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COVID Update - April 1-10, 2021

Dear Shawsheen Parents/Guardians and Colleagues: 

As our knowledge of COVID-19 continues to evolve, so too has our communication to all members of the Shawsheen community regarding positive cases of COVID.  One portion of our communication plan has not changed.  We continue to communicate immediately to individual families when their student is either: 

  • Identified as a close contact of a known COVID-positive individual who was present in the school building during the period when they could transmit the virus to another person; or 
  • Enrolled in a shop that must shift to 100% remote for a period of time due to the specific fact pattern of the case. 

To keep the volume of COVID-related communication to community members manageable, we are shifting to a weekly, community-wide email to provide all members of our community with a general update on the status of the Coronavirus at Shawsheen.  At their request, we have reinstated our practice of informing the staff immediately whenever a shop shifts to 100% remote due to COVID.  This reporting period covers the period from noon on Thursday, April 1, 2021 through midnight, Saturday, April 10, 2021. During this 10-day period: 

  • 6 members of the Shawsheen community reported testing positive for COVID-19 and were physically present in the school building during the period when they could transmit the virus to another person.  The previous period (March 22nd through noon on April 1st) saw 7 members of the Shawsheen community tested positive for COVID-19 and were physically present in the school building during the period when they could transmit the virus to another person.  Of note for this reporting period, the 6 COVID cases identified during the April 1-10 period were heavily skewed earlier in the period, with all 6 cases reported between April 1-5. 
  • 58 members of the Shawsheen community were identified as being a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes in one 24-hour period) of one of the 6 COVID-positive cases mentioned above; 
  • Due to the specific fact pattern of the cases and/or the identified close contacts, the following shops shifted to 100% remote during a portion of the period between April 1 and April 10: 
    • Culinary Shop – from April 5-8th.  Returned to in-person: Friday, April 9th; 

I am hopeful that the peak we experienced between late March through April 5th is subsiding and that we will be returning to lower levels of COVID-cases and fewer close contacts.  We will continue to stress that the proven precautions of frequent handwashing, social-distancing and mask-wearing be strictly observed inside our school building and strongly encourage those precautions when outside of school.  I am convinced that Shawsheen will only return to normalcy once a significant majority of our staff and students are immunized.  To that end, I continue to provide any reasonable accommodation to staff members who have immunization appointments, regardless of whether those appointments fall during or outside of school hours.  In addition, I encourage parents to strongly consider signing their age-eligible student up for the vaccine as soon as it is available to them.  According to the CDC, the Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for those 16 years or older, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are currently approved for those 18 years or older.  Of course, if you are interested in learning about when your student is eligible to receive the vaccination, you should contact your family medical provider for up-to-date information. 

For every member of the Shawsheen community, battling the physical, emotional, psychological and educational impacts of the COVID pandemic has been exhausting.  Lowering our guard too early will only mean that those impacts will last longer in to 2021 than they have to.  Your continued vigilance, cooperation and support are essential in order to keep Shawsheen safe, and open to our students. 

Respectfully, 

Bradford L. Jackson, Ed.D. 

Superintendent-Director