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COVID Protocols & Travel Reminders

Thank you all for your continued vigilance, understanding, and support as we navigate our way through a turbulent school year. Because everyone has been so conscientious in adhering to the guidelines, our exposure to the coronavirus has been minimal. We know from experience that in-person learning is essential.  Among other reasons, the personal interaction required to guide the new learner through the social-emotional maze can best be accomplished in person.  With these thoughts in mind, the following are our protocols and guidelines for the upcoming winter months and holiday activities. All of these are put in place to enable our St. Joseph School community to remain safe and healthy and to continue our in-person learning.

COVID-19 Symptoms & Testing Protocols:

The health and safety of your children and our staff will rely, in part, on individual attention and responsibility this year. Children have all sorts of illnesses, particularly during the winter months. Please use common sense. When in doubt, protect us all. The most common symptoms of cold and flu are very similar to those of COVID-19.  For non-COVID illnesses, your child may return to school after they are free of fever and medication for 24 hours.

We ask you to check your child daily for the symptoms below. The most important thing to do if any of the following symptoms are present is to stay home. We know that some symptoms of COVID-19 are the same as the flu or a bad cold, but please do not assume that it is another conditionWhen in doubt, stay home. Your child’s teacher will be in touch regarding missed work and remote learning opportunities. If a child becomes sick at school, we will isolate him/her until a parent can arrive.

A child must stay home and GET TESTED for COVID-19 if he/she presents any of the following symptoms:

  • A child with a temperature in the morning of 100.4 

  • A fever accompanied by chills

  • Coughs not due to other known causes

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Headache when in combination with other symptoms

  • Muscle aches or body aches

  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

  • Fatigue when in combination with other symptoms 

  • Nasal congestion or runny nose when in combination with other symptoms and not due to allergies or other known causes 

If a student tests positive for the virus and has been in school, the entire class must quarantine for 14 days or be cleared by medical authorities, and that child must quarantine for 14 days.

COVID-19 Exposure Protocol:

If you, your child, or anyone in your family has been exposed to someone who tests positive--including if someone in your family tests positive--then the following procedures must be followed:

  1. Please notify the school office immediately after you learn of the exposure and/or positive test.

  2. Keep your child home for the required 14-day quarantine OR produce a negative test result of anyone exposed to the COVID situation at least 72 hours after exposure. The negative test results must be given to the office before your child may return to school.

  3. We will determine appropriate steps for remote learning and closing classrooms.


During the short absence from school, work will be made available after two sick days at home. Zoom will not be used during short absences. It is more important to recover from the illness than it is to keep up with schoolwork, which can be caught up with when they return to school.

In the case of quarantine, arrangements may be made for class participation and class materials will be provided.

Holiday Travel Reminders:

As Thanksgiving approaches, please keep in mind our illness and COVID-19 protocols as outlined in the school communication last week. Anyone traveling outside of Massachusetts to a location that is not currently considered a "low risk state" by Massachusetts guidelines must produce a negative COVID test result within 72 hours of returning to Massachusetts before your child may return to school. Click here for an up-to-date list of “approved” states, which currently includes  Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Washington state, Hawaii, and D.C.