Office Update: February 10, 2022
Dewing School Information from Mrs. Gerrish and Mrs. Bosworth
Hello Dewing School Community,
This week, we celebrated 100 days of school. The other day, I saw many of our students in the hallways dressed as 100 year olds. Not only did they look amazing, but they had a surprising amount of energy for being 100! All joking aside, this a wonderful time of year to reflect on how far we have come and what progress our students have made.
Masking: As you may have seen, DESE has lifted the masking requirement effective 2/28/22. While more information will be forthcoming from Central Office as to the impact of this on the Tewksbury Public Schools, we do remind our families that we must continue to enforce masking through that date.
Student Absences: This week, we sent out many attendance letters. These letters were sent out for K-2 students with unexused absences totaling 5 or more. While we do ask that you keep your child home if s/he is feeling ill, it is important for families to remember that our attendance procedures from the PK-4 Elementary Handbook must still be enforced. In order for an illness to be marked as excused, we will need record of a doctors' note or results of COVID testing/quarantining received by the nurse. It is our legal obligation to reach out to families and addres any attendance concerns. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
Help Needed: This Saturday, February 12, the Dewing Site Council is looking for volunteers to help with our STEAM Lab. Please see the information below if you are able to assist.
Valentine's Day: Your child's homeroom teacher will be sharing information about any planned activities. As a friendly reminder, we are not able to distribute food/candy to students. Thank you for your cooperation.
Terry Gerrish and Alexis Bosworth
Friday, Feb 18-Half Day-No PM PK
Feb 21-25th-Feb Recess-No School
March 16-No School-Professional Development Day
STEAM Lab Update/Help Wanted
On Tuesday, under the leadership of Principal Gerrish and guidance of Mrs. Legvold we were able complete Phase 1 of packing and organizing the STEAM Room.
A special thanks to Principal Gerrish, Molly Ginsburg, Rachel Placzek, Lauren Wagstaff, Susie Lanterman, Leah Shea, Kristin Grenier, Chrystal Som, Melissa Harris and all the kids for all their efforts yesterday (please view attached pictures)
Thanks to them we were able to finish the Phase 1 task an hour and half prior to the scheduled time.
We are still looking for volunteers on Saturday, Feb 12, 2022 from 10 AM to 2 PM for Phase 2 which is unpacking the science kits.
This event will take place at the Dewing school in the STEAM room, behind the cafeteria. Volunteers are asked to enter the building through the front door entrance. Volunteers are welcome to bring their children as long as they look after them; Additional child supervision will not be provided.
If you are able to help out either day, please respond to directly to firstname.lastname@example.org of the Dewing Site Council with your availability prior to noon on Friday Feb11, 2022
For those who have signed up, Thank you so very much.
Dewing Site Council
January 26, 2022-Letter Regarding At Home COVID Test Kits
Dear TPS Families:
Last week we sent you information (via email) from DESE, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Public Health (DPH) regarding an update to the COVID-19 Testing Program for districts and schools. Today, we are writing to let you know, in accordance with the DESE and the DPH, our district is updating our COVID-19 Testing Program, effective for families potentially the week of January 31, 2022.
We are opting into an at-home testing program that will increase testing of our participating students and staff, regardless of vaccination status. For more information about this update to the statewide testing program, please click here. The at-home testing option will begin for students potentially during the week of January 31, 2022. In addition to this new at-home antigen test kit option, we will continue with routine COVID safety checks (Pooled Testing) and/or symptomatic testing during the week. As part of this shift in the program, we are discontinuing Test and Stay and contact tracing for in-school close contacts. This means that if you are a potential close contact in school, you may continue to come to school and do not have to quarantine. This new at-home testing opportunity is voluntary and only those who opt-in will receive test kits. We strongly encourage you to fill out the form by Friday, January 28th, 4:00 P.M. (students/families may sign up after this time but will not be eligible for the first shipment of test kits) to opt-in. Test kits for those students who are opted in will be given to the student to take home. If there is a specific family concern regarding this please contact your building principal.
COVID-19 Testing Programs in our Schools:
At-Home Rapid Antigen Testing (NEW opt-in form)
* if you have not already signed up for our currently available testing options see below*
*Routine COVID Safety Checks (Pooled Testing) every week and Symptomatic Testing (If you have not yet signed up, click here)
Overview: At-Home Rapid Testing Program *Please retain the below information for when you actually begin testing.
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 online form. By opting in, you will agree to review the training materials for test administration, report positive test results, and administer the tests according to Tewksbury Public School’s guidelines.
Reporting Positive Test Results: If you test positive on an at-home antigen test, you will report the positive result to your school nurse via email or phone call. The district will keep the results confidential and will not make individual results public. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you inform your healthcare professional of the positive result.
Weekly: Every two weeks you will receive an iHealth at-home rapid test kit. Each kit contains two individual tests. You will administer one test each week.
Easy, Free, and Flexible: This test is administered at home (not at school), reducing the burden on school staff and time to administer tests and increasing your flexibility to do testing in the home for free.
How do I administer the test?
Click here for a full “how to” written guide in various languages
Click here for a video of an individual self-testing
Confidentiality: Positive test results are shared with the district for informational purposes only. Individual results will remain confidential, and they will never be made public.
Superintendent Chris Malone