October 19, 2020

Dear Villa Community,

On Sunday, October 18, 2020 we were notified that an Elementary II student tested positive for COVID-19. This is our first known case since the school year began. The last day the student attended school was Friday, October 9 and the student was asymptomatic. Upon learning of this, we followed our notification plan and notified all of the families in that student’s class. In an effort to keep our entire community informed, we are sending this communication to all of our Villa families.

When we have a confirmed case, we identify and notify any close contacts. Teachers have identified individual work spaces for their students so we can quickly identify students who would be considered close contacts.
Individuals who are determined to have been a close contact are required to quarantine for 14 days according to guidance from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and monitor for COVID-like symptoms. The MCDPH indicates that the only exception to the 14 day quarantine from the last date of exposure is if a student has had a lab-confirmed PCR or antigen test within the last three months, in which case those individuals do not need to quarantine. There is no exception to the 14 day quarantine if the individual tests negative during that quarantine period. The reason for not accepting a negative test as evidence that a student can return to school is due to the 2-14 day incubation period of the virus, which means a person could have a negative test early in the incubation period and still be carrying the virus.

MCDPH has also defined what a school outbreak is. An outbreak in a school means there are 2 or more students or staff who could have been close contacts only in the school setting with confirmed COVID-19 within a 14 day period. An outbreak is considered “closed” after 28 days have passed without a new case that could have been transmitted at the school. We will notify our Villa community by email should the MCDPH ever determine Villa has an outbreak.

So as to keep our Villa community informed about the number of confirmed cases at the school, we are working on creating a dashboard on our website to report the number of confirmed cases by campus. The dashboard will be regularly updated so that you can readily access the most recent information as it is collected. I will send out more information about the dashboard as it is developed.

Let us all commit to not letting our guard down or succumb to “COVID fatigue”. If we all stay vigilant, we can minimize the spread of the virus. The most important things to remember include:
  • Wearing masks
  • Staying home as much as possible
  • Keeping your child home if he/she has symptoms of COVID-19 (or other illness) or someone in your family is not feeling well
  • Calling the main office to let us know if your child or a family member has tested positive.
  • Calling the absentee line to report your child absent (602-955-2210 option 1) and any symptoms he/she is experiencing

The MCDPH has created a FAQ page for parents on their website. You can access it HERE.

Please reach out if you have any questions.

In good health,

Margo S. O’Neill, M.Ed.
Head of School
Villa Montessori School | Website