Dear Staff, Parents and Caregivers:
I want to give you an update on the COVID-19 virus an impact on schools in our Supervisory Union in the state of Vermont. On Friday, we had a comprehensive webinar with the Agency of Education (AOE) and the Vermont State Department of Health. Most superintendents were involved in this webinar. There were essentially no changes to the current status so the recommendations that were in my email from last week remain current.
As you have no doubt already heard, the Health Department identified a presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Bennington County yesterday. The patient is hospitalized at Southwest Vermont Medical Center, and the Health department is working trace anyone who has had contact with this person and ensure that they have not been exposed to the virus. Our thoughts are with this patient and their family, and I wish them a smooth recovery.
At this time, this discovery has not changed the guidance to schools. We received an email from the AOE that indicated our approach would be status quo. The AOE continues to maintain that school closures are premature at this point. We will provide more specific guidance about school closures, in the event they become needed. On that matter, we will follow explicit and localized recommendations from the AOE. Of course, we will provide you with updates as they become available.
We are limiting any field trip travel to the continental United States. Our High School is involved in March Intensives next week. We have cancelled the two trips that would have taken our students out of the country. At present, we do have students traveling to Boston and to the Philadelphia area. We are monitoring those two localities on a daily basis. At this time, there is no direction from the CDC or the AOE to limit travel within the continental United States.
On a final note, we are very aware that the April vacation is coming up soon. We would ask any families or staff members who are traveling outside of the continental United States to inform the building administrator as soon as possible. We will then make determinations about appropriate quarantine protocols on a case-by-case basis.
This is a time when we need to remain calm as a community and to trust all public and personal medical advice. Please continue to follow all sanitary directions. We are making an extra effort in all of our buildings to sanitize. If you have any questions specific to your situation, please do not hesitate to reach out. The safety of our families, students, and staff remain our first priority.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. We will keep you updated.
Dr. David Baker
Superintendent of Schools
Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union