In alignment with Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) guidance, we are shortening isolation and quarantine periods from 10 days to 5 days. This means that if you tested positive and are isolating at home or if you are unvaccinated and quarantining after being exposed to someone who tested positive, you are eligible to return to school and work after 5 days rather than 10 days. This only applies to those who no longer have symptoms and those whose symptoms are resolving (having no fever for 24 hours without the help of a fever-reducing medication) after 5 days. We are officially transitioning to this new guidance starting tomorrow (Monday, January 10, 2022).
Please note that after isolation or quarantine ends, those who are returning to school and work will be required to wear masks at all times when around others for the following five days. Of course, masks are required at all APS schools and district sites.
We would like to emphasize that if you or your student is still experiencing significant symptoms after 5 days in isolation or quarantine, you or your student should continue to stay home. If you or your student are unvaccinated and in quarantine after exposure, we would also encourage you to get tested. As a reminder, free testing is available through COVIDCheck Colorado. APS staff members can click here to sign up for testing at the PLCC. APS students and families can sign up to get tested by clicking here.
If an APS student or staff member is currently in isolation or quarantine and meet the following criteria, they are eligible to return to school or work starting tomorrow (Monday, January 10, 2022):
As always, we will notify those who have been exposed and need to quarantine. We will specify that the quarantine period is 5 days. Parents and guardians, please continue to check your phones and emails regularly for notifications. Please note that in special circumstances, TCHD may require extending isolation and quarantine periods. We will notify staff, parents and guardians with appropriate isolation and quarantine dates as quickly as possible. If you have additional questions about your individual isolation or quarantine period, please talk to your healthcare provider, school nurse or supervisor.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this change in guidance is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of COVID-19 transmission occurs early in the course of illness. Typically with the Omicron variant, which is now the dominant variant in the United States, transmission generally occurs in the 1-2 days prior to symptom onset and the 2-3 days after.
Reminder about Late-Start Mondays
As we shared with you previously, we are implementing late-start Mondays beginning tomorrow, Jan. 10, for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade.
As a result of staffing shortages our teachers have not been able to engage in necessary instructional planning and development. By giving our teachers more planning and professional development time, this proactive step is intended to allow us to keep our learning environments intact and minimize disruption to our schools. Late-start Mondays mean that most APS students will report to school one hour later than normal on Mondays. Start times for all other days of the week will remain the same and dismissal times will remain the same. Please review our bell schedules here to confirm that your school follows Late-start Mondays.
Please note that if your student rides an APS bus to school, APS transportation will pick up students from their bus stops one hour later than normal on Mondays.
Thank you for your continued support and partnership. We will continue to provide you with important updates via phone, email and our website aurorak12.org.
- Superintendent Rico Munn
I hope you are enjoying a safe and wonderful holiday season. In light of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, I wanted to provide you with an update on our plans for returning to school next week. As we see increased transmission of COVID-19 throughout the community, it is important that we continue to build on our layered approach to mitigating transmission. This means using multiple mitigation measures layered on top of one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We also want to ask for your continued flexibility and understanding. Due to increased community transmission, we need to be prepared to adjust quickly and face potential staffing shortages. With the likelihood of more staff members testing positive for COVID-19 and needing to isolate at home, we may need to transition certain classrooms or schools to remote learning. In addition, we ask for your patience if bus routes are delayed or cancelled. Please know that we are committed to providing as much in-person learning as possible. However, we will certainly face challenges over the coming weeks and may need to make changes quickly.
Please read through some of the planning steps and important information below.
Face Masks are Required for All Students and Staff
Face masks will continue to be required for all students and staff at school. Please encourage your students to wear their masks properly (covering both their noses and mouths) while at school. If your child refuses to wear their mask throughout the school day, they may face disciplinary action.
Seating Charts Required In Classrooms
We will require that students stay in their seats as much as possible within the classroom and that staff members maintain accurate seating charts throughout the school day. This will allow for more precise close contact tracing to minimize the number of students needing to quarantine in case of a positive test. We will notify those who are identified as close contacts of an individual who tested positive. The close contacts will be required to quarantine unless they have been fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated means that two weeks have passed since you received your full dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Sending Home Chromebooks/Technology Devices With Students Daily
Our aim is to maintain as much in-person learning as possible to effectively serve our students. However, in case we need to transition classes or schools to fully remote learning from home, we will ask students to bring home their Chromebooks or technology devices every day at the end of the school day. Please remind your students that they should be bringing home their Chromebooks or technology devices every day from school.
Sign-Up for Vaccine and Vaccine Booster Doses
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.”
Find out where you and your family members can get vaccinated by clicking here. In addition, APS has many vaccination clinics available at schools throughout the district where both vaccine and vaccine booster doses are available.
Get Tested Regularly
With increased transmission, it is important for everyone to continue regular COVID-19 testing. As a reminder, free testing is available through COVIDCheck Colorado. Please click here to sign up for testing.
Stay Home if You Develop Symptoms
Once again, we cannot emphasize the importance of keeping your child at home if they develop symptoms. We are asking all students and staff to continue daily self assessments. If your student develops any of the symptoms below, keep them home and get your student tested for COVID-19. Please notify your child’s school that your student is experiencing symptoms and do not send them to school.
Major symptoms include:
Minor symptoms include:
Please know that we will continue to share important information with you via emails, automated phone calls, and our website aurorak12.org. We thank you for your continued flexibility and understanding. We look forward to seeing our students next week. We wish you and your family a Happy New Year!
- Superintendent Rico Munn