Updates November 7 2020

November 7, 2020

Dear Families:

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.

Flu Vaccine

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.

Parent Survey

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:

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!