April 16, 2021
Dear Students, Staff, and Families,
As you have heard, the high school is distance learning today because a number of students (11) have tested positive for COVID-19 since April 1st. This decision was made after we received a phone call from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) late yesterday afternoon. The high school schedule presents more of a challenge when completing contact tracing because students attend several different classes over the course of the school day. High school students are not in stable pods like the elementary and middle schools. As a result, several high school students have been quarantined because they have been determined to be close contacts by the RIDOH. We are sending out a separate communication to high school students, staff, and families with information from RIDOH.
Even though more and more of us are getting vaccinated, it is still important that we remain vigilant with all of the mitigation measures that we know reduces our risk such as wearing a mask, hand washing, cleaning surfaces, etc.
- The Reopening of School Task Force decided in their meeting on Wednesday, that students in special programs, grades K, 1, 2 and students in grades 9 through 12, will return to 5 days of in-person learning effective Monday, May 3rd. Students in grades 3 through 8 will return to 5 days of in-person learning when RICAS testing is completed.
- As a reminder, the number of students allowed to ride the bus will increase to 75% of capacity after April vacation.
- Since April vacation is next week, we want to remind students and staff traveling out of state that they can return to school on day 8 after quarantining for 7 days with proof of a negative PCR or BINAX test on or after day 5. The test cannot be done before day 5. This is for students and staff who have traveled or are planning to travel out of state and for students and staff who have been identified as close contacts.
- We will be receiving a significant quantity of personal protective equipment from the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) next week including adult masks, child masks, face shields, gowns, disinfectant wipes and thermometers. We will be in good shape for some time to come. We appreciate the support from RIEMA.
- There was a meeting at Cumberland Hill elementary school to begin planning for the transition to the swing space at the Trans Building. Our Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) representative, Holly Demers, will be meeting with the staff to answer questions and offer support based on her extensive experience in working with schools. We will be providing opportunities for families to meet and ask any questions that they might have at some point in the future.
- The updated COVID-19 spreadsheet is provided for your review.
As always, thank you for your patience and understanding as we work our way back to a more normal routine. Enjoy this well-deserved vacation.
Robert A. Mitchell
Superintendent of Schools