January 26, 2022
A message from the Principal
The past three weeks have been extremely busy at school. With the return from the holidays, we saw a significant increase in absences, most of which were covid related. The first days back from vacations had an absent rate of about 17% or about 83 students out of school. The good news is that this number has significantly decreased. We are back to an absence rate that is closer to a typical average. Our lowest recorded absence rate recently has been under 30 students.
Quarantines and illnesses have affected our staff too. Many staff members have had to take time away from school but because we have excellent substitute teachers, it has minimized the potential disruption to learning. We are very grateful for the many substitute teachers who have recently come on board. We are blessed to have over six consistent substitute teachers. This has allowed us to provide instruction without many interruptions.
Another factor in the success of keeping the school open has been our mitigation strategies. One of the biggest factors in keeping students safe has been keeping students six feet apart at lunchtime. This in conjunction with masking, open windows, and air filters has been crucial in mitigating the potential spread of covid. To this date, we have not seen any in-school transmission of the virus.
I would like to thank all the families for being cautious and adhering to the current health and safety protocols. Because families are monitoring for symptoms in their children, and then keeping students home if they are not feeling, we are able to reduce disruptions to the learning for all.
As we look forward to February, we hope the trend of fewer cases continues. The district will review the situation in February and re-evaluate the current restrictions on activities and visitors. If all goes well, we hope to move forward with the winter band concert and after-school enrichment opportunities after the February vacation.
As families clean out their closets, you might find some coats, gloves, boots, and clothing that could be helpful for students at MRE. We often have students who are in need of a change in clothing during the day and donations have helped stock supplies for the Health Office. Our current supply of clothing is running low. If you are cleaning out old items, your donations would be appreciated. The Health Office could especially use the following items:
Boys shirts - sizes 6-14
Boys pants - sizes 7-12
Girls leggings - sizes 6-14/16
Coats - any size
New underwear all sizes
If there is an excess amount of donations, the extra clothing will be donated to local charitable agencies.
Important MRE Info and reminders
At-Home Rapid Testing Program
This new at-home testing opportunity is voluntary and those who opt-in will receive tests. We strongly encourage you to participate and fill out the form by January 28, 2022 to opt-in. If you have questions, please contact your school nurse.
About the Test: iHealth is a 15-minute at-home FDA-approved rapid antigen test
Opt-In: To participate, you must opt in by completing the Opt In Form. By opting in, you will agree to review the training materials for test administration, report positive test results to your student’s school nurse, and administer the tests according to Nashoba guidelines.
Weekly: Every two weeks you will receive an iHealth at-home rapid test kit. Each kit contains two individual tests. Your student will administer one test the morning of their designated day as designated below:
Florence Sawyer School - Thursday
Center/Hale (Stow) - Fridays
LBS/MRE (Lancaster) - Saturdays