ROCHESTER — Superintendent Kyle Repucci announces that all students of the Rochester Public Schools will be participating in a full remote learning schedule beginning this week.
This change comes after the district received new information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) this weekend. On both Saturday and Sunday, the district was informed that several individuals across the district tested positive for COVID-19. Those individuals are self-quarantining in accordance with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol. Under state and federal privacy laws, no further information is available about the individuals.
Due to this abundance of recent positive cases and the necessary self-quarantining procedures, the district will not be able to support in-person services and is transitioning to full remote learning out of an abundance of caution and to protect the health and safety of all members of the district community.
On Monday, Nov. 2, students will not have school. Monday will be an additional professional development day to allow for staff to finalize their plans for the remote learning period.
Tuesday, Nov. 3, was already scheduled as a no school and professional development day due to the election. This schedule remains unchanged.
On Wednesday, Nov. 4, during the district’s early release day, technology and resources will be distributed to students. Additional information about technology distribution will be shared with families as soon as it is available.
The district will begin its remote learning schedule on Thursday, Nov. 5. The district on Friday, Oct. 30 announced a Holiday Quarantine Model that was scheduled to be put into place beginning Nov. 30 and until Jan. 19. This model will now be adopted earlier and students will participate in the full remote schedule from Nov. 5 until Jan. 19.
Targeted students will be contacted by their administration no later than Friday, Nov. 6 with a possible start date of Monday, Nov. 9.
The district will also be expediting the distribution of technology and food surveys Monday and Tuesday to ensure families have the necessary resources for these circumstances.
The district is actively working with and following guidelines from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The district will be working with DHHS to identify and contact all close contacts of the positive individuals. Those who are identified as a close contact (anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected individual up to two days prior to the positive test result) will be contacted by DHHS and required to quarantine for at least two weeks. Specific quarantine plans will be provided to those affected. Those families and staff will be directed to get tested and keep themselves or their children quarantined until 14 days following their last possible exposure. If you do not receive a call from DHHS, this means you have not been identified as a close contact and you are not required to quarantine.
If you or your child are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever, chills, respiratory illness, aches or change in taste and smell, or believe you have been exposed to someone who has contracted COVID-19, get a COVID-19 test and stay home until you receive your results. Testing can be done either through your primary healthcare provider or at one of the testing sites located throughout the state.
Please note that if you or your child are currently quarantined, you must remain in quarantine for 14 days, even if your test is negative. This is due to the fact that symptoms can present up to two weeks after exposure.
To prevent further spread of the disease in the community, the Rochester Public Schools asks that students, families and staff take the following precautions to prevent the spread of the disease:
- Stay home if you have a fever or are not feeling well.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid close contact with others. When outside your home, please adhere to social distancing guidelines and keep a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others.
- Wear a cloth face covering that covers your mouth and nose to protect others when in public areas.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Children may worry about themselves, their family and friends getting sick with COVID-19. Tips for talking to children about COVID-19 can be found here.
To learn more about COVID-19, please check these trusted resources:
- New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
- United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention