THE NAVIGATOR

March 19, 2021

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Newsletter

This Newsletter updates on all matters connected to Cohasset Public Schools. This letter is sent as part of a District initiative focusing on communication.
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School Committee Approves Preliminary Plan for Full In-Person Learning at Cohasset Middle School and Cohasset High School

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At Wednesday night’s Cohasset School Committee Meeting, the Cohasset School Committee approved the preliminary plan to bring all middle school students back full in-person, five days a week, beginning on April 5, 2021 (lunch included). They also approved the preliminary plan to bring all high school students back to full in-person learning, five days a week, in a phased format. The approved phases have high school students coming back full in-person, five days a week:


  • April 5 through April 16, being dismissed at 12:45PM. High school students will eat lunch at home (grab-and-go will be available) and join their last period class from home.
  • Beginning April 26, 2021, high school students will attend school full in-person, five days a week, with in-person lunch included. A default option, which has a snack being served and a 2:00PM dismissal, is possible if lunch cannot be served; however, we are moving confidently towards the lunch option.


Please see the presentation below, which details the specifics of the plans. These plans adhere to the In-Person Learning Guidance that Commissioner Riley delivered to school leaders on March 9, 2021. Continued collaboration will take place at the building-level, and the finalized plans will be brought forward for a vote at a special Cohasset School Committee Meeting, which is being set for 6:00PM on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. A recording of last evening’s School Committee Meeting can be found here. The presentation regarding in-person learning begins at 27 minutes and 16 seconds into the recording.

We look forward to the continued collaboration with families, leadership, staff, and students, as we move to provide the paramount in-person learning as much as possible for our students.


We encourage input, and we look forward to working as a school community to make the best decisions to help our students.

Timeline for Full In-Person Return for Middle School and High School Students

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Results of Research on 3 feet versus 6 feet of distance released

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CDC Recognizes Three (3) Foot Minimum Between Student Desks in Classrooms

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revised its guidance today to officially come indicate that three (3) feet of distancing in classes is acceptable:


KEY POINTS:



  • Students can now sit three feet apart instead of six feet so long as they are wearing masks. This recommendation is for all K-12 students, regardless of whether community transmission is low, moderate, or substantial.
  • All recommendations have been removed for plastic shields or other barriers between desks. (AP News, March 19, 2021)
At a recent meeting with superintendents, Commissioner Riley highlighted that Dr. Fauci stated that the Massachusetts plan for implementation at 3 foot of separation distance is "practical and realistic." The 3 foot distance was determined to be safe by information present in The Lancet, "which noted that a risk of infection is similar at 1 meter (approximately 3 feet), as it is at 2 meters (approximately 6 feet) in low to intermediate risk settings." This 2020 study in The Lancet, found that, across 16 countries, social distancing of at least 3 feet led to significantly lower transmission rates (Chu, Duda, Solo, Yaaciub, & Schunemann, 2020). Researchers found a significant reduction in risk with distancing of at least three (3) feet, but no additional benefit at six (6) feet, as long as the baseline risk is low enough (Chu, Et al, 2020).
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This information from last fall has been bolstered by new data from a recent study entitled, The Effectiveness of three versus six feet of physical distancing for controlling spread of COVID-19 among primary and secondary students and staff: A retrospective, state-wide cohort study (Van den Berg, Schechter-Perkins, Jack, Epshtein, Nelso, Oyster, and Branch-Ellma, 2021). This study analyzed infectious control plans and COVID-19 case numbers in 243 school districts across the state between September 30, 2020 and January 7, 2021. Of those districts, 194 had students spaced at a minimum of six (6) feet, and 49 had three (3) feet of distance. There was not a higher rate of cases of COVID-19 in either students nor staff in districts that had students spaced more closely (Van der Berg, Et al., 2021)
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In addition, over 300 doctors signed a letter supporting in-person learning with mitigation measures, including three (3) feet of distance between students when masked.
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Looking ahead...We will be offering ways to fill any potential learning gaps. Information is fothfoming on programs that will be offered to students and families.

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Vaccine Roll-Out for Educators

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We are happy to report that we were able to secure 100 vaccinations for school staff at the Marshfield Fair-Grounds Vaccination Site. Between that offering, the efforts of the PSO to assist teachers in finding vaccinations, the great work of our front office staff, and the individual efforts from staff and the CTA leadership, we are well on our way to having all staff who wish to be vaccinated at least partly through the vaccination process. A huge thank you goes out to all who are working to help our staff.
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Cohasset Community Health Update

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Health Metrics

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Cohasset Community is now in the Yellow Category...Please continue to be vigilant regarding Covid-19 protocols and safety measures

Please see the information below regarding the town of Cohasset’s positive COVID 19 rate and case count over the past 14 days.

Community Report:

As of March 18, 2021, the Department of Public Health (DPH) reports that the town of Cohasset’s positive COVID-19 test rate over the past 14 days is 1.78%, with 18 positive cases out of 1066 tests reported. Under the DPH metrics, the town of Cohasset is in the "Yellow" category for communities who have a population of under 10,000 who have less than or equal to 25 positive cases over the last 14 days.

It is imperative that we all follow the protocols of handwashing / hand sanitizing and wearing face-covering masks when appropriate to do so. Here is the complete report that was issued on Thursday, 3/18/2021.


For your information, please find below a summary table of all confirmed positive COVID cases in the District as of today, Friday, March 19, 2021.


Confirmed Positive Cases as of Friday, March 19, 2021


NEW TRAVEL RULES:

Persons Who Have Been Completely Vaccinated for COVID-19: Individuals who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Janssen vaccine, more than 14 days ago and who do not have symptoms, do not need to obtain a negative test prior to traveling to, or quarantine upon arrival to, Massachusetts. COVID-19 vaccinated individuals arriving in Massachusetts must have documentation of their vaccination(s), including the date(s) of administration, available if asked. This exception does not include COVID-19-recovered individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19, who must follow all testing and quarantine guidance outlined in the travel rules.


IMPORTANT TRAVEL REMINDERS (other than as stated above):

  • Travelers arriving in Massachusetts are required to immediately begin the 10-day quarantine until a negative test result has been received.
  • COVID-19 test must be administered up to 72-hours prior to the arrival in Massachusetts.
  • If you took a test prior to your arrival but have not received your negative result, you MUST quarantine until you receive the negative result.
  • If a test is not obtained before entry in Massachusetts, a test can be obtained after arrival, but you MUST quarantine until you receive a negative result.
  • According to the MA DPH regulations, one must obtain an approved molecular PCR test. Please note, a rapid-antigen test is not an acceptable test to end a travel quarantine.
  • If choosing not to be tested after traveling, one must complete a 10-day quarantine upon arriving in Massachusetts.


As there are signs that our infection rates are stabilizing, please try to avoid travel, if possible. If you must travel, please be sure to follow all travel orders.

Please click on the link to review the Massachusetts COVID-19 travel order



UPDATED Cohasset Public Schools Travel Order Protocol

Coming Soon... Announcements Regarding Events for Seniors and Graduation

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Principal Scott will be sharing information in his newsletter regarding graduation (which is set for 5:00PM on Friday, May 28 on Alumni Field), senior's last day (May 28), and plans to celebrate our seniors. We are excited to celebrate the Class of 2021!
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BE THE CHANGE

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We will continue to engage students and staff in the meaningful discussions necessary to promote change. We are committed to promoting anti-racism and cultural competency.
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Please visit our website for resources regarding the promotion of diversity.

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Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Assistant Superintendent Leslie Scollins, Ed.D.

Professional Development Days

Teachers and staff participated in professional development on Thursday afternoon (3/18) and all day Friday (3/19). Teachers focused on what they have learned over the past year and spent time collaborating through sharing acquired skills in technology coordinated by Lisa Radden, out Director of Technology and Digital Learning. In addition, teachers discussed student learning and what needs to be done to ensure that the critical standards are met by the end of the year. A huge thank you to Elementary Reading Specialists Marcia Campbell and Chrissy Thonet and to Math Specialists Liz Deininger and Sarah MacDonald for all their preparations for the PD. Also, a big thank you to all the Department Chairs for their work with their departments.

Grade 5 teachers working with Reading Specialist, Sarah MacDonald.

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Grade 4 Teachers working with Math Specialist, Chrissy Thonet.

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Kindergarten Teachers discussing ELA standards with Reading Specialist, Liz Deininger.

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DESE District and School Report Cards

We are pleased to share with you the 2020 school report card from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. You can access a link to our District and School Report Card at:

Cohasset Public School District and School Report Card

Student Opportunity Act (SOA)

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There are many stressors to our day-to-day lives, including the pandemic and the current political unrest. There are many resources available. The District Website has a page dedicated to Social Emotional Learning and Wellness. Below are some additional resources that you or a friend may find helpful. Please remember that our schools are a resource and our adjustment counselors can support you and your child.


Osgood: Dave Vinton dvinton@cohassetk12.org

Deer Hill: Laurie Dolan ldolan@cohassetk12.org

Robyn Costa rcosta@cohassetk12.org


CMS: Emily Manewal emanewal@cohassetk12.org

CHS: Leanne McCarthy lmccarthy@cohassetk12.org

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RISE Before and After School Program

Looking for a way to avoid the lines at drop off and pick up at Osgood and Deer Hill?

Why not enroll your child(ren) in RISE? The Cohasset Public Schools and the Cohasset Recreation Department provide before and after school care for our students at Osgood and Deer Hill Elementary Schools all five days. Brett Youmans, DHS PE Teacher, is the director of the program. For more information about the program and how to register follow this link.

Finance and Operations Update

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PUBLIC HEARING

ON

FISCAL YEAR 2022 SCHOOL BUDGET


A public hearing took place on March 3, 2021 at 5:30 pm. Thank you to all who attended this hearing. After the deliberation on and certification of the proposed Fiscal Year 2022 School Budget, the plan was unanimously voted to move forward to the town for consideration. Thank you to the Cohasset School Committee, our Director of Finance and Operations (Susan Owen), to the District Leadership Team, and to everyone who helped collaborate regarding this data-based budget.

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Kindergarten Registration is now Open for 2021 - 2022 School Year

Kindergarten Registration Information

Kindergarten Registration Timeline

Cohasset Middle School to Start Cross-Country Team

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Courtesy of Principal Mills:


"We are now taking the small first step of offering the CMS Cross-Country/Running Club to ALL interested students. The club will begin Monday March 22 and conclude just before April vacation. The CMS Cross-Country/Running Club will be supervised by Coach Ron Ford and Asst. Coach Sage Belber, the CHS Cross-Country coaching team.


The CMS Cross-Country/Running Club is open to ALL, whether new to running or advanced. The CMS Cross-Country/Running Club will follow the MIAA COVID Modifications and Guidelines in order to keep members safe and healthy. The course will utilize the school campus and the Milliken Field area. Students will not leave the immediate school area and will not be exposed to traffic.


This is a great opportunity for students to get outside and be active, make new friendships, and be part of a new tradition at CMS." Information is forthcoming to CMS families regarding this exciting opportunity.:

Sports Information

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Cohasset Football Season Schedule

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Cohasset vs. Rockland...

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MIAA Board of Directors' Statement Regarding Spring Sports...A Spring Tournament is Forthcoming!

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Visit Cohasset Athletics to Get Updates on All of Our Teams

Images of the Week

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Here is some Irish Step Dancing to start off the morning at Deer Hill, courtesy of Kali R! Please click on the image below to access the video.

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Mrs. Clark's Class...putting the Big Bad Wolf on trial with the help of an expert attorney and prosecutor

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Jump Rope Skills on display in Mr. Dykas' Osgood Physical Education Class. Please click on the image below to access the video.

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Great visit to Osgood School...

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Seventh Grade Students and Staff collaborating to watch "Hidden Figures" as part of their Project-Based Learning

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Inspiration for The Class of 2021! You can do it! Finish Strongly!

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"Lucky Duck" Celebration of Staff...Thank you, PSO!

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Please click on the image below to access information about how you can help fund the Cohasset Education Foundation fundraiser for our Project Adventure Grant

SAFE HARBORS UPDATES

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The "Don't Wait" video provides insights on why it’s essential for parents to talk to their kids early and often; how to best approach these conversations; and what to do if you spot the signs of drug and alcohol use in your child. This now available, for a limited time, for you or anyone you can share this with, to watch at your own convenience, through a Promo Code listed below. This is a film every parent and caring adult must see! Availability to watch this video is now through March 10, 2021.

Here are the directions to follow to log in to the video:

  1. Go to https://vimeo.com/ondemand/dontwaitpromo
  2. Click on "Rent $10.00" You won't be charged; it's already paid for
  3. You will be asked to log in or to create a Vimeo account by entering your name, email and password
  4. Enter the Promo Code: DFPG2021


Safe Harbor Cohasset Coalition’s “Our Safe Home” campaign is about addressing the issues of youth access of alcohol in the community, which involves parents, guardians, merchants, and youth themselves. Parents pledge their commitment to joining other parents in providing a fun, safe, and substance-free environment for our children. Merchants pledge to comply by following the law and regulations, to not sell alcohol to young people under 21 years old. Youth are increasing awareness of the issue by talking to adults in their community.


We recognize that we cannot supervise our teens 24/7, nor can we always control the choices they make. However, we will do our part to discourage underage drinking and we will do our best to help each other support and monitor our teens.


Please see the link below for more information:



http://safeharborcohasset.org/our-safe-home/

Please Click on the Image Below for a Video Regarding the "Our Safe Home Pledge"

Please Click on the Image Below to Access an Important PSA Regarding Dangerous "Pressed Pills"

Health Reminders and Protocols

Update on FLU Vaccine Requirement for Students


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is removing the requirement for flu vaccination for attendance in childcare/preschool, primary, secondary and postsecondary education. Preliminary data show that this has been a mild flu season to date, presumably as people have received their seasonal flu vaccine and have been adhering to mask-wearing and social distancing due to COVID-19. Given the intensive Commonwealth-wide efforts regarding COVID-19 vaccination, DPH wants to alleviate the burden to obtain flu vaccination and focus on continuing our COVID -19 vaccination efforts.


DPH continues to strongly recommend that everyone age six months and older receive their seasonal flu vaccine each year. ​

Quarantining Guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)

Here is the recent guidance from the CDC regarding quarantining:

"Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier for people to quarantine by reducing the time they cannot work. A shorter quarantine period also can lessen stress on the public health system, especially when new infections are rapidly rising.


Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. Options they will consider include stopping quarantine


  • After day 10 without testing
  • After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)

After stopping quarantine, you should

  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
  • If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.
  • Wear a mask, social distance from others, wash their hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus. CDC will continue to evaluate new information and update recommendations as needed." (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html)

The Important Role Families Play In Stopping the Spread of COVID-19

Families will play an important role in helping to create a culture that prioritizes health and safety. Families should check their children daily for signs of COVID-19 and should keep them home from school if they are not feeling well or if they have been in close contact with a person who has been recently diagnosed with COVID-19. It is also important that families support students wearing masks in school and on the bus. We are strongest when we work together to stop the spread (Initial Fall School Re-entry Guidance, 2020).


CPS Pledge: Healthy and Responsible Behaviors Regarding COVID-19

By coming into Cohasset Public Schools, I pledge I am following:


  • State expectations for social and physical distancing

  • Regulations regarding the wearing of facial coverings over your nose and mouth when in public settings (for students from grades PK– 12 and for all staff)

  • Quarantine directives put forth by the Massachusetts Department of Health and the Cohasset Department of Health

  • Guidance that has students and staff stay home from school / work if they are experiencing symptoms of fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing, or dry cough or if they have exhibited any symptoms relating to COVID-19

Cohasset COVID-19 Protocols and COVID-19 Information

Please follow the link below to access our COVID-19 protocols
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Take Care of Yourself and Take Care of Each Other

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Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can do anything to help your student or your family during this difficult time. Most important is the physical and mental health of everyone, and we will stay focused on making that a priority. Please take good care.

Please click on the following link to access even more information on the Cohasset Public Schools Web Site.

Please follow me on Twitter for daily updates from the Cohasset Public Schools