Superintendent's COVID-19 Update 3/13/2020

Superintendent's COVID-19 Update 3/13/2020
Posted on 03/13/2020
Superintendent's COVID-19 Update 3/13/2020

Dear Medway families,

I am writing to provide another update on the steps the Medway Public Schools are taking to support student and staff safety, and to deal with the unprecedented situation created by the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  We have continued to meet with, and rely upon, partnerships with our Town Manager, Michael Boynton, the Medway Board of Health, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for guidance around this issue.  Currently, there are no presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our community of Medway.  While we hope that our district and greater Medway communities remain protected from this extraordinary situation, we recognize and expect that there will be a positive case of COVID-19 in Medway at some point. 

Below you will find the latest updates from the district aimed to minimize exposure and ensure that our school buildings are as safe as possible.  Please note the following:

  • The Medway Public Schools will be closed, beginning Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20.  This may extend further as we reassess throughout the week.   Our last day of the school year will be June 25.  This will not change, even if there is a need for additional absences.
  • All school and district events, field trips, performances, celebrations, Community Education classes, and building use by outside groups will be cancelled through the end of April vacation, Sunday, April 26. 
  • We will not be welcoming outside groups or volunteers into our school buildings through April 26.
  • The MIAA has delayed the start of spring sports for two weeks.  The new start date, at this time, will be Monday, March 30, 2020.   There is continued conversation at MIAA, and this may change. 
  • Our building principals will follow-up with more specific details of the changes that result from these decisions.

Taking Care of Ourselves and Others

As has been previously communicated, in an effort to maintain the health and well-being of our faculty, staff and students, we have increased vigilance around nightly disinfecting of “high touch” areas within our schools.  Our school closures in the next week will allow us to continue these efforts. 

We continue to encourage families to monitor children and other family members if you notice any of the following symptoms, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Fever greater than 100.4 within the last 24 hours (fever should be under 100 for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications before returning to school)
  • Vomiting/diarrhea within the last 24 hours
  • A communicable disease
  • An upper respiratory illness with significant coughing and/or nasal discharge
  • Pain that requires the use of narcotic medications

Additionally, it is important to us that you have resources in support of your conversations with your children regarding this situation.  Please find, attached, current parent resources from the National Association of School PsychologistsTalking to Children about COVID 19.

Support of Our Students and Future Planning

The challenges of the last couple of weeks have required us to be nimble and to deal quickly with real-time information.  Today, during our early release professional development day, educators worked collaboratively to develop alternative learning and support plans for students during their upcoming absence from schools.  These plans will be communicated to families by building principals.  While on-going, continuous learning is a core value of the district, we recognize the essential role that consistency, predictability, and connection have in our students’ lives.  It is our hope that these elements remain a part of our students’ days in support of their health, well-being, and on-going development.

I would like to extend gratitude to our leadership team, educators, and support staff for their focus on student well being and the overall health of our district community during this time of challenge. 

I recognize that this has been a very challenging and ever-changing situation.  Many thanks to the entire community for your thoughtful questions, offers of support, concern and care for one another, and your genuine appreciation for the complexity of this situation.  Your partnership continues to be greatly appreciated.  Again, I will be sending a communication in the next week with additional updates and information. 

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