March 23, 2021 Update

March 23, 2021 Update
Posted on 03/23/2021

Hello EGPS Families!

Happy Spring!

I have a number of important updates to share with you.

Return to In-Person Learning on Wednesdays
We will welcome back students to in-person learning on Wednesdays. The first Wednesday for Allgrove and Seymour will be 4/7/21 and the first Wednesday for MS and HS will be 4/28/2021. Wednesdays will continue to be an early release day for staff planning. Remote learning remains an option for families through the end of the year, and the administrative team recognizes the time commitment to provide instruction to students who are learning both in class and virtually. The early release time for Wednesdays will be 30 minutes earlier than our traditional early release schedule. This is to further acknowledge and support the planning and outreach teachers are conducting during this time. The MS and HS will release at 12:00, Seymour at 12:45, and Allgrove at 12:50. Students will have lunch periods on Wednesdays. Families may check the East Granby Parks and Recreation website for a possible after-school program to support our youngest learners on early release Wednesdays. Thank you to Alicia VanNeil and the Parks and Recreation team for being true partners throughout this year. Adapting and pivoting with our school learning models has been a wonderful support for our families.

Free Breakfast / Lunch
LUNCH: An added in-person learning day brings an additional day for lunch. When ordering lunch, you can now select an menu option for Wednesday beginning on 4/7 for Elementary Schools and on 4/28 for Middle and High School. Lunch pick-up for distance learning students will remain the same.

BREAKFAST: There are changes so please read carefully. Bringing back students on Wednesdays means we need to shift our breakfast pick-up routine. As of Wednesday, April 7, 2021, we will have ONE BREAKFAST PICK-UP location for all schools. The breakfast pick-up location and time will be at the East Granby Middle School gym from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. To access the middle school gym, drive up the MS/HS driveway and take a right before you reach the circle. Cars will drive along the outer perimeter of the middle school parking lot so that the passenger side of your car ends up nearest to the gym doors. Anyone picking up breakfast/milk will be asked to stay in their vehicles. Please consider bringing reusable shopping bags for the milk and breakfast packs and be sure to arrive within the designated window of time. We can not hold items for a later pick-up. For every breakfast pack ordered, there are five milks. Any unclaimed milk needs to be refrigerated and we are short with cooler space. Please help us to not waste food and only place an order if you are able to pick it up. Remember, anyone can pick up the pre-ordered breakfast packs; the person picking up will just need to provide the name of the families. PLEASE drive with extreme caution in the parking lot when picking up breakfast, as staff and students are on the premises.

To order meals, please go to: https://www.eastgranby.k12.ct.us/for_parents/fresh_picks_cafe_meal_program

Mitigation Strategies in Schools:
COVID-19 is still very present and we cannot relax our preventative measures. As a matter of fact, on this morning's call with the Department of Public Health (DPH), it was shared that 77% of communities in CT are in the red zone; this includes 7/10 towns in the Farmington Valley. The trend of a seven week decline has reversed and we are seeing rapid increases in community cases, where mask wearing and social distancing are not consistently followed. Virus spread is traced to workplaces, travel, and small social gatherings. We can monitor our behaviors and strategies in school and at school events, but we have no control over activities outside of school. With more of the community “opening up”, I do expect to see an impact on schools. We will continue, per DPH guidance, to remain steadfast in our suite of mitigation strategies in schools, including masks (even for those who are fully vaccinated), handwashing, sanitizing, quaranting, staying home when sick, cleaning protocols, and distancing to the extent possible. With more children / families opting to return to in-person learning, the number of students in our classrooms and on our buses also increases. Should we have a COVID-19 positive or probable case, we will continue to quarantine. Warmer weather is on the horizon, and the outdoors will be a very welcomed place to be!

Quarantine Guidance
From the Farmington Valley Health Director:

Effective March 19, the Farmington Valley Health District recommended the following changes to current quarantine guidelines:

· The quarantine period for close contacts associated with potential exposures in a school setting will be reduced from 14 days to 10 days. This change is supported by data indicating that there has been very little if any secondary cases in close contacts associated with in-school close contact.
· The quarantine period for close contacts in a household OR social gathering outside the school environment remains 14 days. We continue to see a significant number of secondary cases associated with household contacts and social gatherings.
· The quarantine period for close contacts associated with potential exposures during sports remains 14 days—consistent with DPH Updated Guidance for the Operation of Interscholastic, Youth and other Amateur Activities during the COVID-19 Pandemic, effective March 19-May 27.
· Individuals who are fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine should they be identified as a close contact of a confirmed case. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the final dose, giving the body time to build antibodies against the virus.
· Individuals who have tested positive for COVID in the past 90 days are not required to quarantine should they be identified as a close contact of a confirmed case.

Travel Guidance
· On March 19, the Governor removed travel requirements for testing and quarantine upon return. While the Farmington Valley Health District continues to see many cases associated with travel, in the absence of a Governor’s directive, all families are reminded of the following recommendations from the DPH:
https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus/travel

The CDC is recommending against travel at this time. Please review the CDC webpage regarding travel:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html#after-you-travel

Calendar Reminders:
Conferences: 3/30, 3/31, 4/1
No School: Good Friday 4/2
Spring Break: 4/12-4/16
Memorial Day: Monday 5/31
Last Day of School and Graduation: Monday, 6/14

Enjoy the week!
Respectfully,

Missy Bavaro-Grande

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