• Dear Shawsheen Colleagues, Parents and Guardians: 

    Today marks the end of the 3rd week of school for our students and I wanted to provide the Shawsheen community with a COVID update.  I know that transitioning from a mask-less summer was difficult for all of us, so I sincerely appreciate all the more that our staff and students have been complying with the state-wide mask mandate.  

    For the 3-week period from Monday, August 27, 2021 through Friday, September 17, 2021, Shawsheen has had 4 COVID cases where a student or staff member was COVID-positive and physically present in school during the period when they could transmit the virus to others.   From those 4 cases, we identified 66 close contacts in total.  Of these 66 close contacts, 44 were vaccinated individuals who could remain in school and only required to monitor their symptoms.  The remaining 22 close contacts agreed to participate in the state-approved “Test and Stay” program, which requires them to report directly to Shawsheen’s Medical Treatment Room by 7:15AM each morning and be tested for COVID-19 for a case-specific number of days.  As of today, all 22 of the individuals who were tested (or are currently being tested) each morning have tested negative and were allowed to attend school, while carefully monitoring their symptoms.  Based on all of this information, we are confident that we have had no in-school transmissions to date, this school year. 

    Finally, I’d like to share the current vaccination status of our five member communities.  Please note that we do NOT currently require staff or students to share their individual vaccination status with us, unless they have been identified as meeting the DPH definition of a close contact.  As a result, we only have access to town-by-town data, provided weekly by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  As of September 16, 2021, 54.1% of the children aged 12-15 who reside in our five member communities are fully vaccinated; 71.0% of children aged 16-19 years old who live in Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Tewksbury and Wilmington are fully vaccinated.  Remember:  these figures represent ALL children aged 12-15 and 16-19, regardless of where they attend school.  I continue to urge families whose children are not yet vaccinated to contact their child’s pediatrician as you determine the best course of action for your child and those with whom they interact. 

    For the time being, my plan is to share COVID-related data and information with all members of the Shawsheen community every two weeks, unless a specific situation requires more frequent communication.  Every day, I am grateful to be able to walk through a school full of engaged students and talented staff.  Working together, we can continue to keep our students in school and fully-participating in the unique and extraordinary learning opportunities that only in-person learning can provide. 


    Bradford L. Jackson, Ed.D.