximize in-person learning opportunities for each of our students.
Poudre School District
Larimer County Department of Health and Environment
Note: This message does not apply to PSD-authorized charter schools, which manage their own operations. Families of PSD-authorized charters should contact their school directly with questions.
NEWS FROM WERNER
Update from Mr. Camp
I hope you all are well! I know that the last few weeks have felt like a lot with the communication and changes of information. Thanks so much for your continued support, grace, and patience as we continue to navigate this pandemic and keep our schools in person. I want to reiterate that our intent and hope is to keep in person and to continue to manage cases as they come and try to keep things as "normal" for our students. As the district has communicated, we may need to shift to remote in some classrooms based on need (e.g. staff shortage or number of positive cases in classroom), but our hope is that we can manage without that happening. In preparation for worst case scenario, our teachers have put together emergency remote learning packets for students to work on in case your child's classroom needs to shift to remote. Please do not take this step as an indication that we are shifting right now. it's only a precaution. Your teacher will communicate more about what to do with them. In the unlikely event that we need to shift a classroom to remote, we would communicate out by email, followed by a phone message, with details on what to expect.
Second, your child is coming home with their 1st semester report card today as well. Report cards are a measure of your child's progress from the semester with state standards. Teachers will communicate with feedback of strengths and areas for support for your child. If you have any questions, please check with your child's teacher.
Have a nice weekend and thanks for all you do!
2022-2023 Werner Budget Survey-Parents
2022-23 Kindergarten Information Night-January 19
We have re-scheduled our Kindergarten Info Night to January 19 from 6-7 pm in the Werner gym. This meeting is for information about kindergarten for 2022-23 and is for parents only.
During the Information Night, you will get the chance to meet our current Kindergarten teachers and administration. There will be a short presentation and Q/A to give you an overview of kindergarten at Werner and then some time to view classrooms and speak with staff.
1st Semester Report Cards
We are pleased to announce report cards will be available to you electronically in ParentVUE, by 4PM, Wednesday, January 12th. If you have forgotten your password, click ‘Forgot Password’ on the Account Access page. If you do not currently use the PVUE portal, please contact the school to receive an Activation Key to create your ParentVUE account. Note, PVUE can be accessed through a secure login using the web portal (http://www.psdschools.org/pvue) or app which can be downloaded from the iTunes Store for Apple (iPhone) devices or Google Play for Android devices. For additional information please see ParentVUE section found on the PSD website. Our teachers will also send a printed copy home with Friday folders on January 14.
After School Foreign Enrichment Opportunity
A Note from Our Health Office
Students who develop COVID-like symptoms while at school will need to go home. This includes: new or worsening cough, upset stomach, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, and headache. Some of these symptoms overlap with other health conditions such as seasonal allergies or anxiety. If your student has a known health condition, it needs to be documented with a note from a medical provider and turned in to the Health Office in order for your student to remain at Werner with these symptoms. You can look up the health conditions on record for your child by logging in to ParentVue, click on ‘Health’, then click on ‘Health Conditions’.
"Return to Learn" Guidance
If your child is experiencing illness symptoms, please refer to the Return to Learn Guidance for helpful pointers as to whether your child can return to school or not.
Rapid At-Home Testing Program-CDPHE
From the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:
Over the past year, we have learned how important it is to layer strategies to protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19. Using multiple prevention strategies is especially important in stopping more contagious variants of the virus -- like delta that is now circulating in Colorado.
To make sure Coloradans have the tools they need to keep their families safe, CDPHE is providing free over-the-counter tests for parents, guardians, and caregivers to administer to school-aged children at-home.
The at-home testing program complements other tools in CDPHE’s COVID-19 toolbox, including in-school screening testing, free community testing sites, and other point-of-care testing programs.
About the program
Colorado is distributing free rapid COVID-19 over the counter (OTC) self tests directly to people’s homes. The program uses Abbott BinaxNOW™ rapid antigen tests that show results within 15 minutes.
This program has been specifically designed to provide parents, guardians, and caregivers some peace of mind by making it easy to test their children and help keep schools open.
These programs help ensure all Coloradans have access to multiple free COVID-19 testing options.
Through ongoing testing, Coloradans can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and actively protect our children and communities.
For more information, and to enroll in receiving free at-home tests, go to: https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-testing-at-home.
(Note: PSD can not accept at-home test results to end quarantine orders early)
Werner Health/Safety Protocols
We often get questions about our staff and their favorite things (for appreciation, etc.). You can access those remotely at Staff Favorites.
NEWS FROM WERNER PTA
January’s Book Club Pick is Maid, by Stephanie Land. Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive. NEW YORK TIMES bestseller and inspiration for the Netflix limited series. Please register HERE.
PTA Spirit Wear
Like our Cool PTA Mom tees? The Werner PTA has designed some Grownup Tees and Coffee Mugs for purchase to show your PTA spirit!
Follow us on Facebook to stay engaged with School Events and see what the PTA is up to at the school.
FREE MONEY FOR YOUR SCHOOL! Did you know there are ways to donate money to the school by doing things you already do?
If you shop at King Soopers with a loyalty card they will donate to Werner when you sign up here.
If you shop on Amazon, you can sign up for Amazon Smile and they will donate 1% of purchases.
If you like to eat out, the PTA hosts Werner Dines Out once a month and the restaurants we partner with will donate back to the school.
Thank you for supporting the Werner Elementary PTA!
PTA President | Anjani Rogenski
PTA Vice President | Nicole Kidd
PTA Treasurer | Patti Haswell
PTA Secretary | Chelsea Padgett
PTA Board member | Juliana Schump
Connect with us at PTAWernerElementary@gmail.com
There Is No Wrong Way to PTA. How Do You PTA?
NEWS FROM PSD
Join PSD and CSU for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 17
PSD is partnering with Colorado State University and other community partners to commemorate #MLKDay. There are various ways to be involved this year.
PSD School of Choice first-consideration application period deadline noon Jan. 21
Poudre School District has a wide array of fantastic schools that each offer unique experiences to learn and grow, as well as paths that fit students’ interests and needs.
If you know of anyone who would be interested in applying to our school during PSD’s School of Choice application period, we'd love for you to share the following information:
· School of Choice first-consideration application period deadline to apply: noon Jan. 21, 2022
· Learn more on the School Options and Choice web page
· Those with questions about the School of Choice process may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Those who are interested in applying to our school and have questions about what we offer may call the main office.
4TH, 5TH & 6TH GRADE SKI PASSPORTS AVAILABLE NOW
PSD 21-22 School Year Updates
PSD Now Newsletter
One of many ways information is shared is through the PSD Now community newsletter, which features timely information about the latest happenings in the district. This is emailed to families and interested community members about every other Thursday.
Here is the most recent newsletter of PSD Now. For archived newsletters and information about how to sign up, go to: https://www.psdschools.org/department/communications.