SKSD Superintendent's Snapshot


SKSD Reentry Website  SKSD COVID-19 Website


Upcoming Meetings:

SK School Building Meeting October 19 at 6:00 pm

SK School Committee Workshop DLI Update October 22 at 7:00 pm

SK School Committee Workshop Kingian Nonviolence October 27 at 7:00 pm


Important Dates:

October 19 No School / Asynchronous Learning Day for Students / Staff PD Day
October 22 Community Flu Clinic (4pm – 7pm @ CCMS)

November 3 No School - Election Day

November 4 ALL STUDENTS will be VIRTUAL

November 10 Community Flu Clinic (4pm – 7pm @ CCMS)

November 11 No School - Veterans’ Day

November 16 No School / Asynchronous Learning Day for Students

 Staff PD Day (9-12) & Parent-Teacher Conferences (PreK-8)

November 25, 26, 27 No School Thanksgiving Break


Important Information for this Week’s In-Person Learners:

Link to 20-21 School Year Calendar

Link to SKSD Back to School Quick Reference Document

Link to SKSD COVID Monthly Schedule (through January)


Weekly SKSD COVID Update: We did have a single positive case but no close contacts as the staff member had not been near students during the infectious period. (see email 10.12.2020)


To: The SKSD Learning Community  
Date: October 18, 2020

This week we learned concerning news from the Governor and the Department of Health. They have shared that Rhode Island is seeing a spike in cases. Our data from South Kingstown aligns with this. I ask that we all act more carefully. Our return to in-person learning has gone very well because of our work together. I ask that you continue to adhere to our guidelines and take precautions. We have all committed to being safe and feeling safe. It is more important now than ever that we stay strong and keep each other safe.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION


SKSD Monthly Schedule (October – January)

As we staggered our in-person start together we used a monthly calendar to help us with our days together. This monthly schedule has been updated for those that want the next couple of months more clearly outlined.

Please note that we do not have school on November 3 for Election Day. We will also have a VIRTUAL DAY on November 4. There will be NO in-person learning on November 4 so that we can deep clean the buildings. I had tried to work with the local Town and the State to find other alternatives but I was unsuccessful. I understand why but I also know that we would not be able to have the buildings deep cleaned for ALL to enter on November 4. As I discussed this with the State they suggested that we and many other school districts should close for that day to allow for a complete cleaning as those that come to use the buildings for voting will not be following the same guidance that we follow each day. I am truly sorry for this inconvenience. I hope that the monthly schedule (October – January is shared) will help you and your family with planning. You can always refer to the 2020-2021 School Year calendar.

Masks

The RIDOH has shared the following: One of the main reasons that we’re seeing a spike in cases is a lapse in mask-wearing in small, intimate groups. We have to recommit to wearing our masks any time that we are close to another person we don’t share a household with, even if they’re close friends or loved ones. I know that can be hard, but it’s what we have to do to keep them safe. So whenever you think a mask might be appropriate, it is appropriate. Please take the time to review mask-wearing guidance: https://health.ri.gov/covid/wearingmasks/

I would also like to remind you that while in our schools we should NOT:

*Wear a face shield alone. A shield does not replace a mask. 

* Wear a neck gaiter. 

*Wear a bandana

*A face mask with a valve. 

*A mask is worn the wrong way.

The RIDOH’s Case Investigation Process

At a recent virtual meeting, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) shared information about their case investigation process, which begins when RIDOH receives a positive COVID-19 lab result directly from the laboratory.  At that point, the assigned case investigator calls the infected individual and asks about symptoms, exposures, and activities.  From the interview, the case investigator determines close contacts - persons who were within 6 feet of the individual for more than 15 minutes (cumulative) during the infectious period.  The infectious period is defined as 2 days before symptom onset or, if asymptomatic, 2 days before the COVID-19 test. 

The case investigator informs the infected individual to isolate and calls close contacts to put them in quarantine.  They use the term, “isolation” for people who are ill and the term “quarantine” for those who may have been exposed.  Isolation lasts for 10 days while quarantine lasts for 14 days because individuals can contract the illness anytime between 2 and 14 days after exposure.  

The case investigator also calls the school principal and/or school nurse and the superintendent. In addition to confirming information provided by a student or their family, they also ask about the individual’s last day in school, whether or not the child is in a stable pod, if there are times when pods mix, and a list of children in the pod. Seating charts for each classroom and the school bus, if applicable, are shared with the case investigator, as well as lists of people (i.e. substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, support staff) who were in the classroom at any time during the infectious period.  Other information gathered includes recess supervision, use of the isolation room, before and after school care, athletics, lunch and recess processes, bathroom groups, and other transition times during the school day.  For staff members, additional information about lunch arrangements and shared workspaces is provided. Once they’ve done the investigation, they identify the students and staff who may have been exposed, quarantine them, and communicate rules about quarantining.

Halloween & Holidays

The RIDOH and the Governor’s Office has shared that trick-or-treating will still be allowed, but it’s going to look different this year. They have asked that you go in small groups, stay six feet apart, and wear cloth masks the entire time. They have also asked that you do your trick or treating in the daylight. Finally, they have shared that under no circumstances should there be Halloween parties.

They have also asked that folks keep their Thanksgiving local this year and do not travel. Our behaviors for Halloween and Thanksgiving will impact our December Holidays. There could be a possibility of a stay-at-home order for those holidays if we do not make the right choices today.


REMINDERS


Travel Guidance

The guidance for Rhode Islanders returning from travel out of state is available online through the RIDOH website (see link). There are currently 29 states that have a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%. RIDOH guidance requires quarantine for 14 days for anyone returning from these states. Due to the governor’s executive order, an exception can be made if you “provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours before arriving in Rhode Island. Quarantining for 14 days is always preferred over-relying on a negative test result as this is the best way to limit the possibility of spreading COVID-19. Those returning from out of the country MUST quarantine for 14 days upon return. The guidance also states that if you are a returning Rhode Island resident, you can self-schedule an asymptomatic test at a community-based testing location or through portal.ri.gov. You must quarantine while waiting for a negative test result. If you are returning and self-schedule an asymptomatic test in RI, this would occur after arriving in Rhode Island. We all rely on the honesty of our families and staff members who may be traveling. We ask that all members of our school community who return from one of these states consider following the RIDOH recommendations.

Attestation Forms
After an illness, all staff and students are expected to submit an after-illness attestation form.  These forms are available online through the RIDOH website (
see link) or through our COVID webpage.

PreK-12 Dedicated Testing Center
 
Please see the PreK-12 Dedicated Testing Center Website ( https://health.ri.gov/covid/testing/k-12/ ) for an overview of when to get a test, what happens on the day of the test, and the locations of the K-12 testing sites.  To schedule a test, parents or staff can call: (844) 857 – 1814, Seven Days a Week: 7:30 AM - 9:30 PM. 

FLU Clinics
We will be 
hosting two FLU CLINICS. It is more important than ever that you have a flu shot. ANYONE over age 3 can participate. You will need to preregister. The first clinic is October 22 and the second is November 10. The clinics are from 4 pm – 7 pm at Curtis Corner Middle School. The pre-registration link is available HERE https://www.thewellcomp.com/chooseschool.aspx

I want to thank you for your continued support and kind words. We are one of the only school departments in Rhode Island that is able to provide in-person learning to all those that select it on each and every day of the week. We are proud to be able to personalize for every child, every day. 

With continued gratitude,
Linda Savastano, SKSD Superintendent

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