Nurse’s Letter to EP Families – Jan. 12, 2021

Kathryn M. Crowley
Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Celeste Bowler, Asst. Supt.
Dr. Sandra Forand, Asst. Supt.

January 12, 2021

Hello East Providence Parents/Guardians and Educational Community, I hope you all had wonderful holidays and stayed safe and healthy. There have been some changes from The RIDOH and CDC. I would like to address them in this letter. Due to the high incidence of positive COVID cases, there are changes in the number of days for quarantine. There is also new information concerning testing.

All information in this letter is directly from the RIDOH Playbook which provides guidance for COVID-19 outbreak response in Pre-K to Grade 12. The playbook was updated on Jan. 6, 2021. This information is meant to be a guide to help you with the process. The RIDOH and your doctor should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Guidelines

If a person is having the following symptoms, and needs emergency attention, please call 911.

These symptoms may be related to COVID:

– Difficulty breathing

– Persistent pain or pressure in chest

– New confusion

– Inability to wake or stay awake

– Bluish lips or face

** Please be aware, this list does not reflect all possible symptoms requiring emergency care.

How long is isolation if you test positive for COVID?

If you are symptomatic

– Isolation is at least 10 days since the day symptoms first appear, 20 days if you are severely immunocompromised

Isolation ends after day 10 with

– at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medications

– other symptoms of COVID are improving

– loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and will not delay the end of isolation

If you are asymptomatic

– isolate ten days from the date the individual was tested, 20 days if severely immunocompromised

Quarantine for close contacts

– Close contacts must quarantine at home for 14 days from the last day they were in contact with the infected individual

This is a change. Previously it was 10 days, however, out of an abundance of caution during this time of a COVID-19 surge, the East Providence School District is requiring 14 days for quarantine. The CDC and RIDOH at this time consider 14 days their “gold standard” in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Rhode Island by Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order allows for the school district to choose this option.

Quarantine of household contacts

– Household contacts need to quarantine while the individual is infectious (until 10 days after symptom onset) and then start their 14 day quarantine

**RIDOH recommends ALL close contacts of people with COVID -19 get tested (with an antigen or PCR test) on day 5 or later of quarantine. This will assist in detecting asymptomatic infection and isolating quickly to prevent further spread.

Lastly, travel quarantine:

Domestic travel:

Currently, all states in the United States are red zones with the exception of Vermont and Maine.

Quarantine is 14 days with an option to test out of quarantine. As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative result from a COVID test taken within 72 hours prior to your arrival in Rhode Island or travelers who receive a COVID-19 test during their quarantine period in Rhode Island and get a negative result (either antigen or PCR) can stop quarantining, however, need to self-monitor for symptoms (including fever) for 14 days.

International travel:

Quarantine is for 14 days. There is no option for testing out of quarantine for international travelers.

Some frequently asked questions:

1. Do contacts of contacts need to quarantine?

No, only direct contacts of the infectious person need to quarantine.

2. If I am not on quarantine and I want to go for asymptomatic testing, do I need to quarantine while I wait for test results?

No, if you are asymptomatic, not on quarantine and get tested, you do not need to quarantine while waiting for results.

3. If I get tested during quarantine and I’m positive, how long do I need to stay at home?

If an individual on quarantine tests positive for COVID -19, the quarantine stops and isolation begins.

The isolation for a symptomatic individual is 10 days from the onset of symptoms or 10 days from the date of the positive test if you are asymptomatic

K-12 COVID-19 Test Scheduling Service:

Phone number: 844-857-1814 or portal.ri.gov

Who can schedule a test through this service?

Anyone associated with K-12 (students, staff, coaches, etc.) who are:

– Symptomatic or

– A close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 or

– A classmate of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19

Testing:

If a symptomatic person is tested, can the person return to school if the rapid test result is negative, but the PCR test result is still pending?

– No, if an individual is symptomatic they should not return until they receive both a negative rapid and a negative PCR result

I hope this information is helpful. If you have questions or concerns, please contact me at dwallace@epschoolsri.com.

Thank you.

Diane M. Wallace, RNBSN

Head Nurse East Providence School District

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December 18th Superintendent Letter to Families

Kathryn M. Crowley
Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Celeste Bowler, Asst. Supt.
Dr. Sandra Forand, Asst. Supt.

December 18, 2020

To our East Providence Families,

We have another update for you based on the most recent information we have received.

The Rhode Island Department of Education, supported by the Department of Health, has released new guidance on virtual versus in-school schedules. The Thanksgiving holiday created a surge in COVID cases that resulted in a number of required quarantines and isolations for staff and students thereby disrupting schools. The recommendation of the Department of Health is schools continue virtual learning through the first week of January and reopen on January 11, 2021. East Providence schools will be following this recommendation.

This is usually a very joyous season as different religions celebrate their holidays. It is a season of large family gatherings and gift exchanges. Sadly, this year, due to the dangers of COVID, the best gift we can give each other is to forego the large family gatherings – getting together only electronically. We want all of our children and their families with us for a long time to come so please be safe during this holiday season.

May you and your families enjoy everything that can be enjoyed during this holiday season. The East Providence educators offer their best wishes and are looking forward to seeing your children, their students, as soon as it is safe to
do so.

Thank you, once again, for all that you do as partners in educating our East Providence children.

Sincerely,

Kathryn M. Crowley
Superintendent of Schools

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December 8th Superintendent Letter to Parents and Guardians

Kathryn M. Crowley
Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Celeste Bowler, Asst. Supt.
Dr. Sandra Forand, Asst. Supt.

December 8, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians of our East Providence Students,

As you are well aware, with news reports and messages from the Governor’s office, the COVID pandemic is far from well contained. The recent surge in cases is unsettling. Our hopes are the vaccines will be available for all of us in the very near future.

In the meantime, we have been trying our best to keep our students in school. As you know, this has been a difficult process as the COVID virus requires us to quarantine or isolate classrooms and sometimes whole schools – often on short notice. We are fortunate to have experienced minimal infections with our students.

Throughout, we have been doing everything possible to provide the staffing needed to not only educate our students but to keep them safe. We have hired the available substitutes – there are not many available, moved staff from school to school and have even had our principals back in classrooms teaching.

With the most recent COVID surge, even our best efforts are not enough. If a student tests positive and the student has been in contact with a teacher or aide, the adult is quarantined for two weeks. If the spouse of a teacher tests positive, the teacher and spouse are quarantined for two weeks then the teacher must be isolated for an additional seven days. Obviously, if a teacher or any other staff member (custodians, aides, nurses, counselors, etc.) tests positive, they are out for at least two weeks.

We are finding ourselves unable to appropriately staff our schools. We are very fortunate in knowing the District is well positioned to sustain students’ educational progress through our virtual learning program.

We will be closing schools and going to virtual learning from December 14 with classes resuming January 4, 2021. We are hoping this will get us through the current COVID surge. Prior to January 4, we will reassess our staffing situation in an effort to reopen schools after that time.

We know this puts a huge burden on you, parents and guardians. It has been a long haul since last March. Again, we owe you a great debt of gratitude for your efforts at keeping East Providence at the forefront in virtual learning. We know everyone is suffering “pandemic fatigue.” It takes a lot of effort to maintain an effective virtual learning program. We are asking you to keep up your great efforts for a while longer.

Of vital importance to our maintaining educational progress during periods of virtual learning is attendance. Please make every effort to have your child check in for attendance and to participate in the virtual learning programs. Our teachers are making every effort to keep their students engaged and to present all of the course materials that would be covered in in-school classes. Students not fully participating in the virtual learning classes are placing themselves in jeopardy of not being prepared for in-school classes when they resume.

Again, let me personally thank you for your efforts. We will get through this if we continue to work together to assure the children of East Providence, your children and our students, receive the education required to succeed in school and in life.

Sincerely,

Kathryn M. Crowley
Superintendent of Schools

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Lunch Pick Up during DIstance Learning – 12/14/20 – 12/23/20

Dear Parents and Guardians:

The East Providence Public Schools will be on full Distance Learning from December 14, 2020 to January 4, 2021.
Beginning on December 14th through to December 23rd, the EP School Dept, partnering with Chartwells and Ocean State Transit will deliver student breakfasts/lunches to our community school sites and bus stops across the city. The sites and bus stop times are attached. The bus staff will be distributing the meals, so there is no need to go into the buildings.
Special note: This coming week meal offerings will include 3 or 4 hot lunch items (beginning on Tuesday).
We thank you for your cooperation during this time. Stay well.

The following site is also available along with the schools and bus stops.
East Providence High School Student Parking Lot
2000 Pawtucket Ave.
East Providence, RI 02914
8:30 – 10:00 AM

Click Here for Full Schedule

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The General Treasurer’s Distinguished Service Award

Treasurer Magaziner has started a new annual award called The General Treasurer’s Distinguished Service Award and the City of East Providence has been selected to receive one. The General Treasurer’s Distinguished Service Awards celebrate champions who have provided extraordinary support to Treasury and our various programs. East Providence was selected for “Distinguished Service for Leadership on School Construction and Green Infrastructure”.

The award ceremony will be broadcasted via Facebook Live on Wednesday, December 16th at 2:30 PM. Mayor DaSilva will be accepting the award on behalf of the city. Here is where you will be able to watch the ceremony.

https://www.facebook.com/RITreasury
or
https://www.facebook.com/events/875688053258237/

We hope you’re able to join us!

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