WELCOME SPRING!

With the warmer weather, longer days and first signs of spring emerging, it brings feelings of hope! It has been a long and challenging winter. Thank you to all the parents/guardians for the ongoing communication and working together to keep our schools safe and healthy for all!

RIDOH continues to provide the 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 or symptomatic. 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 (symptoms suspect of COVID-19 still require a confirmatory PCR if the rapid is negative)

  • 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

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

  • The symptomatic child must remain home to await negative PCR test results before returniing to school.

  • Rapid test results are usually available within hours

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

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

    *(Exception- those with a history of COVID-19 disease within last 90 days do not need to quarantine or test with a PCR if symptoms present)

BPS QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS FOR CLOSE CONTACTS:

Close Contacts In the Home:

  • BPS will continue to Test to Stay program for vaccinated in-home close contacts with a rapid (Antigen) test for 7 days and a PCR on day 5 in school with parental permission. In home close contacts should wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.

  • Quarantine is still required for those close contacts who are unvaccinated living with an in-home postive person

Close Contacts Not in the Home:

  • All students and staff who are identified as close contacts to a positive case should wear high-quality, well-fitting masks for the full 10 days after exposure.

  • We will no longer be contact tracing. If there is a positive case in a classroom the entire classroom is a close contact.

  • We are now doing "Monitor to Stay", which means students can attend school if they are close contacts, as long as they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

  • If symptoms develop in school, with parental permission schools can test with a Rapid Antigen and PCR test and the student must go home to await PCR results before returning.

  • If symptoms develop outside of school, students can test at K12 test site.

Students with a history of COVID-19 within last 90 days are exempt from testing or quarantine

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).