White Mountains Regional School District
Addendum to the April 19, 2021 Return to School Plan
Summer 2021: Adopted by the WMRSD School Board 6/24/21
Marion Anastasia, SAU #36 Superintendent and Lisa Miller, WMRSD COVID Coordinator
DHHS has updated guidance and regardless of immunization status, masks are no longer recommended indoors or out for anyone in a low risk setting. Schools are considered low risk settings. DHHS has also announced that they will not do contact tracing for most cases and when there is a case, will only quarantine household contacts.
The State is transitioning from K-12 reopening guidance published in the fall to the Universal Best Practices Document. The Best Practices Document is what we use to determine our mitigation strategies for summer school and for the 21-22 school year. We have been advised by DHHS to make decisions based on the vaccination status of our community as well as on the level of community transmission. Currently, our community transmission level is very low in Coos County and our vaccination rate is pretty healthy (53% fully vaccinated in NH).
The following mitigation strategies will take effect immediately for WMRSD summer activities for students and staff as well as visitors in our schools.
- Mask use on buses only - no masking inside or outside of our buildings.
- Students distanced to the best extent possible.
- We will ask parents to keep their children home if they are not feeling well, but will no longer provide temperature and symptom screening upon entrance.
- We will continue to have a low threshold for symptomatic students attending school. When students are absent, we will have a nurse reach out to the family to determine if the student is suffering an infectious process and will provide the family with guidance regarding testing and protocols for the return to school.
- Cohorting will be recommended, but we will weigh the risks and benefits of the practice and will favor what fosters academic recovery when community transmission is low.
- Hand hygiene will remain a priority.
- Cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces will take place daily.
- Rooms will be well ventilated with HVAC systems, air purifiers and open windows.
Looking Ahead to the 2021-2022 School Year:
If community transmission rates remain low, mitigation measures for fall should look much like our summer school mitigation measures. Some epidemiologists are predicting a surge of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in September/October. If we see cases trending upward, we may have to escalate our mitigation efforts. We will have an opening plan that is flexible and allows us to de-escalate measures when transmission is low and ramp them up when transmission becomes substantial.
Our re-opening team will meet again in August to create our district plan. We will welcome feedback from our families, community, and staff! If you are not on the current reopening team, and want to be, please send us an email! firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com
Wishing you the best summer ever!
Best, Marion & Lisa