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J.R. Briggs Newsletter September 13, 2020

THank you to all of our staff For getting this year ready to go! TeACHERS, PARA-EDUCATORS, CUSTODIANS, AND OFFICE STAFF, ALL OF YOU HAVE PUT IN A TON OF TIME AND IT SHOWS!

It's hard to believe the first day of school is Monday. We are so excited to see all of our students next week both virtually and in-person! This will be a school year unlike any other we have experienced. The health and safety of our students and staff continues to be our number one priority. There is certainly of lot of newness with information and protocols to process and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we worked to fine tune all the details. Please reach out to your child's teacher or our school offices with any questions you may have. We are happy to help!

Some of our staff members have been generous enough to make a few videos to help us understand the changes at JRB and to point out what is the same. You can find those here or by using the link below.

Important Dates:

Monday, Sept. 14th - First Day of School (Grades 1-12)

Monday-Friday, Sept. 14, 15, and 17th, Kindergarten Screenings

Monday, Sept. 21st - First Day of School (Kindergarten) and PreK

Important TImes:

8:20-8:30- Parent Drop-Off

2:50- 3:00 Parent Pick-Up

New Traffic Pattern

BUS ROUTES

You can find the latest bus routes here or by clicking on the link below.

Attendance

We will be taking attendance each day for all students, this includes students in our buildings and those working remotely. Please call 978-827-5750 when your child will be absent or late for school. Please state your name, your child’s name, teacher, and the reason for absence. If you must speak to someone, please call after 7:45 AM. This system is to insure the safety of your child. If we do not hear from you, we will contact you at home or work. Absent notes are required when children return to school.

School Lunch

We are pleased to announce that ALL AWRSD students are entitled to FREE breakfast and lunch through December 31st or such time that the current federal policy providing for this is changed. So, families who would like school breakfast or lunch DO NOT need to use our online payment portal or send students to school with lunch money. Elementary students simply need to let their teachers know their school lunch choice each morning if they want school lunch. All lunch components, in all schools, will be pre-packaged and additional health and safety precautions will be taken at lunch times.

HELP! LUNCH and Recess Aides

We are in need of more recess/lunch aides. If you are interested in working 2 or 4 days a week for a little more than 3 hours a day in this role, please call the school office for more information.

Masks

The standard set forth by the MA Department of Public Health and DESE (supported by Governor Baker’s COVID-19 Executive Order No. 31) is that masks are required at all times. Public health experts indicate that the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to keep our school community safe is the use of face masks/coverings.

As with other apparel in school, all masks/face coverings should not display inappropriate images, phrases, or words, as determined by faculty and administration.

Two-ply cotton facemasks are ideal. Masks can be disposable or reusable and will need to :

  • Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
  • Be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops

Facemasks such as neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandannas. and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind will not be considered appropriate masks and will not be allowed.

District COVID-19 Protocols and Guidelines

PLEASE SCREEN YOUR STUDENT DAILY FOR SYMPTOMS BEFORE COMING TO SCHOOL.

If your child has any of the symptoms, they must get a test for COVID-19 before returning to school. The alternative is to remain at home in self-isolation for 14 days from symptom onset. Students must stay home if feeling unwell. Absences are to be reported to the main office and must include the reason for the absence.

If a teacher observes a student who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, they will be sent to the nurse’s office immediately for evaluation. Symptomatic students will then be placed in a staffed isolation area to await dismissal. Please ensure that your student’s emergency contact information is up-to-date and includes at least one other local non-custodial person who is able to pick up your student for dismissal.

Under no circumstances will a student with a suspected case of Covid-19 be sent home on the bus.

If you are notified that your student was a close contact of a COVID-19 case, your child must get a test for COVID-19 and self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of your student’s test result. This state required regulation is due to the infectious period of COVID-19.

A close contact is defined as being within six feet of the individual for at least 15 minutes, while the person was infectious.

TESTING SITES:

Make a plan for where you will take your student to get tested. Contact your student’s primary care office or your local board of health for instructions and information regarding testing sites. Test sites can also be located at www.mass.gov/covid-19-testing.

Know what to do when you get your child’s COVID-19 test results

For a positive test result, expect to do the following:

  • Remain at home at least 10 days and until symptoms have improved and until student has had no fever for at least 24 hours.
  • Answer the call from the contact tracing team (local board of health or Community Tracing Collaborative) and help identify/ notify close contacts to help prevent transmission. The contact tracing team will ultimately clear your student for return to school.

For a negative test result, return to school will depend on having improved symptoms and having no fever for at least 24 hours without any fever-reducing medications. Documentation of negative test results will be required in order to return to school.

If your student has been COVID-19 tested, please check with the school nurse before returning to school regardless of test results.

Know these three critical measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in school

1. MASKS:: Students in all grades will be required to wear masks throughout the school day including on the bus on the way to and from school. The schools will offer designated “mask breaks”, which will occur throughout the day. Exceptions will be made for students with medical, behavioral, or other challenges who are unable to wear masks/ face coverings. However a medical note will be required if your student is unable to wear a mask. Please provide your student with a mask to wear on the way to school and during the school day, and also provide a backup mask in case the mask breaks or becomes soiled. Cloth masks should be washed daily. Please note: gaiters and bandanas are not allowed due to insufficient studies supporting their effectiveness.

2. HAND HYGIENE: Your child will be required to perform hand hygiene (handwashing or sanitizing) upon arrival to school, before eating, before putting on and taking off masks, after using the restroom, and before dismissal. Please help your student learn to wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer for 20 seconds at a time.

3. PHYSICAL DISTANCING: As COVID-19 is transmitted through respiratory droplets, distance between individuals reduces risk. In classroom settings, six feet of separation will be required at all times. Your school will likely assign seats or designate cohorts of students to help mitigate the transmission of the virus. Please encourage your student to follow these instructions.

What do I do if I have additional questions?

As always, please reach out to us if you need anything. We are readily available via email, so do not hesitate to click below.

Here, at JRB!