COVID-19 Resource page

This information is frequently changing. Please contact us if you have any questions about policies and protocols.

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BACK TO SCHOOL HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICIES - UPDATE 8/20/21

Our primary goal as we return to school this year is to put together comprehensive, layered, prevention measures to allow uninterrupted, full-time, in-person learning for all of our students. 

These measures include masks, physical distancing, frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing, air purifiers in every classroom and bathroom, open windows for air circulation, and the use of outdoor spaces whenever possible. More details are available in our COVID handbook.

Regarding vaccinations, we encourage you to seek the advice of your pediatrician, the CDC, and the American Pediatric Association.   

COVID-19 symptoms

Families should be monitoring their children daily for COVID 19 symptoms (see attached list).

Testing and Quarantine Protocols

Veritas will also be implementing a testing and quarantine plan in accordance with Massachusetts policy and recommendations. 

This daily testing program gives asymptomatic close contacts the ability to stay in school as opposed to quarantining at home. This key benefit allows our students more opportunities to stay in school.

Diagnostic Testing

Veritas will be offering approved diagnostic tests, including the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test -  free of charge to students and staff. These tests, nasal swab samples, will be administered on-site and require a permission form signed by the parent.  

  • Symptomatic Testing will be used for individuals who have symptoms at school. 

  • "Test and Stay"  will be used for close contact testing of asymptomatic individuals and administered daily from the first day of exposure for at least 7 days.

Additional details and the test administration permission forms will be coming to you soon
 

What happens if my child has to quarantine?

Our safety measures are designed to minimize the chance of COVID exposure and time out of school in quarantine. However, if a child does have to quarantine, our staff will ensure essential assignments are posted on Google Classroom, and lessons/materials will be provided at home for the duration of the quarantine.

COVID-19 POLICIES 2021-2022 August 12th Update:

As we begin the new school year, we are thrilled to be able to go back fully in-person, 5 days a week. Our students will be able to see all their classmates daily.  

I know we had all - students, parents, teachers and administrators - hoped to be fully back to normal, but as everyone knows, the COVID situation has worsened, rather than improved. Many of the towns represented in our school community, which had been labeled “low risk” in June, have now climbed into the “moderate risk” range, closer to the COVID situation earlier in the year. 

As a result, within the last month, policy makers have issued many changes to their recommendations for schools due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. We understand that our community is made up of many differing opinions about COVID-19 protocol and the wearing of masks, and we sincerely respect all of those opinions. We have received emails on both sides of the issue, all with valid concerns.

However, as we did in the 2020-2021 academic year, Veritas Christian Academy will continue to base our policy on state standards. Veritas policy from the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis has been to meet or exceed Massachusetts State policies. Our families who lived through the pandemic with us last year know that, although these recommendations were sometimes difficult, they enabled us to maintain a stable educational and wholesome environment for our children. We sustained no loss of learning and our children were able to socialize regularly and were not touched in the same way by the isolation experienced by children throughout the country.

For this reason, as we look to the 2021-22 school year, we will continue with the policies which enabled us to be successful in the past, while maintaining the flexibility to pivot to an alternate plan as the COVID situation allows.

COVID-19 MASK POLICY

Until a critical mass of our student population is fully vaccinated, masks, physical distancing, air purifiers, and frequent hand washing are our first line of defense.

 

While DESE reopening guidance has allowed vaccinated students and staff to go without masks, only a small portion of Veritas student population is vaccinated. In addition,  this sets up possible equity and inclusion issues in the classroom. Ultimately, we want our students to know they are all equally included and respected and that all of us are in this together.

 

In the case of staff, we know that it is better for students to see their teacher’s face while they are teaching and provides for a better experience in the classroom, so we are allowing all vaccinated staff, who feel comfortable  doing so, to forgo wearing a mask. All unvaccinated staff will need to wear a mask and anyone wanting to wear a mask will have the right to do so, regardless of vaccination status.

 

In accordance with Massachusetts policy and recommendations, Veritas mask policy is therefore as follows:

 

  • Students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 will be required to wear masks when indoors, except students who cannot do so due to medical conditions.

  • TK/PK students are exempt from mask-wearing.

  • Masks are not necessary outdoors and may be removed while eating indoors.

  • Staff are exempt from wearing masks as long as they can show proof of vaccination. All unvaccinated staff will be required to wear masks.  Any staff who prefers to wear a mask at school will be supported in this choice. 

 

These safety recommendations will be revisited as state recommendations shift, and as more of our student population becomes eligible for vaccination.

 

DESE/DPH COVID-19 Guidance for Districts and Schools: Fall 2021 - July 30, 2021

2020-2021

01/01/2021

COVID-19 Protocol if you traveled over the break

 

  • If you traveled outside the state over Christmas vacation, unless it is deemed a low-risk state, your student will not be able to return to school without a negative COVID-19 test.  

  • Please note that the state of MA is requiring the test to be a PCR--not a rapid test for out of state travel. 

  • Please send your child’s COVID test results to Amber Thomas before January 4th. 

  • If you have any questions, contact Amber Thomas.

 

Additionally, families must contact Amber Thomas in each of the following scenarios to receive further instruction before returning to in person learning:

  • Anyone in your family has traveled out of state in the last 14 days

  • Anyone in your family has been exposed to someone with Covid-19

  • Anyone in your family is exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19

  • Anyone in your family is awaiting Covid-19 test results

01/01/2021

COVID-19 Close Contact Update:

 

In accordance with the CDC, close contacts of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 must quarantine for the time period listed below:

  • At least 7 days, provided that all of the following are satisfied:

    • They are tested (either polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antigen test) on day 5 or later from their last exposure to the positive individual and receive a negative test result

    • They have not experienced any symptoms up to this point

    • They conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 14, and self-isolate if new symptoms develop.

 

  • At least 10 days, provided that all of the following are satisfied:

    • They have not experienced any symptoms up to this point

    • They conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 14 and self-isolate if new symptoms develop

    • No test is necessary under this option for the purposes of exiting quarantine.

 

  • At least 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, if:

    • They have experienced any symptoms during the quarantine period, even if they have a negative COVID-19 test; or

    • They are unable to conduct active monitoring of symptoms

    • This option provides the maximal risk reduction.

PROTOCOL FOR SYMPTOMS PER DESE GUIDANCE

Per guidance issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, any student with any of the following symptoms may return to school after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms if:

1. he / she has a negative COVID-19 test, 

2. he / she is issued an alternate diagnosis by a doctor, or 

3. he / she quarantines and returns in 10 days if symptoms have improved and he / she has been without fever for 24 hours.  

DOWNLOAD COVID-19 SYMPTOM CHECKLIST

MA COVID-19 TRAVEL ORDER (11/01/20

  • Abide by the MA COVID-19 travel order and quarantine / produce a negative COVID test if you’ve traveled to restricted states. Visitors to Massachusetts must complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival unless they are visiting from a lower-risk state. Visitors must also quarantine or produce a negative COVID test.

  • https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order

REVISED ORDER FURTHER REGULATING GATHERINGS IN THE COMMONWEALTH

  • Abide by the newest gathering order that went into effect Friday, November 6th. Indoor gatherings at a private residence are limited to a maximum of 10 people and outdoor gatherings at a private residence are limited to a maximum of 25 people. All participants in indoor and outdoor gatherings, including gatherings at private residences, must maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from every other participant in the gathering except where participants are members of the same household. 

  • https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-order-54/download