Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,
I am writing to inform you that a person in our school community has tested positive for COVID-19. Our first responsibility is to keep our students and staff safe. We have been planning for this scenario during our reopening planning process and have a comprehensive plan in place to sanitize the school, inform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact, and support the affected family as they navigate this stressful experience.
Our student body and staff have been closely adhering to the safety protocols including mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing. We are grateful to our families for their continued efforts to keep students home at the first sign of symptoms. These measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of additional transmission.
Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community member who tested positive, our staff and your child were not a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school member. At no time was anyone within our learning community placed at-risk.
Parents of students who were in close contact with the community member will be notified privately. All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result. We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health.
Additionally, we are asking those parents whose students are tested for COVID-19 to please report the results to the school nurse. We are working hard to understand the impact of the virus on our school community and this information is a critical piece of that puzzle.
To further prevent transmission of the virus to other staff and students, we have sanitized the school with a focus on those areas frequented by the community member that tested positive. We will continue to be vigilant in adhering to all of the protocols that have been put in place in an effort to continue in person learning. We are also providing remote learning for all students required to quarantine at home to continue to provide instruction, structure, and an emotional connection to the classroom during a time that we know will be challenging for those children and families involved. We have been sharing remote learning options with students in advance of our first positive case in hopes that they will understand that this process is designed to keep everyone in our community safe, as opposed to assuming that they have contracted the virus.
For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.
You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.
We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Carrie Cashman, Lead Nurse for the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District at firstname.lastname@example.org / (508) 885-8536. Finally, if there is additional transmission as a result of a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.
Paul S. Haughey, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools