Harrington Happenings

February 27, 2022

Happy Sunday Harrington Families

I hope everyone had a wonderful vacation! I hope that if you had the chance to travel, you did so. I hope that you all had an opportunity to rest, relax and decompress. It is hard to believe that we are celebrating our last Sunday in February, this year is truly flying by. With March 1st being this Tuesday, I am really hoping that that shadow seeing groundhog was completely wrong on his prediction! I'm ready for Spring!


Now that the beginning of the year if far back in our rearview mirror, things will really begin to pick up as we make our long (but not long) push to the end of the year. We have a lot going on in the upcoming months, that as we begin to plan for them will certainly make it feel like time if flying by. Our first steps to a normal remainder of the year begins tomorrow the district/states new mask wearing guidance. In accordance with the Chelmsford Public School Committee and in alignment with DESE and the Department of Public Health, mask wearing will be optional. Below is a summary of where masks must be worn:


  • A face covering that covers the nose and mouth is strongly recommended to be worn by individuals who remain unvaccinated or are otherwise immunocompromised in school buildings, and on school grounds, even when social distancing is observed.

  • Individuals who are vaccinated are not required to wear a mask but may do so if desired.

  • Students and staff returning from a 5-day quarantine following a positive COVID-19 test must follow strict mask use, other than when eating, drinking, or outside, and conduct active monitoring for symptoms, through day 10 of exposure.

  • Masks will be required in all school health offices.

  • By federal public health order, all students and staff are required to wear a mask on school buses.


As a standard message, your support at home is recognized, valued, and appreciated by not only us, but by your child(ren).


  • Remind your child every day to be kind. We are all capable of being kind regardless of our individual differences. Promoting a kind environment is important throughout a child’s day both at school and at home.
  • Communicate the importance of education to your children. Each child should find time to read at home every day for enjoyment. Engage in dialogue about your child’s school day by asking open-ended questions.
  • Encourage play and physical activity. Limit television during the school week and keep your children away from electronics and social media for entertainment purposes.
  • Focus your encouragement on the process of hard work and effort, rather than the end result. We want students to learn to work hard and try their best always.
  • Establish good routines at home that involve a consistent bedtime. A well-rested child is a happier, more successful child.
  • We are a team and partners in your child’s success here at school. Communicate with us often.


Once again, remember to…"Push through your day, Smile, Be Happy, Stay Positive!"


Be safe! Stay well!


Rob & Karen

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COVID INFORMATION

COVID ANTI-GEN HOME TEST KITS


We have started our twice weekly distribution of COVID-19 Antigen Test kits. Please carefully review the information below for how distribution will go for the first week. Please remember to check your student(s) backpacks if you have signed up to receive test kits once they arrive home so that the kits can be properly placed.


Please be prepared to follow these steps:


  • This kit has (2) tests in it that can be used over the two week period.
  • Please be strategic when you use the kits. For example, if you are signed up to pool test on Tuesday, doing the test later in the week may make the most sense for you.
  • If you did not sign up for this distribution, you will have the opportunity to sign up for the next distribution which will take place on Friday, March 4th. We will not be able to accommodate adding more individuals on this distribution. You can use this link to sign up for the next distribution from Dr. Lang.
  • Please put the test kit in a safe place once you receive it. We will NOT be able to give you another kit until the next distribution.


Also Reminder:


  • We are no longer contact tracing and will focus our response to symptomatic cases of COVID-19. Nurse Shevaun will begin working with families and teachers to communicate information on any quarantining/isolating requirements.
  • The Test and Stay program will be discontinued effective Monday.
  • We will no longer be sending home letters to families to alert them of positive cases.
  • Staff and families can access the COVID-19 Dashboard to view positive cases in the building via the Superintendent’s update and CPS website. This will also include the pool testing dashboard.
  • Pool testing will continue on Tuesdays. Any positive pools that come back, we will reflex test those individuals in the pool (when results are received) to find the positive individual. That individual will follow the quarantine/isolation process. As a reminder, you can sign up for pool testing using this link at any time.


Please continue to stay vigilant in monitoring any and all symptoms of any sickness. We ask that you adhere to best practices for COVID precautions to be a responsible HES school community member. Please make sure that you follow all protocols upon your return and evaluate any illness or symptoms that your child might display and keep them home. We want to continue to provide a safe and full day, in-school learning experience to all students. In order for us to successfully manage the learning environment, we need to make sure that all of our staff and students in attendance are healthy and free from exposure to illnesses. Please remember to share your child's vaccine status with myself or Karen and we will get that information to the nurse's office.


COVID - FAQ's


1. Can I sign up for Pool Testing and /or At-Home Rapid Testing if my child has tested positive for Covid?


Pool testing and/or COVID testing is not recommended within 90 days of testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. Your child can participate in Pool Testing/At-Home Rapid Testing after 90 days from the positive Covid-19 test. It is extremely rare to be re- infected with the virus within 90 days of testing positive. Should symptoms develop within the 90-day period, please consult your healthcare provider for testing recommendations.


2. If my child does not participate in Pool Testing, can they still sign up for the At-Home Rapid Testing Program?


Yes. It is strongly recommended that all students participate in Pool Testing, however it is not required. Students not participating in Pool Testing may opt in for the At-Home Rapid Testing Program.


3. If I do NOT sign up my child for home tests, will they fall under different protocols regarding quarantine/mask wearing?


No. The same protocols for illness pertain to your child if symptomatic whether or not an individual is participating in the At-Home Rapid Testing Program. If an individual has Covid symptoms, testing for COVID-19 is strongly recommended.


4. If my child is a close contact from a school exposure, can they participate in ‘Test and Stay’ or do they need to quarantine at home?


As of 2/7/22, the school will be discontinuing contact tracing and the Test and Stay Program. If there is a potential school exposure to a positive case in the classroom, your child can continue to come to school if they are feeling well and are not symptomatic.


5. Do I need to pick up test kits every 2 weeks or can I skip weeks?


The At-Home Rapid Testing kits will be distributed at school and sent home every 2 weeks. One (1) test is to be taken weekly. The testing program is intended to be utilized

as a mitigation strategy and is a form of surveillance testing. By opting into this program, you are agreeing to administer the test according to the guidelines, which is weekly. If you do not intend to test weekly, please let the school know that you will not be participating in the At-Home Rapid Testing program.


6. My child is unvaccinated and is an “outside of school” close contact. Does my child have to quarantine at home for 5 days?


Yes. Unvaccinated close contacts must follow the response protocol for a positive exposure in the home or at an outside of school event. An unvaccinated close contact to a positive case in the home or in the community setting, must quarantine at home for 5 days. They may return on Day 6 if symptom free. Testing is strongly recommended on Day 5 but is not required. Strict mask wearing is required on days 6-10, except when eating, drinking or outside.


A vaccinated close contact to a positive case in the home or in the community, must monitor for symptoms for the full 10 days and it is recommended to test on Day 5, but not required.


7. If my child is not participating in the weekly pool testing but has signed up for the At- Home Rapid Testing Program, what day should they test?


The recommended testing day would be testing at home every Sunday.

  1. Will the classroom be notified of a positive home test result?
  2. Do parents need to report the results of the At-Home Rapid test?

10. Can my child test earlier in the week if they have symptoms?


No, the classroom will no longer be notified of a positive individual in the classroom. The district will publish the positive cases on the weekly COVID-19 Dashboard which includes the number of positive students and staff at each school. The district will also publish the weekly dashboard Pool Testing results.


Yes- a positive At-Home Rapid test needs to be reported to the school nurse. However, a negative result (hooray!) does not need to be reported.


The At-Home Test is primarily intended as a screening tool and is not meant for symptomatic testing. It is advised to call your healthcare provider for testing recommendations. However, if the test is used, a replacement test cannot be provided later in the week.

Winter Weather

Please ensure that your student(s) are coming to school with the appropriate clothing. Now that we have had a substantial snow fall, the proper snow gear should be brought to school. If you have extra sets of mittens, hats, and snow pants your student(s) will be able to leave them at school in their cubbies so they will not have to bring them back and forth to school. As long as we reach a specific threshold in regards to temperature, the plan will always be to go outside as much as possible for mask breaks and recess.

HPTO

Our next PTO meeting will be on Wednesday April 6 at 6:30pm. Please note that the March PTO meeting is cancelled due to the second Table Talk Math book group.

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Harrington's New Sensory Path

During the late Summer I was approached by a student who working to receive her Eagle Scout Award. For those of you that do not know the significance of this prestigious award here is a brief description:



"The EAGLE SCOUT AWARD is the highest award available to youth members of the Boy Scouts of America. It is a recognition by the National Court of Honor, presented through the local council and a local court of honor. It represents many years of dedicated effort , and the successful completion of a long process which started when the young man or woman became a Scout. It is a demonstration of how people, working together, can truly help mold a young man or woman with a solid sense of leadership, citizenship, and responsibility."


This Eagle Candidate, Sarah O'Meara's Eagle Award Project was to create and install a sensory path for Harrington. She wanted to install the path outside initially, but after careful consideration we decided the best option would be to install the new path inside where it can be properly maintained and used no matter the weather. Over February vacation, Sarah and her crew with the help of Nico installed the new path in the hallway outside of the library. The initial designs for the path were for it to be 59 ft, but due to maintenance costs with the floor, we had to reduce it to 30 ft. After a very long day this past Thursday, Sarah installed the biggest, the baddest, most amazing Sensory Path out of all the schools in the district. Sarah's commitment to this project from the beginning was incredibly impressive, her flexibility, her ideas, her devotion to the project was amazing to see and now students for years to come will be positivity impacted by her creation. I speak for the entire Harrington community when I say "Thank you" to Sarah! The gift of her creation will benefit many student in the years to come. Below I've shared some photos of the new path before, during, and after.

C. D. Harrington Elementary School

“Our mission is to cultivate inspired, creative, and well-rounded lifelong learners who possess the integrity and self-direction necessary to be contributing community members.”