WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL!

We look forward to being back in the classrooms and working together with our families and students, to ensure a successful and healthy school year!

RIDOH has developed a COVID-19 Testing Program for all RI PK-12 public and private school students, faculty and staff who have been identified as a close contact of a positive case, or are a classmate of a positive case. Services are available in multiple languages.

Click here to search for a testing site near you. Call 844-857-1814 or go to portal.ri.gov to make an appointment.

To learn more about testing in the RI Schools visit COVID Testing Students and Staff

Symptoms of COVID

COVIDvsALLERGIES

IF YOUR CHILD HAS SYMPTOMS:

  • Please keep all children home from school

  • Report symptoms to the school nurse to determine if COVID-19 testing is needed

  • Email the school nurse if illness occurs outside of school hours

  • Communication is important to ensure contact tracing if there is a positive case

  • Please complete the  AFTER- ILLNESS RETURN ATTESTATION FORM and send it to the school nurse when your child is ready to return to school

IN KEEPING WITH OUTBREAK RESPONSE PROTOCOLS SET BY THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND, PLEASE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED IN THE SUMMARY BELOW.  SPEAK WITH THE SCHOOL NURSE IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS

Protocol for Symptomatic Testing

Quarantine guidance

IF YOUR CHILD OR SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY IS TESTED FOR COVID-19:

  • All children must stay home from school pending testing results*

  • Rapid test results are usually available within hours

  • PCR (final) test results are usually available in 1-2 days

  • Household contacts must remain quarantined until PCR test results are confirmed negative*

  • Please provide the school nurse with a copy of your child’s PCR test results and the AFTER- ILLNESS RETURN ATTESTATION FORM

    *(Exception to quarantine- those fully vaccinated or history of COVID-19 disease within last 90 days do not need to quarantine)

BPS QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS FOR CLOSE CONTACTS:

Vaccinated or history of COVID-19 within last 90 days:

  • Do not need to quarantine

  • RIDOH now requires vaccinated close contact to test on day 3-5 with a PCR test

  • Continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days

Unvaccinated:

RIDOH offers a few options for quarantine following exposure to COVID-19, but does not dictate which option schools/districts should choose to implement

  • BPS protocol requires a close contact to quarantine for 7 days after exposure with a testing option on day 5 or later.

  • A COVID-19 negative PCR test is required to return to school on day 8

  • Continue to monitor for symptoms for a full 14 days and if symptoms develop, isolate and test

  • If refuse to test, must quarantine for full 14 days

  • BPS does not accept a negative COVID-19 test in lieu of quarantine

TRAVEL QUARANTINE INFORMATION:

There is no law requiring quarantine after travel, however, RIDOH strongly recommends following CDC guidance on travel quarantine as the best public health practice

More information about these recommendations can be found here

BPS will adhere to the following guidance:

  • RECOMMENDATIONS - DOMESTIC TRAVEL

    • Vaccinated - do not need to test or self quarantine

    • Unvaccinated - test 3-5 days after travel, self-quarantine for 7 full days

  • REQUIREMENTS - INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

    • Vaccinated - test 3-5 days after travel, self-monitor for symptoms

    • Unvaccinated - test 3-5 days after travel AND self-quarantine for 7 full days

  • Students are not able to participate in distance learning during travel quarantine

  • Please speak with your principal or school nurse if you have any questions

COVID-19 TESTING IN OUR SCHOOLS:

The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), in collaboration with the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), will now offer free COVID-19 testing at your child’s school as part of our efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic in our state.

Tests will be performed using the COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test and the PCR test, which have been made available to RIDOH from the federal government. For the Rapid Test, your child will receive one nasal swab and the results will be available within one hour. Parents/Guardians will receive a phone call if a child tests positive. We will send the PCR to a lab and results will be available in 48 hours.

School administrators and school nurses will have access to the results of the test. If you have any questions about testing through this program, please reach out to your child’s school.

  • If you would like your child to participate in COVID-19 testing, BPS needs your permission in order for your student to participate in this testing program.

  • Please complete this linked FORM for each child(ren) at Sowams School.

Thank you for your support of this new program and our efforts to expand the prevention, detection, and testing of COVID-19 in our state and within our schools.

COVID-19 Testing

The link below provides guidance for schools and COVID-19 protocols and is updated regularly.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK TO THE UPDATED "PLAYBOOK" PK-12 OUTBREAK RESPONSE PROTOCOLS

CORONAVIRUS-19 (COVID-19) PREVENTION 

Covid Prevention

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is a valid resource for information on Coronavirus 2019.  

Please click on this  LINK for ways to keep your family healthy and safe.

RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES

FROM THE NURSE: Prevent Eye Strain 

Photo of a girl rubbing her eye

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As your child(ren) starts distance learning this week, they will probably be spending many extra screen time hours per day (and per week). I am sure the adults reading this will be working more on devices as well. This can put considerable strain on the eyes. If you or your child has complaints that their eyes feel dry, tired, or vision is blurry by the end of the day this can be signs of eye strain. In addition head, neck, or shoulder aches, can develop with extra time sitting working using digital devices.

Here are a few tips and changes you can make as you get started to help prevent these issues. Of course, limiting your child’s usual recreational tech time beyond distance learning time may also be helpful. Below is some information on eye strain and how to prevent it from WebMD.

Why Do Screens Cause Eye Strain?

Normally, we blink about 15-20 times a minute. That spreads tears evenly over your eyes, which keeps them from getting dry and irritated. But researchers have found that people blink less than half as often when they’re reading, watching, or playing on a screen. Also, the contrast of text against the background, the glare, and flickering from digital screens can be hard on your eyes.

Prevent Digital Eye Strain

No, you don’t have to cut out all screen time. But a few changes to how you use your devices can be easier on your eyes.

  • Make sure your computer screen is about 25 inches, or an arm's length, away from your face. The center of the screen should be about 10-15 degrees below eye level.

  • Cut glare by using a matte screen filter. You can find them for all types of computers, phones, and tablets.

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

  • Take a longer break of about 15 minutes after every 2 hours you spend on your devices.

  • Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry.

  • Try putting a humidifier in the room where you most often use a computer or other device.

  • Make sure the lighting in the room you’re in is bright enough. You don’t want your device to be brighter than the surroundings.

  • If you wear contact lenses, give your eyes a break by wearing your glasses.

  • Get regular eye exams. You might need to use a different pair of glasses when you’re working on a computer (this one may be difficult at this point in time).

Adjust Your Devices

You can also make sure your devices are set for eye health.

  • Raise the contrast on your screen.

  • Make text larger.

  • Change the brightness of the screen. It shouldn’t be lighter or darker than your surroundings.

  • Lower the color temperature of your screen. That means it will give off less blue light, which is linked to more eyestrain.

HANDWASHING AND HEALTHY HABITS

Handwashing lessons and "Cover Your Cough" that included sneezing and coughing into the elbow were taught to decrease spreading germs on our hands. A video was demonstrated to show students the steps to hand washing.

Sowams Students continue to be reminded about ways to stay healthy. These include eating healthy foods from all food groups, and limiting sugary foods and drinksdrinking plenty of water, getting "60 minutes of Play a Day" and getting plenty of sleep (9-12 hours a night is recommended for a school age child 6-12 according to the American Academy of Pediatrics).