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August 13, 2021

Dear Rams Families


I hope everyone has had a great week!  There are some very important announcements about updated health guidance that will go into effect on Monday.  Please read the announcements closely this week.


  1. Update to symptoms that required a negative test or alternate diagnosis:You are now only required to provide the school with a negative test or alternate diagnosis if a student experiences specific COVID symptoms: fever, sore throat, new cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, severe headache.


Students no longer need to provide a negative test for simple headache, stomachache, congestion.  Those symptoms now will follow the routine process of going home and being symptom and fever free (without medicine) for 24 hours. 

  1. No quarantine requirement if the student is wearing their mask properly: When contact tracing must occur due to exposure a new pathway to stay at school and not quarantine has been added:


    • If a student is listed as a possible exposure to a positive COVID case, but we can confidently say they were wearing their face covering appropriately (covering nose, mouth, chin) then they will not be required to quarantine.


    • I shared this on the announcements this morning with students.  If/when contact tracing must be completed, we will consider this as part of that process. If teachers have had to talk to a student repeatedly about wearing their face covering properly, they will still be required to quarantine.


    • Please share the importance of students wearing their face covering and how that will positively impact their ability to stay in school and not be required to quarantine.


  1. Athletics: All athletic practices and games that take place indoors now require participants to wear a face covering during any practice, training, or game.  Currently, this is for indoor sports only.


  1. Learning during quarantine: If a student is quarantined, it is not possible to provide live instruction during that time.  However, what you can expect is:


    • For teachers to communicate daily with the student about work and assignments.


    • If able, provide an opportunity for a Google Meet for office hours.


    • Teacher contact with parents to inform them of work and progress during the absence.


    • Assignments that can reasonably be completed despite not being present for live instruction.


  1. Lockers: Thank you to those of you who have reached out about student use of lockers. Initially, we paused on the use of lockers, but recognize the challenges students have faced with carrying their backpack around. 


While some of the reasoning was connected to COVID-19, we are also concerned about the loss of instructional time due to mask breaks and locker use.  With that said we have worked on an updated plan, which will be in place by the middle of next week. 


Teachers are working to build locker use into their daily schedule and in some cases providing it as an option rather than a requirement.  Additionally, some teachers are working on a plan to allow students to keep their bookbags in their classroom and limit carrying it to times that are absolutely necessary.  Thanks for your patience as we continue to navigate through these unique situations.


  1. Water bottles: Water fountains remain closed except for filling up water bottles. We have been providing disposable cups for students who need water, but do not have a water bottle.  While we will continue to provide these, please consider sending your student in with a reusable water bottle.


  1. Fall Pictures: Fall pictures will take place on August 27th. You can find ordering information by going to the Strawbridge Website by clicking here.  Once on the website click “order pictures” and then use this code: FM367480


VA Fall Pictures: We are working on securing a date for our students who wish to come to school to take their fall pictures.  As soon as we have that information we will pass it along.


I hope everyone has a great weekend!






Thaddeus Sherman


Rolesville Middle School