(This message was sent to the school community on Monday, September 13, 2021)
My name is Chris Wilson and I am the School Nurse/Health Care Consultant. I just wanted to introduce myself to our new families and say welcome back to our returning families. Additionally, I wanted to reach out and give you all an update on Covid protocols and guidelines from the Department of Public Health.
I know we were all hoping for an easier situation this year, but with the pandemic continuing to persist, it is important that we continue to follow the protocols to keep our community safe. Here at Harborlight, we will continue to mask, distance whenever possible, practice good hand hygiene, and utilize the outdoor classroom.
Illness and Symptoms:
If your child is sick, please keep them home until I can have a conversation with you. Even if the illness seems mild (runny nose, headache), it may be necessary to keep your student home for a day until the illness declares itself. A new onset runny nose in one child may be a cough and sore throat in another.
The Department of Public Health has modified the symptom list with regards to required testing. If your student is sick and displays multiple symptoms or certain stand-alone symptoms, they will need a doctor’s note or a negative PCR test. Additionally, they will need significant improvement in symptoms prior to returning to school.
COVID-19 symptoms list:
• Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• New loss of taste or smell
• Muscle aches or body aches
• Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
• Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
• Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms
• Headache when in combination with other symptoms
• Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
• Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms.
Test and Stay, Quarantine Guidelines:
In an effort to keep classrooms open and the school operating, Harborlight has enrolled in the Department of Education’s Test and Stay program. In the event of a positive case in a classroom, I will be able to test the close contacts in the classroom and allow them to stay in school. The testing is done with BinaxNow rapid antigen test and will require 5 days of consecutive testing. As of now, we can offer this program to our students in Grades 1-8, with the possibility of including Children’s House pending approval from the state.
I will send out an additional email this week with a link to the online consent form required for participation in the program.
For those students who test positive or are close contacts that cannot participate in the Test and Stay program, the link below will provide information with regards to quarantine. If there is an incident and you must quarantine, I will go over the details with you.
Outside of School Guidance:
Finally, what we all do away from Harborlight has a big impact on keeping our classrooms open for in-person learning. I would like to remind everyone to keep your social bubbles small and avoid crowded indoor activities until the situation improves and vaccines become available to our younger students and siblings.
I am a parent of two Harborlight students as well. I know how difficult some of this can be, but I am here to support you anytime. If you have a question, please text or email me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.