Back to School with Caution

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We have been informed of a COVID-19 positive student in Upper Elementary and a presumed case in the Lower Elementary program. We have closed those two classrooms and are following the “contact tracing” and “return to school” algorithm set by the Vermont Department of Health. Students and teachers who were with these two students on Monday and Tuesday of this week are home quarantining and will be able to return after 14 days, or 7 days and a negative PCR test. The testing results are taking 3 days or more, so the classes will likely be closed until Monday, September 27th, pending other developments

We are optimistic that our masking, upgraded ventilation system, air filters, extended time outside, and some distancing, could make for NO community spread, but that is still to be determined. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation as we work through this potential exposure within our community. 

Close contacts are only students and teachers who were with the two students in Elementary. Those who are one removed from the positive student (parents and siblings of Elementary students) are not considered to be at risk due to a secondary exposure, as it takes at least 3 days from exposure before someone is shedding virus to infect another. As such, we feel comfortable keeping other classrooms open. For families with current students in the Elementary programs, it would be prudent to limit the chance of exposure between the student and other members of your family as much as possible over the weekend and into next week. A PCR test taken on Tuesday, September 21st (International Peace Day!) could clear them of concern from this potential exposure. If you want some peace of mind sooner than when those results return, you could seek a rapid test in a few days. If you choose to do this, please be aware of the possible inaccuracy of a rapid test, and that we will be requiring negative PCR tests (or the full 14 day quarantine with no symptoms) for Elementary students to return to school. Results can be sent to Desi at the Front Desk. 

Each program will be making plans for how to support students with Learning from Home should the shut down go beyond Monday, September 27th. Last year we invested a great deal of time and energy in having a program ready to turn to at any moment. We determined that to not be a good investment of time for this year, knowing that the priority would be having school in-person. Depending on how things develop, the Elementary programs will have some work to send home and/or ways to communicate with the teachers if this closure extends. We will be in touch.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.
Tamara Mount 
Head of School