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“Nationals October 2019

Arlotto Says Schools Will Be In-Person After Winter Break

| December 30, 2021, 11:28 AM

Anne Arundel County School’s Superintendent, George Arlotto sent a letter home to parents yesterday emphasizing that the place for students to best learn is in the classroom and to re-affirm that the Anne Arundel Couty Public Schools will be returning to in-classroom instruction after the winter break.

The full text of his letter is below:

December 29, 2021

Dear Families and Employees:

First and foremost, I hope each and every one of you is having a safe and healthy break. I hope the time with family and friends, to whatever extent and in whatever fashion you have been able to spend it, has been restful and relaxing. As we enjoy the final days of the break, I wanted to update you on plans that will be in place as students and staff return to schools on Monday, January 3.

At the outset of 2022, our goal remains exactly what it was in the fall: to successfully keep schools open for in-person learning five days per week through the end of the school year. While some may choose to speculate otherwise, we have not veered from that course and that continues to be the main focus of our discussions. The best way to help our students continue their comeback from disrupted instruction is to have them in our classrooms in front of our amazing teachers and staff every day and we are doing everything we can to maintain that course.

As we enter the new calendar year, however, there are some changes of which you need to be aware. We will, in accordance with new guidance from the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, alter our quarantine guidelines to align with the most recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who test positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate for five days and must be symptom-free or have symptoms resolving before returning to school or work. Those who must quarantine under the direction of the Department of Health or another agency will also do so for five days. There is no early test-out option, and those who must isolate or quarantine must also mask in all settings for five days after the conclusion of that initial five-day period.

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We will continue our vaccination-or-test programs for both employees and high school student-athletes. There has also been much discussion about a test-to-stay program, something we first began discussing with the Department of Health in our regular meetings several months ago. We have had conversations about acquiring tests for such a program but supply chain issues persist and hiring sufficient people to carry out such a program remains problematic. Our testing vendor, for example, is unable to provide the staff needed to carry out a daily test-to-stay program in each of our 125-plus locations.

Another change of which to be aware in 2022 is the way the Department of Health will determine outbreaks. In all school settings, a classroom or cohort outbreak is now defined as three or more laboratory-confirmed positive cases in a class or cohort in a 14-day period. In middle and high schools, the additional threshold for a schoolwide outbreak is laboratory-confirmed positive cases in 5 percent of the total number of students and staff in a given school in a 14-day period. Meeting those thresholds may lead to further action by the Department of Health that could involve quarantines and programmatic alterations such as classroom, grade level, or team shutdowns.

We also will be changing our notifications to families of students. Because there will be no identified close contacts, we will notify families of students who are potentially exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 through email and text message. This makes it critical that accurate email addresses and phone numbers are on file with your student’s school or, in the case of employees, our school system database. Because of the number of cases at schools and the desire to provide information as soon as possible, those included in this notification – at least at this juncture – will be students in the same grade as a COVID-19 positive case. Additional notifications may be sent to members of athletics teams in the case of a positive student-athlete.

As I have previously communicated to you, for health privacy reasons, the notifications will not state the specific class or activity in which the potential exposure occurred. Rather, they will indicate that there has potentially been an exposure, urge families and employees to closely monitor symptoms, and encourage testing of those potentially exposed. Please also note that data for the COVID-19 dashboard is uploaded separately from the dissemination of potential exposure notifications and may not occur on the same day.

Beginning January 3, we will accept results from home rapid tests for those students or employees who are not part of our current vaccination-or-test program and who need a negative test result to re-enter school or the workplace. Employees and student-athletes who are part of the vaccination-or-test program will continue to be tested weekly at their schools or work locations. Used test kits should not be brought to schools or offices.

I cannot stress enough the need for each of us to do our part to keep our schools open and operating safely. Please continue to heed the advice of the medical experts. Please remain masked in all school settings. Please either keep your student home or stay home yourself if you are not feeling well. If you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, get a test as soon as possible and stay away from school or work until you are symptom-free for at least 24 hours and have a negative test or alternate medical diagnosis.

Above all, please continue to practice grace, patience, and flexibility. The months ahead will have their share of challenges. I remain steadfast in my belief that together we can navigate them successfully.

Sincerely,

George Arlotto, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Lights On The Bay 2021
Source :

Category: COVID, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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