(Last Updated: 14 October 2021)
As a school, we continually monitor the numbers of COVID-19 cases in El Paso County, as well as our own positivity rate and statistics, with the overarching goal being to continue to do what is needed to ensure we are operating safely and effectively while facilitating the highest quality instruction each day.
Please see below for The Vanguard School’s current COVID-19 statistics, a link to the El Paso County Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard, The Vanguard School’s most recent COVID-19 Response Plan, and additional guidance for parents.
Click the button below to view, download, and print our current COVID-19 Response Plan. If you have any questions about our COVID response after reading through this document, please feel free to email [email protected] and your question will be answered by the appropriate staff member as soon as possible.
One of the most important protective practices schools and parents can take is to require students and staff to stay home when they are ill. All students and staff should self-screen before entering school buildings as the best approach to ensure the lowest risk of virus transmission.
- Self-screening by parents at home with a temperature check and symptom check has been identified as the most effective strategy to achieve this objective.
- Staff members will complete a daily on-line health survey.
- Staff and students are expected to self-screen before coming to school each day. If they exhibit any of the symptoms below or feel feverish, they should stay home, and parents are encouraged to consult with their health care provider regarding next steps:
- Fever (100.4 or higher)
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Gastrointestinal symptoms of diarrhea
- Vomiting or nausea
- Children who present symptoms at school will be isolated from faculty and students in the health room or other designated safe space, and parents will be contacted immediately to take their child home.
- The school will be increasing the number of random temperature checks performed each day.
- School administration reserves the right to send any student or staff member home if they are determined to be sick.
- Students who have missed school due to illness must meet with the nurse prior to returning to school after their illness.
As a school, we are well-positioned to move into a remote or Hybrid Learning posture should state and county guidelines necessitate that we do, and we will continue to provide remote learning options to students who become quarantined. For more information on our plan, please click here.
At this time, The Vanguard School will not require all staff and students to wear masks in school buildings. However, anyone is welcome to wear masks, and we strongly recommend the wearing of masks for unvaccinated individuals. When all people are masked in a room, students will NOT have to quarantine unless they develop symptoms. If all students are not wearing masks, unvaccinated students are considered contacts according to El Paso County Public Health and will need to be at home for at least a 10-day mandatory quarantine as required by the county. This means we will be sending healthy students home.
It is important to note the school may require the wearing of masks in the future if we determine it is necessary to maintain our overarching goal of keeping students safe and in school. Determining factors may include:
- If the school were to experience an outbreak in one or more buildings based on our metric guidelines
- If we see a significant increase in overall positivity rates
- If the number of quarantined students becomes too challenging to navigate
Federal law mandates anyone riding public transportation, including school buses, be required to wear a mask. For students of any age and staff riding school-provided transportation for any purpose (e.g., athletic events, activities, field trips, etc.), in alignment with the Federal mandate, face coverings are required.
We continue to monitor the data and statistics concerning COVID and our community. As a measure to promote a safe learning environment, The Vanguard School will require masks for all staff and students in a specific building if we have an outbreak of five or more confirmed or probable cases from five different households within a 14-day period. Mask requirements will not exceed twenty-eight days if, upon reevaluation by administration, it is determined they are no longer needed. School buildings are defined as lower elementary (K-3), upper elementary (4-6), junior high (7-8), and high school (9-12).
We honor and respect the decisions of parents and staff when it comes to facial coverings, whether wearing one or not. Our buildings are expected to be welcoming and supportive of everyone, and we will uphold a positive culture throughout the school. Should mask mandates be put back in place by state or local public health agencies, we will communicate that information.
Should you choose to have your child wear a mask, please follow these guidelines:
- Any solid color and/or pattern is acceptable.
- Characters (e.g., Mickey Mouse, Paw Patrol, etc.) are acceptable. Please steer away from any facial covering featuring writing, words, and/or logos unless it is The Vanguard School logo, colleges or universities, or sports teams.
- Masks should not have embellishments such as sequins, glitter, three-dimensional art, etc.
- Masks cannot feature political-related content (words and/or images), profanity (words and/or images), or any message and/or image deemed inappropriate or distracting.
- The overarching idea is that facial coverings should not create distraction or discord among staff or students. If you have any questions about what to wear, please err on the side of steering clear of anything that could be distracting, controversial, or divisive.
As a result of a USDA policy, all students in grades 4-12 at The Vanguard School are offered free school lunches, regardless of “Free and Reduced” lunch qualification. This policy will continue until further notice. Parents do not need to fill out a form to take advantage of these free lunches, however, it is very important that the school has this information, as this allows families to receive other support throughout the year that is available for qualifying families. Please complete District 11’s Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals. Completion of this form is also necessary for families to continue receiving free and reduced lunch after this temporary policy expires. If you have any questions regarding this policy or our lunch program in general, please email [email protected].
Students should bring a personal water bottle (must be clear/transparent) each day with their names clearly marked on the container. Water bottle filling stations are available in all buildings.