March 14, 2022
I am forwarding the message below that was just shared with Concord Middle School families so that all community members have the information.
March 14, 2022
Dear Middle School Families:
I write to share an update on the positive COVID cases at Concord Middle School. In grade 6, 13 positive cases were reported over the weekend and this morning. It appears there may be a connection to a community event on Saturday night.
We wanted to share the information so that you can make informed decisions about masking this week, participate in pool and antigen testing, and monitor students for symptoms. The COVID Dashboard will be kept updated this week so you can monitor the situation.
This circumstance reminds us that COVID is still present as we bring back typical events. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have questions or concerns.
March 13, 2022
The sun is just setting as I write at almost 7 p.m., which brings a sense of hope for spring. I am also hopeful because yesterday, we noted the second anniversary of the first impact of the pandemic on the schools when we closed for what we thought would be a week. A week? I am always mixed about whether or not I wish I knew what was coming. I generally think not because then I would have only worried about the many changes that would occur not have been able to factor in what proved to be most important. There is no doubt that the commitment of resilient school staff, the nurturing from dedicated families, and the community’s efforts at large kept the needs of children as a priority. We are deeply thankful for the partnership as it evolved, which led to a stronger sense of trust and respect for one another. Those connections will serve us well as we move forward through the recovery process and visioning for the future.
In the Spotlight
You frequently hear from DEI Director Andrew Nyamekye as he shares updates, events, and newsletters. At Tuesday night’s School Committee meeting, Mr. Nyamekye presented an overview of his entry plan to date. The presentation included important feedback from focus groups and highlighted what will become our priorities for the longer term. The slides are found here. The recording of the School Committee meeting is here (minute 53). I urge everyone to spend some time reviewing the findings so far.
While Mr. Nyamekye is a district leader in DEI, he does not do the work alone. Indeed, the work requires that we all actively participate. As much as the school environment allows many students to thrive, that is not the case for everyone if they do not come to school comfortable being themselves. As a collective community, we must commit to fostering the belonging and inclusion of all of our students. Thank you for being on this very important journey with us.
Case counts remained low last week as we shifted to optional masks. The COVID Dashboard remains active. Effective immediately, we are no longer limiting audience size for student performances or capacity limits for school-related family events.
Have a wonderful evening!
March 9, 2022
I write to provide updates about masks on transportation and in preschool and provide reference information for families.
Masks on Buses
Effective immediately, masks are optional on all school transportation.
Masks in Preschool
Effective March 21, 2022, masks will be optional for all preschool students. This will allow time for the faculty to connect with families.
Dr. Rachel Kramer is a psychologist who frequently provides parent programs locally. She generously shared the document linked here as a means of support and guidance for parents as we move through this next phase of the pandemic to optional masking.
Upon request, I am also linking the CDC guidance for children as a piece of information for families in making their own decisions about whether or not to mask.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
March 6, 2022
It seemed appropriate tonight to stay singularly focused on the notable threshold we will cross tomorrow when masks will be optional in most places for most students. I thought sending an easy to read list of the most important information would be helpful.
Kindergarten through Grade 12 and Post Secondary
Masks are optional as of tomorrow, March 7.
Masks are required in the preschool for the time being. Consideration of removing masks in preschool is on the agenda for Tuesday night’s School Committee meeting.
Masks are required on all buses for now. The School Committee will discuss the recent CDC recommendation to remove masks on Tuesday night.
Masks are required at all times.
The entire COVID protocol document is updated on the school webpage: COVID Protocols March 2022
The COVID Dashboard is updated daily. Last week, we had 21 cases following the break. We continue to encourage pool and home antigen testing.
As I mentioned previously, inclusion and belonging are core values of our schools. As personal choice is afforded to all, it will be critical that we act according to those values by respecting and honoring each individual choice. The teachers and administrators have and will continue to share this message.
It has been extraordinary two years. We look forward to the partnership in this next step. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have questions or concerns.
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