We continue to have high numbers of COVID positive cases in each school every day. Word from the state is this can be expected for another couple of weeks. I hope they are right that an end is in sight. We also have the flu and RSV going around the community. Again I stress, if your child has symptoms, please keep them home and test for COVID, treat the symptoms and return only after symptoms improve and there has been no fever for at least 24 hours. Unfortunately, the state has not yet supplied us with enough test kits as we transition to the new guidance. We will do our best to hand out kits when we can. Kits are also available and reimbursable under most insurance plans, at pharmacies and online vendors such as Amazon. The US government is offering four free boxes of antigen tests to each household using this link. https://special.usps.com/testkits. I wish you well in these unsettled times we find ourselves still in. One more request, please talk with your child(ren) about the importance of keeping masks up over noses indoors and on buses. We may need to again send students home until they can comply, in order to keep the schools as healthy as possible. Thank you for your partnership on this.
This email covers (updated information on topics from last week)
Board Vacancy Information- Consents due Jan 24!
Updated School COVID Guidance
Vaccination and Booster Shot Information
Veggie Van Go Jan 24 & future dates
MAEC Climate Survey for RNESU Parents due Jan 31
Superintendent Search Update
School Board Meetings
INTERESTED IN BEING A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER? Petitions due Jan 24
The Barstow Unified Union School District is seeking candidates for the Office of School Board of Director* for the coming election in March 2022:
At-Large - 2 years remaining of a 3 year term
The Otter Valley Unified Union School District is seeking candidates for the Office of School Board of Director* for the coming election in March 2022:
Leicester – 1 year remaining of a 3 year term
At-Large – 2 Seats: one for a 3 year term and one for 1 year remaining of a 3 year term (candidates can be from any of the OVUUSD towns: Brandon; Goshen; Leicester; Pittsford Sudbury; and Whiting)
*All seats are three year terms unless noted otherwise.
Completed Consent of Candidate Form, are due to your Town Clerk by Monday, January 24, 2022. Petition signatures are no longer a requirement for this year.
UPDATED COVID GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS
Here are the new AOE guidelines:
Fully Vaccinated Students should receive 2 tests and use them on the 4th and 5th day after learning of the presumptive exposure. Fully vaccinated for students means completion of the two shot Pfizer series.
Not Fully Vaccinated Students should receive 5 tests and use them before coming to school for the next 5 consecutive days after their presumptive exposure.
Individuals that have continuous household exposure should test daily while their household contact is in isolation and for 5 consecutive days after the household contact ends isolation.
Positive COVID Test Students that have had COVID in the last 90 days do not have to test or quarantine.
Students with any symptoms must quarantine. Students may return to school when they have 2 negative antigen tests, at least 24 hours apart, improved symptoms and no fever for 24 hours.
Please note : As of this writing, our schools do not have 2 pack or 5 pack antigen tests to send home. While we wait for the 2 pack/5pack antigen tests to arrive from the state, our nurses will test at school until our Test to Stay supplies are used up.
Upon a close contact student's arrival at school, they should report to the health office at Otter Valley and to their classroom at the Elementary schools.
Students with symptoms need to stay home.
Asymptomatic close contact students will be tested and can remain in school with a negative test. Parents will be called to pick up their child if the child has a positive test or has symptoms.
Parents MUST register their children to do antigen testing at school at the two links provided previously if they haven't already done so.
Parents need to alert the nurse that their child will be arriving for the antigen test.
VACCINE/BOOSTER SHOT INFORMATION FOR AGES 12-15 YEAR OLDS
Leicester School will have a Vaccination Clinic available for all families on Feb. 8 and March 3.
Registration is required through the state site. This is the link to the registration portal.
Please register only for the 2/8 clinic. We will schedule your child for dose 2 on the day of the 2/8 clinic as part of the exit process.
Children ages 12-15 are now eligible for a booster shot. See Health Department FAQ for more information or talk to your child’s pediatrician. Appointments are available in the state's registration system.
VEGGIE VAN GO DATE CHANGED TO JAN 24
Veggie Van Go is a free fruit and vegetable distribution to all RNESU families and staff. January’s date will change to Jan 24, from 10-11 am at the OVUHS parking lot. This event is sponsored by the Vermont Foodbank and is open to all students, families, and staff affiliated with all Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union Schools: Barstow Memorial, Lothrop Elementary, Neshobe Elementary, Otter Creek Academy at Leicester, Sudbury and Whiting., & Otter Valley Middle and High School. There are no eligibility requirements and no reservations needed.
The February Veggie Van Go Date will be Feb. 7 due to the school break on the 3rd Monday.
MAEC CLIMATE SURVEY FOR RNESU PARENTS (Closes Jan. 31)
All RNESU Parents are invited and encouraged to complete the following anonymous Climate Survey for RNESU parents: https://maec.iad1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ePvo4mWGmlCOlxk
This Climate Survey is part of a study being conducted by the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC) to understand how RNESU can advance equity across our district, including feelings and experiences of safety, belonging, and equitable access to high-quality instruction and support services. As you are the backbone of our schools, your feedback will be so critical in informing this study.
If you have questions about the survey or the MAEC study, don't hesitate to contact Susannah White, Equity & Engagement Coach, firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you for your time and care in completing this important survey.
SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH UPDATE
The Superintendent Search Committee has narrowed down the candidate field to three candidates and will be conducting first round hiring committee interviews on Thursday, January 27. These interviews are not public. Plans are in place for students, faculty, staff and the community to meet the finalists once they have been identified after this round of interviews. RNESU has a web page to keep the community informed about the search process. You can follow it here. https://www.rnesu.org/page/superintendent-search
February Early Release Day Feb. 11
February break is the week of Feb. 21-25
Election Day Mar 1, 2022
Next year’s calendar is in development and should be completed in early February. The first day of school is anticipated to be August 31, 2023.
SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS
School Board meetings are open to the public as 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,
All boards have now approved budgets for 2022-2023 for voter approval on March 1, 2022. Stay tuned for more information or go to the board page to see the presentations.
BUU Board meets Jan 31, 6pm
OVUU meets Feb 2, 6pm.
RNESU meets Feb 16, 6pm
Barstow Budget Informational Meeting Feb. 22, 6:30 pm virtual meeting
Otter Valley Annual Meeting Feb. 23, 6:30 pm at OVUHS
It is still quite cold outside- please send students with appropriate winter clothing or speak to your school nurse or principal if you need mittens, coats, boots, etc.
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