Dear SPS Parents and Guardians:
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has moved Middlesex County into the “red” zone, indicating a high rate of COVID-19 transmission and hospitalization. The CDC recommends that during this surge, individuals wear masks indoors in public spaces, including schools.
Since returning from April break, the number of SPS students and staff reporting positive test results has increased. The vast majority of school cases are being reported through at-home rapid testing. We recognize that many families have welcomed the lifting of mask mandates and other restrictions, but we have also seen the impact that the lessening of personal mitigation strategies has had on our classroom communities.
Therefore, we will implement the following temporary measures to protect the health and safety of students and staff. The goal of these temporary measures is to ensure school safety and continuity of learning.
- Masks are strongly encouraged for all students and staff while in our school buildings. High quality N95 or KN95 masks are recommended. Masks are available at school for any students or staff who request one.
- The district will increase same-day communication about positive cases, sending out notices when students may have been exposed to one or more cases in a classroom.
- We may institute a temporary mask requirement in specific classrooms with multiple cases to decrease the chance of transmission.
- We will increase rapid testing in any classrooms with potential in-school transmission.
- Outdoor meals and window use are encouraged weather permitting.
We will continue to follow mitigation measures that have been implemented throughout the year, including increased ventilation, routine pool testing and the distribution of at-home test kits, which are available to all.
We ask for your continued cooperation with the following:
- Keep your children home if they develop symptoms and rapid test them immediately.
- Recognize that even mild symptoms such as a scratchy throat or runny nose can indicate COVID-19.
- Report positive at-home test results via the Form for Reporting Positive Results.
- Get your child vaccinated if possible and boosted when eligible.
- Remember that masks are required for contacts of positive household members regardless of vaccination status.
Questions? Please contact your school nurse or refer to our on-line information at www.somerville.k12.ma.us/coronavirus-information-sps-families.
Visit the city’s COVID-19 website (www.somervillema.gov/covid) for additional information about resources and upcoming vaccination clinics.