Dear Springfield Schools Community,
Almost two years ago, our state and schools faced the daunting shifts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to continue to move toward resuming the normal routines and activities of pre-pandemic life. Over the last month we have taken strategic steps to ensure that each decision is followed by carefully monitoring our local health data. On Monday, February 7th, Governor Murphy announced that effective March 7, 2022, the universal statewide mask mandate will be lifted, and we have been following the guidance provided to assist us in planning for making masks option for our school community.
As a result of our review of the most recent guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Health Department Recommendations for K-12 Schools and improved health conditions within our community and around the state (CALI scores), the following recommendations will be implemented on Monday, March 7, 2022.
The wearing of masks will be optional for students and staff except in the instances identified below. We may reinstitute the mask requirement in consultation with our local health officials in the following types of scenarios:
Community spread is increased to High (Orange) or Very High (Red);
If an outbreak at a classroom or school level is identified, students in the specific classroom or school may be required to wear masks;
After returning from quarantine (see below for details);
If identified as symptomatic for any illness in the school environment, they will be required to wear a mask until they leave the school premises.
At this time, no individuals will be required to remove masks except in cases of emergency. We will maintain a zero-tolerance policy related to any harassment, intimidation, or bullying that may occur based on a student’s preference to wear or not wear a mask.
In our elementary schools, parents may reach out to their school principals to share specific requests related to mask-wearing. In the middle and high schools, it is the responsibility of the families to have the discussion related to mask wearing. Middle and high school teachers and administrators will not be responsible for monitoring whether a child is complying to an individual parent/guardian request.
Masking Protocols for Transportation:
Students will not be required to wear masks on buses or school transportation unless required to do so by the NJDOH or CDC guidance.
Contact Tracing Protocols:
We will continue to provide notification to specific individuals who might have been close contacts to positive cases. If higher numbers of cases appear in specific classrooms or schools, additional information and communication will be shared with families.
Quarantine Protocols Remain the Same:
If an individual tests positive, they may not attend school in-person until Day 6. The day(s) are calculated as 2 days prior to the onset of symptoms OR the date of the positive test result. If the individual remains asymptomatic, they may return on Day 6.
If an individual is vaccinated or has had COVID-19 in the past 90 days, they are not required to quarantine after a household close contact. If an individual is unvaccinated and has not tested positive in the last 90 days, they are required to quarantine, with the start date established as the date of contact. If the individual remains asymptomatic, they may return on Day 6.
For the remainder of this school year, students will only be eligible to participate in virtual instruction with laboratory test results (either Rapid or PCR test) given in a healthcare setting.
Quarantine and Masking Protocols:
Individuals who return from quarantine either due to a positive case or due to a household close contact must wear a mask through Day 10.
Health & Safety Measures:
We will continue to employ preventive measures that include physical distancing, hand hygiene, and cleaning of high-touch surfaces on a daily basis.
We are thankful for your continued support and compliance with the shifting guidance and regulations. Your support has allowed the District to remain open, and afford as many in-person learning opportunities as possible for our students. While we are hopeful that we will be able to continue this progress, we remain mindful that we must be diligent in responding to the changing COVID-19 environment.
If you have any questions related to these shifts, please contact your child’s school nurse or principal.