COVID-19 UPDATES

November 22, 2020

Dear North Country Union Junior High School Families,

I am writing to let you know that a staff member at NCUJHS has tested positive for COVID-19. Our COVID Response Team has met and we are working closely with the Vermont Department of Health to assess and respond to this situation. There are no plans to move to full remote instruction. School will be open for in-person learners, as usual.

It is the Vermont Department of Health that identifies those who may have been exposed to the virus. Based on our review with them, no “close contacts” were determined. Close contact means being within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period while the person was infectious, which starts two days before symptoms began and continues until they are recovered. Close contact does not mean being in the same room or walking by someone in the hall. We know that the last potential for exposure at school occurred on Thursday, November 19. This is important because it establishes the timeline for quarantining of close contacts. The school will inform staff and students if they are deemed a close contact. We will also inform those who are not close contacts, yet may have been in the same room with the individual who has tested positive. Due to medical privacy laws, we cannot provide any additional information about this case.

We are confident that there is a very limited risk that others were exposed. We still encourage families to monitor their students for COVID symptoms daily. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Some have reported additional symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, nausea, lethargy, lack of appetite, loss of test or smell, vomiting, and diarrhea. Parents and guardians of students or staff exhibiting symptoms are asked to contact their family physician, the Vermont Department of Health, and the school nurse. Thus far, we do not have evidence that the virus is being transmitted within school. However, we cannot rule that out as a potential and we certainly know there is an increase in the prevalence of the virus in the community. We encourage families to be vigilant regarding best practices to limit the spread of the virus in social settings. As always, the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and families is our top priority.

At this time, we ask our community for compassion and understanding for all who may be impacted by this virus. Please do not speculate, ask, post on social media -- it is important to respect the privacy of individuals involved. We will communicate with you any additional information that becomes available. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

John A. Castle

Superintendent of Schools

November 16, 2020

Dear NCSU School-Community,

We are notifying staff and families across our NCSU school-community that three individuals at the Troy School have been identified positive for COVID-19.

Thank you for understanding that, due to medical privacy laws, we are not able to release the names of any individuals with COVID-19. Please do not speculate, ask, post on social media the speculation around individuals -- it is important to respect the privacy of our community members. We will continue to communicate changes and updates with you. With your participation, we believe we can create a safe experience for your children this school year. For more information related to COVID-19 visit our website: www.NCSUVT.org.

We will be working with the Department of Health and staff members of the Troy School to determine close contacts and next steps. Troy has moved to remote instruction for the remainder of the week.

As we see increased transmission of the virus in our community, it is important we stay vigilant in practicing all established preventative measures. We ask that you take action to help limit the spread of COVID-19, even if your child is not experiencing symptoms. Thank you for your support in staying safe and healthy and keeping others safe and healthy. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

Be well!

Sincerely,

John A. Castle

November 11, 2020

Hello North Country Union Junior High School community,

School will be in session tomorrow, Thursday, November 12th for in-person learning. Our regular virtual learners will also be back online for classes tomorrow.

Based on follow up information from the Department of Health regarding an NCUJHS community member testing positive for Covid-19, we do have a small number of people who have been identified as a close contact and notified by either school personnel or the Department of Health who will need to quarantine. All other students and staff will be back on their regular schedule tomorrow, Thursday, November 12th.

Thank you for your patience through this process.

Dr. Corbett

Principal


November 10, 2020

Hello North Country Union Junior High School Community,

District and School personnel are working with Vermont Dept of Health and we anticipate they will have defined who are considered close contacts by mid-day tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov 11. Families of those students considered close contact will be notified as soon as we have that information from the Dept of Health.

Chromebooks will be available for pick up for those students who are identified as close contacts from 4 pm - 6 pm on Wednesday, Nov 11 at the Junior High.

We will put out another message tomorrow regarding the status of school on Thursday.

Thank you,

Dr. Nicole Corbett

Principal

November 9, 2020

Dear North Country Union Jr. High School Families,

I am writing to let you know that a member of the NCUJHS community has tested positive for COVID-19. This is considered a “presumed positive” as we are awaiting official confirmation by the Vermont Department of Health. Our COVID Response Team has met to prepare our response. Students will not have school tomorrow, November 10th.

We will share all critical information with the Vermont Department of Health regarding potential close contacts. It is likely they will not begin reaching out to those individuals until sometime later tomorrow. They will contact all staff and families whose students are potentially impacted. We will continue to work with the Department of Health to assess the situation and determine if we are able to staff a combination of in-person and remote learning on Thursday. No students will be at school tomorrow.

It is the Vermont Department of Health that identifies those who may have been exposed to the virus. Their goal is to make these contacts within 24 hours. However, given the increased prevalence of cases in the State, it is possible it could take longer. If you are not contacted by the school, or the VDH directly, by the end of the day on Wednesday it is because your child is not considered a close contact. We know that the last potential exposure at school occurred on Monday, November 2. This is important because it establishes the timeline for quarantining of close contacts. The Vermont Department of Health contact tracer will explain this to each individual family impacted. Due to medical privacy laws, we cannot provide any additional information about this case.

Although we are already at day seven from the last potential date of exposure at school, families should continue to monitor their students for COVID symptoms daily. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Some have reported additional symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, nausea, lethargy, lack of appetite, loss of taste or smell, vomiting, and diarrhea. Parents and guardians of students or staff exhibiting symptoms are asked to contact their family physician, the Vermont Department of Health, and the school nurse. As always, the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and families is our top priority.

At this time, we ask our community for compassion and understanding for all who may be impacted by this virus. Please do not speculate, ask, post on social media -- it is important to respect the privacy of our community. We will be following up by the end of the day on Wednesday as to plans for Thursday, Friday and next week. We will communicate with you to provide the latest and most accurate information, as it becomes available. You can view the NCSU COVID-19 Symptomatic and Positive Case Guide for further information about the process. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

John A. Castle

Superintendent of Schools

November 1, 2020

Dear NCSU School-Community,

We are notifying staff and families across our school-community that another individual at Derby Elementary School has been identified with a positive case of COVID-19. The individual who tested positive was considered infectious while at school during the week of Oct. 19. Derby was in remote learning all last week. There is no indication this case is a result of transmission from our previous identified case.

We recommend that you take action to help limit the spread of COVID-19, even if your child is not experiencing symptoms. Please answer the phone if the Vermont Health Department contacts you. The phone number may not show up on caller ID, so it is important to answer all calls over the next 24 hours. Learn more about getting tested in Vermont.

Thank you for understanding that, due to medical privacy laws, we are not able to release the names of any individuals with COVID-19. Please do not speculate, ask, post on social media the speculation around individuals -- it is important to respect the privacy of our community members. We will continue to communicate changes and updates with you. With your participation, we believe we can create a safe experience for your children this school year. For more information related to COVID-19 visit our website: www.NCSUVT.org.

We are working with the Department of Health and with members of Derby Elementary School to determine close contacts and next steps. Derby will be open for in-person instruction for pre-k, kindergarten, grades 3, 4 & 6 on Monday and we remain hopeful that first and second-grade classrooms will return Tuesday or later in the week. Grade 5 will be remote tomorrow until the Department of Health determines who may be considered close contacts and then we will determine next steps.​​​​​​​

As we see increased transmission of the virus in our community, it is important we stay vigilant in practicing all established preventative measures. Thank you for your support in staying safe and healthy and keeping others safe and healthy. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

Be well!

Sincerely,

John A. Castle

NCSU Superintendent of Schools