Superintendent's Update - COVID-19 Update

Superintendent's Update - COVID-19 Update
Posted on 03/10/2020
Superintendent's Update - COVID-19 Update

March 10, 2020

Dear Medway families,

The health and safety of our students, and school community, is important to us.  We are writing to provide an update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The news coverage of COVID-19 over the past few weeks and days has continued to escalate and has likely increased concern and anxiety among all of us.  As reports have developed of new cases of the virus, we have been in regular communication with our local Board of Health, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Health and Human Alert Network to ensure that we are working with up to date information and recommendations.  In light of the concerns, and acting proactively, we wanted to share the steps we have taken to support a healthy school environment:

  • Our maintenance, custodial, and contract cleaning staff have ensured that “high touch” areas are thoroughly cleaned nightly.  Additional, deep cleaning occurred over the weekend at three of our schools, with Medway High School getting additional cleaning overnight on Monday.  
  • Our bus contractor, Holmes Transportation, has been engaged in conducting deep cleaning of the buses that service the Medway Public Schools.
  • Our school nurses, and health education teachers have identified opportunities to reinforce student based preventative measures that students can take.  Our building principals will share their suggested preventative measures through their school based communication tools.
  • Additional supplies were ordered to ensure we have all of the necessary supplies for both our custodial crews and nursing staff.
  • In partnership with the Town, information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) may be found on the Town of Medway webpage:  COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates 

In addition, we have connected with local officials and leaders to ensure clarity of our approach.  On Monday, I attended a meeting with Town officials to discuss emergency plans. In addition, the district leadership team also met on Monday to discuss next steps to assist in the prevention of Coronavirus and other illnesses.

Going forward, we will continue to work closely with, and review guidance from, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  As necessary, we will contact the Department of Public Health to seek guidance on specific questions or situations that may arise.  

At this time, there is no significant risk to Medway and its students. All school sponsored events and trips are moving forward as regularly planned with the exception of the high school trip to Eastern Europe, which was cancelled following recommendations from state leaders.  We will make additional adjustments should recommendations from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health change.   

As a reminder, parents should follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and keep students home from school if they present with any of the following symptoms: 

  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.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control has published an FAQ about Coronavirus and its impact on children.  That resource can be found here. 

Finally, we recognize that there is concern about the health and safety of our children.  As a community, we need to ensure that our fears do not contribute to rumors or speculation about the health status of individual community members or groups.  We will continue to work proactively to ensure safety, and to assist in minimizing risk within our community. Moving forward, we will continue to communicate with you regularly as new information becomes available. 

Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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