Happy New Year! I’ve never been more excited to turn the hand of time forward! Even though we are still far from a return to normalcy, I am hopeful that brighter days are ahead.
We are looking forward to seeing your kids back at school on Monday, January 4th. In assessing the COVID-19 conditions in our region, we feel it is safe to open. At this time, we have not received news from anyone within our school community that would cause us to change plans.
Before your students return please take note of the following IMPORTANT items:
Change in Morning Drop-Off Procedure
Everything will proceed as normal, except that we will be checking students’ temperatures indoors to get the most accurate reading. Health checkers will ask if the health screening was completed online before your student exits the vehicle. Doing the online screening ahead of time speeds things up and is essential for students who are walking or biking to school.
Please be prepared to wait in your vehicle and do not leave until the health screener confirms that your student(s) passed the temperature check. We appreciate your patience and thank you in advance for building extra time into your morning routine for this necessary procedure.
COVID-19 Testing and Quarantine
We are reopening school with the understanding and expectation that everyone has been diligent in following the recommended COVID-19 safety guidelines and precautions during the winter break. Distance learning is available to any student who needs this option. The sooner you inform your teacher and the office at firstname.lastname@example.org, the better we can prepare.
The Vermont Department of Health cautions that people can still spread the virus even when they don’t have symptoms. A 14-day quarantine or a COVID-19 test is needed 7 days after a single exposure and/or if any of the higher-risk situations apply to your student’s household members:
- Having close contact with a positive case, including those who share a household or worksite with a positive person, and those who have attended an event with that person.
- Attending a gathering with more than one trusted household.
- Attending an event.
- Traveling out of state.
- Having more than 15 minutes of contact with a visitor from out-of-state.
The most up-to-date local COVID-19 testing information is available on the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center website, including FAQs for the FREE test at the Bennington Rescue Squad. Thank you for continuing to take steps to protect others and prevent further spread of the virus.
Please be sure your students return to school with their Chromebooks and chargers.
Winter Clothes and Gear
Students must be dressed for the winter weather and will not be permitted to enter school without their winter gear, unless a parent/guardian agrees to bring the items back to school. Recess, physical education, and classroom breaks will happen outside, and students need a winter coat, gloves, a hat, and boots, as well as snow pants (when there is snow). We also recommend students wear warm layers and pack an extra pair of dry clothing. We do not have extra winter clothes and gear to lend out on a daily basis due to COVID-19 precautions. If your student does not have access to winter clothing or gear, please contact School Nurse Kaitlyn Hewson at (802) 442-5955 or email@example.com.
Thank You, Thank you, Thank You!
I realize none of this has been easy, and it will not be easy for some time yet to come. We are fortunate to have a dedicated staff and a supportive, caring community. Everyone’s efforts to keep ourselves and one another safe have made a huge difference in enabling us to keep our school open for the benefit of our students. Let’s keep up the great work in the New Year!