Dear Belmont Families,
I am so grateful that we have all of our students back in school this year, and that the high school experience is much more normal for students. My goal is to keep students in school, and to keep the school experience a good one, with as few restrictions to learning and socializing as possible. In order to achieve this goal, we rely on our mitigation strategies: masking, vaccinations, ventilation, hand washing, and social distancing where possible. Our vaccination rates are over 80 percent, and I would love to increase this number. If you are unsure about vaccinating your child, please feel free to reach out to our nurses with questions: Corinne Jackman firstname.lastname@example.org and Brianna Baras email@example.com
Another tool that we have for keeping students safe this year is our testing programs. Below, I have attempted to clarify what these programs look like, and why I would like as many people to participate as possible.
Clarification on Routine COVID Safety Checks (formerly called Pooled Testing) and Test & Stay:
Routine COVID Safety Checks: All asymptomatic students, regardless of vaccination status, are encouraged to participate. This testing program helps us screen our school community for active COVID-19 infection.
Test & Stay: An alternative to quarantine for unvaccinated, asymptomatic students who were identified as a close contact while at school. Vaccinated students are not eligible for Test & Stay since they are not required to quarantine if exposed to an infectious individual.
BHS currently has a low consent rate of approximately 27%. All families are encouraged to complete a consent form for their students to participate in these testing programs. There is one consent form; you cannot sign up for one and not the other, as they are two parts of the same program. Please note that you will not receive a confirmation email once you submit the form. There is no penalty for signing up and then choosing not to participate.
BPS is ready and waiting to begin once CIC has the necessary supplies and personnel to manage the programs. Refer to the BPS Health and Safety website for more information and updates as they become available. Email BPSCOVIDTEST@belmont.k12.ma.us with any questions.
Isaac Taylor he/him