What is VNS doing in light of the most recent COVID-19 surge to keep our kids healthy?
Cohorting. Since returning from winter break, our classes are being kept completely separate- no intermingling of children from different classes, including outside play time.
Increased distancing. We have increased social distancing within the classroom, particularly during unmasked times (snack and lunch) by adjusting our classroom setups.
Air filtration. HEPA filters are being used in our current airflow system. Windows will be kept open as much as possible. Please make sure your child has layers for comfort during our school day!
Masks. Our teachers are wearing N95 masks during the school day. The VNS Board has voted on and approved the following mask policy:
The wearing of masks is optional at VNS for all students and teachers, provided that:
1) Masks are optional within the Farmington Public Schools' pre-k program AND
2) the CDC "COVID-19 Community Level" for Hartford County remains at “Low" AND
3) the Farmington case positivity rate remains below 100 cases per 100K
Cleaning and Handwashing. We will continue our current practices of diligent cleaning and disinfecting as well as frequent hand washing.
What happens if my child has an in-school COVID exposure?
It depends on your child’s vaccination status, and although most of our kiddos are not yet eligible for vaccination, we have several in the Pre-K class who are vaccinated. We have decided to err on the side of caution and keep with the August 2021 Farmington Valley Health District (FVHD) quarantine guidelines regarding exposure.
If your child is unvaccinated and has an in-school COVID exposure, we will institute a 5 day quarantine from school. They may return to school after that if they remain symptom-free. We recommend testing on day 5.
For vaccinated children, we can continue in-person learning in the absence of symptoms, although we recommend testing 5 days after exposure. Proof of vaccination will be required in order to avoid quarantining, so please send a copy of their vaccination cards in to school to be eligible for in-person learning after a potential in-school exposure.
What happens if my child has an out-of-school COVID exposure?
Please contact us if you have an out-of-school COVID exposure. If your child's COVID exposure is in your household, we have further instructions and guidance.
Your unvaccinated child will be asked to quarantine for 5 days from the last date of exposure to the COVID-affected individual. We recommend testing for students 5 days after exposure.
Vaccinated children will also be asked to quarantine from school for five days after the last date of exposure to the COVID-affected individual. This is because this was more likely a less controlled, higher-risk, unmasked exposure (as compared to potential in-school, masked exposures). We recommend a test 5 days after exposure.
What if my child has COVID-19?
Please notify the school as quickly as possible so we can make any necessary adjustments. Please continue to keep your child home if any cold symptoms are present, regardless of whether or not they have a negative COVID test. If your child tests positive for COVID-19, they may return to school after a 5 day quarantine - after symptoms develop or the positive test (in the absence of symptoms), if they are symptom free at the end of the 5-day period.
What happens if one of my child’s teachers gets sick?
First, our teachers are wearing N-95 masks and are all vaccinated. We call in substitutes to help from time to time and vaccination is required from them as well. Home COVID-19 testing kits have been provided for our teachers and will be used should any symptoms develop, or an exposure occur. Our teachers will not be coming into school if they become sick at any time. If a teacher tests positive, we would follow our guidelines for in-school exposure. If both teachers become sick, we will close that classroom until we feel it is safe to re-open.
What if there is prolonged or repeated quarantines?
We are hopeful that this will not be the case, but we will continue to monitor the situation. We will try our best to do some form of virtual learning, and provide supplemental learning packets.
Will these recommendations and mitigation strategies change?
Yes, absolutely, and we hope they do as this COVID-19 surge calms. We continue to monitor guidance from the FVHD and other authorities, and the evolving situation in our broader community. Unfortunately, that is the ever-changing nature of this pandemic. We thank all our families for being flexible and adaptable. Our top priority is keeping your children healthy and safe, but also happy and connected. We will continue to use various forms of communication (email, notices in your child’s folder, our website, and our social media pages) to keep everyone abreast to any change to our policies as quickly as possible.