Dear Students and Families,
I hope you all have had a happy and healthy Winter Break so far. Thank you so much for your partnership in helping us return to campus in January. Some of you have asked questions in response to the message we sent to you on December 23, so today I want to provide further details on our return process and January protocols. First, a few action items:
- If your child is 16 years of age or older, please fill out this form by Monday, January 3 to let us know of your child’s plan to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot (more information on booster shots is provided below).
- If your child has already received their booster shot, or will receive their booster shot before returning to school on January 4, please send a picture of your child’s updated vaccine card to email@example.com.
- If your child tests positive for COVID at any point during Winter Break, please send a copy of your child’s test results to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Information on Booster Shots
In our previous communication, we noted that all eligible students (that is, students 16 years of age and older) are required to receive a COVID vaccine booster shot. Boosters have been both authorized and recommended for everyone ages 16 and older by both the FDA and the CDC. Your child can either get their booster shot during the Winter Break, or can get their booster shot during our on-campus vaccine clinic on January 12. We ask that all parents of students age 16 and older fill out this form by Monday, January 3 to let us know your child’s booster plan. (If you indicate that you would like your student to receive their booster at the January 12 clinic, you will receive a follow-up email from the Health Center with an attached parental consent form, which is required if your child is under 18. The above linked form is NOT an official consent form.) Your responses will help us get a sense of numbers for the January booster clinic, and will also help us to understand a bit more about the susceptibility of the total student body should we experience an increase in COVID cases on campus after the January return. If you have questions or concerns about booster shots, please email email@example.com and a member of our Health Center team will reach out to you to discuss.
Parameters for Changing from Red to Orange Status
We will return to campus in Red Status. Some of you have asked if and when we would return to Orange Status on campus. There are descriptors for each status level on our COVID protocols page that give you a rough idea of how we would swing back to Orange. The bottom line is that if, following the return from Winter Break, we are able to get through the initial testing cadence and reach an equilibrium without any student cases on campus, we would return to Orange Status.
Of course, it is our hope that we will not experience an increase in COVID cases on campus this winter—as you may know from our testing dashboard, we have only had one case occur among the student body so far this school year. Our goal is for our protocols to continue to ensure that our community experiences a low incidence of COVID, despite the emergence of the more-contagious omicron variant.
Quarantine & Isolation Guidance
In my last message, I asked each family to review their plans for retrieving their student from campus should the student test positive for COVID while on campus. We will continue to follow our guidelines that your child will have to return home—or stay elsewhere off campus with your designee—and isolate for 10 days off campus after a positive COVID test. In the event that your child does test positive, our Health Center staff will call you to go over the isolation guidance that applies to your child’s situation. Please make sure that a parent or guardian (or designee) is available to retrieve your child and supervise your child for 10 days should they test positive.
And one final reminder: beyond COVID-19, students with colds or any other respiratory virus should not return to school until they are well. The same is true with any students experiencing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; students with these symptoms should not return until 48 hours after their symptoms resolve.
I hope this additional information is helpful to you. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any further questions.
With warmest wishes,
Joy McGrath ’92
Daniel T. Roach, Jr. Head of School