Good Afternoon, 

I hope this message finds you and yours well and enjoying the holiday break.  

At 3:50pm today, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in partnership with the Department of Public Health (DPH) published the following UPDATED Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios - SY 2021-22.  Our team has been awaiting this updated information so we may respond to your questions, comments, queries or concerns in as thoughtful a manner as is possible.  For example... 

Q: Does the DESE/DPH guidance recommend that individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 take another test before returning to school after the 5-day isolation period?

A: No, the DESE/DPH guidance does not recommend repeat testing prior to returning to school, so long as individuals are asymptomatic and/or their symptoms are improving. Individuals must mask when around others for an additional five days after the isolation period.

So without further ado, enclosed are the the DESE/DPH Updated Protocols in responding to Covid-19 align well with the CDC recommendations from the past week.  Please use the DESE/DPH Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios - SY 2021-22 (updated December 30, 2021)as a guide in your planning for the return to school on Monday, January 3rd, 2021.  

The updated protocol document includes new language on isolation and quarantine durations, as well additional flexibility in the use of antigen tests for symptomatic individuals. In addition to posting the latest guidance document at the link above, it also highlights in yellow the revisions made for ease of use. 

To view the DESE/DPH Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios — SY 2021-22 UPDATED December 30, 2021 in different languages, please click here as DESE/DPH will be providing various translations soon.  As well, additional FAQs will soon be forthcoming providing further clarifications and updates. 

Finally, I am writing to you today to make sure you know that our administration, faculty and staff are doing all that we can to be prepared for 2022!  I'd especially like to recognize our custodians, who have deep cleaned and disinfected each school building in preparation for the return to school next week.  As well, I'd like to let you know that our district has been in communication with DESE/DPH throughout the holiday break and has accepted more masks, and additional resources from Commonwealth of Massachusetts - to prepare for the second half of our school year.   

In closing, please know that we are doing all that we can to prepare well for the opening of school next week.  Upon our return to school, please feel free to reach out to your school principal or school nurse with any questions, comments, queries or concerns you may have.  All of us within the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District deeply appreciate your continued support and partnership as we navigate the Covid-19 pandemic - together.

Sincerely Yours,

Paul S. Haughey, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District