At the beginning of the school year, the amount of information sent from classrooms, schools, and the district can seem to be daunting. Getting the school year “off the ground” is a big lift for everyone, and I trust all of the information, updates, and reminders are helpful. The purpose of this communication is to provide an update on the SPS COVID Dashboard, Routine COVID Testing, and beginning of the school year reminders.
Tonight we are re-launching theSPS COVID Dashboard. The dashboard will provide timely information to the public on several important metrics. First, the dashboard displays the current and historical COVID data to give a snapshot of the recent SPS infections and close contacts.
The second page shows the data from weekly COVID testing, including how many pools were tested and any positive results. The last page displays the percentage of SPS staff with verified vaccination cards by location and the percentage of students by school participating in routine testing. The data shown on these pages will change over time, so please bookmark the page for easy access.
The newest data on the dashboard is the staff vaccination graph. As a district with 477 staff members (both union and non-union), we have a very high rate of vaccinations with over 97% verified. I want to thank the staff for placing such a high value on vaccinations. As a district, we will work with the handful of remaining staff to strongly encourage vaccination or understand the underlying need not to be vaccinated.
Routine COVID Safety Testing (previously known as Pooled Testing) is being coordinated in partnership with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and CIC Health. CIC has assigned a Program Coordinator to Sudbury Public Schools who will be working with the nurses. CIC will send testing personnel to the schools on a weekly basis. Nurses will continue to be in charge of contact tracing and test and stay surveillance. We were disappointed they did not have the staffing to do the testing this week. Our hope is that routine testing will commence next week but due to CIC Health schedules and staffing demands, we may not be able to commence until the following week. We will notify families as soon as we are able to confirm the testing schedule.
Finally, a few quick reminders. Please complete and submit a COVID-19 Readiness Form as soon as possible to permit your child to participate in this year’s testing program. Testing is a quick and easy process, one you can review by watching this brief video. I would also like to ask you to take a few moments this weekend to fill out your child’s annual Back to School packet. Finally, please mark your calendars for virtual Back to School Nights. Pre-K to 5th on September 29th, and 6th to 8th on September 30th. Please find the exact time for your child’s grade level in the Principals’ communications this week.
In closing, I want to provide advance notice of this year’s Webinar Series. In partnership with Massachusetts Partnership for Youth, SPS will be sponsoring a series of virtual workshop focused on important social-emotional and mental health issues.