November 16, 2020
Tonight, we learned of a positive student COVID case at Sanborn. There are no school-related close contacts because the student has not recently attended in-person learning.
Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.
November 14, 2020
Thank you so much for your support this week. I share other additional updates.
COVID Data Dashboards
The Concord Carlisle COVID Dashboard is posted to the school webpage.
This week’s District COVID Dashboard is posted. This week we had 5 new cases bringing the total number of cases in the schools since we opened to 13.
Siblings of Symptomatic or Quarantined Students
In accordance with the Concord health officials, we are now asking that siblings of students with COVID symptoms or in quarantine remain at home until a negative COVID test is received for the ill or exposed child. Given the increased rate of the virus, this will minimize exposures and the number of potential students in quarantine.
Massachusetts mandated that all students receive flu vaccines. Please forward documentation of the vaccine to the school nurses by December 11, 2020.
Joint School Committee Meeting
The Joint School Committees meet on Tuesday night. The agenda is posted on the district webpage.
Winter Food Distribution
Open Table found a home for food distribution this winter at the First Parish Church on the second and fourth Wednesday afternoons of the month from 1-2 p.m. Food will no longer be available at CCHS given the outdoor setting. Please find the details in the Open Table flyer.
Center for Parents and Teachers Program
The Center for Parents and Teachers is hosting a program on Monday night entitled, “What’s A Parent to do? They’re Adolescents!” Things Parents Should Know about the Teen Brain and Substance Use. Zoom information is found at the bottom of this update.
Concord Free Public Library
The library continues to offer programs for children and youth posted here.
Have a great weekend.
“What’s A Parent to do? They’re Adolescents!”
Things Parents Should Know about the Teen Brain and Substance Use
presented by Dr. Sion Kim Harris
Shown by ZOOM on Monday, November 16, 2020, 7:30 to 9:00PM (Please scroll to end of message for the log-in link.)
As our children move into adolescence, they encounter tricky situations where they have to make choices. Good guidance ahead of time from the adults in their life is critically important so they make responsible and healthy choices, especially when it comes to vaping, underage drinking and substance use. This expert presentation will allow you to learn the latest scientific research on the impact of vaping, underage drinking, and other substances on the developing teen brain. This information will help you have more confident and effective conversations with your children. Concerns about the higher risk for complications should a teen who vapes later contract the coronavirus will be addressed.
About our presenter: Dr. Sion Kim Harris is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and the Director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research. Dr. Harris will give you the latest science on the teen brain and substances … as well as share ways parents can speak with their children. Learn more about her impressive background at www.centerforparentsandteachers.org
CPT is dedicated to helping you be the best parent possible! And we urgently need your help as we struggle through this pandemic! The Center for Parents and Teachers is an IRS-designated nonprofit, funded by grants and donations. CPT is not funded as a line item in either the Town or School budgets. CPT has been dedicated to supporting families and educators for over 30 years. Now we need your help so we can keep serving our community.
One simple way is through Amazon Smile: they will send (at no cost to you) a small percentage of your purchases to support CPT.
Simply shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/80-0296820 to generate donations for the Center for Parents and Teachers! You also can support our services by giving a tax deductible gift directly online at: www.centerforparentsandteachers.org/donate. Thank you for your consideration so we can keep supporting our community!
Here is the Log-in Link for free program offered on Monday Nov 16:
ZOOM Log-in Link:
Meeting ID: 993 2236 2581
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,99322362581# US (Chicago)
+19292056099,,99322362581# US (New York)
November 13, 2020
I write now to notify you of a positive student COVID case at Alcott. Parents of the students in the classroom have been notified. As per our protocol, the entire classroom will be tested, quarantined, and learn remotely during the quarantine period.
With three cases today, I offer reminders:
- Socialization should be kept to a minimum. Sleepovers and playdates expand the range of potential virus transmission. Per the Public Health Nurse, anyone on a sleepover in a house where COVID emerges will need to be tested and quarantined as if they are a family member.
- Sports are playing a role in transmission. Please be sure you are following the updated guidance and all newly issued out of state travel restrictions.
- Wear masks, physically distance, and avoid large groups
Finally, I have received alot of questions about whether we will go to remote learning on a district wide or school basis. During many discussions with the local health officials, we feel that we can remain open if we do not have a cluster within a school that is a result of school transmission. If school-based transmission appears present or there is a concernt that it could be, then we would look to a period of remote learning to stop that transmission. I expect that would be a period of weeks, not months. Of course, there is no predicting exactly how things will evolve but I remain hopeful. Your cooperation during times outside of school play a big part in that.
We are so grateful for the ongoing communication and cooperation. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions.
November 13, 2020
We learned of a positive COVID student case at Sanborn a few minutes ago. There are NO CLOSE CONTACTS in the school setting.
We completed contact tracing for the case at Peabody. All close contacts have been reached.
I’ll be sending other reminders tonight or tomorrow. I think it goes without saying that we are not immune from the spread of the virus. Please consider this as you make weekend plans for any type of social event.
Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.
November 12, 2020
I write to share information about Governor Baker’s expected press conference at the Carlisle Public School this morning. The Governor is visiting Carlisle because it is among the few schools in the state to have all students in school full time. As you heard last week, this is now a priority for the Governor so long as safety measures allow and it is feasible. The context and circumstances of the current operations, safety measures, and feasibility vary from school to school and district to district. Among those variables are the percentage of students fully remote. Our current rates are under 10%, while other districts may be as high as 20% or more, potentially making it more possible for all students who want to attend in-person to do so. Additionally, as a community, we committed to a distance of six feet of distance between students. This not only aligns with the CDC guidelines but minimizes the numbers of students we need to quarantine when a positive case occurs.
It is essential to share information about our reopening plan and the rationale for our approaches. In the elementary schools, all students attend five mornings per week. This was a top priority for us during the planning process since daily in-person interaction with teachers is critical. We were able to accomplish this while maintaining six feet of distance between students. All of the core subjects are held in the morning during in-person instruction. The remote afternoons accommodate the most challenging portions of the day to ensure in-person safety, including lunch, recess, and specialists. It was also crucial that the lessons we learned from all remote learning this spring prepared students for a fully remote environment, which could happen at any time without warning for a single classroom or a school.
In the middle and high schools maintaining six feet of distancing does not allow us to have all students in at once. The classrooms are too small and spaces like lunch and other common times do not support our entire student population. Transportation and food service have logistical impossibilities given how we have had to structure them for even half of the students at a time. We prioritized access to learning every day, which is why live streaming from home is happening here while not in a significant number of other districts.
We are thrilled to still be in school in the middle of November. Statewide cases are rising substantially, having hit a total yesterday not seen since April. Although we remain optimistic that school is not a place where there is widespread COVID transmission, there are daily instances of quarantined staff and students. Our 10 cases to date illustrate that this will be an ongoing occurrence, and one we want to be sure is managed without putting an entire school’s or the district’s ability to remain open in jeopardy. Our goal is a program that allows for consistent, ongoing access to in-person school.
I appreciate that everyone wishes it could be more normal. We do too. However, given the current environment, the careful and thoughtful reopening plans that were developed through the work of 11 committees this summer with ongoing feedback from the community are serving us well.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns.
November 10, 2020
Late this morning, we were notified of a positive adult COVID case at Peabody. In conjunction with the Concord Public Health Nurse, all close contacts have been notified. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or concerns.
November 7, 2020
I am writing to share that we were notified a little while ago of a positive adult COVID case at CCHS. All school-related contact tracing should be complete within the hour and have no impact on CCHS students.
We thank you for your ongoing support. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions.
November 7, 2020
It has been a week of anticipation and patience but also inspiration as we see record participation in the democratic process. From our seats locally, we are so impressed with the young people in our schools who demonstrated avid interest and engagement and maintained a respectful, positive learning environment.
I offer a wide range of other updates this morning and appreciate your ongoing attention to the information.
District COVID Data Dashboard
This week’s District COVID Dashboard is posted. There were no new COVID cases in the schools this week leaving the total for the school year to date at 8.
Concord Carlisle COVID Data Dashboard
As you likely saw, the Governor updated the metric used to determine the level of virus in each community. This put both Concord and Carlisle in the lowest category (gray) given the low virus rates right now. The data was delayed until late yesterday so the local version of the dashboard will be ready shortly. You can find the data on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health webpage.
New Governor’s Orders
Despite the low rates in Concord and Carlisle, virus rates across the state continue to rise. Governor Baker executed new orders on Tuesday. Of the new orders, the schools are impacted primarily in the need to wear masks at all times outdoors. Eating and masks breaks are exempt in the school setting given the structure and supervision we provide. We continue to stress to everyone of the importance of face masks in reducing transmission of the virus.
Upcoming Holiday Season, In-Person School and Travel Order
Some districts elected to build in remote learning before or after the upcoming holidays. We are committed to offering in-person school unless the virus data indicates safety concerns and so will not be predetermining remote learning periods.
Given the intent to remain in school, it is critically important that if you travel that families comply with the state’s travel order requiring a negative COVID test or quarantine. Open communication is critical as we collectively work to keep the schools safe. The school nurses are happy to dialogue with you about the logistics of the travel order.
The state has also released safety guidelines for Thanksgiving itself. As with masks and travel, adhering to safe gatherings will be very important. It may be difficult not to see relatives and friends but ensuring everyone’s safety this year is a priority.
No Delayed Openings
In addition to not having snow days this year, there will be no delayed openings either. We will either have in-person school as normally scheduled or everyone will have a remote learning day. The timing of decisions about weather related changes will be based on the forecasts as always.
Massachusetts is requiring all public school students to have a flu vaccine by the end of 2020. We expect directives from DPH and DESE to indicate that students will have to learn remotely if they are not immunized against influenza. As a result, we ask that parents send proof of the flu vaccine to the school nurses by December 11, 2020.
As noted earlier this week, your feedback is critical. Please complete the parent survey (one survey per child) by Friday, November 12. The survey is found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P5H555Q
Challenge Success Parent Workshop November 12
Our partners at Challenge Success are offering a parent workshop for a $10 registration fee on Thursday, November 12 at 5 pm entitled “Navigating School During Uncertain Times: Strategies for remote, hybrid, and in-person learning”.
Concord Education Fund
We are very grateful for the Concord Education Fund’s donation of bike racks and workstations to the elementary and middle schools totaling $16,500. CEF is currently running its Apple Challenge which we encourage you to check out.
Enjoy the beautiful weekend!
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