Center Community Chat
January 9, 2022
Dear Center Community,
Over 15 years ago, a colleague I worked with shared the message above after she learned that her cancer had returned and she had limited time left. The guiding words stayed with me and hopefully you will find meaning in them as well as we start the year off with the many challenges of COVID.
Current COVID challenges include the surge in cases which impacts our staffing and attendance for students. Staffing has also impacted our bus schedules. We will continue to notify you of delays as they are shared with us.
Tuesday is a half-day for all students. Center staff will be engaging in professional development with Dr. Christopher Willard, (Psy. D.), clinical psychologist, author and consultant. The professional development will focus on wellness, resiliency, balance and refueling for faculty and students in the midst of a pandemic.
We hope that you too will start the year off considering ways to boost your wellbeing of yourselves and our students, and prioritize the "rocks" or significant people or activities in your life.
Happy New Year! Be well.
Dianna and Donna
Dr. Lang's COVID update
I write to share a few updates with you that came about over the holiday recess. The first major announcement was the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) update to the quarantine and isolation guidelines for COVID positive individuals and close contacts. That announcement was followed by revisions from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to the protocols for responding to COVID-19 scenarios in schools. You may read through the latest revisions at the links provided. The most significant protocol revision reduces the required minimum isolation period for COVID positive individuals from 10 days to 5 days followed by 5 days of mask wearing (in and outside of school). The required quarantine period for individuals identified as close contacts is also reduced to 5 days. We are in the process of updating the CPS COVID protocols on our website to reflect these new changes as of January 3, 2022 when we return to school as the CDC, DPH, DESE and Chelmsford Board of Health are in-line with the new isolation and quarantine guidelines referenced above.
COVID-19 Vaccination Status
We have seen a significant increase in the number of students receiving the COVID vaccine. Our CPS vaccine clinics were very successful and we will likely schedule additional vaccine clinics in the coming weeks. Please remember to share your child’s vaccine status with our school nursing staff. This information is critical to determine close contacts and available scenarios to allow your child to remain in school if identified as a close contact of a COVID positive individual in the school setting.
Test and Stay Program
If your child is identified as a close contact of a COVID positive individual in the school setting, they are allowed to remain in school if they participate in our Test and Stay Program and receive a daily negative test. To provide consent for your child to participate in the Test and Stay Program if identified as a close contact, please compete the registration link. I strongly encourage you to complete the registration and provide consent for Test and Stay prior to your child being identified as a close contact to minimize out-of-school quarantine periods. If your child is identified as a close contact and you have not provided prior consent for Test and Stay, they must quarantine at home.
Pool Testing Program
Another great way to help control the spread of COVID is to participate in our weekly COVID Pool Testing Program to identify asymptomatic COVID positive individuals in our school community. Unvaccinated students and staff are encouraged and recommended to participate in free weekly COVID pool testing. Vaccinated students and staff may participate in weekly pool testing if they desire To provide consent for your child to participate in free weekly COVID pool testing, please complete the registration link. You may register at any time, this is a rolling registration program. Your child will begin testing the week following registration and consent being provided.
Snow Day Fun
Students caught showing their PRIDE
Tuesday, January 11: Half Day - Professional Day
Monday, January 17: No School - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Tuesday, January 18: Rob Buyea Enrichment, 4th grade
Wednesday, January 19: Therapy Dog Visit 9-11
Wednesday, January 19: Ms. McConnell's conferences
Thursday, January 20: Ms. Muse's conferences
Thursday, January 20: PTO meeting at Center Library, 7 PM
Friday, January 21: Ms. Bentley's conferences
Monday, January 24: Ms. Driscoll & Ms. Gregorys' conferences
Tuesday, January 25: Dining to Donate at the Establishment
Wednesday, January 26: Grades available online for parents Kindergarten
Thursday, January 27: Grade 1- Discovery Museum enrichment (Sound)
Tuesday, February8: Gr 2 Enrichment - high touch, high tech
11:00am - 12:15pm
1:10 - 2:25pm
Wednesday, February 9: Half Day - Professional Day
Tuesday, February 15: Gr 2 Enrichment - high touch, high tech
11:00am - 12:15pm
1:10 - 2:25pm
Wednesday, February16: Therapy Dog Visit 9-11
Thursday, February 17: Center Virtual Bingo, 6:30
Monday, February 21: February recess
Monday, February 28: Return from break
Resources and Information
Important COVID Information
Hello Center parents and guardians,
Now that children ages 5-11 are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, there are changes in testing and quarantine protocols for these students. An individual is considered fully vaccinated once they have received 2 doses of the vaccine and they are 14 days past the second dose. If a vaccinated individual is subsequently identified as a close contact, and is asymptomatic, they are exempt from the testing and quarantine protocols, including Test and Stay. A vaccinated individual who is identified as a close contact should monitor for symptoms of Covid for 14 days. If a vaccinated individual experiences Covid symptoms, they should isolate from others, inform their healthcare provider, and schedule a Covid test.
Please note, if a student is fully vaccinated, they are not eligible for Test and Stay. The Test and Stay protocol is intended for unvaccinated, asymptomatic individuals identified as a close contact to a positive case in the school setting. DESE has strict testing criteria for the Test and Stay protocol so that we are unable to test vaccinated individuals.
Please continue to follow our Covid-19 protocols, which includes completing wellness checks prior to coming into school and to keep your child at home if they are not feeling well. It is also important to let the school know if their child is identified as a close contact outside of school.
We strongly recommend those eligible to be vaccinated!! Covid-19 vaccines have undergone, and will continue to undergo, intensive safety monitoring. Covid 19- vaccines are effective and can reduce the risk of getting and spreading the virus that cause Covid-19. There is strength in numbers! Getting the vaccine can protect families, communities, and our schools.
COVID-19 Vaccination Status
Parents are asked to provide documentation of vaccine status for their child so that we may appropriately identify close contacts exempt from COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols in the event a student of staff member tests positive for Covid -19. One of the significant changes this year, over last, is that asymptomatic vaccinated individuals are exempt from testing and quarantine protocols. Vaccination is a key mitigation strategy as we work to provide a healthy and safe learning environment in our school community. If a parent elects not to share the vaccine status of their child, the child is assumed unvaccinated and must follow COVID-19 test and quarantine protocols for unvaccinated individuals. Parents may access the COVID-19 vaccination notification status form at the following link to inform CPS nursing staff of their child’s vaccination status: https://forms.gle/7ovjaPWQVijtEwhS8
You are required to log-in to a Google account to upload your form. If you do not have a Google account, you may upload the form through your child’s school issued Google account. Please complete a separate form for each child that attends a Chelmsford Public School
If your child has received 1 dose of the vaccine, please wait, and upload the vaccination card once both vaccinations have been completed. Thank you for cooperation and support!
Peggy Gump, M.Ed BSN RN
Coordinator of Nursing Services
Chelmsford Public Schools
200 Richardson Road
N. Chelmsford, MA 01863