Our COVID-19 Health Guidelines
It has been wonderful having a full schoolhouse and a successful 2021-2022 school year thus far despite the pandemic. This would not be possible without guidance from the MA Department of Public Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). With the turn of the new year, the DESE has adopted the revised guidelines from the CDC and amended their protocols regarding COVID-19 in schools. Mass.gov's documentation Isolation and Quarantine Guidance for the General Public and the DESE specific protocols to schools for Responding to COVID-19 scenarios outline scenarios if our staff or students are exposed to or test positive for COVID-19.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO STAFF, STUDENTS & PARENTS
For any medical issue you might have, including surgery, illness, exposure to a COVID positive individual, or if they need to be tested or have been tested for COVID-19, please notify our school nurses and NOT the academic or shop teachers.
Fever & Symptoms
We ask that if your child has a fever ≥ 100 ̊F and/or symptoms of cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, a new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that you keep your child home from school. Some symptoms of COVID-19 are the same as the flu, a bad cold, or bad allergies. Please do not assume it is another condition. When in doubt, keep your child home.
We understand it is impossible to get through a school year without illness. For this reason, our Nurse's Office has established a Health Line (508-529-7758 x3006) as an additional resource for parents/guardians to call before school hours (6:15 to 7:15 a.m.) and discuss any symptoms your child may be experiencing and whether they should come to school or not. We acknowledge that this time frame is too late for those students who get on the bus early. When in doubt, keep your student home. For these families, you can call the Nurse's Office any time after 8:00 a.m. to further discuss and have questions answered.
Illness at School
For students who become ill at school and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, they will be in a separate part of the health suite, away from any staff or students who do not have ill-appearing symptoms. Please make sure your “Emergency Contact” information is up-to-date in iPASS and with the Nurses' Office so that if your child is dismissed due to illness, it can be done promptly.
Masks & Face Coverings
On Monday, February 28th, the statewide mandate for masking in school expires per DESE. This does not mean the pandemic is over. Rather, the positivity rate is low enough that it is safe to make face coverings optional. On February 25, the CDC dropped the requirement for masking on school buses. Below is a list of situations where face coverings are still used. • Anyone who wishes to wear a face mask or covering may do so. This includes the school bus or any BVT transport bus.
• It is recommended for unvaccinated individuals or those who are immunocompromised.
• Per DESE guidelines, any student or staff who have tested positive and are returning from a 5-day isolation period must follow strict mask use (except for when eating or drinking) through the 10th day of infection. For these individuals, shop breaks and lunches will be in the Annex.
• Per federal public health order, masks are required in the Nurses' Suite and School Based Health Center. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided.
Online Testing Consent
MA DPH has adopted the
new CDC isolation guidelines.
DESE and MA DPH may be amending
the quarantine guidelines for schools.
We'll update our guidelines once
we know more information.
Thank you for your patience.Whether staff or student,
consent for COVID-19 testing,
can be completed through CIC Health.QUESTIONS?
If you have any questions or concerns
regarding COVID-19 testing, feel free
to contact our school nurses:Kathy Pichel, RN
Nurse Leader508–529–7758 email@example.comStephanie Dunham, RNSchool Nurse508–529–7758 firstname.lastname@example.org