RHPS-Update on Quarantine Protocols-Screen & Stay

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November 9, 2021
Dear Students, Families, and Staff Members,
I am pleased to share some new information as we continue on our steady journey toward a “return to normal.”  Although we must still remain vigilant about safeguarding against COVID-19 transmission, the Connecticut State Departments of Education and Public Health recently promulgated guidelines for a new quarantine protocol: Screen and Stay. This protocol provides an option for relief from student and staff quarantines resulting from COVID-19 exposures in K-12 schools. The complete document is attached here: Screen and Stay  
Please note the following: 
Screen and Stay procedures will permit students or staff who would otherwise have to quarantine due to an exposure experienced while in school to continue reporting to school for in-person learning or work provided:
  • the exposure occurred inside the school building between masked individuals; or
  • the exposure occurred between either masked or unmasked individuals in certain supervised outdoor activities; and
  • the student or staff person identified as a close contact remains asymptomatic; and
  • both the school and the family can implement selected procedures to further reduce in-school transmission risk
Screen and Stay does not apply to Pre-K students and staff and is only applicable to students and staff in grades K-12.
Screen and Stay will allow students or staff who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated (i.e., individuals who have begun their COVID-19 vaccination series but are not yet two weeks beyond their final dose) and would otherwise have to quarantine due to a close contact with a known COVID-19 case (see Addendum 5) to continue reporting to school for in-person learning or work provided the only contact with any COVID-19 case was under one of the following scenarios:
  • inside the school building during the regular school day (provided both the case and contact were consistently and correctly masked during the entirety of the exposure) regardless of duration or distancing; or
  • on a school bus or other school-provided transportation (provided the case and contact were consistently and correctly masked during the entirety of the exposure) regardless of duration or distancing; or
  • outdoors during a regular mask break, staff-monitored recess, meal period, or physical education or other instructional period (with or without masks) regardless of duration or distancing
Examples of scenarios where students or staff who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated should not participate in Screen and Stay, and instead should refrain from in-person learning and follow the routine quarantine and isolation procedures outlined in Addendum 5, include:
  • having a close contact outside of school (e.g., at a party or sleepover, a household contact)
  • in a situation indoors where masks were removed and 6 feet of spacing was not maintained (e.g., in the cafeteria, in the classroom during a snack period, during a mask break)
  • during extracurricular or other activities outside of the regular school day (e.g., sports, before- or after-school care)
If your child is identified as a close contact, and it is determined that he or she can participate in the Screen and Stay protocol, you will be required to complete and sign the following form in order for your child to remain in school:  Affirmation of Intent to Comply with Screen and Stay Requirements
Attached is a symptom checklist to assist families with daily screening:  Daily Symptom Screening Checklist for Families 
If you have any questions regarding the Screen and Stay protocol, please contact your school nurse or Ms. Amy Stevenson, Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Student Services, at 860-258-7705 or via email:  stevensonam@rockyhillps.com
In addition to the new Screen and Stay protocol, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use with children ages 5-11. Two area vaccine clinics are scheduled for Saturday, November 13, 2021.  If you would like your child to participate in a clinic, please click on one of the following links and schedule an appointment:
Finally, please note that our three elementary schools (Stevens, West Hill, and Moser) will be offering parents and guardians the option of virtual or in-person parent-teacher conferences. Any parents or guardians choosing to participate on an in-person basis must wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Elementary school parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for December 8, 9, and 10. 
In closing, I want to acknowledge everyone involved with our school community - students, parents and guardians, and staff members - for your ongoing cooperation, your patience, and your flexibility. We will continue to prioritize keeping our schools open and supporting high quality teaching and learning while also ensuring that we make every effort to promote public health and safety. 
Mark Zito, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools