As many of you likely heard, Governor Scott released the Vermont Forward Plan this week to guide Vermonters and local businesses in returning to less restrictive travel, business operations, and event gatherings in phases, as more Vermonters are vaccinated and mitigation measures are eased. Yesterday, the Vermont Agency of Education (VT AOE) sent out revised safety and health guidance to schools, as well. This guidance, titled A Strong And Healthy Year, introduces a number of changes to the health and safety protocols previously put into place by the VT AOE. These changes reflect positive steps forward for how we are living and working, and they give me hope that we’ll return to a more “normal” school year and environment next year.
Please read below for more details about the changes that are taking effect for our school. Since we have fared well in going above and beyond the guidelines over the last eight months, we will continue to follow the practices that have kept our students and staff the safest.
As a reminder, school will be closed for spring break next week. Students are bringing home their Chromebooks and chargers. Please keep in mind that the school will not be able to monitor students’ usage of Chromebooks during the break.
I hope you and your students enjoy time together and get outside into the lovely spring weather.
COVID-19 HEALTH & SAFETY INFORMATION AND PROCEDURAL CHANGES
Starting on Monday, April 19, we are following state guidance to ask families to take their students’ temperatures before completing our school’s health screening. If you are not able to take your student’s temperature at home or you forget, a staff health screener will still be available to take your student’s temperature upon arrival at school. Please note that students who arrive on the School Street side will no longer enter through the gym door and will, instead, enter through the school lobby.
As of April 19th, the health screening questions will be updated to reflect the new guidance.
The questions will read:
- In the past 3 days has your student or any unvaccinated member of your household left Vermont for any purpose other than what the state of Vermont defines as “essential travel” (personal, health care, medication, care of others, parental shared custody, grocery shopping, school, or work)?
- In the past 3 days has your student or any unvaccinated member of your household had close contact (less than six feet for 15 minutes or more) with unvaccinated visitors from outside of Vermont for any reason other than what the state considers “essential” purposes (see above)?
- Does anyone in your household have a fever (temperature of 100.4 or above)?
- Is anyone in your household taking fever-reducing medicines, such as those that contain aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen?
- Is anyone in your household experiencing chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea?
- Has your student or any unvaccinated member of your household had close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
- Has your student or any member of your household been directed to self-quarantine by a health care provider or by the Vermont Department of Health?
Our school will require families to keep their students home after non-essential, out-of-state travel, get tested on the third day after their return to Vermont, and then come back to school once a negative test result is received. If a student does not get the COVID-19 test, our school will follow the CDC guidelines and the student will not be able to return to school for 10 days.
Our school will require that any student who has had close contact (less than six feet for 15 minutes or more) with unvaccinated visitors from outside of Vermont for any reason other than what the state considers “essential” purposes will have to follow the guidelines as stated above for the “travel” section.
For More Information:
• COVID-19 health information, guidance and data, visit www.healthvermont.gov/covid19
• COVID-19 local testing information: https://svhealthcare.org/COVID-19/testing
• Vaccination information and registration: www.healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine
THANK YOU TO THE VILLAGE SCHOOL’S 2020-2021 BUSINESS PARTNERS IN EDUCATION
All of these partners are helping to support many of our school programs. You can learn more about these partners at https://vsnb.org/bpie-sponsors
Bank of Bennington: https://thebankofbennington.com/
D.B. McKenna & Co., Inc.: https://www.dbmckenna.com/
RCS Consulting, Inc.: https://www.rcs.consulting/
Whitman’s / Poulin Grain: https://www.whitmansfeed.com/
Adam’s Lock & Security: https://www.adamslockvt.com/
Danielle D. Fogarty, PLC: https://www.ddfplc.com/
Global Z: https://globalz.com/
Maple Leaf Realty: https://www.mapleleafvermont.com/
West Oil Company: https://westoilcompany.com/
Williams Financial, LLC: https://williamsfinancial.net/
Bennington Express Car Wash and Repair: https://www.benningtonlubeandwash.com/
Idena Beach Photography: http://www.idenabeach.com
Pembroke Landscaping: http://pembrokelandscaping.com/