November 28, 2021
Happy Sunday Harrington Families
I hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Some traveled, some stayed home and some just kept things simple, no matter how you celebrated the time, I hope it was peaceful, full of happiness and laughter. We come back to school tomorrow to pretty much a full week, without the only exception being teacher/family conferences on December 1st. By all accounts the conferences have been productive and positive when all involved happy for a bit of normalcy with being able to come in and sit with student's teachers. As a reminder, December 1st will be a half day to facilitate those conferences, please look for the half day slips going home in your student's backpack either tomorrow or Tuesday.
As I mentioned in last week's Happenings, we have seen an uptick in COVID cases within the school. Our precautions have been effective in that the cases are isolated to some classrooms and not the entire school. With that being said, I must reiterate that if your student is not feeling well for any reason, they should not be coming to school. In the effort of controlling COVID cases in the school, I will be requiring parents to come to school to pick up their student if they come to school not feeling well. I hope you understand that we do not have the luxury to determine whether symptoms are either a cold, allergy or simply the sniffles. If your student has had a fever, has vomitted or been nauseous, you must wait 24hrs before they can return to school and depending on additional symptoms they may be required to have a negative COVID test prior to returning, the school nurse will make that call. Your support and understanding for this is appreciated as the safety of all is the priority of us all.
We understand that is it stressful for families to have a positive case in the home, and for families to have their children identified as close contacts in school. What is a challenge for us, is that individuals also have connections outside of school with activities and friendships. Some families are forthcoming and share that information with us and some do not. We are doing our best to continue with our mitigation strategies in school. Additionally, we are asking families to follow our protocols, to complete wellness checks prior to coming into school, to not send their child to school if they are not feeling well, and to let us know if they are close contacts outside of school. We strongly encourage families who have not done so, to sign their child up for the Test and Stay Program. The Test and Stay program allows for unvaccinated individuals (who are identified as a close contact due to an exposure in the school setting to a positive case) to remain in school. Students who participate in the Test and Stay program, if asymptomatic, are tested daily for 5-7 days with a rapid Antigen test. Consent for Test and Stay must be received by the school a minimum of three days prior to an exposure in order to be eligible for participation. Those individuals who are identified as a close contact to a positive case outside of school ( i.e. a household family member, at a community activity such as a birthday party, soccer or dance..etc ) must quarantine at home as the outside of school exposure is a higher risk exposure.
We will offer the second dose vaccine clinic on Friday, December 10, 2021, from 3:00pm-7:30pm at the McCarthy. Again, we strongly recommend that individuals who are eligible to be vaccinated !! Covid-19 vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo intensive safety monitoring. Covid 19- vaccines are effective and can reduce the risk of getting and spreading the virus that cause Covid-19. There is strength in numbers! Getting the vaccine can protect families, communities, and our schools.
The collective health of our school community, and our community at large, relies on a collaborative partnership with our families. This partnership requires our families to follow the best practices and guidelines that we know will decrease the spread of the virus.
TEST & STAY CONSENT
At the beginning of the school year, Dr. Lang sent out a link for families to participate in the Test and Stay program for their students. While this is certainly parental/guardian choice as to whether to participate in the program or not which I respect uncondidtionally, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of school attendance. In the event of a positive case in a classroom, those students that are not signed up for the Test and Stay program can be out of school anywhere from 8 to 11 days. As we move deeper into the year, academic requirements and expectations only increase and attendance is truly valuable. If you were on the fence before, give me a call and let's talk about it and why it can be an important decision regarding consent. I've attached the link for those that may want to sign up for the program.
As always, thank you for your continued support of our Harrington community. Please reach out to me or Karen with any questions or concerns as always.
Once again, remember to…"Push through your day, Smile, Be Happy, Stay Positive!"
Be safe! Stay well!
Rob & Karen
Let's Stay Connected!
Grade 2 Mitten & Glove Drive
Our second grade students will be creating a “Garland of Giving” during the upcoming holiday season. Beginning December 1st, please consider donating new mittens and gloves of all sizes to our community bin located in the Harrington lobby. We will be accepting donations until Friday, December 17th. The mittens and gloves will be donated to The Wish Project in the name of Harrington School. What a wonderful gesture of kindness and community service this will be! We hope to beat our 2019 donation of 290 pairs of mittens and gloves. Thank you for your contributions to help those in need during the upcoming winter season.
SCHOOL REMINDERS -
HPTO Meetings: On that first Wednesday of each month we hold our HPTO meetings at 6:30, in person and virtually. Our PTO gives parents and teachers the opportunity to work together to supplement and enrich the educational experience for all. Harrington Elementary is incredibly fortunate to have such a strong, dedicated, motivated, well-functioning PTO. Our HPTO is the teacher's and community's most important ally when it comes to achieving curricular and fundraising goals throughout the year. I know that everyone leads busy lives, as does this amazing PTO board, so, I would ask all of you to try to take some time at the beginning of each month to support our HPTO by attending their meetings either in person or virtually. If you have a Facebook account, join the HPTO page for important news and information of upcoming events and links to the meetings.
Mask Help: If possible send your child’s mask in on a breakaway lanyard as many students are losing their masks out at recess.
Approaching Cold Weather: As we approach our cold weather season, please make sure students are coming to school with the appropriate clothing. Unless we reach a specific threshold in regards to temperature, the plan will always be to go outside as much as possible for mask breaks and recess.
Calling all fourth grade parents! We are now forming our fourth grade committee and need volunteers for helping with things like the yearbook, class gift and end of year activities. If you’re interested in helping out, please email email@example.com
Our next PTO meeting will be held on Wednesday December 1 at 6:30pmin the Harrington Library and live online. Keep an eye on our Facebook page that day for a link to join!