Dear Free Union Country School community,
With a return to school and the Omicron variant thriving in our area, we thought it would be helpful to share what happens when a student or member of a student’s family is COVID positive (or exposed). But first, it is important to note that our success when it comes to staying open and keeping children in classes is due to our committed and responsible parent body. Your vigilance in keeping students who may have been exposed home and our teachers work in following protocols is minimizing risk of transmission of COVID-19 at school.
When a report comes in, our team speaks with the classroom teacher and initiates contact tracing. We speak with the family to check on their well being, answer questions, and work together to clarify a return to school plan. We look at attendance records for the class (which is why we ask that whether sick or skiing you let us know if your child will be absent). After collecting all needed information, we send a note out to the class with an update. It is the school’s responsibility to let you know if your child is a close contact and if they have been exposed.
Because we keep our cohorts intact – no mixed classes like middle and high schools must take into account – we inform families on a class-by-class basis. We use science, common sense, and our best judgment in each decision that we make. We are acutely aware that our community includes not only those present at school, but also those younger siblings who are at home and too small to be vaccinated.
Here are some of the resources that we use when we are contact tracing, identifying cases, and planning our next steps
- Free Union COVID policies and protocols
- CDC isolation and quarantine
- VDH updated guidance for K-12 schools
What can you expect from us?
- that our school will continue to follow up to date CDC guidelines, VDH guidance, and for our team to remain up to date on science
- that in some circumstances, we may be more conservative in our policies than CDC if we think it is in the best interest of the specific class that is affected
- that you will be contacted if your child is in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and needs to quarantine
- that we will answer your specific questions, with confidentiality in mind, and work to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at Free Union
- and that, unfortunately, COVID-19 will continue to appear in our classrooms.
Our goal is to keep you informed, and balance this with privacy and grace as we continue to monitor COVID-19 in our community. The best way to reach us is through . We will get back to you as quickly as we can, that may sometimes be up to 24 hours later.
We are grateful for your patience and appreciate your continued care and attentiveness,
Ronée McLaughlin, Head of School
Allison MacDonald, MPH, RN, Health Team
Mariclaire Hession, Health Aide