In response to the state’s recommendations for K-12 schools issued earlier this month, and also responsive to the First Presidency statement issued last week, we are taking the following approach to Covid-19 safety protocols for the start of the school year, subject to change according to public health requirements or changing circumstances:
* We urge all members of our school community age 12 and older to pursue vaccination in consultation with competent, professional medical counsel.
* We urge our school community and guests to wear masks indoors for public gatherings when physical distancing is not possible. As a general matter, classes are not viewed to be public gatherings and we will honor personal decisions about masking. Masking is not required to attend school or school events. We encourage all in the school community to have a mask available for use at school during public gatherings such as assemblies, devotionals, concerts, and athletic events when physical distancing may not be possible.
* The school will follow all state and local public health requirements. We will also implement most state recommendations for responding to Covid-19 infection and exposure. For AHS purposes, individuals who test positive for Covid-19 must isolate at home. Those who are exposed at home and have not been fully vaccinated or do not have proof of Covid-19 antibodies will also be required to quarantine and may not attend school during the quarantine period. Those who have been exposed outside the home and have not been fully vaccinated or do not have proof of Covid-19 antibodies will only be allowed to attend school so long as they do not exhibit symptoms and diligently wear a mask during the quarantine period.
* Fully vaccinated individuals and those with proof of Covid-19 antibodies may continue to attend school after they have been exposed to someone who tests positive, even if exposed in the home, so long as they do not exhibit symptoms. In addition, those who are unvaccinated and those who do not have proof of Covid-19 antibodies may also continue to attend school only in the case of an out-of-home exposure and only if they are not exhibiting symptoms and were wearing a mask at the time of exposure. In all cases, please do not come to school with Covid-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status or masking.
* At present, the school has no plans to accommodate remote learning from its American Fork campus. Individuals needing to quarantine temporarily may work with teachers directly regarding homework and due dates. We encourage faculty to be flexible in their approach to students who stay home for health and safety reasons. Individuals needing longer-term accommodations are invited to enroll in AHS Worldwide programs, which are designed to support remote learners through parent-led, teacher-led, and student-led programs.
We understand and are sensitive to the very personal reasons why different individuals will vary in their responses to Covid-19. We encourage patience and understanding on the part of all members of our community, and we express support of those whose choices are highly visible (e.g., those who choose to wear masks). We remember the Savior’s declaration to the Nephites that “the spirit of contention is not of me,” and that no matter how right we may feel we are, if we communicate in contention, we are in the wrong. We also encourage all in the school community to review the gospel topic essay on “Judging Others.”
Thank you, and best wishes for a safe and enjoyable school year!
AHS Health & Safety Committee