Dear APS Families,
The health and safety of students, staff, and the Arlington community is of utmost importance in our schools. Students must be healthy to learn. Similar to other districts, we have developed this guide to help families understand the policies and protocols that will be maintained while we are all enduring the Covid-19 pandemic.
These guidelines will allow for optimal health and safety of our children and staff. It is vital that parents understand that this is a fluid situation, and while we cannot promise perfection, we will do all we can to keep our students safe. Of vital importance is the understanding that while most children generally do not have severe symptoms from COVID-19, the long term effects are currently unknown. Many students in the district may live with family members who may be at higher risk in regard to mortality due to age or medical conditions. Also, there are staff and faculty who may be at high risk. Therefore, sending a child to school with potential COVID could have serious consequences. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, you can look at the Family guide for APS return to school below or utilize the Mass.gov symptom checker tool: https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptom-checker/?configuration=ma_covid&concern=coronavirus
Arlington has recently launched a COVID related APS Nursing Triage line to answer any and all questions regarding COVID in relation to symptoms, contacts and school(s). Please feel free to call the number at 781-316-3483 between the hours of 8am-3pm, Mondays through Fridays (school holidays and vacations excluded). All calls after 3:00 pm will be answered the following work day. As always, you are encouraged to reach out to the school nurse(s) in your child’s school.
A wonderful resource for parents in deciding on how their children will return to school can be found on the CDC website, School Decision-Making Tool for Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians. Also, as noted in this manual, flu vaccines are now mandatory in the state of Massachusetts for children attending public schools, as of Jan. 1, 2021.
Many other school-based questions and decisions, not directly related to health and safety are on the APS Fall 2020 Reopening plan.
Please note, this is an evolving situation, and as such, the document listed below was created to reflect the most recent guidelines related to health and safety from the nursing department. We will need to adjust our practice as we receive new recommendations and guidelines from the CDC, the MA Department of Public Health (DPH), the Arlington Board of Health, and DESE. This electronic version will be updated as information is released. For reference, commonly used pandemic nomenclature and their definitions can be found at the end of this document.
Susan M. Franchi, DNP, FNP-C, CNP, RN
Director of Nursing Services
Resources and informational forms for Staff and families: