Center Community Chat

December 19, 2021

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Dear Center Families,

Many thanks to our district nursing coordinator, Peggy Gump, who arranged for therapy dogs to visit Center. What a wonderful way to start the week! They will be coming back once a month. We can't wait for our furry friends to return.

As winter break begins next Friday, the next update will be published on January 5th. Enjoy the quieter pace next week, be safe, and enjoy special time with friends and family.

Best wishes for health and happiness in 2022!

Warm regards,

Dianna and Donna

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:

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

Good Things

1st grade and 4th grade students paired up for reading

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Students caught showing their PRIDE


Upcoming Events


  • Wednesday, December 22: Festive /Ugly Sweater Day

  • Friday, December 24: Start of December recess. (Dec 24 - Jan 3


  • Monday, January 3: School reopens

  • Thursday, January 6: School Council, 4-5

  • Friday, January 7: End of Marking Period Kindergarten

  • Tuesday, January 11: Half Day - Professional Day

  • Paraprofessional Meeting w/Admin (8:15-8:45 in the staff room)

  • 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

  • Friday, January 21: Deadline for posting grades Kindergarten

  • 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

Resources and Information

COVID Update and Information

It has come to our attention that many families have been using at home tests for the COVID-19 virus. While we appreciate testing at home with the antigen test, the at home test, in the school setting, is not considered a confirmed positive test. Once you have a positive home test, please schedule a laboratory test (PCR) to confirm the positive home test immediately. The PCR test is the most accurate way to diagnosis the COVID-19 virus. It is also important to contact your healthcare provider and school nurse to inform of the positive test.

It is important to note that, for now, the at home test is discarded after use. The results of the home tests are not reported to the Department of Public Health and the positive test is not processed and sequenced in a lab. This will weaken the ability to track variants, discover mutations and document positive cases.

Testing is critically important to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, or have been identified as a close contact, you should be tested, regardless of vaccination status. If you have recovered from COVID-19 within the past 90 days, you should consult with a healthcare provider before testing again.

If the test is positive for COVID-19, the positive individual must isolate away from others in the home. Please inform your healthcare provider and the school nurse of a positive test, as well as notify any close contacts. A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet (while indoors) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

In consultation with the Chelmsford Board of Health, these are the recommendations for unvaccinated and vaccinated close contacts:

An unvaccinated close contact should:

  • Quarantine and follow the testing and quarantine guidelines for the exposure.
  • It is recommended that unvaccinated close contacts test immediately and then again on day 5.
  • The rationale for testing immediately, is that in the event of testing positive, the 10- day isolation period can begin sooner rather than later.
  • Unvaccinated close contacts must monitor for symptoms for the full 14-days.
  • Unvaccinated close contacts may participate in Test and Stay if the exposure to the positive case was in the school setting.
  • To be eligible to participate in Test and Stay, consent for Test and Stay must be received by the school a minimum of three days prior to the exposure.
  • The link to consent for Test and Stay is:

    Student Consent Form: Weekly COVID-19 Pool Testing and/or Test and Stay Protocol

*Please note: If the exposure to the positive case was in the home or in the community, this is a higher risk exposure. Therefore, the quarantine must be completed at home and the close contact is not eligible to participate in Test and Stay.

In the school setting, vaccinated close contacts:

  • Are exempt from testing and quarantine protocols.
  • However, we recommend testing, as vaccinated close contacts in some instances are testing positive. Therefore, it is recommended (not required), to test immediately and if negative, to test again on day 3, 4 or 5.
  • Vaccinated close contacts must wear a mask until a negative test is received.
  • It is recommended that vaccinated close contacts monitor for symptoms for the full 14-days.

Nationwide, and in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there has recently been an increase in the number of positive cases. However, the good news, is that due to the high vaccination rates, the symptoms experienced in most cases have been relatively mild. We have seen that same trend in our school community as well.

While we have seen an increase in cases in our school population, the vast majority of the positive cases have been traced back to exposures in the home or at an event outside of school. Understandably, we are seeing many signs of “COVID FATIGUE”- however, it is imperative to continue the practices that we know will stop the spread of COVID-19. We ask for your help promote the following mitigation strategies:

  • If experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, test immediately and isolate until results are back
  • If identified as a close contact, please follow the testing and quarantine protocols
  • If diagnosed with COVID-19, please follow the 10-day isolation protocol
  • Wear a mask while indoors (masks should fit snugly around the nose and mouth)
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer.
  • When feasible, maintain physical distance from others

Lastly, we strongly encourage those eligible to be vaccinated and to receive the booster! The COVID-19 vaccine and booster will increase the level of protection against the virus. The 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.

The collective health of our school community, and our community at large, relies on a collaborative partnership with our families. This partnership requires our families to follow the best practices and guidelines that we know will decrease the spread of the virus.

As always, thank you all for your cooperation and continued efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19!

Peggy Gump, M.Ed BSN RN
Coordinator of Nursing Services