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An Important Message from Superintendent Green

An Important Message from Superintendent Green

 

Dear Red Clay families,

 

We hope that everyone has had an enjoyable winter break as we navigate this latest surge of COVID-19. Throughout this school year, we have been closely monitoring local data and consulting with public health experts at the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH). The Omicron variant is becoming an issue of increasing concern in our community. This variant appears to spread more easily than other forms of COVID-19. As such, we are keeping a close eye on this variant as we make decisions moving forward.

 

At this time, we plan to resume in-person learning on Monday, January 3, as scheduled. We do not plan to adjust our learning models or school schedules for Monday; however, changes may become necessary for individual buildings, grade levels, or classes, if this variant keeps spreading. We are closely monitoring the impact of positive cases on our staffing and our ability to safely provide in-person instruction at all schools.

 

As we prepare to welcome students and staff back to campus on Monday, our mitigation strategies remain in place. In order to ensure our facilities are safe for in-person learning, parents and guardians must keep their children home from school if they are sick, tested positive for COVID-19, or were exposed to COVID-19 over the winter break. Parents and guardians must receive clearance from their school nurse before their child can return to school. Our school nurses will be dealing with an increased volume in calls and messages, so please be patient. View Red Clay’s COVID-19 Process Maps (updated on January 1, 2022) for more information.

 

We have revised our COVID-19 mitigation strategies to reflect the latest guidance from the CDC and the DPH, which centers on shorter isolation and quarantine times for those infected with COVID-19, and close contacts. This new guidance says:

 

  • For those who test positive for COVID-19—but don’t have symptoms—the isolation period can be reduced from 10 days to 5 days as long as the person wears a mask around others (in and out-of-home) for at least 5 additional days. If you have a fever, remain in isolation until the fever resolves.

  • For close contacts who are unvaccinated, or more than 6 months out from their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or 2 months out from their single dose of Johnson & Johnson (without a booster), quarantine has been reduced from 10 days to 5 days, followed by mask use for an additional 5 days.

  • For close contacts who have received their booster shot, or are less than six months out from being fully vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna or are less than 2 months from their J&J vaccine, no quarantine is needed, but these persons should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure to the positive case.

  • For vaccinated close contacts who are not yet eligible for a booster—including students younger than 16–no quarantine is needed.

 

The Test-to-Stay program will resume on Monday, January 3, during the normal hours of 4 to 7 PM at Warner Elementary School and The John Dickinson School. If your child is in quarantine due to exposure and you want to participate, you can do so beginning on Monday evening and as long as your child tests negative they can return to school on Tuesday. As a reminder, you must be registered for weekly testing with Quidel in order to participate. You can register with Quidel at www.redclayschools.com/testtostay. Parents and guardians will need to upload their child’s nightly test results at www.redclayschools.com/testtostay. More information about the Test to Stay program can be found at www.redclayschools.com/testtostay.

 

In closing, we recognize that change can be disruptive, challenging and frustrating as we continue dealing with this pandemic. We also know, however, that flexibility, collaboration, and attentiveness have helped us keep our doors open and our students learning to date. Our ultimate goal is to continue delivering safe and effective in-person learning during these difficult times.

 

Sincerely,

Dorrell Green

Superintendent