September 4, 2020

Greetings NCSU Families,

I’m checking in with families briefly before our start of school on Tuesday. Please know that our administrators, faculty and staff have been working hard over the summer and especially last two weeks to be ready for reopening school. I’m confident that we’ve put in place all the necessary procedures to support a healthy learning environment. Certainly, we can all expect some adjustments over the first week as we all get used to new routines and practices.

A couple of updates and reminders:

1. The USDA just approved free meals for all children through December 31 or until funding runs out. For Children accessing virtual learning programs, you can call your home school to make arrangements to pick up meals. High School students may also make arrangements to pick up meals at the school in your community on days they are not at the high school. We still ask all families to complete their free and reduced lunch applications.

2. Please be sure to complete the daily health check for your child each morning and have them prepared to show the health check slip when boarding a bus and entering school. Ask you school for a thermometer if you need one. Your help with this process will greatly assist the start of the school day and ensure we’re keeping everyone healthy.

3. Please be sure to encourage your child to wear their mask and practice physical distancing. Again, these measures are to help ensure their health and that of others.

4. Please review your school’s handbook or our NCSU Strong and Healthy Start Handbook on our NCSU website for all the information you need to know.

We are looking forward to having students back at school and also glad we are able to support many families through various virtual options. I wish everyone a positive and successful start to the school year!


John A. Castle


NCSU Strong and Healthy Family


Please review your child’s school Handbook, the NCSU Strong and Healthy Start Handbook and the Vermont Agency of Education/Department of Health Strong and Healthy Start. (Find active links on our webpage version at

  1. Who will make the determination of which Step we are at, and when might that happen?

--The Secretary of Education will make the determination as to what step we are on. We will start at Step II for the opening of schools, with the exception of busses. For bussing, we are considered to be at Step III. Based on the epidemiological evidence from the Vermont Department of health, Vermont is essentially at Step III, but it was thought that it is best that we meet the higher threshold of Step II to start the year, in the event we might have to transition to such. It is possible that the Secretary will move schools to Step III by mid-September.

  1. Are schools required to conduct the daily health checks for students?

--All students and staff must have a “Daily Health Check.” Parents must complete the Daily Health Check slip for their child. Students will present the slip upon getting on a bus and/or entering school. Schools will conduct temperature checks for all students entering the building. Parents should still take your child’s temperature at home* and some schools may also take temperatures upon getting on the bus. A pad of Daily Health Check slips will be sent home with students the first day of school. *Please let your school know if you would like us to provide you with a thermometer.

  1. Will staff or students who have left the state need to quarantine before returning to school?

--This will depend on where and when an individual has traveled. Please check the Vermont Department of Health website {}.

  1. How many students are allowed on a bus?

--We are allowed to provide school bus transportation with busses running at full capacity. We will assign seats in order to achieve as much physical distancing as possible.

  1. Who is expected to wear a face covering and when?

--Faculty and staff are expected to wear face coverings in the building and outside if physical distancing is not possible, unless a medical exemption is provided. Parents are asked to wear a mask during drop off and pick up if you bring your child to the building. All students are expected to wear a mask when on the bus, in school, and outside if physical distancing is not possible. Only those students who have a documented medical exemption confirmed by the school nurse may wear a face shield or be exempt from wearing a mask.

**Please see our handout on masks and facial coverings, included in this mailing.

  1. Will students have access to handwashing or hand sanitizer?

--Schools will pay particular attention to hand washing or using hand sanitizer for students entering schools and throughout the day. Hand washing is recommended whenever possible.

  1. What are the expectations for physical distancing?

--It is recommended that students and staff maintain physical distance of six (6) feet as much as possible. For students in PreK to grade 5 the recommended distance is a minimum of three (3) feet. It is understood that it is difficult to ensure physical distancing at all times in a school environment, yet all should strive to meet these expectations.

  1. Will my child only be with a limited cohort/group of students?

--It is recommended that we try to restrict student contact to a limited group to the extent possible. Each school has measures in place to do their best to achieve this goal. Students at NCUJHS and NCUHS/NCCC will change classes and interact with more of their peers than in an elementary school.

  1. Are we required to maintain distinct cohorts of students?

--It is highly encouraged that students maintain smaller cohorts. However, it is a recommendation that schools do the best they can with these practices.

  1. Can I send one child to school if they are not sick, yet one or more of their siblings are? (not COVID-19)

--Yes, if a child is well, they are able to come to school. Parents obviously need to use their judgement and we encourage you to use an abundance of caution given our interest in the health of everyone.

11. My child has a chronic health condition that may mimic COVID symptoms (e.g., chronic cough and runny nose, severe allergies with coughing and sneezing, frequent upset stomach/acid reflux, higher than average normal body temperature, etc.). Does this mean s/he will be sent home frequently?

--If you have concerns that a chronic medical condition may mimic COVID symptoms or are concerned that your child's common symptoms may be mistaken as a COVID infection, please consult your school's nurse and pediatrician ASAP. The school may need to develop a special plan for your child in consultation with your pediatrician. A pediatrician must verify the medical condition and consult with the school nurse about how to respond when your child exhibits symptoms.

Please check the NCSU website frequently ( for updates to the FAQ!

NCUS Summer Meals 2020.pdf
COVID19-MealAccessHandout-2perPage+FINAL (1).pdf
September 2020.pdf
BEST COMMITMENTS 151203 Portrait reduced.pdf