COVID testing, November 2021
Dear Gordon Families,
Thank you! We are about to hit another milestone in the school year, and you have all done an incredible job of taking care of yourselves, your families, and one another. Your attention to our COVID-19 protocols, and your participation in vaccinations and in testing, has allowed us to maintain a healthy campus and maximize the number of days our students are learning together in-person—a central goal of our work this year.
At the same time, we recognize that cases are rising dramatically among young Rhode Islanders, and the COVID-19 vaccine has just become available to our younger students.
With that reality in mind, we are taking a few active steps to mitigate the transmission and spread of the COVID-19 virus on Gordon’s campus when families return from the Thanksgiving holiday next Tuesday.
Next Tuesday and Wednesday, November 30th and December 1st, we will perform COVID-19 testing on every student who signed up for on-campus testing when it was offered in September. On-campus testing for unvaccinated children has been happening since late September, and about 80% of eligible students have been participating.
If your unvaccinated child is not participating in on-campus testing, it’s not too late to register. Please consider signing them up now using the form at www.gordonschool.org/testing before we depart for vacation on Tuesday, November 23rd.
If you have an unvaccinated child and are not registered in our on-campus testing program, you must get them tested on or after Saturday, November 27th and before arriving on campus on Tuesday the 30th. You will be asked to provide a form attesting that the test was negative.
Testing will not be required for fully vaccinated students. Note that no one is considered fully vaccinated until fourteen days after their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.
On-campus testing has been happening quietly and efficiently, and it is possible that you might not remember that your child is participating! Nurse Hoey will be reaching out directly to families who are not participating in on-campus testing in the next day or two to invite you to register and go over the details of what she needs. If you don't hear from her, your child is participating in on-campus testing, and there's no need for further action from you.
As we return from our Thanksgiving travels, students will head into three busy weeks at Gordon, full of Book Fair excitement and year-end culminating projects. We will be coming together at a time when COVID-19 cases have spiked 167% among children and staff in Rhode Island public schools, a few weeks after some of our local peer schools have been compelled to quarantine entire grades. The testing we will be doing at Gordon will help mitigate transmission and spread of the virus on campus, but I am counting on families to remain vigilant off campus as well.
Unlike last year, we are not monitoring your travel or asking you to limit where you go over the holidays. But please be thoughtful, especially when travel takes you into airports, rest stops, restaurants and other public spaces. Wear masks. Wash hands. Avoid crowded spaces. Get vaccine boosters if you are eligible. Get your young children vaccinated. And consider getting tested after travel, even if you are fully vaccinated.
During this season of gratitude and generosity, I am thankful for the continued thoughtfulness and care of the Gordon community. I wish you all a restful and restorative holiday.
PS: Starting tomorrow, Book Fair season officially begins, with dozens of ways for you to support the school while celebrating reading. Look for a Monday special edition GCA newsletter with all of the details.