Important Communications for the 2021-2022 School Year

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Dear Brown School Families,

I hope this letter finds you all rested and ready for the new school year. I am very grateful and excited that our returning and new students will be able to attend in person this school year. The administration and faculty recognize that students benefit most from in-person learning, and we are all diligently working to make sure our school community is safe and well prepared for the 2021-2022 school year.

Decisions regarding our school’s COVID-19 policies and protocols are made by the Brown School Board and administration and are based on the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). At this time, Brown School intends to follow the CDC recommendation for three feet of social distancing in classrooms (whenever possible) and to use a multi-layered prevention strategy to include the following:

  • Universal indoor masking for all students, staff, teachers, and visitors, will be required, regardless of vaccination status. The CDC, AAP and the Schenectady County Department of Health all advocate for mask wearing and vaccination as effective measures in mitigating the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. According to the CDC website, data supports mask wearing to effectively reduce the spread of COVID-19 while being a safe measure. Adopting universal mask policies can help avert future lockdowns.
  • Hand washing and respiratory etiquette will be encouraged and monitored.
  • Families will be expected to monitor their child(ren) and keep them home from school if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms: difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea, fever of 100.4 or higher, new loss of taste or smell, has tested positive for COVID.
  • Students and staff will be expected to stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and referral to their healthcare provider for testing and care.
  • We will implement our contact tracing procedures in combination with quarantine and isolation.
  • Brown School will be cleaned and disinfected before, during and after school on a daily basis.
  • Water bottle refill stations will be available for use.
  • School cafeteria will follow recommended spacing protocol. You will be updated on other cafeteria policies over the next few weeks.
  • Ongoing monitoring of community transmission, vaccination coverage, and occurrence of outbreaks will be conducted to guide future decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies.
  • Teachers/administration will provide an at home learning plan and check-ins for students who must quarantine.

The Brown School Board of Trustees voted in favor of mandatory vaccination for all school employees. Every member of our administration, faculty and staff will be vaccinated by the opening of the new school year. Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic and to help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.

Please keep in mind that our updated policies and procedures are based on the recently learned evidence of the COVID-19 Delta variant. Data shows that the Delta variant is more transmissible than other variants. The current COVID-19 vaccines offer a safe and reliable path to immunity against both the older strains of coronavirus and against emerging strains, especially the new Delta variant.

I will continue to keep you updated on any changes to our COVID protocols as the need arises. Over the next few weeks, you will also receive more Back to School news. Please email me with any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your constant cooperation and support.

Patti Vitale
Head of Brown School