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Back Together A Back-to-School Edition of This Week in Red Clay

In this issue:

Red Clay Schools Celebrate the First Day of School | Nominate an Outstanding Educational Support Professional Today | Register for Weekly COVID-19 Testing | Vaccination Clinic for Ages 12+ on September 11 | Health and Safety Quick Links | Student Accident Insurance Available | Red Clay Cafe Introduces New Payment Portal

Welcome Back, Red Clay Students, Families and Staff!

Thank you to all of the students, staff and families who helped Red Clay schools make a safe return to full in-person learning this week.

On Monday, we welcomed students, families and staff to a new school year as Red Clay schools returned to full in-person learning for the first time in 18 months. Our decision to reopen schools was based on the needs of our students and the guidance we have received from the Delaware Division of Public Health and the Delaware Department of Education, in accordance with the recommendations from the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses.

WATCH: Delaware's Largest School District Prepares for Safe Return to Class (via 6ABC)

In Red Clay, we believe that welcoming students back to the classrooms in person and surrounding them with caring educators and needed support is the best way to help them grow academically and re-engage in the learning and social environments that are critical to their development.

Thanks to a number of mitigation strategies in place across our district, and the ongoing commitment to health and safety shown by our school communities, we saw very few reported cases of COVID-19 in our first week—a total of 18 positive cases, or 0.1% of our student and staff population that returned for full in-person learning this week. Staff immediately followed our health and safety protocols to ensure prompt contact tracing, notification, and quarantining where necessary. Please remember, if you are experiencing symptoms, awaiting test results, or have been exposed to COVID-19, please await negative test results or proper clearance from your healthcare provider before entering schools and offices.

Thank you for your continued support as we work to educate students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Red Clay community's cooperation made opening week a huge success!

At the same time that we opened our doors for on-campus learning, we also supported approximately 200 students who opted for online learning through Edmentum's EdOptions Academy digital learning platform. Thank you to all of these students and their families for taking the time to connect with your new instructors and showing up ready to learn every day.

Nominate an Outstanding Educational Support Professional Today

Do you know a bus driver, custodian, paraeducator or other educational support professional who goes above and beyond?

Red Clay will select a district representative for Delaware's 2022 Educational Support Professional of the Year program, which is similar to Delaware's Teacher of the Year program.

We invite Red Clay staff, students, families, and members of the community to nominate candidates who are exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled in their profession. Nominees should promote a positive, supportive image of the educational support profession at their work site and in the school/district community.

Some examples of educational support professionals are bus drivers, custodial employees, nutrition services employees, paraeducators, secretaries, clerks and educational diagnosticians.

Register for Weekly COVID-19 Testing

In partnership with the Delaware Division of Public Health and Quidel, Red Clay schools will offer weekly COVID-19 testing beginning later this month. COVID-19 testing is one way that students and staff can help to reduce the risk of spread in Red Clay. The testing process helps to identify individuals who may be positive for COVID-19 and are not currently experiencing symptoms.

Register through Primary.Health’s platform today. This link is specific for Red Clay, students, parents/guardians and staff.

  • Registration is voluntary but highly recommended. There is no cost to you and no insurance information is needed. You will never be asked to pay for these tests.
  • Testing will primarily be done through self-swabbing and monitored by medical staff (not by school staff).
  • This program will use a test called Quidel QuickVue.
  • Results and communication will be shared electronically to the email and contact information used for registration. Results are shared every 15-30 minutes.
  • If your child tests positive, the school will contact you directly.
  • The testing schedule will be shared soon. Quidel testing coordinators are working with school nurses to determine the best schedule for each school, with minimal disruption to the school day. Please know that as the program evolves, the testing schedule may need to be adjusted slightly as the number of registrants increases or decreases.

Electronic test results will be sent to registered participants. Quidel is required to follow communicable disease mandatory reporting procedures consistent with the Delaware Division of Public Health. If a student or staff member does in fact test positive, Quidel will make every effort to perform a confirmatory PCR test and send the test to the state laboratory immediately. Antigen tests are valuable for surveillance (awareness) but are not considered confirmatory. A follow-up PCR test should be taken if an Antigen test comes back positive. The student or staff member will be sent home awaiting official results.

Remember, if you are experiencing signs/symptoms of illness and are awaiting COVID-19 test results, you should stay home until those results have been verified by a healthcare provider.

Thank you for helping us stay safe and healthy!

For questions about this new COVID-19 testing program, contact Mandy Pennington, MSN, RN, Supervisor of Health Services for the Red Clay Consolidated School District, at mandy.pennington@redclay.k12.de.us.

Vaccination Clinic for Ages 12+ on September 11

Red Clay encourages families who want their children to be vaccinated to participate in a COVID-19 vaccination event that will be held at The John Dickinson School (1801 Milltown Road, Wilmington, DE 19808) on Saturday, September 11, from 10 AM to 2 PM.

The event is open to Delaware residents who are 12 years or older.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be given at this event. The second shot will be administered at a follow-up event at The John Dickinson School on October 2 from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Online registration is encouraged. Participants may also register in person at the event.

Health and Safety Quick Links

Use the COVID-19 Self-Screener for Red Clay Students and Staff to check for signs or symptoms every day before you come to school or work.

Remember to review the latest Health and Safety Guidelines for Red Clay Schools and Offices.

Have a question about mask wearing? Our administrative memorandum outlines requirements for face coverings in Red Clay schools and district facilities.

Our COVID-19 Process Maps tell you what to do if you show symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19, or are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Student Accident Insurance Available

Voluntary Student Accident Insurance is available for the 2021-22 school year.

Red Clay Cafe Introduces New Payment Portal

As a reminder, the Red Clay Cafe is no longer using PayPams for online payments. All online payments for the Red Clay Cafe should be made through Titan School Solutions.

All Red Clay Café account balances have been transferred to Titan School Solutions.

Please note: PayPams may still be in use by some other departments in the district.