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January 12, 2022
Dear OSSD Community,
The recent surge of cases in our district has quickly depleted our testing supplies which are a vital component to keeping students in school and our schools open. We have been in direct contact with the organization hired by the state to manage testing and supplies and are awaiting a restock, until that arrives, RUHS and RTCC must remain closed (until the supplies arrive or the five-day quarantine period expires). We will update the community daily on the status of the high school and technical center until this situation is resolved.
In terms of the new guidance coming from the State, the biggest change is a shift in how the Test to Stay (TTS) program will work. Previously, students who were identified as unvaccinated close contacts could remain in school if they tested negative on a rapid antigen test each morning during their quarantine period. These tests were administered by the district. Under the new system, staff and students identified as unvaccinated close contacts will be given rapid tests to take home and will use them each morning to determine if they should come to school. The shift is in who administers the rapid test: it was the school, moving forward it will be done at home. Right now, we do not have enough testing supplies to support either the old Test to Stay program or the new given the almost overnight surge in our case counts.
Currently, each school is working with the COVID coordinators to update the letters they give to close contacts that outline the new process called Home Test to Stay (HTTS). These letters will outline when, where, and how to pick up the rapid tests; as well as how to administer them over the course of the quarantine period. We thank the community for your patience and will keep you apprised as this situation evolves. Please keep an eye out for emails from the district and your student’s schools.
As a final note, as we reviewed the number of eligible students who have been boosted, the numbers are very low:
28% at RTCC and about 24% at RUHS.
Please check your children’s vaccination cards for the date of their second shot, and we urge you to sign them up for a booster if they are eligible.
Layne Millington OSSD Superintendent
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The Orange Southwest School District serves students and families in the towns of Randolph, Braintree, and Brookfield, Vermont. Our three elementary schools provide services to students from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. Randolph Union High School serves students from grades seven through twelve; and the Randolph Technical Career Center provides technical education services for juniors and seniors from communities throughout Central Vermont.
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