October 25, 2021 Edition
Message from the Superintendent
Dear SCPS Families,
We are a couple weeks into the second quarter of our school year and enjoying the school experiences the fall season brings. The vast majority of our students have been engaged in in-person learning through 11 weeks. Even though a number of students and staff have been impacted by COVID-19 (positive cases or quarantining), we have been able to maintain services through the most difficult period of transmission we have experienced since it all began. Having students actively participating in school functions and activities has been incredibly rewarding for students, families, and staff.
I want to thank our dedicated staff, parent volunteers, and critical partners who continue to be the catalysts and primary support in providing these experiences. Among those critical staff are our dedicated bus drivers and transportation staff. This past week, National School Bus Safety Week was recognized by our schools who showed support to the drivers and attendants in a multitude of ways.
We have a number of pertinent updates and announcements in this edition of our IMPACT newsletter below:
Announcements & Updates:
FREE BinaxNOW COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Kits:
As part of our commitment to keeping students and staff in school, Spotsylvania County Public Schools is participating in the Virginia Department of Health’s ViSSTA testing program. This program includes receiving COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to distribute to our students and staff to help shorten quarantine time for close contacts. These tests are provided on a first come, first served basis upon request. Individuals identified as close contacts who wish to receive a free diagnostic COVID-19 test, should contact their school nurse.
The test should be conducted on the fifth day of quarantine. If test results are negative, the individual may return to school/work on the 8th day if asymptomatic. It is important to note that taking a test is completely voluntary and individuals who choose not to take a diagnostic test may return to school/work on the 11th day if asymptomatic.
The test is done in the comfort of your own home and uses trained, virtual proctors to guide you through the test via video call. The BinaxNOW COVID-19 diagnostic test is easy to use and requires a nasal swab. Results can be read in 15 minutes. Note: this test can only detect COVID-19 and will not detect the flu.
The free NAVICA mobile app (included with the test) can be downloaded to a smartphone or tablet, and allows the individual to:
Display your COVID-19 test result and review previously stored COVID-19 test results
Receive an encrypted, digital NAVICA Pass with a negative test result, similar to an airline boarding pass
Share your NAVICA Pass with NAVICA-enabled organizations such as employers and schools to verify your negative COVID-19 test results
If you have any questions about the BinaxNOW COVID-19 diagnostic test, please contact your school nurse or Health Services at 540-582-5125 during business hours. Thank you for your continued support.
Rappahannock Area Health Department COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics for Ages 5-11:
The Rappahannock Area Health Department will be hosting two clinics in Spotsylvania for SCPS students ages 5-11 on the following days:
Saturday, November 13 (1st dose) and Saturday, December 4 (2nd dose) 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Chancellor High School
Tuesday, November 16 - NEW DATE- (1st dose) and Tuesday, December 7 (2nd dose)
5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Spotsylvania High School
The FDA approved Pfizer vaccine will be administered. To be fully-vaccinated, children must receive both doses. Parents will need to complete a permission form for each of their children. Appointment information for these clinics is forthcoming. As a reminder, the COVID-19 vaccine is not required for students and is voluntary.
COVID-19 Booster Vaccine Update:
Booster vaccines are now available at local pharmacies. As per current CDC guidance, if the same vaccine is not available, any booster vaccine can be taken regardless of the initial vaccine as long as the individual is fully-vaccinated at least 6 months prior for Moderna and Pfizer and 2 months prior for J&J (Fully-vaccinated is considered 2 vaccines for Moderna, 2 vaccines for Pfizer, and 1 for J&J). Additionally, the Community Vaccination Center in Central Park opened on October 21st. It is located at 1877 Central Park Blvd (it's in the shopping center behind Krispy Kreme). They are open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Appointments are encouraged and can be made at vase.vdh.virginia.gov, but walk-ins are allowed. All 3 vaccines are currently available at this site and individuals can receive either a booster or first/second doses. As soon as Pfizer is authorized for 5-11 year olds, that will also be available at the Community Vaccination Center.
Donation Collection for Treasure House:
On October 9, the Office of Communications and Community Engagement partnered with Mt. Hope Baptist Church to host a drive-thru collection to benefit the SCPS Treasure House. Many thanks to everyone who supported this event. The community's generous donations filled a box truck with personal hygiene items that will be distributed to SCPS students and families in need.
SEF IDEA Grants:
On Friday, October 8, the Spotsylvania Education Foundation (SEF)
surprised 13 teachers/teams with IDEA grants that totaled $16,806.26. These grants fund innovative learning opportunities and materials to support student success. Schools awarded grants were John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Center, Massaponax High, Riverbend High, Spotsylvania High, Chancellor Middle, Ni River Middle, Courthouse Road Elementary, Parkside Elementary, Salem Elementary, Spotswood Elementary, and Wilderness Elementary. Many thanks to the Spotsylvania Education Foundation and supporters who make IDEA grants possible.
As you know, four bond referendum questions will be on this year’s ballot. The questions will relate to the possible issuance of General Obligation Public Improvement Bonds to fund capital projects for Public Schools, Transportation, Public Safety, and Parks and Recreation purposes. The School Division’s presentation is linked below. For more information, visit to www.spotsylvania.va.us/2021BondReferendum.
School by School Proposed Facility Projects: https://www.spotsylvania.va.us/DocumentCenter/View/17999/Handout-School-and-Dept-Breakdown?bidId
Have a great week and a nice holiday weekend!
Superintendent of Schools