Return to In-Person Learning Update
Overall, our return to in-person learning has gone very well. Approximately 88% of our middle school students opted to return to in-person learning on April 28th and around 70% of high school students returned on May 3rd. The nicer spring weather has allowed many classes and activities to move outside and take advantage of the tent and our fields. It has been great to see students and faculty engaged in teaching and learning in-person throughout our campus. There are some things that we may want to continue after the pandemic is over. I hope that using the outdoors as a classroom is one of them.
There have not been any major issues to report regarding the return of students during the school day. We are aware of the traffic issues that have occurred during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up and have been working with our local police departments to provide traffic direction at these times. I’d also like to remind families that there is plenty of room available on our school busses and that all students are guaranteed bus transportation. A listing of our bus routes is available at: https://www.masconomet.org/domain/107
May 17 COVID-19 Guidance from Governor Baker
On May 17th, Governor Baker issued guidance lifting most COVID-19 restrictions in Massachusetts, effective May 29th. For the time being, K-12 schools in Massachusetts will continue with their usual health and safety mitigation strategies, including mask-wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene during the regular school day. We will also continue with our COVID-19 cleaning practices and avoid sharing materials between students. I expect that these measures will remain in place in Masconomet Middle and High Schools through the end of the current school year on June 21st.
We are reviewing this guidance in light of the lifting of restrictions on school activities that take place outside of the school day. For example, we received notice that effective on May 18th, student-athletes are no longer required to wear masks while engaged in outdoor athletic activities, and have implemented these new rules for outdoor athletics. We are also in the process of making revised plans for “Senior Week” and our June 4th Graduation Ceremony based on the lifting of restrictions. Mr. Delani will be communicating these plans to families of graduates as soon as possible.
On his conference call with superintendents on May 19th, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner Riley announced that he is working with the Department of Public Health on plans for the reopening of schools in September. He is asking for full-time, in-person learning and no remote learning option. He is also seeking to eliminate all social distancing requirements for September and anticipates that there will be a requirement to wear masks for at least some grades. Written guidance for September should be issued by DESE in early June.
COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Masconomet
District Administration is in the process of working with Curative to hold a vaccination clinic for students who are 12 and older and any unvaccinated faculty and staff. We’ve tentatively scheduled this clinic for Wednesday, June 23rd and a session for second doses on July 14th. More information will be issued from my office, including a link to sign-up for appointments, in the next few days.
“Thank You” to Topsfield Town Meeting
Thanks to the citizens of Topsfield for approving the Masconomet Regional District Budget and Warrant Articles related to revising our District Regional Agreement at Topsfield Town Meeting on May 8th.
The District Budget and proposed Regional Agreement Amendments will be voted on by Middleton Town Meeting on Saturday, June 5th and at Boxford Town Meeting on Saturday, June 26th.