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Superintendent's Update - May 13, 2022

Dear Monomoy families and staff,

While the weather hasn’t been very spring-like lately, we know it’s coming soon. Hopefully, more time outdoors and with open windows will help mitigate COVID cases, which are increasing as of late. Barnstable County has now leaped to the CDC-defined threshold of High Risk of Infection, with Chatham having the highest rates of new cases on the Cape. Our towns and the Cape have generally been in the Low Risk category since the mask mandate was lifted. While masking will remain optional in school buildings, the CDC recommends wearing masks indoors when community risk levels reach the "High" indicators. In the past week, we’ve seen 50 new cases of COVID in our schools (32 students and 18 staff). We have not seen this many staff out with COVID since the beginning of January, and others need to be out to take care of their own sick children. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to stay home if there are cold-like symptoms and to use available testing options.

This week was our last time pool testing in school. Pool testing has progressively become less effective as increasingly more individuals have had recent COVID infections and are therefore unable to pool test (as it would ping as positive). While pool testing has been a helpful tool over the past year, the time has come to transition to home testing. Starting this week, everyone who opted into home tests will receive two boxes (four tests) every two weeks. This will allow for students and staff to test before school on Mondays and Thursdays, ideally catching any infections before they are able to spread. Please notify your school nurse of any positive home tests or positive tests from your pediatrician, and our nurses will guide you on how to limit spread within your household and when to safely transition back to classes.

At last week’s Harwich Town Meeting, voters there unanimously approved both the school district budget and the changes to the Regional Agreement. Chatham Town Meeting will be held Saturday, May 14, at 1 p.m. outdoors at Veterans Field. There, Chatham residents will vote on the budget and Regional Agreement. Learn more at the Chatham Town Meeting preview page here, and the MRSD Regional Agreement page here. Childcare is available at no cost at the Chatham Community Center.

With only six weeks left of school, the end is in sight. My hope is that the coming weeks will see a reduction in cases and much celebration, from graduation to field days and more.

Take care.

Scott Carpenter, Ed.D