St. Francis School seeks to bring the presence of God into our midst. Despite the pandemic, we have endeavored to acknowledge beauty, goodness, and truth, and to inspire each student to grow in their personal relationship with Christ. Ultimately, it is His Love we share with others when we give witness to the great joy of being loved first by Him (1 John 4:19).
Without question, the most important measure that we can take as a school community to prevent the spread of any illness, including Covid-19, is to be diligent in keeping our children home if they are sick. We must allow sufficient time for the body to rest and recover before returning to school.
If students have any of the following symptoms, they are required to stay at home:
- Temperature over 100 degrees.
- Fever in the last 72 hours, including feeling feverish, chills, or shaking.
- Flu like symptoms without apparent cause, or diarrhea.
- Changes in sense of taste or smell.
Please note that students who are ill at school will be assessed by their teacher and the front office. Parents will be contacted and a decision will be made. Parents must have an emergency pick-up plan in case their child becomes sick.
It should be said that our Safety Plan for the 2020-2021 School Year, which was put in place in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, was flexible and reasonable, and allowed us to successfully hold in-person learning for all students with no cases of school-based Covid transmission. In fact, to the great joy of many, we were able to lift most of the restrictions by the end of the school year.
Following guidance from the Diocese, the State, and our safety committee for the 2021-2022 School Year, the following policies will be in place for the coming school year:
- Parental authority will be respected in decision-making concerning their child’s health.
- St. Francis School asks families to practice good hygiene and err heavily on the side of caution by staying home if students have flu-like symptoms.
- Face coverings will be optional for students and employees.
- Hand sanitizers will be readily available throughout the building.
- Ventilation will be a key mitigation strategy: open windows and fresh air.
- Health screenings will not be required, and visitors may enter the building.
- St. Francis School will continue with the same cleaning protocols and tighter recess cohorts that proved successful for the 2020-21 School Year.
- Spacing in the classroom will be according to what is reasonable, practical, and always at the teacher’s discretion.
- Per New Hampshire State guidelines, if students either test positive for Covid-19 or have been in close contact with someone living at home with Covid, they will be required to quarantine at home.
- Per the State and Diocesan guidelines, due to the extremely low incidence of school-based transmission, St. Francis School will not conduct contact tracing, nor require students who were in close contact at school (with an individual who tests positive with Covid-19) to quarantine.
- St. Francis School will preserve the confidentiality of medical information.
- Parents are asked to let our secretary know if their child has allergies, migraines, or other chronic health conditions as these will not prevent the student from attending school.
- St. Francis School continues to maintain the right to revise and adapt our School Safety Plan as prudence directs and as new information becomes available. After their eternal well-being, the physical safety of your children remains our top priority.
If you have any questions regarding these policies, please feel free to reach out directly to me.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What if my child tests positive?
Students with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic may discontinue isolation and other precautions 10 days after the date of their first positive RT-PCR test.
Students with COVID-19 who are symptomatic may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
- At least 10 days* have passed since symptom onset and
- At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- other symptoms have improved
2. How do I let the school know?
Upon learning that their child has tested positive, parents should email their child’s teacher and Principal Schwerdt. Shortly thereafter teachers will have work ready for pick-up at the Front Office.
3. What is the procedure for quarantining if exposed to a household contact?