September 9, 2021
Dear Monument Academy Community,
Before each Board meeting, we always read the school Mission Statement. Equally important to our mission of service to the community is the promise to uphold the vision of the school as well. The Monument Academy Vision Statement reads: Monument Academy exists to educate all students in the journey of becoming well-rounded, flourishing individuals. Passion and engagement permeate our school community and instill a joy for life and learning. We value security, character, connections, growth, and excellence.
It is with this in mind that we would like to clearly describe our plan for how to provide the opportunity for our children to recapture the joy for life and love of learning that they often missed over the course of the last 17 months. We also want to reaffirm our commitment to being a school of parent-partnership by honoring the rights of parents to best determine the health, security, and well-being of their children. We stated on May 3, 2021, in a Board resolution, that we would only implement the least restrictive restrictions with COVID mandates. We seek to accomplish this by following the below outline:
Per guidance from El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH), universal masking is not required inside the school building. We support parental choice and their decision to have their child masked or not masked. We also support staff choice to determine if they want to wear a mask or not. We will continue to encourage an environment that is supportive of health choice within our school buildings.
Federal law does currently require masks for those age 2 and above on all public transportation regardless of vaccination status. This includes drivers and passengers on school buses used for field trips, sports, and other extra-curricular activities.
Physical Distancing, Cohorting:
Monument Academy is not enforcing any physical distancing or grade-level cohorting. General practices of good hygiene and valuing personal space will continue to be encouraged and implemented. Physical distancing and cohorting are not required per local and state health departments.
Testing for COVID:
When students or staff are showing symptoms of illness, Monument Academy is expecting those individuals to stay home until symptom free. Monument Academy will leave the decision to test for any pathogen up to the individual, their household, and their medical provider. As with any medical test, it is an individual or family choice whether to get the COVID test. Also, it is an individual or family choice whether or not to report those test results to Monument Academy. There is no expectation from the school that employees or families provide medical details or testing results of any health condition.
Reporting a Positive COVID Individual:
Medical professionals are required to report positive cases to their local health department. In addition, when a positive COVID case is reported to Monument Academy, we are required by law to report that single case to EPCPH. Positive cases will follow the quarantine/isolation process described in the next section.
Upon notification of a positive case, the school will notify the necessary exposed individuals so that they may self-monitor for the development of symptoms and make appropriate medical decisions for their household.
Again, if a COVID test is reported, protocols will automatically take place per EPCPH and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) requirements.
Quarantines and Isolations:
If a student or staff member is presenting symptoms of any illness, we expect that those individuals will stay home until symptoms subside.
Per CDPHE public health orders, any individual testing positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms and be fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of medication. EPCPH will allow Monument Academy to conduct its own internal contact tracing and notify any staff/students who need to quarantine. In the event of a quarantine, Monument Academy will provide the required quarantine measures to those individuals before they can return in person.
We trust and expect our community to be vigilant in monitoring themselves and their children for any kind of illness, understanding that they are following the health protocol they acknowledge and sign each year when they review the school handbook. If a staff member or child is sick, we expect them to stay home until they are symptom free. If a staff member or child is symptom free, we expect they will be at work or school. Personal health information will not be required to be divulged. Standard parent notification procedures will be followed if a child feels unwell at school and goes to the school nurse. We will not presume that anyone at our school is sick simply due to virus exposure without further symptom development.
Currently Monument Academy is not mandated to require COVID vaccinations. Vaccination status will not be asked or required to be disclosed. We consider this private health information.
Virus Mitigation Measures Within the School:
Monument Academy is required to follow the rules and regulations governing the health and sanitation of our school. Included in these measures are purchases we made from the CARES Act funding, and processes we still maintain currently:
List of Items Purchased with CARES Dollars in FY21:
- UV lights installed in HVAC system
- Clorox misting units
- Floor scrubbers
- Hand sanitizer stations throughout schools
- Repaired West campus HVAC fans to operate at optimum level
- Touchless soap dispensers added
- Cleaners/cleaning supplies/sanitizer
Processes to Ensure Cleanliness:
- Daily cleaning & sanitizing
- Water fountains are set to only fill water bottles (hands-free) at West campus.
Monument Academy is a public school of choice, and we are grateful for the choice you made to either work here or send your children here. Just as you had a choice in employment and school, we also hold sacred the freedom of choice we have as an essential right in this country. It is in this spirit that we ask you to work alongside us as we seek to implement a normal school experience, free from cumbersome restrictions that ultimately only deplete mental health, academic achievement, and the pursuit of happiness we are all granted.
Lastly, to reiterate, Monument Academy will follow the least restrictive restrictions that CDPHE and EPCPH mandate. Please understand that those mandates are subject to change which may create a new updated COVID outline for Monument Academy.
If you have questions or concerns regarding this policy or the implementation of it at either campus, please reach out to the school Board, COO, East Campus Principal or West Campus Assistant Principal.
Monument Academy Board of Directors
Chief Operating Officer- Merlin Holmes