September 17, 2021
Thank you for your help with supporting a safe and healthy reopening of our schools. The purpose of this letter is to remind our community of the protocols in place related to COVID-19. The Springfield Public Schools will continue to follow health and safety guidelines set forth by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), and local health officials in order to maintain a healthy and safe learning environment for your children during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Below, please find an overview of this guidance, as well as links to resources that can be found at the end of this letter. As a reminder, health and safety guidelines are subject to change as the CDC and NJDOH continue to update their recommendations.
Please note the following:
- Parents/guardians will perform a daily health screening for their child at home for symptoms of COVID-19. Students should not be sent to school if exhibiting ANY symptom of illness as outlined:
COVID-19 Guidelines for Keeping Your Child Home:
- At least two of the following symptoms exist: fever (measure or subjective), chills, rigors (shivers), myalgia (muscle aches), headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, congestion, or runny nose; OR
- At least one of the following symptoms exists: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new olfactory disorder, new taste disorder, temperature= or > 100.4, or subjectively feels feverish.
- Students who present with COVID-19 compatible symptoms will be isolated from others until picked up by their parents or guardians. We ask that students are picked up within 30 minutes, or as soon as possible.
- All students and staff are required to wear masks indoors as per Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 253. Please send your child to school with two masks daily (one as a reserve). If there is a medical concern regarding mask wearing, please contact the school nurse and principal.
- Physical distancing: In the classroom, lunchroom, and during snack breaks will use physical distancing to the greatest extent possible. This includes assigned seating during lunch periods.
- Schools will support prevention of the spread of respiratory illness by continuing to remind students to cover coughs and sneezes, followed by providing students with instruction on proper handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizers will be available in all schools.
The district is following the requirements set forth in Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 253 regarding vaccinations for staff. We encourage all families of eligible students to be vaccinated, and to consult with your physician regarding any questions.
- Contact tracing, quarantine, and exclusion recommendations will be performed through consultation with the NJDOH.
- The school nurse will follow district and NJDOH guidelines regarding student illness, reporting, exclusion, and re-entry guidelines. Current NJDOH COVID-19 Recommendations For K-12 Schools, released on 8-31-21, can be accessed at: Current NJDOH COVID-19 Recommendations for K-12 Schools
- School exclusion criteria due to COVID-19 symptoms: An alternate diagnosis (including a positive strep test or influenza swab) without a negative COVID-19 test is not acceptable for individuals who meet COVID-19 exclusion criteria to return to school during periods of moderate, high, or very high community transmission.
- COVID-19 tests results: Please forward COVID-19 test results for your child to the school nurse to be cleared to return to their classroom post-illness. COVID-19 testing, either Rapid or PCR test must be performed at a testing facility, with your provider. Home testing for COVID-19 is discouraged as per Dr. Parman, School Physician, and the district will not accept those results for return to school.
- Travel: CDC guidance will be followed. Post domestic travel does not require quarantine unless symptoms of COVID-19 exist. Please see CDC guidance for international travel restrictions. Non-essential travel while school is in session is discouraged. The district is not currently requiring quarantine after domestic travel, but is subject to change based on state or guidance from local health officials.
- Keeping your children safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Encourage and maintain good health practices for your child and family such as healthy nutrition, exercise, monitoring for physical and emotional symptoms, and following guidelines from official health authorities.
In closing, please contact your child’s school nurse or principal with any questions or concerns. We look forward to a successful and healthy school year for our Springfield Community!
The School Nurses of Springfield Public Schools