Health & Safety Memo #2

August 26, 2021

INTRODUCTION

This Health and Safety Memo is based on the first of our state’s recommendations, released by the Agency of Education, in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Health. We anticipate releasing updated memos as the Agency of Education and the Vermont Department of Health provide additional and more detailed information designed to help keep our students, staff, and families safe and learning.


Please understand that our guidance, like last year, is a work in progress. As more information and recommendations become available, we will continue to update our plans and communicate these plans with you. We hope that this second memo will further your understanding of what the start of our school year will look like.

MASKS and SANITIZING - REMINDER

As we begin the school year, everyone who enters the school and/or participates in any school-sponsored function, must wear a mask and use hand sanitizer, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are not required when outdoors or when eating or drinking.

MASS AND MORNING ASSEMBLY - UPDATE

With the rise of COVID-19 infection in children, we have decided to adjust our plans for whole-school gatherings. We will divide our school during Mass and morning assemblies; half of our school will attend these celebrations in-person while the other half of our school will view the celebrations from their classrooms, alternating. We will be grouped in the following way:

  • PK3, PK4, 2, 4, 6, and 8
  • K, 1, 3, 5, and 7

This will minimize the number of students in our multi-purpose room at one time, while providing our students the opportunity to interact with different members of our school community.

CLOSE CONTACT PROTOCOL - UPDATE

Through the month of September, we will use the same close contact protocol as we used last year. As a reminder: if a student is identified as a close contact, s/he may not attend school until s/he receives (and you share) a negative PCR test, seven days after the possible exposure. This goes for all students, regardless of their vaccination status.

HOME HEALTH SCREENING - UPDATE

In order to keep our school community healthy, all families should complete a health screening at home each morning before departing for school. Health screenings will not be conducted at school. Here are the health screening questions we ask you to complete with your child(ren) each morning before arriving at school:


  • Does your student have an abnormal temperature (100.4° or higher)?
  • Does your student feel unwell or have any of the following new or unexplained symptoms that are not due to another condition: cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, chills, recent loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea?
  • Has your student come in close contact with anyone that you know has COVID-19?


If your child can answer yes to one of these questions, please keep your child home. In the past, parents may have encouraged their student to "give it a try" with the promise of an early pick-up if the child continues to not feel well. We ask parents to adjust this practice and to keep your student home if s/he is not feeling well.


Reminder: If symptoms present while at school, parents/family will be notified and the student will be sent home immediately. While awaiting retrieval, the student is required to be isolated from other staff and students while waiting s/he waits.

CONTACT TRACING - UPDATE

We will conduct internal contact tracing investigations when a student or staff was present in school or was at a school event while infectious with COVID-19. We may learn of these school exposures when a family or staff member notifies school administrators directly or when the Health Department identifies an exposure during contact tracing and alerts the school.


When we learn of an exposure, BJAMS will:


  • Verify the student or staff was at school while infectious.
  • Identify close contacts in the school setting.
  • Confer with the Health Department to review the situation, conduct an exposure risk assessment and discuss close contact determinations.
  • Notify close contacts at the school of their exposure using the “quarantine letter” provided by the Health Department and provide testing guidance as needed. The Health Department will not follow up with close contacts that the school notifies.
  • Provide a line list to the Health Department with information about all close contacts identified.

VACCINE CLINIC INFORMATION

A full list of clinics, clinic hours, and registration information can be found at healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine