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Superintendent's Update - February 5, 2021

Dear Monomoy Families,

We have continued to see individual COVID-19 cases in our schools, and our protocols (including masking, distancing, and pivoting to remote when needed) have done what they were intended to and limited potential spread. In keeping with that, we have made the decision to pivot all Chatham Elementary School students to remote learning for the week of Feb. 8-12, leading up to break. This is a precautionary measure because the number of positive cases has risen too high to make in-person learning there feasible and safe. Our other schools are teetering on the edge and could see a similar fate if the dynamic doesn't change. As a reminder, any family impacted by a positive case will be contacted directly, and general information will be posted on the COVID dashboard on our website.

As we head into next week and then February break (Feb. 15-19), it’s important that we all continue to take actions that will minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread. That means wearing masks when not at home, limiting indoor activities with people not in our household, and staying home if we or anyone in our household is ill or awaiting test results. It is also important to follow the guidelines in the Governor’s Travel Order. We need everyone’s help to halt this spread and continue to be able to offer in-person learning while keeping students and staff safe.

To help identify cases in our school community, thus allowing us to even better contain potential spread, Monomoy will be participating in a pooled testing program in collaboration with the state of Massachusetts. We are still awaiting final details on the timing, dependent on when the materials will arrive. A consent form will be sent home soon, and we encourage all families to allow their students to participate. The program works when most if not all members of the school community take part. To see what the program looks like in action, watch this video from Salem Public Schools.

We are looking forward to our educators receiving the vaccine as soon as the state permits it, as their protection is of critical importance to the safe operation of our schools. The state is currently in Phase 2, Group 1 of the vaccination process, with early education and K-12 workers eligible in Phase 2, Group 3.

As a superintendent, educator, and parent, I know how challenging this past year has been for all of us. I am immensely proud of our community and the strength and flexibility shown by our teachers, staff, students, and families. My hope is that we will look back on this time with a renewed perspective on education and engagement.

Take care,

Dr. Scott Carpenter, Superintendent
Monomoy Regional School District