Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year. We will begin the school year full-time, in-person for all students. We will welcome our 7th and 9th grade students for orientation on Thursday, September 2nd. All students will begin classes on Wednesday, September 8th. Our Middle and High School Administration will be contacting you later this month with specifics regarding our orientation programs and opening of school.
On July 31st, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner Jeff Riley provided Massachusetts School Districts with guidance relative to opening schools for the 2021-2022 school year. This guidance was developed in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). After reviewing the DESE and DPH-issued guidance with our local public health officials from Boxford, Middleton and Topsfield, the Masconomet Regional District will be following these procedures to begin the new year:
- Unvaccinated staff, unvaccinated students, and unvaccinated visitors are strongly recommended to wear masks indoors, in alignment with the statewide advisory on masking. We will have masks available for those who need them.
- Fully vaccinated students and staff may be unmasked while indoors.
- Any staff member or student who prefers to wear a mask in school will be supported in this choice.
- Any individual at higher risk for severe disease from COVID or with a household member who is at high risk is encouraged to mask regardless of vaccination status consistent with the updated DPH Advisory on Face Coverings and Masks.
- By federal public health order, all students and staff are required to wear masks on school buses at this time. We will have masks available for students who ride the bus and do not have a mask of their own to wear.
- All staff and students must wear masks while in school health offices.
We will also follow forthcoming guidance from DESE and DPH regarding contact tracing and quarantining for close contacts. We expect that this guidance will allow those who have been fully vaccinated to be exempt from needing to quarantine if they are a close contact. We will also continue our mitigation strategies around ventilation, hand hygiene, and requiring individuals to stay home when they are not feeling well.
Please remember that all of these guidelines regarding masking, close contacts and quarantine are subject to change based on any new guidance issued by DESE and DPH. We will continue to regularly meet with our local public health officials from Boxford, Middleton and Topsfield to review any new guidance from DESE and DPH, evaluate our local conditions, and make changes to our procedures as warranted.
Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Masconomet Regional School District has been committed to ensuring the health and safety of all of its students and faculty. In order allow us to continue to provide the safest environment possible, I encourage all eligible adults and students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. There are over 900 vaccinations sites across the state and the vaccine is free for everyone. For more information on the vaccine, including the locations of vaccine sites, please go to: www.mass.gov/covidvaccine.
Take care and enjoy the rest of the summer!