Oct. 1, 2021
As I write this, we are working through a positive case of COVID at our 4th school this week. Starting on Sunday, we have experienced cases at OV, Lothrop, OCA at Leicester and at Neshobe. A grade level in two schools needed to be quarantined. We do realize how disruptive this is and are very sorry for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, if unvaccinated, at this time we have no choice. But good news is on its way, we hear. Read below for antigen testing information.
This email covers:
Antigen Testing Program and PCR Testing
Mask Requirements Extended to Nov. 1
Vaccination Information Requested
Staffing and Bus Transportation Issues
Phone System Issues
No School on Oct. 8
ANTIGEN TESTING (TEST TO STAY INITIATIVE)
The governor announced on Sept 25 the development of an optional Antigen testing program at school for students who have been identified as close contacts to a person with COVID. Currently, close contacts have to quarantine for at least a week. When this program starts (no date given yet), with parent permission, we can give a rapid antigen test to close contacts for 7 days and as long as the results are negative, the student may stay at school. We are waiting to hear details on when this program can begin.
MASK REQUIREMENTS EXTENDED TO NOV. 1
The governor also extended his mask recommendation to Nov 1, still with the caveat that a school with 80% or more of the eligible student body vaccinated - may relax the guidelines.
VACCINATION INFORMATION REQUESTED
In order to know if we can relax masking requirements, we need to know who is vaccinated in our student body. Knowing this information also makes it much quicker to contact trace when a positive case exists, as vaccinated students do not need to quarantine. Please send a copy of your child’s vaccination card to your school nurse to help us reach the 80% student body indicator.
STAFFING AND BUS DISRUPTIONS
We continue to have significant issues with finding substitute teachers and bus drivers. Like our colleagues around us, we are not fully staffed and we are not getting applicants. The result is that buses are being asked to do double runs, making some kids late and others very early. This schedule changes on a daily basis in response to what staffing we do have. This is very disruptive to families and we deeply regret this. If you know of anyone interested in being a bus driver or a substitute teacher, please have them contact our HR department. We are in dire need!
SCHOOL PHONE CONNECTIVITY ISSUES
This past week, we struggled as well with our phone service. At times the phone never rang through; other times, it connected but you could not hear the other party. This is very frustrating, we understand. This was a national issue with a major telephone provider that impacted our phones as well. If you cannot reach us by phone, please consider using the Let’s Talk button on the district website. It is the fastest way to cut to the top of the email line. Hopefully, this issue is now fixed.
NO SCHOOL OCTOBER 8
Our calendar has an October break weekend starting on Friday, Oct 8. Students have no school on Oct 8 and return to class on Monday Oct. 11.
SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS
In August, Board meetings returned to in-person meetings with a zoom option for those who wish to attend virtually. Meeting information can be found on the district calendar or on the district website, www.rnesu.org,
OVUU Board meets Oct. 5, 6 pm @ OVUHS
BUU Board meets Oct. 18, 6 pm.
RNESU Board meets Oct. 20, 5 pm @ OV North Campus
OVUU Board meets Oct. 20, 6 pm @ OV North Campus
Enjoy the weekend and stay warm. See you next week!
Jeanné Collins, Superintendent of RNESU
School Safety Hotline # (844) 723-3488 or www.SAFE4VT.org or text to 274637, type in keyword SAFE4VT and then your tip