As we head into our second April break during the pandemic, I cannot help but help but consider all that has changed and all that has not. A year ago, most of us were just beginning to come to terms with the fact that COVID was not a two week or even two month problem. We had begun to wear masks but were unsure which mitigation measures were most effective. As a district, we pivoted quickly to remote learning but were scrambling to adapt content and pedagogy, identify necessary technology tools, and ensure equitable access for all.
A year later, we are very much looking forward to welcoming our middle schoolers back to full in-person learning while also being mindful of the needs of students remaining in a remote model. We have learned a lot about the virus and have successfully implemented a myriad of mitigation strategies, including pooled testing. As an extension of this strategy, families and staff are reminded that pooled testing will be conducted Wednesday, April 21 from 8:30-11:30 AM at the Curtis Middle School. Interested families are asked to pre-register using this linked form and to bring a printed copy of the pre-registration with them.
Understanding that keeping schools open and the community safe is a collaborative effort, we are asking that you do your part by abiding by the Massachusetts Travel Advisory, mask in public places, observe social distancing guidelines, and practice good hand hygiene. Several parents have expressed concerns regarding the number of positives and the high number of close contacts. Having nearly 50 students on quarantine this week has certainly impacted our operations.
In closing I want to acknowledge another thing that has, tragically, stayed the same. Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. These same communities are also too often victimized by violence and racial hatred. As a district, we are committed to equity and inclusion and are actively working to ensure that all students are safe, respected, and provided the educational opportunities they so rightly deserve.
I wish you and yours a safe, restful and restorative break and look forward to welcoming the next phase of students back on April 26th.