Superintendent’s Update re COVID-19 (Tuesday, March 10, 2020)

March 10, 2020

Dear Weston Community,

I am writing to you today to give you continued updates on the COVID-19 situation in the Weston Public Schools. WPS continues to follow direct guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State Epidemiologist, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and the Weston Board of Health. Weston’s Board of Health is cooperating fully with all CDC requirements for any isolation and quarantine of community members. They have reported that all individuals in the community who are under guidance from the Weston Board of Health are cooperating fully with the isolation requirements and have been doing so since early last week.

Families that have traveled internationally over February vacation have now been home past the 14-day concern period. School nurses are closely monitoring all students and staff that come to the health office and will send home those with any flu-like symptoms such as, cough, runny nose, sneezing, body aches, chills, and/or fever.

The safety and well-being of all students, family members and staff is our highest priority.  We will continue to work closely with the CDC, MDPH, and the Weston Board of Health. We will stay vigilant with cleaning and sanitizing procedures in all schools and buses, encouraging frequent and proper hand-washing and hygiene techniques, and monitoring for any illnesses of students and staff.

At this time, we have canceled all out-of-school field trips, performances, concerts, and other large-scale school/community events at least through March 31st. We hope to reschedule some of the field trips and events to later in the school year. Additionally, we are canceling 3rd and 4th grade recorder instruction and 4th and 5th grade band. Students in 6th-12th grade band classes will meet, but participate in alternative activities without wind and brass instruments. Finally, we are not allowing our educators to attend out-of-district professional development conferences.

All of this news can make children and families very anxious. Here is a link to some resources for supporting and speaking with children of all ages about COVID-19 from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP): www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-(coronavirus)-a-parent-resource.

We will continue to share resources with you as we learn more about COVID-19.

To reiterate, the best thing we can do right now to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to keep your children home if they are not feeling well or display any flu-like symptoms. In addition, if you choose to keep your child home they will not be penalized.  Thank you for your cooperation and continued support.

Sincerely,

Dr. Midge Connolly