Important Back-to-School Health & Safety Updates
We look forward to seeing you and your scholars back at school next week! The school staff has been hard at work preparing for the start of school and are eager to welcome scholars to their classrooms and begin building community and laying the foundation for a wonderful year.
The health and safety of our community remain a priority for all of us amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we have been working on updating our COVID-19 protocols using the latest guidance and recommendations from the CDC, FDA, Ohio Department of Health, and our expert partners at MetroHealth and the Cleveland Department of Public Health. In doing so, our goal is to more sustainably live with COVID while continuing to protect the health and safety of our community and minimize the risks of disruptions to instruction due to clusters of cases and/or staffing shortages.
Our complete updated COVID-19 protocols guide for this school year will be shared with families later this week. In the meantime, we wanted to share two important updates relevant to the start of school:
- Masking: This year, we will make decisions about mask requirements every month, guided by the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Level for Cuyahoga County. Since Cuyahoga County was at the Red/High Community Level as of the latest data last week, we will begin the year by requiring masks indoors for all staff, scholars, and visitors. Please send your scholar to school daily in a mask that fits snugly against their face and adequately covers their nose and mouth. If your scholar does not come to school with a mask, we will provide one upon arrival. The decision to require masks indoors when community transmission is high aligns with the CDC’s recommendations for schools and the community. It is an important step to protect against high levels of community transmission creating a disruptive spike in cases at school. We will continue to monitor data and community-level information over the next few weeks and communicate our first monthly update in the middle of September.
- Quarantine and Testing: Our testing and quarantine protocols have been updated to keep scholars in school as much as possible while still monitoring for infectious cases of COVID-19.
- Scholars experiencing potential COVID-19 symptoms will be provided with at-home test kits so that they can continue to attend school if they feel well enough unless they test positive.
- Scholars exposed to COVID-19 will be provided with at-home test kits and will no longer be required to quarantine unless they test positive.
- Scholars who test positive for COVID-19 will be provided with at-home test kits to return to school as quickly as possible after the required 5-day isolation.
If your scholar is symptomatic of, exposed to, or tests positive for COVID-19, please complete this reporting form, and a school or network team member will follow up with more information about testing resources and protocols.
We thank you in advance for your partnership in implementing these updated protocols and for working together to take these recommended steps to help keep our community safe and in school. Please watch out later this week for a separate communication with the complete COVID-19 protocols guide. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your school’s principal.
The Breakthrough Public Schools Leadership Team