Dear SPS Staff, Parents, and Guardians,
First, we would like to thank all of you for your continued partnership in helping to keep our schools as safe as possible from COVID-19. Our goal remains to keep our schools and programming open each day for our students and staff. In our continued effort to support a safe return to school for students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, we are making a slight adjustment to our isolation protocol to include an at-home rapid testing option for any student or staff member who is isolating and wants to test prior to returning to school. We believe that this added step will ensure that any staff or student who is still testing positive after their initial 5 days of isolation will have the necessary information to determine that they need another 5 days of recovery to safely return to work or school.
Our updated protocols, based on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and CDC, are as follows:
Any student or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home for at least 5 days, as per the latest CDC and state guidelines.
After completing the required 5 days of isolation, a student or staff member can return to school on Day 6 after symptom onset, as long as:
- No fever for 24 hours (without taking fever-reducing medication); AND,
- Symptoms have mostly resolved (ie: you may have an occasional cough, but no longer feel sick); AND,
- You wear a mask for 5 additional days when around others, except when eating. If unable to wear a mask, the isolation period will be 10 days.
If an individual has access to a test and wants to test, the best approach is to use a rapid test on the evening of Day 5 of the isolation period. If the test result is positive, continue to isolate through Day 10 and return to school on Day 11.
Starting Tuesday, January 18, SPS will provide one at-home rapid testing kit to any isolating student or staff member who wants to test and cannot access testing otherwise on that 5th day.
- Students or staff members who test positive at school will be provided one at-home rapid testing kit before they leave to begin their isolation period.
- For students or staff members who test positive outside of school, testing kits will be available for pickup by a family member at the SPS Central Office (8 Bonair Street) Mondays-Fridays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
- If a student or family has difficulty picking up an at-home rapid testing kit, they should contact their school principal to make an alternative arrangement to secure a rapid test.
Students returning to school before Day 10 will remain at a physical distance of at least 6 feet from others while eating, as possible through flexible seating.
Thank you for your continued assistance in maintaining the health and safety of our students and staff.
Mary Skipper, Superintendent