Wachusett News

January 11, 2022

COVID-19 Notifications

Dear Families and Staff:

As you know, our community is experiencing a sharp increase in cases due to the Omicron variant. Due to this surge, we are making some changes to our notification protocols related to known cases in our schools. The following measures have been endorsed by our local Boards of Health & the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE).

  • Given the current volume of active and emerging cases, it is no longer feasible to perform effective contact-tracing for each case. However, our previous experience has shown a very low in-school transmission rate due to the various mitigation measures in place. Therefore, we are suspending contact-tracing at this time.

  • Beginning today, COVID-19 notifications will be more general in scope. Rather than identifying and notifying potential close contacts for each case, families will receive updates from their school principals with relevant information on new cases. At the Pre-K and elementary school levels, families will be notified by classroom since students spend so much of their day with the same classmates. Middle and high school cases will be reported daily to the whole school community so that parents will know the prevalence of new cases in their child’s school.As always, it is vital that families remain vigilant in monitoring symptoms and following protocols whenever symptoms arise. Please see the important resources below for more details:

Self-Screening protocol
Updated COVID-19 Quarantine Protocols

COVID-19 Dashboard
Superintendent’s Presentation to School Committee - 1/10/21

Thank you,

Darryll McCall


Routine COVID Safety Checks (Pooled Testing) Update

We are happy to announce that the Routine COVID Safety Check program (Pooled Testing) is now available to all members of our school community. This program involves combining several test samples together and then testing the group sample with a PCR test for detection of COVID-19. Testing for all consenting students and staff members will typically take place once weekly.

Please click here for the consent form to participate in Routine COVID Safety Checks.

Mask Mandate Extended

This week, DESE extended the mask mandate for all persons in school buildings through February 28th. The mandate includes the following information:

The following mask requirements will remain in effect:

  • Public school students ages 5 and older in all grades and staff are required to wear masks indoors in schools, except when eating, drinking or during mask breaks.

  • All visitors are also expected to wear a mask in school buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Masks are not required outdoors.

  • It is strongly recommended that students younger than 5 also wear a mask in school, which is consistent with the Department of Early Education and Care’s mask policy for child care providers.

  • Students and staff who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons and students who cannot wear a mask for behavioral reasons are exempt from the requirement.

  • Masks are required for any sports-related activity for student-athletes and coaches when indoors, in alignment with guidance provided by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA).

  • Masks should be provided by the student/family, but disposable masks should be made available by the school for students who need them.

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

Vaccination Information

The Rutland Regional Vaccine Team continues to offer vaccination clinics for adults and children 5 years old and above. Additionally, anyone over the age of 12 who is fully-vaccinated is now able to receive a booster dose (within applicable timelines). You can visit https://www.rrecc.us/vaccine for a complete schedule, and links to sign-up.

You can also find available vaccination appointments by visiting https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/ . On this site, you are able to enter your Zip Code, the vaccine you are looking for, and find available appointments in your local area.

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