Principal's Newsletter

May 7, 2021

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New zoom camera policy

For those students learning remotely, there is a shift in our policy regarding having one's camera on during class. The state is now requiring that all students have their cameras on during class if a student is learning remotely. Cameras should be on all the time, but at the very least, students are required to visually check in during the beginning and end of each class at the teachers request. Please note that teachers may require students to keep their cameras on the entire class, but some teachers may prefer to have students spend some learning time off camera while working independently. Cameras should be showing a student's face to ensure that a student is present and engaged. Questions about whether a student should have their camera on during a specific activity should be directed to their teacher.

Students who do not feel comfortable with having their camera on should speak directly to their teacher, in private, about this request. Students may also speak to their guidance counselor to request that they be allowed to keep their camera off.

senior activities update

Seniors and families of seniors, please see my special activities update here.

Mandatory Student Covid-19 Pooled Testing

COVID-19 pooled testing is mandatory for all students who are learning in-person. In order for your student to return to full in-person learning on Monday, April 26th, you must complete a consent form for testing. This is a requirement for return, and families who choose not to participate are welcome to continue their learning through our live streaming options from home. Students will come to the main entrance and be funneled through 4 lines to expedite testing.

COVID-19 universal surveillance pooled testing will be completed once a week on Mondays with a non-invasive anterior nasal swab testing protocol. Fully remote student athletes must still be tested, which will also take place on Mondays. All students who will be returning to full 5-day in-person instruction will be required to fill out the “Commitment to In-Person Learning, COVID Protocols, and Consent for Pooled Testing” form prior to returning to school. This additional safety measure is fully supported by the Watertown Health Department.

It is important to note that testing, combined with vaccinations, contact tracing, and isolation, helps control the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. The availability of in-person instruction and the District's in-person health and safety implementation guidelines will be determined and continually assessed using up-to-date data and guidelines provided by the Watertown Health Department, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

For more information about pool testing, please refer to the following information video.

**If you or a member of your household has tested positive for COVID-19 or is in the process of being tested due to exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please keep your child home and contact the school nurse.

COVID Testing: How to Nasal Swab

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WHS COVID Protocols Handbook

We have updated the WHS COVID Protocols Handbook for the start of full in person learning on Monday, April 26, 2021. Please check the WHS Website for the most up to date COVID handbook, next week.