Thursday's Words

February 17, 2022

What's Inside!

- Family Letter

- 2022-2023 Approved School Calendar

- Reminder: At-Home Rapid Testing Program OPT-IN Form

- School Committee Public Budget Hearing March 2, 2022

- COVID-19 Upcoming Vaccination Clinics

- March 2022 Parent Wellness Education Events

- COVID-19 Vaccination Status

- Kindness Week Feb 14-18th

- Norfolk PTO fundraiser

- Classroom Happenings

Dear Norfolk Families,

Last night during a special meeting, the Norfolk School Committee voted to lift the mask mandate in the Norfolk Elementary Schools and to align with the recommendations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and DESE. This decision was based on the following information:

  • Massachusetts has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country among young people. In Norfolk, we anticipate that when we return from February vacation, over 78% of our students will be fully vaccinated.

  • Massachusetts also has one of the strongest school Covid 19 testing programs in the nation. Last week the Norfolk School Committee voted to adopt the new optional weekly Covid 19 rapid antigen testing for students and staff members. Based on early registration, we expect strong participation in this program among those eligible to participate. Tests have already been ordered and we expect to begin distribution following the February break. This voluntary surveillance testing program will help us to identify potential asymptomatic cases and to support individuals with the required quarantine and isolation precautions. The district will also continue to provide Covid 19 rapid testing in school for symptomatic individuals.

  • Massachusetts has experienced a significant decline in the number of new daily Covid 19 cases and has seen a corresponding drop in the number of hospitalizations across the state. In Norfolk, our case counts at both the H. Olive Day School and the Freeman-Kennedy School have been trending down and have shown a significant drop since the early weeks of January. Based on recent data, we appear to be past the peak of the Omicron spike both statewide and locally.

  • Lastly, extensive data gathered through the state Covid 19 school Test and Stay program shows very low rates of Covid 19 transmission in schools. DESE reports that

As of January 9, 503,312 Test and Stay tests had been conducted; 496,440 of them were negative (98.6%). Evidence from California and Illinois cited by the CDC in their Test to Stay guidance noted secondary transmission rates of 0.7-1.5%. A pre- publication study of the first 13 weeks of the Test and Stay program across all participating Massachusetts Schools found that the secondary transmission rate was 2.9%, and that tertiary transmission was very low.

Effective Monday, February 28th, masking will be optional for students and staff in the Norfolk Public Schools. Unvaccinated students are strongly encouraged to wear masks when inside school buildings. The district will continue to enforce the DESE protocols for responding to positive Covid 19 cases. Students who test positive for Covid 19 will be allowed to return to school if they have been fever free for 24 hours and shown significant improvement in symptoms after five days of quarantine. These students will be required to wear masks for an additional five days when inside school buildings. ALL students will continue to be required to wear masks when riding school buses or accessing school transportation as required by a federal order. Students will also be required to wear a mask when visiting the nurse’s office.

We recognize that many students and staff members will prefer to continue wearing masks in order to protect their own health and safety or that of others in their household. In order to support all students in feeling comfortable as we make this transition, our school adjustment counselors have compiled resources for classroom teachers to support discussions around the importance of respecting individuals' mask choices. As a district, we will continue to reinforce our core values of appreciating differences and treating others with kindness and respect.

Please note the recommendation to transition to a mask optional policy is based on current public health conditions. Should there be a significant change in local or statewide conditions, or if new guidance is issued from the Department of Public Health, DESE or other government agencies, the School Committee would reserve the right to re-evaluate this decision.


Ingrid N. Allardi

2022-2023 Approved School Calendar

Reminder: At-Home Rapid Testing Program OPT-IN Form

To participate, you must opt in by completing the the required form below. By opting in, you will agree to review the training materials for test administration, report positive test results, and administer the tests according to Norfolk Public Schools’ guidelines. If you don’t want to participate you don’t need to complete the form.

Form for STAFF:

Norfolk Public Schools Rapid Antigen Testing Opt-In Form - STAFF

Form for STUDENTS:

Norfolk Public Schools Rapid Antigen Testing Opt-In Form - STUDENT K-6

Norfolk School Committee Public Hearing on the Budget

In accordance with Chapter 71 (Section 38N) of the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) a public hearing, for the purpose of discussion of the proposed FY2023 Annual School Budget, will be conducted by the Norfolk School Committee on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, commencing at 7:00pm, in the Freeman-Kennedy School Media Center located at 70 Boardman Street, Norfolk, MA.

Budget documents will be available for review and/or public inspection in the office of the Superintendent of Schools during business hours (8:00am to 4:00pm) on Monday, February 28, 2022, and Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Any questions may be directed to Dr. Ingrid Allardi, Superintendent at 508-528-1225.


COVID-19 Kids Clinic - FEB. 23

The area Public Health Nurses will host a Children's Vaccination Clinic on Feb. 23 at the Franklin Senior Center.

Click on the picture for more information!

March 1, 2022 6-7 pm at King Philip Middle School

March 1, 2022 6-7 pm at King Philip Middle School

• Second dose clinic for those who received first dose on February 8. (Appointments previously scheduled)

• Walk-ins for first, second or boosters will be allowed. No pre-registration. Bring Vaccination Cards if this is a 2nd or booster dose.

March 2022 Parent Wellness Education Events

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COVID-19 Vaccination Status

If your child has been fully vaccinated (completion of either the Pfizer or Moderna series or two weeks following a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson Janssen vaccine) please send a photocopy of your child’s vaccination card in a sealed envelope to your child’s school nurse. Fully vaccinated students are exempt from test and quarantine requirements. Having a record of each child’s vaccination status will support our nurses with future contract tracing efforts.

H. Olive Day School Nurse- Ann Hurley

Freeman-Kennedy School Nurse- Barbara DiGiacomo

Kindness Week is February 14th-18th!

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Norfolk PTO fundraiser with the Providence Bruins!

Come to the Providence Bruins game on 03/06/22! A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Norfolk PTO! Thank you! Just use this link to purchase tickets!

Norfolk Recreation Upcoming Event!

Random Acts of Kindness in action in Mrs. Williamson's Class!

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In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Week, Ms. Binette's students made 22 knotted fleece blankets for the cats and dogs at the Baypath Humane Society in Hopkinton, Ma.

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5th and 6th grade students completed this beautiful kindness door following these six steps for the project

1. Researching Kindness Quotes
2. Analyzed the quotes
3. Provided real life examples of kindness
4. Edited their quote analysis
5. Illustrated their quote analysis
6. Decorated our door to showcase this awesome work.

Students working on Kindness Quote Rhythm Compositions in Music Class for Kindness Week!

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Norfolk Public Schools