Return to In-Person Learning Update
Approximately 90% of students at Masconomet Middle School returned to in-person learning on Monday, April 26. Thanks to Asst. Superintendent Jeff Sands, Middle School Principal Phil McManus, High School Principal Pete Delani and their teams for getting the building ready for the in-person return of students. This involved fully cleaning both the Middle and High Schools, receiving, assembling and distributing approximately 400 new student desk and chair sets, restocking supplies throughout the buildings and developing and distributing health and safety operating protocols. We are now completing the preparations to return Masconomet High School Students to in-person learning on Monday, May 3rd. These preparations are on track to be completed by the end of this week. Monday, May 3rd will be a delayed opening for both the Middle and High Schools.
Updated DESE and DPH Guidelines on Close Contacts in Classrooms and on School Busses
On April 20, 2021, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued new guidance relative to students who have been identified as close contacts through exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual while in a classroom or on a school bus. Students in these situations will not have to quarantine unless they were within 3 feet of distance of the COVID-19 positive individual for a total of 15 minutes during a 24-hour period. This does not apply if someone was identified as a close contact outside of the classroom or bus (e.g., in sports, extracurriculars, lunch, etc.) or if masks are not worn by both persons at the time of the exposure. All other close contacts must follow the standard protocol for when a close contact may return to school. (https://mass.us14.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d8f37d1a90dacd97f207f0b4a&id=9691a2ef19&e=7e83dcacad )
Families of students who were within 6 feet of a COVID-19 infected individual will still be notified that their child is considered to be a close contact, and will be encouraged to have their child tested and monitored for symptoms. We will be updating our COVID response documentation to reflect this new change. The positive development from this information is that we will not have to quarantine every student who was sitting between 3 and 6 feet away from a positive individual. We will, however, still need to identify all students who meet these criteria and notify them.
Updated Commencement Guidance from DESE
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released updated guidance relative to high school commencement activities on April 28. The only change to the previously released guidance is that for outdoor ceremonies, graduates may be seated 3 feet apart as long as they are masked. This is a reduction from 6 ft of social distancing that was required in previous guidance. We will be reviewing the new guidance and making any necessary adjustments to the plans for our graduation ceremony.
Planning for September of 2021
On his conference call with Superintendents on April 27, Commissioner Riley announced that districts could expect “road maps” from DESE by the end of May regarding opening school in September. He also promised more concrete guidance in the late June/early July timeframe. The Commissioner is hoping conditions with COVID-19 will be greatly improved and schools will have a “normal” opening in the fall, but he wants to be sure before DESE will issue concrete guidance. One of the key factors that may impact DESE’s plans is the availability of vaccines for children age 12 to 15 over the summer.