Dear AOS Parents,
I am very much looking forward to the start of the 2021-2022 school year. It has been heartwarming to see so many students and parents on campus purchasing uniforms these past few days, which makes it all the more discouraging to be writing with another message about COVID-19 and its impact on a third school year.
As we continue to grapple with pandemic uncertainty, we want to assure you that every decision we make has your scholar’s best interests at heart. These are not easy decisions. We are grateful for the continued support and grace you have shown us as we navigate the complexity of decision-making.
The health and safety of our scholars, faculty, staff and community at large is chief among our considerations. With this in mind, we offered both in-person and online options for this school year. For those who have chosen in-person learning, we are doing everything in our power to keep children and teachers healthy and in their classrooms. Given the increased prevalence of the virus, breakthrough spread, the Georgia Department of Public Health’s parameters regarding required quarantine for unmasked exposures, and a city mask mandate, we have concluded that all AOS students, faculty and staff, and campus visitors will be required to wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status as we begin the school year. Additionally, AOS will be limiting visitors into the building.
We will continue to monitor positive cases in our community, and the local impact of the Delta variant. We are committed to ensuring that all scholars have opportunities for mask breaks. The Department of Public Health’s guidance will be considered in determining the quarantine protocols that will impact classrooms should positive cases be identified on campus. We review guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia Department of Public Health, DeKalb County Department of Public Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, as well as other experts, and our own experience with navigating in-person learning in spring of 2021. At this moment, we are doing the very best we can with the information that is available to us.
With little over a week before the start of the school year on Monday, August 16, we pray you are helping to prepare your scholar for their return. For some wonderful ideas on how you may get your scholar ready for the upcoming school year, please watch Episode 18 of Scholarly Speaking Live, where we discuss tips for preparing scholars for back to school. The link is below. Thank you, as always, for your faith and love for The Academy of Scholars. We are here for you. This will be a great year!
Dr. Stacy Lambert-Johnson
Preparing Your Child for the New School Year – Episode 18 Scholarly Speaking Live with Dr. Stacy Lambert-Johnson
AOS COVID-19 Protocols
• AOS scholars, faculty and staff, and campus visitors will now be required to wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status as we begin the school year.
• AOS will no longer require daily temperature/health checks upon arrival to school, but we ask families to continue to monitor their scholars’ health. Faculty, staff, or scholars who are not well should remain at home until they are feeling better and are fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours.
• If an unvaccinated individual (any scholar) comes in close contact with someone impacted by COVID-19 (i.e. within 3 feet for at least 15 minutes), that individual must quarantine for a period of 7 to 10 days. A negative COVID-19 test will be required to return after 7 days. Vaccinated individuals will not be asked to quarantine due to close contact unless they begin to show symptoms.
• If a scholar or teacher tests positive, AOS will do contact tracing to attempt to notify those who may have been exposed.
Online learning will be reserved for scholars who have elected virtual learning as their learning environment for the school year. Given the labor-intensive nature of virtual learning preparations, online learning will be unavailable for common illnesses (such as a cold) or when awaiting a test result. Students awaiting COVID-19 results will remain home until a result is available.