HAMPTON — Superintendent Dr. Lois Costa and the Hampton School District wish to share the updated return plan for the upcoming school year.
The district plans to follow a full-time in-person learning model during fall 2021 and will no longer offer a fully remote learning option for students. The school will continue to conduct in-person learning unless the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends otherwise.
The return to school plan was developed in conjunction with SAU 21 and community stakeholders following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and DHHS. The plan is subject to change based on community and county COVID-19 transmission levels, as well as guidance from public health officials.
Communities that report a positivity rate of 10% or higher per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period are considered a Red “High-transmission” community. Communities with a positivity rate of 5% to 9.99% are considered Yellow “Moderate-transmission” and communities with less than 5% are considered Green “Low-transmission.” Requirements around masking, distancing and other protocols will evolve in alignment with this case data.
“We cannot wait to welcome everyone back to school on Aug. 31, and we hope that this year feels more normal than the last two have been,” said Superintendent Dr. Lois Costa. “The COVID-19 pandemic remains a very fluid situation and we are monitoring it closely in order to best serve our students, staff and community members. Above all, our goal is to foster a safe, welcoming and supportive in-person learning environment for all.”
Currently, the plan requires three feet of social distance between students in the classroom and six feet of distance when eating. It also includes placing students in cohorts whenever possible and avoiding large group gatherings. Custodians will also continue to regularly clean and sanitize shared spaces. Handwashing will be encouraged for students and staff, especially before and after lunch, and at snack time.
Before the start of each school day, parents and staff will be asked to self-screen by completing the health screeners to assess any COVID-19 related symptoms. Students and staff members should not come to school if they are experiencing symptoms, including a fever of 100 degrees or higher, chills, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, or vomiting.
The district will conduct contact tracing and provide regular communications around positive cases of COVID-19 as recommended by DHHS.
Based on current transmission levels, mask-wearing will be mandated for students and staff while inside school buildings. As COVID-19 cases decrease, the district will reassess the need for a mask mandate and move towards reducing restrictions around mask-wearing. Following guidance from the state, masks are not required at schools when students are outdoors. Masks are required on school busses at all times following guidance from the state.
The district also anticipates a return to athletics and extracurricular activities following guidance and recommendations from the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA).
Additionally, the district will continue to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students.
Visitors will be allowed in schools when the community and county COVID-19 transmission levels are Green or Yellow. Visitors will be required to complete health screeners before entering the building. Visitors will be limited when transmission levels are Red.
For the latest updates, please visit the district’s website here.