Dear Auburn Village School Families,
Welcome to the 2021 – 2022 school year. I hope that everyone is enjoying the last weeks of summer and that your children are looking forward to the start of school. My goal has been, since the end of school in June, to open this fall as close to “normal” as possible. As I am sure you are aware, the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus has raised some concern across the country and most recently across New Hampshire. At this time, I imagine that many of you have questions regarding what school will look like for your children this year. As much as I would like to promise you that what I tell you now will hold true for the entire school year, I cannot make that promise. The pandemic is still with us and recommendations from the various health agencies change over time. The guidance documents that we consider are
- CDC guidance for K-12 schools and childcare programs
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidance for K-12 schools
- New Hampshire Grades K-12 Back-to-School Guidance March 2021
- NH Universal Best Practices
- State of NH School and Childcare Toolkit 2021-2022 and
- NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) interpretation of the above guidance provided during our Educational Institution Calls for K-12 schools and childcare partners
The purpose of this letter is to outline what prevention/mitigation strategies we will employ to start the school year based on the guidance documents and our 2021-2022 Auburn Village School Reopening Plan.
Cohorting and Physical Distancing
- Students will primarily interact with their homeroom cohort while inside the building; however, they will travel to unified arts classrooms. Middle school students will travel to their core academic classes as well.
- Students may interact with other designated grade levels while outside at recess (K-2, 3-5, and 6-8).
- Students will sit a minimum of 3 feet apart in the classroom when possible, and 6 feet in the lunchroom.
- Face coverings are optional for all building occupants.
- Face coverings must be worn while on school buses per CDC order. Masks will be provided for students who do not have them.
- If there is a significant rise in community transmission of COVID-19, masks may be required for all occupants of the school building. At this time we do not have an exact measure for this determination; however, Auburn’s positivity rate and positive cases within the Auburn Village School are two of the primary factors that will be considered. The NH COVID Dashboard can be located here.
- If you want your child to wear a face mask regardless of the current school procedures, please contact Lindsay Murray (email@example.com) for Elementary School or Kerry Boles (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Middle School or their teacher, and we will work with the staff to do our best to remind your child to utilize their mask while indoors..
- Windows will be opened each morning before school to increase fresh air circulation. Teachers will be encouraged to keep windows open as the weather allows.
Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
- Students will be regularly washing and sanitizing their hands throughout the school day.
- Hand sanitizer is available in every classroom and at the frequently used entrances to the building.
- Auburn Village School staff will teach and reinforce good respiratory etiquette including covering coughs and sneezes.
Staying Home When Sick
Please check your child for the following symptoms each day before sending them to school:
- Fever or chills,
- Shortness of breath,
- Sore throat,
- Nasal congestion and runny nose,
- Muscle or body aches,
- New loss of taste or smell,
- Nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
We are not asking you to report your home screening unless your child has a symptom. In that case, please contact Mrs. Bernier, School Nurse, at email@example.com or Dr. Collins, School Principal, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and keep your child home.
- If your child develops a new or unexplained symptom while at school, we will be following the same procedures as last year which are outlined below:
- The school nurse will assess symptomatic children in an isolation room and contact the parent for pick up via private transportation.
- The nurse will advise you to contact your healthcare provider and outline the conditions for return to school.
- An individual may return to school with a documented negative test result and improved symptoms, or written medical clearance that symptoms are not COVID related;
- If you choose not to have your child tested or the test is positive, individuals may return to school after 10 days of onset of symptoms, and when symptoms improve and they are fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication.
- If your child is in quarantine from school please contact your child’s homeroom teacher/advisor for more information and how to access the instructional materials.
Positive Case(s) at School/Contact Tracing
- If your child or a household member tests positive for COVID-19, please contact Dr. Collins (email@example.com) as soon as possible.
- If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, Dr. Collins will conduct contact tracing and notify any close contacts via email.
- Individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 while at school or a school event will not be excluded from school, but will be asked to “self-observe” for 14 days following exposure and report any symptoms to the school nurse immediately.
- Individuals who are unvaccinated and are living with a positive individual will need to “self-quarantine”.
- Notice of positive cases within our school community will be sent via email to all Auburn Village School families and staff.
Cleaning and Disinfection
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures will continue and all classrooms will be cleaned and sanitized daily.
- Frequent cleaning will occur in common areas and bathrooms throughout the day.
- School athletics will be held and follow Tri-County Athletics guidelines for each season.
- Events and assemblies that involve larger groups of people may be held virtually depending on the ability to adhere to appropriate social distancing guidance.
- Clubs and organizations may meet in person or via Zoom.
- The Auburn Village School does not offer a 100% remote program this year. If a family requires a remote option, please contact Mrs.Murray, ES Assistant Principal for assistance with contacting Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) for enrollment.
- If there is a need to switch to remote learning for a classroom or the whole school, we will continue to follow our in-person schedule which can be found in your child’s homeroom course in Schoology (Grades 3-8) and SeeSaw (k-2).
Please note that there could be changes to these strategies if conditions warrant a change. If that does occur, I will be sure to communicate with you as quickly as possible.
I understand that this is a lot of information to absorb. If there is anything that you would like further clarification on or to discuss with me, please feel free to contact me at 603-483-2769 extension 1002 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will continue to be your main point of contact for any COVID-19 related questions throughout the school year, other medical questions can be directed to our School Nurse (email@example.com).
Dr. Lori Collins