Requirements, Protocols, and Learning Environments for 2021-22

Our goal is to maintain a community that is healthy and well so as to promote the highest levels of in-person participation in learning. We balance this goal against our continued focus on preventing the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and its variants on campus and within our community.

5th and 6th Grades

Because our 5th and 6th grade students are not yet eligible for the vaccine, they will function as a cohort that is separate from the other grade levels in the school. So they will meet together for learning, eating, and engaging in physical activity separately from other grade levels during the course of the day. It is inevitable that they will briefly be in proximity to students from other grade levels, but our daily schedule and strategies will be designed to ensure that those moments do not present additional risk. It is important to note that being cohorted within a community of others who are vaccinated is in itself another measure of safety.

COVID-19 Vaccines

Wooster School is requiring all students, faculty, and staff to acquire COVID-19 vaccinations prior to the start of the Fall 2021 School Year. Wooster School is requesting documentation via electronic health record in Magnus. There will be no exceptions. As per the State of Connecticut, any religious exemption must have been on file prior to April 28, 2021. Medical exemptions must be approved by a physician and on file with Nurse Jette. If you have questions about available COVID-19 vaccines please speak with your health care provider and/or visit Vaccines for COVID-19. This site will also assist in locating a vaccine distribution location as well.

Masks

At present, we are operating under Governor Lamont's Executive Order 12A, which states that anyone inside a public or private school building must wear a mask. Teachers have the option of unmasking while teaching indoors. Here is a link to the DPH bulletin which explains the situation.We will not be requiring masks outdoors for 7th - 12th graders. Though not required, the wearing of a mask outside will still be an option for any student or faculty/staff member who wishes to do so. We will still be emphasizing good hand hygiene and the cleaning of surfaces. To be clear, as per Governor Lamont, all 7th - 12th grade students will be wearing masks indoors until further notice.

5th and 6th grade students will continue to wear masks while indoors until they have the opportunity to be fully vaccinated. 5th and 6th grade students will not be required to wear masks when outside. Particular attention will be paid to ensuring that when on recess or breaks, 5th and 6th graders will maintain a 3 foot distance whenever possible.

Distancing and Learning Spaces

As per CDC guidance, we will maintain 3 feet of distance between students in learning spaces, which means that we will be able to return to configurations which resemble our pre-COVID environment. So no more classes in the gyms or Dining Room!

Testing

Anyone experiencing a key symptom of COVID-19 illness (fever or chills, new cough, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, difficulty of breathing) or a combination of general symptoms of illness should contact their primary health care provider for evaluation and to be tested for COVID-19.

Positive test results

If your student has a positive test result for COVID-19, the student will need to be isolated for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or if asymptomatic, from the date of the test. The student may return to activities:

  • After 10 days and
  • After being fever free for 24 hours, without the use of antipyretics and
  • Symptoms are improving

The CT DPH is offering a program of pooled testing for our students who are not yet eligible for vaccination (5th and 6th grades), the details of which will be shared once they are provided to us by local officials.

Ventilation

We will continue to utilize our air filtration systems, keep doors and windows open as much as possible, and utilize fans to keep fresh air circulating in learning spaces as appropriate.

Contact Tracing

When an on-campus community member tests positive for COVID-19, we will conduct contact tracing much like we did last year. Students who are correctly wearing masks within learning spaces cannot have been within 3 feet or less for more than a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period. All other situations will fall under the 6 feet standard recommended by the CDC.

As we did last year, we will be employing mitigation strategies inside our learning spaces (mask wearing, 3 foot distance, time, movement, hand hygiene, ventilation/air filtering) and outdoors (distancing, optional mask wearing, time) so as to prevent close contact among students.

Quarantine

Quarantine is removing oneself from interactions with others to prevent the transmission of the virus.

For unvaccinated persons, quarantine remains necessary after close contact. An unvaccinated person should quarantine themselves after the time of close contact for at least:

  • 10 days without a test or
  • 7 days; with a negative test obtained on or after the 5th day

A fully vaccinated person does not have to quarantine after close contact if they are asymptomatic. The recommendation for a fully vaccinated person who has been in close contact with a case of COVID-19, is:

  • Test 5-7 days after exposure and continue to wear a mask indoors for 14 days or until test results are received.
  • The person experiencing an onset of symptoms after exposure should be tested and quarantined until results are received.

Athletics

Practices and games for outdoor sports for 7th - 12th grade students will resemble our pre-pandemic programs. Indoor sports will continue to require a mask for as long as the Governor's Executive Order is in effect. We will continue to encourage students to distance when on the sidelines and bring their own water bottles to practices and games.

Lunch

7th and 8th Grade students will eat together at Middle School lunch in the Dining Room. 9th - 12th Grade students will be assigned into one of two lunch waves. We will maintain 3 foot spacing in the Dining Room for all grade levels. When inside the Dining Room, if students are not eating, they will have to be masked.

5th and 6th Grade students will observe 6 foot distancing and eat separately from the 7th and 8th grade students.

CDC Resources

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