FTIS COVID-19 Protocols announced for the 2021-2022 school year

     Today, FTIS COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-2022 school year were announced.  These included a strong recommendation rather than a requirement for the masking of unvaccinated students at Highlands High School.

     Superintendent Brian Robinson commented on the reason for these protocols in his letter to families.   

     “Safely getting back and seeking new, one-of-a-kind opportunities and experiences for students is our priority.”

     Unvaccinated students in grades 7-12 are recommended to wear a mask while indoors.  At the K-6 grade levels, because of the age cut-off for the COVID-19 vaccine, indoor masking will be required. Along with this, all students, regardless of grade level, will be required to mask while using school-provided transportation. All unvaccinated FTIS staff will be required to mask while indoors. 

     Robinson commented on the importance of keeping students in school.  

     “Maximizing the number of students engaged with their talented teachers and collaborating with their peers in-person is our goal because we understand it is what students deserve and what enables them to thrive.” 

      Sanitizing and cleaning procedures will be similar to last year’s protocol. This includes washing hands, wiping down surfaces, and bringing a reusable water bottle if possible. 

     One item to make note of is the change of quarantining procedures for individuals dependent on vaccination status and mask-wearing. 

If a fully-vaccinated individual was within 6-feet and exhibits no symptoms, he or she will not need to quarantine.  If an individual is not fully vaccinated, as long as he or she is not exhibiting symptoms and wore a mask correctly, and the individual was distanced at least 3-feet,  the individual will not need to quarantine as well.

     Classrooms will be organized to maintain at least a 3-feet distance between students to help mitigate this. Some cohort grouping will be considered and allowed in certain instances.

      In addition, protocol will include a quarantine of 14 days, recommended if students or staff are around high-risk individuals. Otherwise, quarantine will last for an automatic ten days if the individual has no symptoms.  However, in the event of a negative COVID test after Day 5, Individuals will quarantine for only seven days so long as the individual stays symptom-free.

     An individual who tests positive for COVID-19 will be considered recovered if they are fever-free for one day without fever-reducing medication, their symptoms are improving, and it has been at least ten days since their symptoms have started. 

     In his letter, Robinson urged FTIS families to consider the implications associated with mask-wearing while in close-contact situations. 

     “For many of our students in grades 7-12, there are choices that can be made to minimize the impact a close contact quarantine may have on their ability to participate in school and school activities. In these cases, we will rely on families to make masking decisions that are in the best interest of their educational experience.”

     This FTIS “Healthy at Schools” website includes a variety of additional considerations found in the reference below as well as at our Healthy at School webpage at the following link: https://bit.ly/FTHealthyAtSchool