1/7/22 Friday Update

Good afternoon Alcott School Community,
2022 is here and we are ready and committed to supporting our staff, students, and families.  My emphasis remains this TEAM which includes you.
We have been working hard to ensure that Alcott Elementary is a healthy and safe place to learn every day.  As we are experiencing increasing case rates with the Omicron variant, we are seeing more students testing positive for COVID than we have in the past. We are asking for your diligence and cooperation as we navigate this new situation. Your careful attention to health and safety protocols will make all the difference for our community.  Here are ways you can help:
  • Screen Your Child Every Morning for Symptoms: 
Students with any of the following symptoms should stay home from school until a negative PCR COVID-19 test can be confirmed and the symptoms improve:
  • Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher) or chills
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell that started in the last 10 days (Unlike the Delta variant, many patients with Omicron are not losing their taste or smell)
  • Feeling out of breath or having a hard time breathing
  • Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Review Health and Safety Protocols With Your Child
    • Properly fitted mask at all times
    • Hand washing and hand sanitizing
  • Opt Your Child in for Weekly Rapid Testing:
Students can get tested at Alcott on Thursday by opting in to regular, on-site testing.
  • Report Symptoms/COVID-19 Exposure to Our Office ASAP:
If your students have any COVID-19 symptoms and/or has had a known exposure to someone with COVID-19, please keep them home and call the Alcott office for next steps before their return. 
  • Be Patient and Kind with Staff and Students
We are following protocols to ensure the health and safety for all our students. That means lots ofcontacts with parents regarding students going home and being put on modified quarantine or quarantine. We know this can be frustrating and impactful- it is for us too!
Please be patient and kind with us as we navigate this very fluid situation.
We are in regular communication with our school district and will provide continuous updates on protocols as they become available. As always, we thank you for your kindness, patience, and continued support!
  • We continue to have our mask mandate both indoors and out. 
  • With Omicron being highly contagious, it is very important that an appropriate mask is always worn, unless eating outside.  
  • Cloth masks alone are not as effective as other options and should be discouraged, although still allowed.  Bandanas are not an appropriate form of a mask. Double thickness neck gaiters are permitted only in certain circumstances and must be approved by school personnel on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Better options are surgical masks (which have a nose wire), or a surgical mask in combination with a cloth mask.
    • If wearing both masks, wear a surgical mask (paper disposable) under the cloth mask.  
    • Do not combine two surgical masks as they are not designed to fit tightly
    • Do not combine a N95 mask with any other mask. 
The most protective masks are N95 masks (or masks of that style; see below).  
This style mask will be offered and available at all sites:  
  • KN95, KF94, N95 or masks of similar style.
  • Note, these may be difficult to wear for long periods of time as they may be uncomfortable. It is better to wear a surgical mask properly than to frequently remove an uncomfortable N95-like mask or to wear the N95 mask improperly. 
Fit-testing for KN95 or N95 masks is only required for specialized employees exposed to specific hazards, and not required for students and for most staff
Congratulations to Alcott parent, Aubrey Leisz, who will be serving you as your newly selected School Site Council (SSC) parent.  Last week I informed all Alcott families that we have an opening for a 2-year term on our SSC.  Since I received only one parent interest in this position, there is no need for an official election and Ms. Leisz will be officially sworn in this month as our newest SSC member.  Our 10-member committee is well rounded with a great deal of expertise to ensure our goals are aligned to our Alcott vision for this school community. 
Below is a short bio from Ms. Leisz:
My name is Aubrey Leisz and I have been a teacher since 2010. I first joined the Alcott community in Fall of 2014 when I joined the staff as a Special Education teacher (Mod/Sev and then transitioned to Mild/Mod) until January of 2018. At that time, I transitioned to working for the Central Office for San Diego Unified School District where I have the opportunity to support special education teachers across the district who are in the process of earning their teaching credentials in CA. In the Fall of 2018, I became a proud Alcott parent. I currently have a 3rd grader and a Kindergartener on campus and next year our UTKer will join the community too! The Alcott community (or as our 3-year-old refers to it - "Owlcott") has been important to our family for several years now and I feel I bring a unique perspective as having previously been a staff member and now a parent dedicated to the success of students at Alcott. I look forward to partnering with our SSC to continue to promote student mental, emotional, physical, and academic growth. 
Please reference the link on our website to complete the election form by Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.  
Again, we were in search of 1 parent to complete our requirement for our 10 member SSC.  The ballot will represent our compliance that requires a parent vote.  Please complete the ballot by Monday at 3:00 p.m.
You will find the link on the front page of the website:  simply scroll to the section that reads:
I've invited you to fill out a form:
please respond by Monday: Jan. 10, 2022 3:00 p.m.
Our Team approach at Alcott includes you and we need your commitment.  Please be sure to join our PTA and help us support our teachers and staff.  I am still in search of more lunch time and recess supervision parent volunteers.  Email me directly if you are interested and we will be sure to get the appropriate paperwork completed so you can assist us at Alcott.
Team Alcott = all of us!
Have a great weekend.
Principal Lewis
UBUNTU (I am; because we are)
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