Change to Health Screeners and "Return to Play" Guidance for Athletics and PE

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The Agency of Education and the Vermont Department of Health have revised the Strong and Healthy Start: Health and Safety Guidance for Schools. It’s been renamed A Strong and Healthy Year and focuses on finishing this school year safely, strongly and with increased in person instruction. All of the revisions made at the state level will be reviewed and the Springfield School District Response Plan, which can be found at, will be updated by Tuesday April 27th.  

There are several changes in the update. The most significant for our school community being the omission of a daily temperature check for all students when arriving at school  This was a data driven decision by the department of health, as less than 20% of the pediatric population exhibits a temperature as a primary symptom of Covid-19. Starting on April 26th, students should complete an exposure, symptom screening and temperature check before departing for school.  (Screening tickets will be updated and should be sent into school daily.)

The guidance also focuses on the shift from universal 6 ft spacing for grades 7-12 to a recommendation that all students, regardless of age/grade, can now be 3 ft apart with the use of facial coverings.  Six feet of distance for students Grade 7-12 is still recommended while eating and will be maintained.

The Agency of Education and the Vermont Department of Health have also provided Guidance regarding activity after a student has had a confirmed case of COVID-19. This guidance is informed by expert opinion related to the possibility of cardiac involvement after a diagnosis of COVID-19 infection.  

Before returning to play, children/youth with COVID-19 infection should be seen by their health care provider after the illness resolves. The health care provider and family will share in the decision making process to determine the cardiac screening. All children and adolescents diagnosed with COVID-19 infection, regardless of symptom severity, may not return to play until symptom free, evaluated and cleared by their health care provider.  

 All students that have been diagnosed with COVID-19 will need to have a medical clearance form completed prior to participating in Physical Education classes and athletics.   

Children less than 12 years old can return to activity as tolerated after medical clearance by their health care provider.  (a 7-day graduated return-to-play protocol may be warranted if participating in a high intensity sport)

Once medically cleared, students/athletes (ages 12-22)  should complete the Return to Play progression without development of chest pain/ tightness, palpitations, lightheadedness, significant exertional dyspnea, pre-syncope or syncope. If any of these symptoms develop over the 7-day progression, then activity should be discontinued and the student should return to their health care provider for further evaluation.

The Springfield School District nurses, PE teachers and coaches will assist in the collection of paperwork and communication as needed. Please let us know if you have any questions.  


Zach McLaughlin, EdD


Claire Lewis, BSN, RN          Cailin Barlow, RN                       Jenny Anderson, MEd,BSN,RN  

School Nurse - RMS              School Nurse - Union Street        COVID-19 Coordinator 


Mary Christman, BSN,RN      Felicia Kesek, RN                        Diane Daniels, BSN,RN.CRRN

School Nurse - Elm Hill          School Nurse - SHS                     School Nurse - SHS