Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Rizzo Saunders answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the district’s reopening plan for the 2021-2022 school year.
To view the video, click here.
As Dr. Rizzo Saunders explains in the video, the district developed the plan with input from families, staff and community members, as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS), State of New Hampshire and New Hampshire Department of Education.
The plan consists of four instructional phases: blue, green, yellow, and red. The district will follow the Green Phase during the fall of 2021 with a full-time in-person learning model for students.
During the Green and Yellow Phase, masks are required indoors for students and staff.
Masks are required on school buses at all times. Masks are not required outdoors.
The instructional phases are:
- Blue- Full in-person instruction; the CDC recommends a low mitigation strategy.
- Green – In-person instruction with increasing levels of mitigation strategies as needed; the CDC recommends a moderate mitigation strategy.
- Yellow- Remote learning for most students with in-person instruction for small groups of students with more acute needs; the CDC recommends a significant mitigation strategy.
- Red – Remote learning for all students and staff; the CDC recommends a shelter-in-place strategy.
The district may transition to a different phase based on recommendations from public health officials and data from the Greater Monadnock Public Health Region. The Greater Monadnock Public Health Region consists of communities in the Southwestern part of the state.
The criteria for transitioning forward to a new phase are:
- Blue to Green: When the Greater Monadnock Health Region reports between 100 to 500 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days.
- Green to Yellow: When the Greater Monadnock Health Region reports 500 or more new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the last 7 days.
- Yellow to Red: When the School Board decides to do so based on worsening public health metrics and/or, an executive order from the governor or a large cluster of COVID-19 cases in the school district.
Additional criteria considered when transitioning phases are where cases are located, the availability of outdoor learning spaces, the stress on local medical facilities and more.
“We have every reason to believe that this year will be closer to normal than the last two school years have been. Still, the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge we must remain mindful of and take steps to address,” said Superintendent Rizzo Saunders. “We believe the plan we have assembled will help us achieve our goal of supporting our students while keeping them, their families and our faculty and staff safe and healthy.”
Monitoring for Symptoms
Prior to the start of each school day, parents will be asked to screen their child at home for any COVID-19 related symptoms. Staff will also be asked to screen for symptoms.
Students and staff members should not come to school if they are experiencing symptoms, including a fever of 100 degrees or higher, chills, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, runny nose, nausea or vomiting.
Additionally, students and staff members should not come to school if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or if they have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19. Students should not come to school if they have traveled internationally or by cruise ship in the last 10 days. Parents/guardians and staff should report any close contacts or travel to school.
Students and staff should only return to school after they have met the criteria for doing so.
Outdoor Learning Spaces
In order to minimize the likelihood of spread of COVID-19, the district will be utilizing outdoor learning spaces, including the use of tents, for some classes. Schools may use the tents for exploratory outdoor learning, independent reading, lunches, specials, classroom instruction, related services, special education instruction, small group instruction, and more.
Additional Mitigation Strategies
During the Blue and Green Phases, students and staff will be required to maintain a social distance of three feet and a distance of six feet during the Yellow Phase.
Additionally, the district will encourage regular hand washing, especially before and after lunch and snack time. The district will regularly clean common areas, as well as high-touch surfaces.
The district installed MERV 11 filters, as well as ionization units in the ductwork of all HVAC units to allow for enhanced air quality in all school buildings.
To view the full reopening and recovery plan, please click here.