March 31, 2021
The Joint School Committees and I hope you will join us for a conversation about leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion. The district will soon have a Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Your hopes and vision for this role are important to us.
We hope to see you then.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 939 1079 3720
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March 28, 2021
This weekend, we learned of two positive student COVID cases:
1 Alcott student
1 CCHS student
Both students have not been in school during the contagious period so there are no close contacts.
Have a good evening.
March 26, 2021
Of two cases today, CCHS had a positive student case with no close contacts at school. We also had a positive pool at Willard and later confirmed a positive student case.
With cases on the rise and two positive pools in two days, it is an opportunity to share the value of asymptomatic testing especially as we bring all students back to school. Identifying and isolating asymptomatic cases allows for containment and prevention of transmission. This means that we have greater confidence in our prevention measures at school. That will be especially important as the middle and high school students will sometimes be at less than six feet of distancing when they return full time.
I often hear that quarantine is a deterrent. We are finding that the positive pools are spending very little time accessing individual testing and getting results, making the immediate quarantine very short. After that, the positive person quarantines as do close contacts based on our protocols.
The student testing numbers are growing slowly with this week’s total at approximately 1400 across all of the schools. If you haven’t signed consent and begun to have your student tested, please do that in Aspen. The experts advise that we need over 75% of the population to test regularly in order for maximum effectiveness. I know other districts that are meeting and exceeding that level of participation.
I believe strongly that testing is a tool that will help us to avoid school closures and compensate for the moderated protocols required to have all students in school. We are eager and excited to have all kids with us all day for the first time in over a year. We hope you will consider doing your part to ensure the success of these coming months by having your child participate.
Enjoy the beautiful night that feels more like May than March!
March 25, 2021
Two COVID positive cases occurred today.
One student attends CCHS. There were no close contacts at school.
For the first time, one student was positive in an asymptomatic pool at the Thoreau. The process worked effectively and allowed us to respond appropriately.
Enjoy the beautiful night!
March 23, 2021
We learned of a positive COVID student case at CMS today. The student was not in school during the contagious period so there are no close contacts.
Tomorrow, Open Table will host its drive-thru food pantry. Details are below:
Concord Drive-Thru Pantry
Open to all who live or work in Concord or Carlisle
2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 1:00-2:00 pm
First Parish Church, Concord
Next Date: March 24 and April 14
Have a great night!
March 21, 2021
This weekend, we learned of a positive COVID student at the middle school. Contact tracing was conducted and any individuals that required quarantine were identified.
I hope you enjoyed the beautiful spring weather this weekend!
March 18, 2021
Tonight, I share multiple updates on a range of important topics. A theme of the topics is our work as a community for the well-being of all.
Rising COVID Cases
Since yesterday, we have learned of:
2 CCHS students
1 CMS student
1 Willard staff
Our total this week to date since Sunday is 12. We have not seen case counts at this pace since much earlier this winter. Transmission is occurring within families and small social activities.
Concord’s rate rose from green to yellow this week according to today’s DPH dashboard.
The highest reported rates of cases are now occurring in the 0-19 year age group. Please remain vigilant and implement safety practices.
Quarantine and Restrictions
Quarantine is a critical piece of minimizing COVID transmission as is our practice of restricting siblings when illness is in the home. The school nurses are messengers of the protocols we must follow. Your cooperation is much appreciated as is your kind approach to the very hardworking nursing staff. It is likely that we will see more quarantines upon full in-person return. We all wish it was different and understand the impact on young people and families.
The Governor’s announcement today regarding travel will not impact our travel protocol. With the upcoming April vacation corresponding to a full return at middle and high schools, testing upon return from travel will ensure positive cases do not enter any of the school environments when we open.
The work to return students full time is extensively underway and requires an enormous amount of logistics and rebuilding of processes. Simultaneously, we are considering options for the special spring traditions and how they can occur. A special focus is on the Class of 2021 both for senior activities and smaller privileges like parking. We ask for your patience while these plans are developed and formalized. We are very committed to making this end of the school year as special as possible.
Violence in Georgia
As noted by all of the principals today, we are angry and sad to see such hateful and violent acts against Asian Americans. We remain deeply committed to inclusion for all and creating schools that are safe for everyone.
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
At this week’s School Committee meeting, a position to further our work in cultural competency, anti-racism, and equity was formally created. This leadership position will be on the district’s senior administrative team and support the work at all of the schools. The position will be in place in July.
In the past year of full of so many challenges, the community’s togetherness and shared commitment have been exceptional. Thank you so much for that and the ongoing work together.
March 16, 2021
Tonight, we shared with the Regional School Committee highlights of the plan to return all Concord-Carlisle High School students to full time in-person learning on Monday, April 26, 2021. Full-time remote learning will remain an option for the rest of the year. Among many other details, Principal Mastrullo will soon be sharing a parent survey so you can indicate your family’s preferred learning mode.
We had 3 additional COVID cases today (1 Alcott student, 1 CMS student, and 1 CMS adult) for a total of 7 since Sunday. This is an important reminder that COVID is still actively spreading. In addition to safety practices outside of school, please sign up for asymptomatic student testing through Aspen.
Thank you for your continued support during this extraordinary year.
March 14, 2021
I hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the early evening daylight tonight!
Positive COVID Cases
This weekend, we learned of two positive COVID cases:
1 Willard student
1 CMS adult
Both cases included close contacts at school resulting in quarantines. We thank you for your cooperation when we have to make these notifications. We know it is stressful.
The District Dashboard is posted through Saturday with the total case count now at 152. You will note that we tested 1291 students and 291 staff last week.
We ask that CCHS parents who have provided consent remind their students to be tested according to the CCHS schedule. Also, across the schools, as we look to return students to more in-person learning and less physical distance in some situations, the testing provides us additional information to prevent school transmission. Please sign up in Aspen if you have not done so yet.
It was great to see Concord return to the green category on this week’s DPH Community Dashboard. Carlisle remains in gray.
CCHS Expansion of In-Person Learning
Later this week, we expect to announce our plans for the expansion of in-person time at CCHS.
We will be providing a form for those who require changes to their current transportation plans. Please watch for that email and do not send individual emails to the transportation department. We are still maintaining 3′ of distance on the buses so additional capacity will be limited. We are so grateful for your help to date and for the remainder of the school year.
We appreciate the cooperation around travel. We continue to require a test upon return to Massachusetts unless there has been a COVID positive test in the last 90 days. Please plan ahead for April vacation week and return early in order to secure the test especially with the increase to in-person learning time.
As we just acknowledged the one-year anniversary of this journey together last week, it goes without saying that everything we accomplished so far is a result of the collaboration and partnership. Thank you so very much.
March 7, 2021
Tonight, I share the outcome of a very busy few weeks. What we share tonight reflects remarkable collaboration between leaders, teachers, and staff throughout the schools. At Tuesday night’s Joint School Committee meeting, the agenda focuses on the plan to expand in-person learning. The agenda and supporting documentation are found here.
A summary of the plan is to:
April 5: Return all elementary students to full-time in-person learning
April 26: Return all middle school students to full-time in-person learning
April 26: Expand high school in-person time based on a plan to be shared by April 1
Tuesday’s discussion will include an overview of the revised safety protocols and many, many logistics as we modify our current structures. The principals will share the details of these plans over the coming weeks. Remote learning remains an option for all families for the remainder of the year.
This weekend, we learned of 3 new positive student COVID cases. One student attends Alcott and 2 attend CCHS. The District Dashboard is updated as of yesterday. Our total number of cases since school opened is 150. The DPH Community Dashboard places Concord in the yellow risk category and Carlisle in gray.
Last week, we tested 1280 students and 288 staff. With upcoming modifications to the safety protocols, asymptomatic testing takes on greater importance. Please, please consider having your child participate by providing consent through the Aspen portal. Positive pools are rare and result in only a 24 hour timeline for individual testing. Our goal is to reach the 80% participation rate that we have seen in other districts. We do not want to return students to the schools full time only to have to shift to remote learning for two weeks because of school transmission.
This week marks one year since the schools closed and the impact of the pandemic became an unimaginable reality. Together, we navigated each phase of the journey with the focus on doing what was best for the community’s children. We look forward to approaching this next phase with the same common goal and partnership.
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