Message from the Superintendent
May 17, 2021 Update
Dear VHCS family,
Earlier this evening, I provided to the Board of Education an update on our health and wellness procedures for the summer and fall. Because of your commitment over the past year to the enhanced procedures and the 4Habits 4Health, we are able to move one step closer to a full return to normalcy in our schools.
Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2021 will be held outdoors at Thompson Reynolds Stadium on Tuesday, May 25 at 7:00 PM. Face coverings/masks will be optional for students and guests. An alternate ceremony for graduates is available on May 25 for those who do not wish to attend.
We have numerous activities planned in VHCS this summer. Many of our students and staff will take part in professional learning, summer coursework, reading camp, Extended Day Program activities, and team practices. Beginning Tuesday, June 1, face coverings will become optional indoors and outdoors for students, staff, and school visitors. We will also continue encouraging students and staff to follow the 4Habits 4Health on and off campus.
As you may know, Alabama public health regulations require school systems to notify them when we become aware that a student attending school activities has tested positive for COVID-19. This requirement will continue after the Governor’s Health Order expires on May 31. School system personnel in charge of summer programs will notify Nurse Administrator Brenda Seale when they are made aware of a student with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Once reported by our school system, public health officials are responsible for contact tracing and notifications for quarantining. To assist public health in this process during the summer, we will continue using existing procedures including seating charts and visitor screening. You can learn more about notification requirements at https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/bcd/.
Recently, COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 12 and older were approved and have already begun to be administered in Alabama. It is important to note that neither the Alabama Department of Education, nor Vestavia Hills City Schools, intends to make COVID-19 vaccination a requirement for students to attend next school year.
Looking ahead to the fall, we are planning at this time for a return to regular procedures in all areas including arrival/dismissal, class exchanges and cafeteria use along with the elimination of class overflow areas. We will continue to engage with local health officials and adjust summer and fall plans if and when needed.
I want to thank you again for your support of our school reopening plan throughout the year. Because of your partnership in helping us ensure a safe and nurturing environment, we can look ahead to the summer and fall with optimism of resuming what we fondly remember as normal.
I wish for each of you a restful and enjoyable summer!
Todd Freeman, Ed.D.
Vestavia Hills City Schools