• Friday, December 17, 2021

     

    Dear Shawsheen Colleagues, Parents and Guardians: 

    I am writing to you today in order to keep members of the Shawsheen Tech community informed about COVID-related issues.  In this update, I will provide the most recent weekly COVID case numbers and share some thoughts regarding how we can work together to continue to keep Shawsheen Tech safe and open during this pandemic. 

    WEEKLY COVID CASE NUMBERS 

    Each Wednesday, I am required to report the number of COVID cases at Shawsheen to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Their reporting period covers the previous Thursday to the current Wednesday at 4pm.  In order to maintain consistency with that reporting, I will use those reporting periods for this and all subsequent reports to the community. 

    Reporting Period 

    COVID Cases Reported  

    From 

    To 

    Students 

    Staff 

    Total 

    9/9/2021 

    9/15/2021 

    1 

    0 

    1 

    9/16/2021 

    9/22/2021 

    4 

    0 

    4 

    9/23/2021 

    9/29/2021 

    4 

    1 

    5 

    9/30/2021 

    10/6/2021 

    9 

    0 

    9 

    10/7/2021 

    10/13/2021 

    5 

    1 

    6 

    10/14/2021 

    10/20/2021 

    3 

    0 

    3 

    10/21/2021 

    10/27/2021 

    6 

    1 

    7 

    10/28/2021 

    11/3/2021 

    4 

    1 

    5 

    11/4/2021 

    11/10/2021 

    13 

    3 

    16 

    11/11/2021 

    11/17/2021 

    7 

    1 

    8 

    11/18/2021 

    11/24/2021 

    6 

    0 

    6 

    11/25/2021 

    12/1/2021 

    12 

    0 

    12 

    12/2/2021 

    12/8/2021 

    26 

    1 

    27 

    12/9/2021 

    12/15/2021 

    13 

    3 

    16 

    Total to Date 

    113 

    12 

    125 

     

    As I shared in my December 3rd COVID Update, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) had advised school districts to expect an increase in COVID-cases through mid-January, due to the higher level of social interactions that are expected during the holidays.  This prediction has shown to be accurate, not only at Shawsheen, but in schools across the Commonwealth.  As a reminder:  in order to keep our case numbers as low as possible, PLEASE, do not send your student to school, regardless of their vaccination status, if they are exhibiting ANY COVID-19 symptoms.  I have asked the same of Shawsheen staff.  We all share joint responsibility to keep our staff and students safe and our school open.  Without the support and cooperation of everyone, that goal will be impossible to achieve.  

    PARENT CONSENT FOR TEST AND STAY 

    While our case counts have increased significantly, the number of unvaccinated, asymptomatic close contacts who have missed school due to quarantine has been very low, due to the resounding success of the state’s Test and Stay program.  Implementing this program has placed an enormous strain on our nursing staff, who must conduct detailed contact tracing on each reported case, contact each close contact, determine their vaccination status, and inform each close contact whether they are required to participate in the Test and Stay program in order to continue to attend school as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-positive individual. In addition, we must receive parental consent to administer the COVID-test that is part of the Test and Stay program.  This process must be as efficient as possible and to ensure that we identify, contact and test all identified students and staff BEFORE they enter the building the next morning.  Making sure that we administer the tests prior to a student entering the building is essential to keeping ALL of our students safe, so it is in EVERYONE’S best interests that this process work effectively.  To assist us in that effort, I am imploring you to PLEASE provide consent in advance by clicking this link.  When the page appears, select Shawsheen from both drop down menus and then select Sign Consent Form for a Minor.  The consent form will appear on the next page.  If you agree, so indicate and then the form will ask you to enter your student’s information.  Please note that this is a form used across Massachusetts and it does list all of the possible uses of a Binax-Now test, however, at this time, Shawsheen is ONLY using COVID testing as part of its Test and Stay program. 

    This will likely be the last COVID update I provide before the December recess, unless a specific situation requires more frequent communication.  Thank you all for your continued support, flexibility and understanding.  I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season and know that you all join me in hoping that 2022 will see an end to this pandemic. 

    Respectfully, 

    Bradford L. Jackson, Ed.D. 

    Superintendent-Director