We will keep this page updated for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, we will continue to maintain our correspondence with families and students. This situation is ongoing and we are prepared to remain adaptable and flexible to ensure the safety of our community, and to ensure we continue to do what is best for our families.
The most recent updates will be listed first by date.
You can also find the protocols provided by the VT Agency of Education here.
June 30, 2020
As we review your responses about returning to school, we notice that there are those of you who are not comfortable or are undecided. First, the Board will discuss this and make a determination, but I believe we will create a hybrid model so that we can serve students both on-site and via the Internet.
In the meantime, I did a walk through with Dr. Kaufman and we are designing protocols for the return of those students whose families are comfortable. We are early in the game on this and I am sure that we will design more details as we move forward.
First the entrance into E. Harris Brown will move to the side door. That has a larger covered area for spacing the students.
We will not use the lockers and hope to remove them entirely. Each student will have a bin which will be located throughout the rooms. A staging area will be set up in order to take the student’s temperature and complete a brief daily questionnaire.
Students will have designated rooms; teachers will move from room to room; this reduces the number of times that students must move in the smaller hallways. One point under consideration is with regard to using the art room. We understand that the kind of art that we do needs an art studio. Students and teachers will have to thoroughly clean the room at the end of each class period.
A free-standing sanitizer will be located at the entrance and wall-mounted sanitizers in each room will be available and we will encourage students to use them throughout the day.
We will eat lunch in the classrooms. Recess will be staggered to keep the numbers small and controllable.
In the event that a student becomes ill, we are creating a space with a screen in the far corner of the cafeteria that would be available so that the student can stay isolated until a parent or guardian can pick them up. As you recall, Mr. Forrest’s workspace is located quite a distance away so he will be safe from contagion but the student will not be unsupervised.
We will move grades three and four back in to E. Harris Brown in order to accommodate the 6 foot rule.
Masks are an issue. We are happy if students wish to use homemade cotton masks, but these masks must be washed daily, so families might want to purchase several. We should always have a back-ups because things can happen.
It has also been suggested that all teachers get tests as close to the beginning of school as possible; we will make sure that happens.
We thank you for working with us.
We continue to receive and monitor information daily regarding the containment of the virus once we return to school. We understand the trepidation that parents and guardians are experiencing about their children returning to group interaction. The School takes seriously the need to ensure the safety of its students. We are aware that our duty of care extends to both aspects of safety: the physical protocols that must be followed and the awareness of the social/emotional impact the pandemic has had, and will have, on our students.
Dr, Annick Kaufman (also parent of Sebastien) is working with us to create the daily questionnaire and documents for reporting data. We are applying for grants to purchase wall-mounted hand sanitizers and infrared thermometers.
As of this date, June 24, 2020, the Vermont Agency of Education indicates that schools will be open in the fall. The model for the return has yet to be determined. The protocols will dictate the models that will be used. It is possible that school will be a combination of distance-learning and on-site learning. We ask that all members of the TSS community remain open and flexible as the information is fluid and ever-changing.
We are working over the summer to design a distance learning program that we will be able to access should the school open and then have to close. We learned a great deal during the spring session and hope to expand on those policies that worked and to alter those that did not. We thank our parents for their help in assessing our program as the comments will help guide the creation of better methodologies if we need to return to distance learning.