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2021-2022 Covid Updates from our Head of School

The mission and vision of Veritas Academy has remained unchanged since the founding of the school and is rooted in partnership. As we navigated the 2020-2021 school year together, our primary objective was to maximize in-person, on-campus instruction for our students, conducted in a manner that was as safe as reasonably and practically possible for both our kids and their teachers. Striking that balance was not the easiest thing we attempted, and yet we saw it was possible as we remained committed to supporting the safety of our community and upholding the mission and values of Veritas Academy that brought us together. 

Our mission and commitment continue to anchor us as we now launch into the 2021-2022 school year. In what may still be a unique year, please continue to read our weekly Covid updates and join us in praying for each other and our school community, that we would be gracious and full of care and consideration for one another, that the Lord’s hand would cover and protect our children and families, and that we would individually and collectively be wise in our decisions as we fully rely on Him.

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Covid Update - 2021.08.20

August 20, 2021
By Jef Fowler, HOS

Over the past week, we have had reported to us the following Covid-positive tests: 6 SR students and 2 SL students, most of whom were on campus during Paideia, the Connect Conference, and/or sports practices before becoming ill this week. A few families accounted for two or three cases each. Our school nurse has been in communication with each family, and those students will begin returning to school at various times over the next week or so. The teams/classes in which they participated were also informed.

Locally, we continue to see high levels of new Covid cases and hospitalizations; and we continue to hear of higher incident rates in children, but have yet to be provided the detailed description or numbers/data that would support this. The little bit of reporting on Austin Public Health’s Covid dashboards by age shows no changes in hospitalizations of children aged 1-9 and 10-19 for the past several weeks. We’ve followed up directly─and repeatedly again this week─with local health authorities and just recently received call-backs, though we’ve not been able to connect in real-time to confirm or better understand their reporting. We should have that sorted out by next week.

COVID PROTOCOLS

Our Covid protocols will remain unchanged until we see or experience evidence that variants of this virus are now posing substantially greater risks to children than what has been experienced over the past year-and-a-half. In bulleted form, here’s a summary of the most significant of those protocols:

  • Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations will remain setup throughout campus, with intentional time for both
  • Thermostats will be set to keep the fan running for better air circulation, and air filters will continue to be changed regularly
  • Outdoor classrooms and eating areas (especially for GS) will be encouraged and utilized
  • All sinks, faucets, door handles, etc. will be cleaned by our cleaning crew on a daily basis
  • Masks are optional for everyone on campus, although generally not to be worn by teachers when instructing from the front of the classroom so as not to obstruct their ability to teach.
  • Students and adults (faculty, staff, and parent visitors) should also self-screen at home each morning to ensure they are symptom free, and that if not, they need to:
    • Stay home
    • Submit an Absence Notification for your student (and have SR students also email their teachers directly)
    • Follow these protocols before returning to campus:
      • For COVID, if a student or teacher has a positive (+) test and COVID symptoms, before returning to school they must:
        • Test negative (-) AND allow at least 5 (five) days to have passed from onset of symptoms AND have no current symptoms; or
        • Allow 10 days to pass from onset of symptoms + have no current symptoms/improved symptoms.
      • If they have COVID consistent symptoms or other symptoms of a potentially contagious illness (e.g., flu), but test negative (-), they may return to school earlier if: 
        • Symptoms end; or 
        • A physician advises they are not contagious (i.e., have allergies, or another illness that is not or is no longer contagious).
      • If they have a family member or come in close contact with someone who is COVID positive, they can return at the earlier of:
        • No symptoms present AND three (3) days pass after contact with persons presenting symptoms or positive; or
        • Negative (-) COVID test. 

These protocols apply to school attendance, athletic, and extracurricular activities. Our community is counting upon each other to honor these required protocols. Furthermore, in the interest of caring well for each other, we encourage (but do not require) that those who fall ill consider sharing information with those who they came in contact with at school so that parents, teachers, and students can take appropriate precautions.

Lastly, we will continue to share a weekly COVID update in the School Memo and on our website each Friday. As you read these updates, please continue to pray for each other and our school community, that we would be gracious and full of care and consideration for one another, that the Lord’s hand would cover and protect our children and families, and that we would individually and collectively be wise in our decisions as we fully rely on Him. Thank you!  -Jef


Archive of 2020-2021 Covid Updates


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