September 17, 2019 // EEE Update from Superintendent Brad Crozier
Dear SPS Families,
I wanted to share an update regarding concerns related to Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and the steps we have taken to address everyone’s safety and well-being. I am also announcing that Sudbury’s elementary schools will resume their regular outdoor recess schedules on Friday, September 20. We recognize the important learning that takes place at recess. Balancing safety, social-emotional learning, and wellness is something that we take very seriously.
As you know, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has recommended canceling activities between dusk and dawn, along with other preventative steps to limit the risk of interacting with mosquitoes. SPS has followed the guidance of MDPH. Additionally, Sudbury took the precautionary step of having indoor recess for all elementary students until additional mosquito control measures could be taken.
Since SPS first communicated about the EEE threat on September 6:
All of the schools have been sprayed, targeting the specific mosquito species that carry the EEE virus;
Truck-based spray treatments have been performed along the roads to reduce the mosquito population;
The State has coordinated and executed aerial mosquito treatments;
The Sudbury Department of Health has worked to educate residents on preventative measures;
SPS has purchased insect repellent towelettes and distributed those to schools as a resource for families and faculty needing them.
With our return to outdoor recess, the district is asking families to take the preventative steps recommended by the MDPH including dressing students in long sleeves, pants, and socks and applying a mosquito repellent with DEET before leaving for school. The MDPH has also provided an advisory on mosquito repellents, noting which active ingredients are important and providing guidance on the concentration. Families are welcome to send in non-aerosol repellent for your child to self-apply. Building principals will send a communication tomorrow with information on how families may opt-out of outdoor recess. Please reach out to your building principal if you have specific concerns.
I want to thank the community for its caring and patience and recognize Sudbury’s educators who responded with alternative recess opportunities and various movement breaks throughout the day.