Superintendent’s Update re COVID-19 (Wednesday, March 11, 2020)

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Dear Weston Public Schools Community,

Events surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) have progressed rapidly in the last few days both here in Weston and in Massachusetts. We were notified today that a Weston student is symptomatic and the results of their COVID-19 test came back inconclusive. Additionally, a student connected to a previous case is under quarantine. Taking these and other factors into consideration, as a measure to slow the potential rapid spread of this virus, it is necessary to close all Weston Schools for an extended period of time. We will be closing all schools beginning Thursday, March 12th. Schools will remain closed through Wednesday, March 18th. There will be no extra-curricular activities happening in school at this time.

Although schools will be closed, it is essential that we continue to closely monitor student illness. If your child exhibits flu-like symptoms, please contact your pediatrician and email your school nurse.

We will continue to closely monitor this ever-changing situation, following the guidance of the Weston Board of Health, the Massachusetts Department of Health, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Next week, we will reassess and make a decision whether students can return to school on Thursday March 19th.

Meanwhile, we will continue to aggressively clean, sanitize and disinfect all schools. We encourage students and families to refrain from gathering in large groups and to continue to practice preventive measures recommended by the CDC. Additionally, educators will start developing lessons and activities that can be taught online if the need arises.

The Massachusetts Department of Education has determined that regardless of the length of district closure, the last day of school for Weston this year will be Friday, June 26th, the 185th day of the district calendar.

Following are links to some resources that you may find helpful:

Talking to Children About COVID-19

Talking with Children About Coronavirus

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus

This is an unprecedented time for all of us and I want to acknowledge the anxiety we all are experiencing due to the COVID-19 threat. We also understand that keeping students home represents a tremendous challenge for many families. This is a time to continue to closely communicate, work together, and acknowledge our mutual commitment to the health, safety, and education of our children.

Sincerely,

Dr. Midge Connolly