Dear Shorewood Staff and Families, January 11, 2022
Thank you again for all you are doing to keep students, staff, and family members safe during this pandemic surge. With high numbers of Omicron cases and new guidance from the CDC, the District continues to review and revise its policies and building-level procedures.
Effective Monday, January 17, the District will adopt the revised CDC isolation and quarantine guidelines below for students and staff.
This chart is included with additional guidance issued by local public health authorities on January 5.
Please note that the District isolation and quarantine policy change is not retroactive. Only student and staff cases with a symptom onset date (or test date, if asymptomatic) reported on or after January 17 will be subject to new policies; cases diagnosed prior to January 17 will require a 10-day isolation period.
ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE
To review, isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
We are also modifying our communication procedures regarding quarantine:
- Beginning on Tuesday, January 18, elementary school offices will notify all parents within 24 hours of a confirmed active case in a student homeroom. This does not indicate that your child has been identified as a close contact; it simply indicates that a case has been confirmed in the elementary school homeroom;
- For SIS and SHS students who have daily contact with a much larger body of students and much greater mobility, close contact notification will continue to be sent to unvaccinated close contacts, based on data available to the school district. We encourage diligent daily symptom monitoring and regular testing 1-2 times per week until further notice (regardless of vaccine status); and
- As communicated recently, we will continue to notify only unvaccinated close contacts, per North Shore Health Department recommendations. A building letter, sent via Infinite Campus, will notify families of a positive case in school.
The North Shore Health Department does not track the use of at-home COVID tests, as outlined in this January 10, 2022 update. Please review this information and note the important differences in documentation requirements.
With increased use of at-home tests in our community, the District is making these changes to our testing and reporting procedures, effective January 17, 2022:
- At-home POSITIVE test results submitted to [email protected] will be accepted for the purposes of beginning isolation and quarantine. We recommend a laboratory-verified PCR or rapid antigen test;
- Students sent home from school with symptoms of illness must provide a laboratory-confirmed test to return to school. At-home tests will not be accepted;
- The District’s COVID-19 Dashboard will continue to be updated on Mondays with data from the previous week, and will include at-home test results submitted to the District. At this time, we are not receiving confirming information from the NSHD to confidently post accurate, laboratory-confirmed data with more frequency.
Regardless of symptoms,we urge families and staff to test frequently to verify COVID status; twice weekly is recommended at this time. We strongly encourage families to regularly use the COVID testing available at the Village Center or at another certified clinical laboratory setting (Walgreens, CVS, etc.) in the community. Additional CLIA-certified testing resources can be found at:
https://uwmke.vivi.healthcare/ (asymptomatic testing at UWM)
As of January 7, the DHS recommends that eligible students ages 12 to 15 receive a single booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. DHS also supports the CDC’s recommendations to shorten the booster interval from 6 months to 5 months for people who received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Finally, moderately or severely immunocompromised children ages 5 to 11 can now receive an additional primary dose of vaccine 28 days after their second shot. More information on these recommendations can be found here.
With isolation and quarantine guidelines more reliant on individual vaccination status, student families and staff members should submit proof of vaccination to the District so that we can identify and prioritize those who are unvaccinated close contacts.
Staff members should provide this information directly to Human Resources; students and parents can submit this information by completing the COVID Vaccination Record Form and uploading a photo of the vaccination card.
OTHER REMINDERS TO HELP STAY SAFE
Medical grade masks are available in our schools, if needed. We continue to recommend N95 or KN95 masks, if possible. Gaiters and bandanas are not acceptable, and this policy will be strictly enforced.
Our terrific Shorewood community has done such a phenomenal job of keeping each other healthy and safe. If your child doesn’t feel well, please keep them home and extend the isolation period, if needed, for the health and safety of others.
If you have questions about District procedures for isolation and quarantine, please email [email protected]. Medical questions should be directed to your healthcare provider.
Let’s continue to work together to keep our students and staff safe and healthy. I value your support in this commitment.
Dr. JoAnn Sternke
Shorewood Schools, Interim Superintendent