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Requirements, Protocols, and Learning Environments for 2021-22

Our goal is to maintain a community that is healthy and well so as to promote the highest levels of in-person participation in learning. We balance this goal against our continued focus on preventing the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and its variants on campus and within our community.


Latest Information - Wooster School COVID Data

Positive Cases*: 9
(for the week ending 5/13/2022)

*The positive cases number is the current number of students, faculty, or staff members who have reported a positive COVID-19 test (rapid, PCR/molecular, antigen) during the current week. This number does not include parents, siblings at other schools, or additional family members that have tested positive.

Please report a positive COVID-19 test immediately to anna.jette@woosterschool.org.

COVID Communications from Wooster

COVID-19 Vaccines

Wooster School is requiring all students, faculty, and staff to acquire COVID-19 vaccinations prior to the start of the Fall 2021 School Year. Wooster School is requesting documentation via electronic health record in Magnus. There will be no exceptions. As per the State of Connecticut, any religious exemption must have been on file prior to April 28, 2021. Medical exemptions must be approved by a physician and on file with Nurse Jette. If you have questions about available COVID-19 vaccines please speak with your health care provider and/or visit Vaccines for COVID-19. This site will also assist in locating a vaccine distribution location as well.

Masks

Wooster School will shift to a mask optional policy starting on Monday, February 28, 2022.

While making masks optional, we will continue to adhere to other protocols, such as alternate seating for lunches, windows and doors open, air purification, and frequent hand washing. We will also be asking community members to heed recommendations from the CDC which can be found here.

Distancing and Learning Spaces

As per CDC guidance, we will maintain 3 feet of distance between students in learning spaces, which means that we will be able to return to configurations which resemble our pre-COVID environment. So no more classes in the gyms or Dining Room!

Testing

Anyone experiencing a key symptom of COVID-19 illness (fever or chills, new cough, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, difficulty of breathing) or a combination of general symptoms of illness should contact their primary health care provider for evaluation and to be tested for COVID-19.

If You Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.

If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

If you had COVID-19 and had symptoms, isolate for at least 5 days. To calculate your 5-day isolation period, day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed. You can leave isolation after 5 full days.

Ventilation

We will continue to utilize our air filtration systems, keep doors and windows open as much as possible, and utilize fans to keep fresh air circulating in learning spaces as appropriate.

Contact Tracing

When an on-campus community member tests positive for COVID-19, we will conduct contact tracing much like we did last year. Students who are correctly wearing masks within learning spaces cannot have been within 3 feet or less for more than a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period. All other situations will fall under the 6 feet standard recommended by the CDC.

As we did last year, we will be employing mitigation strategies inside our learning spaces (mask wearing, 3 foot distance, time, movement, hand hygiene, ventilation/air filtering) and outdoors (distancing, optional mask wearing, time) so as to prevent close contact among students.

Quarantine

If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)

Quarantine is removing oneself from interactions with others to prevent the transmission of the virus.

If you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine:

Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine
OR
Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine

A fully vaccinated person does not have to quarantine after close contact if they are asymptomatic. The recommendation for a fully vaccinated person who has been in close contact with a case of COVID-19, is:

  • Test 5 days after exposure, if possible.
  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days or until test results are received

If you develop symptoms after exposure, get tested and quarantine until results are received.

If you are unvaccinated, you need to quarantine:

  • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5 if possible.

If you develop symptoms after exposure, get tested and quarantine until results are received.

You do not need to quarantine, if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 illness in the last 90 days and are NOT experiencing any symptoms of illness.

Isolation and Learning

Teachers will be utilizing hybrid plans to support students who need to isolate because of a positive COVID-19 test. These plans are designed for students who we anticipate will be out for 5 days or more. These plans will include a weekly learning plan, access to assignments and feedback through Altitude, and scheduled meetings with the teacher. It is important to remember that it is highly likely that students who are symptomatic may not be ready to engage in meaningful work. As always, teachers will meet students where they are in terms of their learning upon their return to school and allow whatever time is necessary for students to catch up when necessary.

Lunch

For the month of January, or until the current surge of COVID infections abates, we will be utilizing both the Dining Room/Cafe and adjacent spaces for lunch waves. Utilizing more spaces will allow us to have smaller student groups, better spacing, and more effective air flow while students are eating.

For Middle School students this means business as usual. 5th grade students will continue to eat in the Middle School Common Room, 6th grade in the Upper School Student Commons, while 7th and 8th grade students will continue to spread out in the Dining Room and Cafe. Our plan had been to bring the whole Middle School together in the Dining Room for lunch to start the new year, but we will delay that decision until we feel better about conditions.

For the Upper School lunch, which has two waves — one that eats during E Period and the other during F Period — we will split each wave into half, with one group eating in the Dining Room/Cafe, while the other group spreads out into the Student Commons, the large classroom below the Chapel, and the Honor Room area in front of the Chapel. The two groups will alternate being in the Dining Room v. adjacent areas each week.

Spreading out in this way will also be a great test of our students’ commitment to Self-Help, as we’ll need everyone to step up in terms of cleaning up after themselves.

CDC Resources

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