The following message was first shared on Monday, November 15, 2021.
Dear Weston Public Schools Community Members,
We are writing to inform you that we have identified an instance of in-school transmission of COVID-19 in our school community. As always, our first priority is to keep our students and staff safe. We have been planning for this scenario and already have a comprehensive plan in place to sanitize the school, inform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact, and support those affected as they navigate this stressful experience. Additionally, we are actively working to identify potential areas of breakdown in protocols that may have contributed to this instance.
While this is our first confirmed case of in-school transmission, we are not alone in this experience as many districts across the state have reported similar experiences. Unlike some other districts, we are privileged in our ability to implement a comprehensive and layered mitigation strategy that includes a robust testing platform, masking, vaccination, and physical distancing. We are grateful to our families for their continued efforts to keep students home at the first sign of symptoms, and to vaccinate their children and themselves. These measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of additional transmission.
Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community members who tested positive due to strict confidentiality laws, we can confirm that your child was not a close contact (defined as being within 3-6 feet for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school community member(s). All close contacts have been identified and notified by the Weston Board of Health. If you have not received notification from the Board of Health, you or your child have NOT been identified as a close contact.
We are also following all Massachusetts Department of Public Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to prevent additional spread. We continue to depend upon you for case reporting outside of our weekly testing efforts. We ask those parents or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 to please report the results to their school nurse. We are working hard to understand the impact of the virus on our school community and this information is a critical piece of that puzzle.
To further prevent transmission of the virus to other staff and students, we have sanitized the school with a focus on those areas frequented by the community members that tested positive. We will continue to be vigilant in adhering to all of the protocols that have been put in place in an effort to continue in person learning. We are also providing remote learning to any student required to quarantine at home in order to continue to provide instruction, structure, and an emotional connection to the classroom during a time that we know will be challenging for those children and families involved.
For more information on COVID-19 symptoms, testing, and vaccination visit the Weston Board of Health website linked here. Vaccination remains the most effective defense against COVID-19. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccination and vaccination sites click here.
You can also find a map of testing sites here. Our nursing staff continues to offer drive through testing options for students and staff who are symptomatic and require testing. Please contact your school nurse immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.
We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families and staff. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Jamy Gaynor, Director of Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately.
Thank you for your continued support. Best,
Dr. Marguerite (Midge) Connolly, Superintendent, Weston Public Schools
Jamy Gaynor, Director of Health Services, Weston Public Schools