COVID Risk Matrix Protocols
During the break, we worked together with WarsawMed to review our illness patterns to date, wider local trends, and broader global data. With various government entities now moving more to endemic protocols for COVID and infection rates for both COVID and flu moving well under levels seen in prior years, we have met for some weeks now the criteria associated with returning to the lowest level of our risk matrix. This includes:
- General attendance (notwithstanding the most recent flu outbreak) at 90% or greater overall.
- Services stable
- As noted above, reduced community spread
- General availability of immunization and medications
Since August, we have remained at Risk Level 2 with minimal protocols in place under the low mitigation level as described in our guiding document. With this announcement, we will move to normal level 1 and focus now on our Nursing and Health guidelines under WarsawMed management. This includes the management of general infectious diseases and the exclusion of children according to normal illness requirements. In essence, ill children should not attend school until they are well in order to protect the overall health of the community.
With this change to Risk Matrix Level 1, there will be little or no change to our protocols. We still want to maintain a separation of learning areas in Elementary, Middle, and High School from areas of general access as restricted to preserve the learning environments, so parents and badged guests should limit their access to divisional offices or entry areas only unless invited to classrooms or part of a project or approved activity. Pick-up and drop-off protocols remain the same outside entrances and will continue going forward as our normal protocol.
March is International Sleep Month
The US National Sleep Foundation has designated March as Sleep Awareness Month and has provided many resources and guidelines for understanding the importance of sleep as it relates to health and well-being. For those who know me, I've been an advocate for the importance of good sleep for a number of years and have included encouragement about sleep in more than a few graduation speeches. I cannot stress enough how important sleep is for everyone, and particularly for children who need sleep to grow and convert learning into long-term memory. While diet and exercise are also important, we may be undercutting all of our efforts in these areas if we don't encourage a healthy sleep schedule that gives enough hours to capitalize on the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle. There are many challenges to good sleep, but it is clear that devices of all kinds are now one of the most impacting on good sleep. There are many other recommendations including looking at things like light, temperature, and your patterns for getting ready for a good night's sleep. But, making sure you have those regular 7 - 8 hours of sleep each night has been proven to improve mood, increase capability during the day, and support long-term positive health outcomes. Please give it some thought and I encourage students to take on my challenge of making sure they get one month of good, regular sleep during this 4 weeks of challenge and reflection.
Our next family dinner is this Friday. Sign-up is still open. We'd like to ramp up participation for this one and have increased capacity ready if we need it. So sign-up NOW!