Schools take different approaches on governor’s Thanksgiving quarantine guidance

On Monday, some schools could be sending students home if they say they attended a multi-household social gathering over Thanksgiving break.
Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 5:55 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2020 at 7:39 AM EST
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Vt. (WCAX) - On Monday, some schools could be sending students home if they say they attended a multi-household social gathering over Thanksgiving break.


But some schools will be going remote in response. All Rutland City Public Schools and the Williamstown Middle and High School will be moving remote for the week.

Williamstown’s Interim Principal Gary Clark says much of the faculty and staff members are following the guidelines set forth by the governor and quarantining in regards to Thanksgiving gatherings. He says because of this, they can’t offer the quality of education they would like with the high number of adults having to be out of the building.

We’re told they will still offer meal packs for pickup on Tuesday.

The Rutland City Public School superintendent says by moving remote, they will be able to have a safe period after the Thanksgiving holiday, eliminate the need to question students in a way some consider intrusive and avoid any confusion on whether or not plans will require a quarantine.

School leaders say they will assess conditions at the end of next week, either returning to in-person learning on December 7, or extending remote learning further if necessary.


However, both the Champlain Valley School District and the Mount Abraham Unified School District say they will not be asking their students whether they attended a gathering.

According to CVSD, the superintendent says while they won’t be asking students or staff the question, they do expect families to do the right thing and keep students home if they attended a social gathering.

“If we learn that your child(ren) did travel or gather with other households, we will call families to come pick them up and keep them home until their quarantine period is complete,” said CVSD Superintendent Elaine Pinckney.

MAUSD leaders say they won’t be asking the question because of variable scenarios.

“Due to the many variable scenarios that a household may have, at this time we will not be asking our students and staff this question as part of the daily health screening. We do, however, expect families and staff to do the right thing and monitor their own activities related to multi-household gatherings and quarantine in accordance with the guidance,” said MAUSD Superintendent Patrick J. Reen in an email.

Instead they say by sending your student to school, you are “verifying that you are in compliance with the Governor’s order.”

They say they are not including the question in the daily health screening because they do not wish to “place the burden of investigating on our teachers/support staff.”

Related Stories:

New Vt. student health screening guidance raises questions

Gov. Scott makes final pitch for Vermonters to stay home for Thanksgiving

Vermont schools will ask students if they celebrated at home

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