This break has been a great opportunity to decompress, and adjust our bearings for school to begin again on the 4th of January.
The New Bedford Department of Public Health has been in consultation with the Catholic Schools Office, and wants to acknowledge and extend their gratitude for the commendable job of teachers and students in maintaining a safe and healthy climate for in-person learning since Sept 1st. As you know, our school community has been vigilant, honest, and urged to be responsible in regards to their decisions to gather socially during the recent holidays. In light of our commitment, it is a stark reality that the number of positive COVID cases in our area is on the rise. That being said, the number of positive cases has increased the transmission rates in Acushnet, and so the next few weeks will add a level of increased vigilance that is necessary for the continued health and well being of our staff and students.
While sustaining an in-person model of learning is important to all of us…the health of our staff and students is even more important. Maintaining this mode of learning comes with great sacrifice and it is dependent upon each of our (1) decisions to follow the guidelines, (2) our transparency in regards to our social decisions, (3) our ability to accept the consequences to our decisions, and (4) our willingness to take responsibility and be inconvenienced for the greater good.
Taking what we know about COVID-19 transmission in this area, and now variants to the virus, we must proceed with great caution, and so we have made the following decisions for our school community:
- It is our strong recommendation and absolute expectation that those families that chose to gather with others (outside of the immediate household) during the holiday break will keep their children home and will engage in remote learning for at least the first week that we return. The number of positive cases is expected to rise in the area based on the social gatherings during the holidays, and we cannot afford to allow the decisions made by some to have an impact on our school community.
- It is strongly recommended and preferred that all family members who travelled over the holidays be tested prior to their return to school, which exceeds the minimum guidance from the state.
- It is a responsible decision and absolutely necessary for you to keep your child (as well as all siblings) home from school if he/she or any household family member has even ONE of the COVID symptoms, as listed on our school checklist, and if symptomatic, to follow our protocols for reentry in regards to testing and quarantine. Please be advised that if testing does take place, we are only accepting PCR results at this time.
- Please click here to communicate directly with our school nurses for more information about your specific travel situations, illness over the break concerns, or any other question that you might have that should be communicated to our school health office.
- It is strongly recommended that all in-person preschoolers, kindergarteners and first graders wear masks while at school in the coming weeks. Older students in grades 2-8 will be reminded of proper mask use and the need for covering both nose and mouth at all times.
- We are blessed to have remote learning as an option, and therefore welcome and expect to see an increased number of students learning from home during the course of the next few weeks. If remote learning is the reality for your family situation, please inform your child(ren)’s teacher so they can plan accordingly.
We did experience a slight increase in close contacts after the Thanksgiving break, and would like to avoid any impact of decisions made over the Christmas break on our school community by having families opt into remote learning for the week of Jan 4-8 ahead of time. Please help us to continue to maintain a healthy school environment for the continuation of our school year in 2021.
Happy New Year and God bless you and your families.
Mrs. Russo & Mrs. Shaughnessy