January 4, 2022
Dear NFPS Community,
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a nice winter break and were able to connect with friends and family during the holiday season. We are excited to welcome our students back and we are committed to keeping our schools open, full-time and in-person, as we know our students are best supported (academically, socially, and emotionally) through in-person learning.
Over the past days the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), CDC, and the Department of Public Health (DPH) have provided new information regarding our response to COVID in school. The purpose of this email is to share those updates with you; be advised that we will send families updates when changes are made.
All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, who test positive for COVID will be able to return to school on the 6th day following the test, provided they are fever-free for 24 hours, without medication, and their symptoms have significantly improved. Upon return, masks must also be worn during outdoor recess and PE for 5 days.
Contact Tracing/Screen and Stay
Based on the infrequent identification of person-to person transmission of COVID inside school buildings, it is the position of the CT DPH that routine contact tracing of individual exposures that occur inside schools or during school-organized activities is ineffective and can be discontinued. As such, the protocols established for contact tracing and “Screen and Stay” will no longer take place.
COVID Exposures Outside of School for Unvaccinated Students
COVID exposures outside of school will require a 5-day quarantine with a negative test to return. If you do not want to or cannot test, stay out of school for 10-days.
Notification of Cases
The district will communicate COVID cases in the following manner: Beginning Wednesday, January 5th, parents/guardians will be notified of positive cases via daily updates to the COVID Dashboard available on the NFPS website at https://bit.ly/NFPScovid.
Local health districts and Boards of Education do not have the authority to move a school or district to full remote instruction. Such declarations can only be issued pursuant to legislative or gubernatorial authority. Please see the guidelines from the CSDE on this.
While circumstances have consistently changed over the last two years, we know the best strategies for safely returning to in-person learning - vaccinating, testing, and mitigating.
Vaccination remains the most important strategy to keeping kids in school by mitigating the spread of COVID and limiting the severity of symptoms of the disease. The town has scheduled upcoming vaccination clinics, which have been shared with families. More information is available on our website.
Testing allows us to identify positive cases in a timely manner and limit spread. The State of Connecticut will be providing districts with self-tests for home use. These tests will be housed in the nurse's office in each school. Staff and students should request a kit when they have symptoms or have been exposed. Results from at home self-tests, rapid, antigen, and PCR tests will all be accepted as proof of testing.
We remain committed to the mitigation measures that have been successful in limiting in-school transmission throughout the pandemic. Specifically, those measures include face coverings, physical distancing to the greatest extent possible, and frequent hand washing or sanitizing.
**Most importantly, please keep your child home if they feel sick or have any COVID symptoms. **
Thank you for your continued support and cooperation. I look forward to a successful second half of the school year.
Dr. Pat Cosentino
(Letter is compiled by WCSA Superintendents)