Dear Sanford School Community,
First, let me thank you for assisting your children in their remote learning. Teachers are working very hard to support students while we are in remote learning this week. Please understand, that all of us want to keep students in school with in-person learning. We understand the difficulties that remote learning can present for families and appreciate your support in keeping our students safe and healthy. Working together to not spread the virus is the key to keeping our students in school. This means following quarantine and isolation guidelines. These guidelines are put in place to stop the spread of COVID. It is only by keeping sick children home and following these that we can prevent the spread of the virus within the school. This is our responsibility as a school community.
It has come to my attention that perhaps you are not aware of the circumstances surrounding the regulations schools must follow during this pandemic. I apologize that I have not done a better job in educating the community. I hope the information presented below helps us all understand why we are in remote learning and what can be done to prevent remote learning in the future.
- The definition of an outbreak at a school is when 5 or more students/staff test positive within a 14-day period with the cases coming from 5 separate households. If all the cases come from only one school, such as our elementary, then the Jr/Sr high school could remain in session. The school was in double digits with positive cases. The state could have shut us down sooner. However, I felt like our local public health was working with us to see if the numbers would turn around. Unfortunately, numbers did not turn around, rather they continued to increase. This is the reason we went into remote learning for this week and the purpose for remote learning was to keep students, staff, and community. In the future, if numbers once again return to outbreak status, the result will likely be the same. These rules apply to all schools in Colorado.
- There are three options to help keep students in school. These include:
- FYI-if a student tests positive for COVID and completes their isolation time and then if exposed again, would not need to quarantine during the next 90-day period. Once the 90 days are up, the student once again falls under the quarantine rules.
- The rapid tests the school is using are the BinexNow. This test uses a sterile cotton swab and does NOT require a deep nasal swab. The swab can be used in the lower part of the nostril and does not hurt at all. Students who have used the rapid test report no discomfort.
- Quarantine-a 10-day period that one stays home after being exposed. During these 10 days monitor symptoms. If you have no symptoms, you can return to school after day 10.
- Isolation takes place for 10 days after one tests positive for COVID. Those in isolation should stay home and keep away from others as best they can. This is done to stop the spread of the virus to the community. After 10 days, and if no symptoms continue, a student can return to school.
- If exposed to COVID at the school and quarantined, a student can either take a COVID test with the school on day 6 and if testing negative, can return to school with a mask through day 10. After day 10, no mask is needed. Or, if the parent chooses, the student can remain in quarantine through day 10 and then return to school provided the student is symptom-free.
1. All students and staff properly wearing masks. If we were to choose this option, only the person who tests positive for COVID would be quarantined. All others could remain in school.
2. Weekly voluntary testing of students. This program has been made available to all schools in Colorado. Our school will be making this available within the next few weeks. It is strictly voluntary and requires parent's permission to enroll in the weekly testing program. Students who choose this option will not need to quarantine when exposed in the school unless they start having symptoms or test positive. If 70% of our students enroll in the weekly testing, then all students would not need to quarantine when exposed to a positive case within the school.
3. Vaccination of students-if 70% of our students were vaccinated, then no students would need to quarantine when exposed to a positive school case. Currently, any vaccinated student does not need to quarantine. This only applies to students ages 12 and up.
Once again, it is our desire to teach students in person, while keeping students and staff safe and healthy. Any of the three options above can help us accomplish this. Parents, please take our survey at the following link to express which options you would support. https://forms.gle/aprMAvdnLCGrbVTQ7
Other Important Information
Once again, everyone at the school understands how frustrating this is. We also understand how difficult it is for parents and students. Remote learning is also difficult for teachers. Our goal is to keep students in school and to also keep students safe. This can only be done with cooperation from the school and community. We are bound by the rules that all schools in Colorado follow. Keeping students in school requires stopping the spread of the virus. COVID is not something we chose, rather it is something that is affecting all of us. The goal of keeping students in school and safe cannot be accomplished without your help. Thank you for your understanding and for all you are doing to support your student.