Starting Monday, March 14, we can no longer require members of the student school community to wear masks. The state of Vermont still recommends masking indoors. We are urging everyone to make whatever choice they are comfortable with and to respect the choices of others as we make this shift. Here is our plan for the next three weeks of school:
March 14th-March 18th: We will continue to do what we have been doing (chapels Zoomed from advisories, lunch in classrooms) with optional masking.
March 21st-March 25th: We will allow those who wish to eat in the dining hall, while still allowing those who wish to return to classrooms with “go” boxes.
March 28-April 1st: If all goes well with weeks 1 and 2, in this third week we will begin a class rotation in Fuller Hall for chapel, with 9th graders in South Church Hall each morning.
Reminder of how to proceed after a positive COVID Test: please see the chart here: What to Do if You Test Positive for COVID-19 | Vermont Department of Health
Also, a reminder that testing kits are still available at the Health Center if you need them — please stop by and pick them up while supplies last.
SJA COVID FAQ — March 11, 2022
Can we still wear a mask if we choose to do so?
Yes, anyone who prefers to continue to wear a mask may choose to do so for as long as they wish, and we will continue to encourage people to follow the general recommendations issued by the Vermont Department of Health.
Can masks be required for Chapel/lunch line/large gatherings?
No, the State of Vermont has dropped all guidance, including the mask mandate for all Vermont K-12 schools, regardless of their vaccination rate. Schools are no longer allowed to require a student, faculty, or staff member to wear a mask at any time.
I plan to continue to wear a mask. Can I ask others to wear one too?
No one should ask anyone else about their mask-wearing choices. This is a personal decision, and as a community, we will be respectful of the choices that others make.
Will contact tracing still be taking place and will we be notified of positive cases within our school community?
No, all contact tracing requirements for schools has been rescinded and we will no longer be sending updates for positive cases within our community. However, we will still be asking people to stay home when they are not feeling well and to test if they are showing any symptoms of COVID or have been around a COVID-positive person to help reduce the spread. If a student appears to be sick in the classroom, they should be encouraged to check in with the nurses’ office in the same caring way we always do.
Will there be alternate settings for those students who do not wish to attend Chapel in Fuller Hall or the South Church?
Yes, we will have alternative spaces for those who would prefer to not attend Chapels.
Will students have alternative spaces to eat lunch if they do not feel comfortable eating in the dining hall?
Yes, we will have alternative spaces for those who would prefer to not eat their lunch in the dining hall. “To Go” boxes will still be available upon request for those who do not feel comfortable eating in that space.
Are faculty members required to eat lunch in the dining hall or in their classrooms with students?
No, similar to pre-COVID times, faculty members are not required to eat in the dining hall. Faculty members will also not be required to stay in their classrooms for those students who would prefer to return to the classroom versus eating in the dining hall. When the weather is nicer, students will be allowed to eat outside again.
Is St. Johnsbury Academy keeping their COVID-19 vaccination policy?
Yes, the Academy will still require that all employees are up to date and optimally vaccinated as outlined in SJA’s COVID-19 Vaccination policy. Currently, the CDC’s and VDOH definition of “optimally vaccinated” means that you have had either 2 shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vacations or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccination, as well as a booster shot. Please be sure to submit all proof of vaccinations and boosters to Crystal Rutledge in the HR office.