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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Neville

Brookside Blast 11.22.21

Updated: Mar 11, 2022

Brookside Families!

We hope you had a great week and weekend. Sorry we missed our normal Friday communication. Today's blast will cover last week and our current week and we will resume our normal Friday communication on Friday, December 3rd.

Each day we have the opportunity for reflect on what we are grateful for. We are truly grateful to work with your children each day and serve this wonderful community. We hope you and your family have a wonderful fall break.

Chris and Sarah

Kid President's ....... 25 Reasons to be Thankful

Check out the "Brookside Beast"


The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) will be offering a vaccination clinic for 5 - 11 year olds at Waitsfield Elementary School on the following dates:

  • November 27- 9am-12pm- There are still appointments available: You can register online here. If you wish for your child to attend this clinic, you should sign up now as there are limited spaces. You can also call (802) 863-7240 to register for an appointment.

  • December 18- 9am-12pm

These clinics are available through the VDH registration portal. These are “open clinics”, meaning registration will be open to anyone in the state.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect all in our community and reduce the risk of missing school due to quarantine.

There are a few options for scheduling the vaccine for your 5-11 year old child.

  • Register for a vaccination appointment online through the Health Department website. You can also call the Health Department at 855-722-7878 to make an appointment.

  • Schedule a vaccination through your child’s health care provider. Health care offices expect to have the vaccine available in the next week.

  • Schedule a vaccination through a pharmacy. The following pharmacies also anticipate having the vaccine for 5-11 year olds in the next week: Costco, CVS, Hannaford, Kinney Drugs, Price Chopper, Rite Aid, Shaws, Walgreens, Walmart. Use this interactive map to find all the vaccination sites, and contact information, near you.

If you need assistance making an appointment for your child to get a COVID-19 vaccination, please contact your school’s nurse. We’re here to help!


HUUSD will begin implementing COVID-19 Response Testing this week. Response testing differs from the weekly “surveillance testing” in that it tests individuals who have been identified as COVID-19 close contacts at school, or who become symptomatic while at school. These tests will only be used with students whose families have completed test registration and provided consent.

On Wednesday 11/16, our school nurses will begin Response Testing where we provide an antigen (rapid) test, followed by a PCR test (if the rapid test results are Negative) for any student demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms during the school day. Students with symptoms will still need to go home, but this testing will speed up the process of getting results. Students who are symptomatic should NOT come to school, but use the same protocols that have been in place.

Beginning Monday 11/29, HUUSD will implement “Test to Stay” (TTS) antigen (rapid) testing for any students identified as close contacts during the school day who wish to complete this daily testing in order to attend in-person learning. Given the mitigation measures we have in place in schools, and the success we’ve seen in preventing in-school spread of COVID-19, combined with data on successive antigen testing, State and HUUSD COVID-19 leadership are confident that this daily testing will increase students being in the classroom while still maintaining a safe environment for all. We will be providing more information about Test to Stay to individuals eligible for this programming. Test to Stay and Response Testing both require parent permission and registration in advance.


Similar to the weekly COVID-19 testing, a family must provide consent for a student to participate in Response testing. There is a two-step process for this consent. This is different from the surveillance testing registration.. We are asking families who wish their children to participate in this program to sign up now.. Each child in your household must be signed up individually. This testing is only available for individuals 5 years and older.

  1. Provide consent to participate here. SY22 COVID19 Testing Program Consent Form This is a universal consent form from the state.

  2. You need to NEXT register your child to participate. There is a separate sign up for each school. Please select the link for your child’s school from the list below.

Please see these FAQ’s about the HUUSD COVID-19 Testing for further information.

Frequently Asked Questions for HUUSD Response Testing

What COVID-19 testing programs is HUUSD doing?

  • Response Testing: Test-to-Stay (TTS) Antigen Testing

In this program, asymptomatic students identified as close contacts of someone during the school day. In this program, students complete a rapid-result antigen test before entering the school building for each day of their quarantine period.

Visit the AOE Test-to-Stay webpage for content related to TTS.

HUUSD plans to begin implementing this program 11/22/21.

  • Response Testing: In-School PCR Testing

These tests are intended for testing symptomatic students/staff after a negative antigen test or in the absence of an antigen test, testing a large number of students or staff members out of quarantine or testing vaccinated close contacts of COVID-19 cases between days 3 and 5 after exposure. These tests would be provided to individuals in the school nurse office. They do not eliminate the need for quarantine, but provide closer and quicker access for PCR testing.

Visit the AOE In-School PCR Testing webpage for content related to in-school PCR testing. HUUSD plans to begin implementing this program 11/16/21.

  • Surveillance Testing

This program provides weekly PCR tests to any staff or students over the age of 5 who have signed up. It is intended for asymptomatic individuals (those who can attend school for the day. HUUSD began this program in late September.

Previously, antigen testing results have not been sufficient to allow students to return to school. What has changed?

A single negative antigen test is still not sufficient to prevent a symptomatic child from being sent home nor for an asymptomatic child to test out of quarantine. However, multiple negative antigen test results over several days are an accurate indicator of negative COVID-19 status such that students may continue to attend school

In addition, data from Massachusetts, which is administering a similar Test to Stay program as Vermont, shows that less than 1% (.096%) of TTS results were positive. These results suggest that the TTS program does not result in higher rates of transmission than at-home quarantine after a close contact in the school setting.

Can students with COVID-19 symptoms participate in Test to Stay?

Students who are symptomatic should not attend school and must stay home.

Please consult the Vermont Department of Health guidance on returning to school.

The Test to Stay program is not designed to allow symptomatic students to stay in school as there are other respiratory illnesses that should be prevented.

May students participating in Test to Stay participate in school-sanctioned sports after school?

Yes. Students participating in Test to Stay may attend sports practices and other afterschool activities on school campus as long as students from other schools are not present. Students participating in Test to Stay may not participate in practices, events, competitions or any other afterschool activities if students from other schools are present, even if those activities occur on their home campus.

May students participating in Test to Stay participate in other after school activities such as recreational hockey, dance, after school child care outside of school, etc.?

No. While students/staff are participating in Test to Stay antigen testing they should quarantine while outside of school, including over the weekend.

My child is vaccinated? Should I sign them up to participate?

Yes. Children who are vaccinated would not participate in test to stay antigen testing for close contact, but would be able to participate in school PCR testing if they developed symptoms at school.

Should people who have had COVID-19 already participate in Test to Stay? I know we don't want to test them with a PCR test for 90 days after their illness, what is the window for the antigen tests?

People who have had COVID-19 within 90 days are considered immune and don’t need to quarantine even if exposed, as long as they are asymptomatic. Because they do not need to quarantine, they should not participate in Test to Stay.

Can I send my symptomatic child to school to get an antigen and/or PCR test?

No. Any child who is symptomatic should stay home. Please consult the Vermont Department of Health guidance on returning to school.

My child was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the community (after school program, recreational sport practice, other event). Can they participate in the test to stay program?

The test to stay program is only for students who are unvaccinated and are deemed close contacts within the school setting. The school has very specific mitigation measures in place that reduce the risk of transmission of the virus and the effectiveness of the Test to Stay program depends on these mitigation strategies. These mitigation measures may or may not exist in other community settings. Those who are unvaccinated and are exposed in the community setting will need to quarantine for at least 7 days and can return to school after obtaining a negative PCR test on day 7 or later. Please consult your school nurse for guidance on return to school.


We appreciate families communicating with the school regarding your child's absence and illness. We want to be sure families have the most up to date guidance on return to school.

If your child experiences any of the symptoms of COVID-19 (runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever over 100.4, loss of taste or smell) we ask that you keep them home. A runny nose and a cough are the two most common symptoms in children with COVID-19.

If these symptoms resolve in 24 hours or less, your child may return to school 24 hours after these symptoms resolve. If these symptoms last LONGER than 24 hours, the Vermont Department of Health requires either a PCR COVID test or an alternative diagnosis from a provider before returning to school. Here is the link to the VDH Return to School handout. The Health Office would appreciate a copy of your child's negative PCR test result before returning to school.

We appreciate families continuing to follow the Vermont Department of Health's guidance in supporting our school community.


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