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Supt Update: Changes to Covid-19 Safety Guidance & Protocols! 05.18.2021
Supt Update: Changes to Covid-19 Safety Guidance & Protocols! 05.18.2021
Paul Haughey
Tuesday, May 18, 2021

May 18, 2021

Good Morning Everyone,

As you have probably already heard, Governor Baker announced yesterday that all remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted effective May 29th; and that the Commonwealth’s face covering order will also be rescinded on May 29th.  Per the press release, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will issue a new face covering advisory consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education also released new guidance in the form of an FAQ document which speaks to masks in school and other topics.

All of this information is new.  As a result, we are working to update our safety guidance and protocols accordingly.  Based upon our early consultation with our local and state officials, we can provide the following information regarding changes to safety guidance and protocols that will take effect today, Tuesday, May 18th. Additional information will be provided as we get more details from the Commonwealth regarding what requirements are specifically going to be relaxed.  Please see the table below for what is changing and what remains. 

Here is what we know at this time... Masks are still required for everyone indoors at school except for eating with 6-foot distancing; however, students will not be required to wear masks outdoors at any distance (see specifics for different situations below). Please note that DESE is still requiring adults (i.e., faculty/staff) to wear masks outdoors if closer than 6 feet to anyone, regardless of vaccination status.

I realize these changes cause dissonance for many within our learning community and the communities we serve...  If you have questions, please reach out to our Lead Nurse, Carrie Cashman, at cashmanc@sebrsd.org.  We will do our best to keep you updated on additional changes as more becomes known.

As always, thank you for your continued patience and support of the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District! 

Respectfully Yours,

Paul S. Haughey, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District

 

Current Guidance

Updated Guidance beginning today, May 18th, based upon new mandates from MA Governor Baker

Outdoor

Recess/outdoor mask breaks

Students and staff need to be masked unless 6 feet apart.

Students can be unmasked outside at recess/mask breaks, regardless of distance.  Staff need to mask up outdoors if unable to maintain 6 feet of distance, regardless of vaccination status.

Outdoor Physical Education

Students and staff need to be masked unless 6 feet apart; cleaning equipment daily.

Students can be unmasked outside at physical education, regardless of whether distance can be maintained.  Staff need to mask up outdoors if unable to maintain 6 feet of distance, regardless of vaccination status.  No change to equipment cleaning – once per day necessary.

Outdoor Interscholastic Athletics

Students and staff need to be masked.

No change until the Massachusetts Interscholastic Association (MIAA) meets; SEBRSD will not require masks for student-athletes per updated state guidance yet awaits the MIAA’s ruling regarding interscholastic sports and masks.

Outdoor Instruction of classes

Students and staff need to be masked unless 6 feet apart.

Students can be unmasked when class is held outdoors, regardless of whether distance can be maintained.  Staff need to mask up outdoors if unable to maintain 6 feet of distance, regardless of vaccination status.

Desk cleaning at the end of a class period

Desks cleaned each time class changes.

Desks no longer need to be cleaned between classes with the exception of desks used for lunch or other times when masks are removed.

Shared instructional materials in the classroom

Handwashing before and after handling; cleaning of items daily.

Unchanged at this time.  More to share once known.

Indoor activities at school

Students and staff need to be masked at all times except for lunch when at 6 feet apart.

Unchanged at this time.  More to share once known.

Use of fans in classrooms

Fans cannot be utilized in classrooms

Unchanged at this time.  More to share once known.