Friday Notes

November 5, 2021

COVID-19 School Update

We have communicated with all distance learning classrooms regarding their return to school dates, based on guidance provided by the Vermont Department of Health. Please be on the lookout for a whole school email on Sunday evening regarding a COVID school update.

COVID-19 Vaccine Info - Student ages 5-11

We are excited to share that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for students ages 5-11. Please take a moment to read about this encouraging development and consider this vaccination for your eligible student. The vaccine information and locations can be found here:

American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter Town Halls on COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter is inviting Vermont families to join them for a conversation about COVID-19 vaccines for children from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. via Zoom on the below dates. Check the AAP website for updates as additional dates are scheduled.

Travel (the holidays are coming!)

Currently, there are no travel mandates (like last year) from the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) or Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are only recommendations. We will continue to follow the lead of the VDH and recommend that families who choose to travel domestically PCR test unvaccinated students 3-5 days upon returning and provide the school with the negative PCR test before the student returns to school. And, of course, monitor for symptoms. Travel by plane versus car/train/bus does not alter the current recommendations.

Much depends on the travel destination and your plans when you arrive: headed to Las Vegas casinos on a plane? We might feel a little worried. Headed to Connecticut to visit grandparents via the family car, we might feel a little less worried. We are hopeful that people will take the COVID activity of their destination into consideration as they choose how to follow our recommendations. You can read more about the CDC's travel guidance here:

At this time, we are not intending to ask families about their travel plans as we did last year and will only do so if the VDH or AOE changes their current position.

Test to Stay

As mentioned in last week's Health and Safety Memo #4, the Test to Stay program is for asymptomatic, unvaccinated students only and parental consent is required. Please set up your unvaccinated student in the testing dashboard AND complete the consent form:

Student Registration

Consent Form

You may also print this paper copy and return the completed paper copy to school:

Distance Learning Success!

Though everyone missed being in their classroom, the fourth grade had a very successful week of distance learning. Way to go!

Name a Plow Update

This fall, schools in Vermont were given the opportunity to name a snow plow! We are excited to share that one of our names has been selected and that a representative from the Agency of Transportation will visit BJAMS on Wednesday, November 17 at 9 am with the newly named plow, courtesy of BJAMS! We won't spoil the surprise and tell you the plow's will just have to wait and see!

Soccer Jerseys

Please be sure to launder, label, and return your student's soccer jersey to Coach Bu. Thanks!

ASP Corner

Have you registered for ASP in November yet?

Please be sure to sign up your students each month. Doing so helps the ASP co-directors to schedule staff, plan activities, and more.

You can click the button at the bottom of this newsletter to go to the registration page.

Learn to Sew Classes in ASP

Just two weeks left: Nov 11 & Nov 18

ASP registration is required to participate in the Learn to Sew classes (regular ASP fees apply).

Please send a separate email to Michelle Tomlinson to sign up for this special offering.

Nurse Notes

Fall Back and Stay Healthy

It’s that time of year again when we change our clocks! This year we set our clocks back one hour this Sunday, November 7th, in the wee early hours.

While most of the adverse effects experienced from the bi-annual clock settings occur in the spring with moving “forward” an hour, the one-hour “back” can also cause some disruptions to routine, and potentially have a short-term effect on health and comfort. Time change effects are often likened to “jet lag,” and can show up as irritability, foggy-headed thinking, slowed reaction times while driving, and maybe even behavior disruptions related to the altered sleep cycles.

One hour’s difference may not seem like much on the surface, but young bodies need anywhere from 8 to 10 hours sleep each night for optimal health maintenance. Losing an hour or more over a few days due to time change, can create a “sleep deficit” in a relatively short period. This is quite similar to how our bodies need regular watering for hydration to stay healthy, our bodies need regular periods of rest.

Of course, not everyone is affected in the same ways. Kids, those with neuro-divergence concerns, and people who need to take certain medications that effect sleep patterns might find it helpful to begin preparing a few days in advance by setting a slightly earlier bedtime, in 15 to 30-minute increments leading up to “clock change day.”

Pediatricians typically recommend turning off electronics and personal devices 30 to 60 minutes prior to bedtime to allow the brain time to re-set and begin the wind-down process for rest. Artificial lights, specially the “blue light” emitted by these devices can trick the brain into thinking its still time to be awake and alert.

Give yourselves extra time and patience in the days following the clock adjustment, our body’s circadian rhythm and societal expectations of individual function do not always align. Staying hydrated can help ward off some of the deleterious effects as well.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has some helpful and interesting articles for those wishing to learn more.

Community News

It's never too early to look ahead!

Rice Memorial High School is now accepting applications for the 2022-2023 school year.

Please contact Stacy Bessette with any questions at or 802-862-6521 ext. 2246.

Coming Up Next

November 19 - Trimester I ends

November 20 - Unstuffed 5K

November 24-26 - No School - Thanksgiving Break

December 3 - Report Cards

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