THE NAVIGATOR

March 12, 2021

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Newsletter

This Newsletter updates on all matters connected to Cohasset Public Schools. This letter is sent as part of a District initiative focusing on communication.
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School Committee Approves the Exploration of a Plan to Increase In-Person Learning for Middle and High School Students

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Preliminary discussions regarding the potential increase of in-person learning for middle and high school students took place at the March 3, 2021 School Committee Meeting. The Cohasset School Committee unanimously voted to approve the exploration of a plan to return all middle and high school students to full in-person learning, with a target implementation date of April 5, 2021.


On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, Commissioner Riley delivered In-Person Learning Guidance to all Superintendents and District Leaders. Since that time, we have been working to once again pressure test every area to these requirements. Within the guidance, Commissioner Riley announced a timeline for full in-person learning for all elementary and middle schools in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The dates districts are required to implement full in-person learning are April 5 for elementary schools and April 28 for middle schools. High school dates have not yet been created. It is anticipated that decisions will be made in regards to high schools at some point in April. Please see the image below for a depiction of this timeline. We are happy that our March 1 return to full in-person learning at the elementary schools and our proposed April 5 return to full in-person learning at the middle school and high school are well ahead of this timeline.

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We look forward to the continued collaboration, as we move to provide the paramount in-person learning as much as possible for our students.


Surveys were sent out to all families of middle school and high school students gauging their interest in moving forward with a full in-person learning model given conditions that need to be considered. We have also sent out a survey to families in the hopes that we can offer full busing for students in the middle and high school who require busing.


There will be a presentation at the March 17, 2021 Cohasset School Committee Meeting highlighting the results of these surveys and providing a preliminary plan for full in-person implementation. We encourage input from families, students, and staff, and we look forward to working as a school community to make the best decisions to help our students.

Timeline for Possible Full-time In-Person Return for Middle School and High School Students

March 3: Public introduction of intent regarding possible return to full in-person learning for middle and high school students on April 5, 2021

March 4: Continue discussions with faculty; begin work with CTA (meeting already set for next week) and other unions

March 4 - 9: Send survey to families to gauge interest in full in-person learning at the middle and high school level

March 4 – 17: Start formulating scheduling, plans for drop-off / pick-up, lunch, etc...; begin moving furniture into middle and high school for pressure testing purposes

March 17: Deliver presentation to School Committee, asking for preliminary approval of plans

March 18 – March 31: Continue collaborations with all stakeholders and unions

March 31: Deliver final presentation for Vote (special School Committee Meeting)

April 5: Implement full in-person return pending approval by School Committee

Results of Research on 3 feet versus 6 feet of distance released

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At a recent meeting with superintendents, Commissioner Riley highlighted that Dr. Fauci stated that the Massachusetts plan for implementation at 3 foot of separation distance is "practical and realistic." The 3 foot distance was determined to be safe by information present in The Lancet, "which noted that a risk of infection is similar at 1 meter (approximately 3 feet), as it is at 2 meters (approximately 6 feet) in low to intermediate risk settings." This 2020 study in The Lancet, found that, across 16 countries, social distancing of at least 3 feet led to significantly lower transmission rates (Chu, Duda, Solo, Yaaciub, & Schunemann, 2020). Researchers found a significant reduction in risk with distancing of at least three (3) feet, but no additional benefit at six (6) feet, as long as the baseline risk is low enough (Chu, Et al, 2020).
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This information from last fall has been bolstered by new data from a recent study entitled, The Effectiveness of three versus six feet of physical distancing for controlling spread of COVID-19 among primary and secondary students and staff: A retrospective, state-wide cohort study (Van den Berg, Schechter-Perkins, Jack, Epshtein, Nelso, Oyster, and Branch-Ellma, 2021). This study analyzed infectious control plans and COVID-19 case numbers in 243 school districts across the state between September 30, 2020 and January 7, 2021. Of those districts, 194 had students spaced at a minimum of six (6) feet, and 49 had three (3) feet of distance. There was not a higher rate of cases of COVID-19 in either students nor staff in districts that had students spaced more closely (Van der Berg, Et al., 2021)
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In addition, over 300 doctors signed a letter supporting in-person learning with mitigation measures, including three (3) feet of distance between students when masked.
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Looking ahead...We will be offering ways to fill any potential learning gaps. Information is fothfoming on programs that will be offered to students and families.

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Vaccine Roll-Out for Educators

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We are happy to report that we were able to secure 100 vaccinations for school staff today at the Marshfield Fair-Grounds Vaccination Site. Between that offering, the efforts of the PSO to assist teachers in finding vaccinations, the great work of our front office staff, and the individual efforts from staff and the CTA leadership, we are well on our way to having all staff who wish to be vaccinated at least partly through the vaccination process. A huge thank you goes out to all who are working to help our staff.
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Cohasset Community Health Update

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Health Metrics

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Cohasset Community is now in the Yellow Category...Please continue to be vigilant regarding Covid-19 protocols and safety measures

Please see the information below regarding the town of Cohasset’s positive COVID 19 rate and case count over the past 14 days.


Community Report:

As of March 11, 2021, the Department of Public Health (DPH) reports that the town of Cohasset’s positive COVID-19 test rate over the past 14 days is 1.48%, with 16 positive cases out of 1218 tests reported. Under the DPH metrics, the town of Cohasset is in the "Yellow" category for communities who have a population of under 10,000 who have less than or equal to 25 positive cases over the last 14 days. The “Green” category is less than or equal to 15 positive cases over a 14 day period.


It is imperative that we all follow the protocols of handwashing / hand sanitizing and wearing face-covering masks when appropriate to do so. Here is the complete report that was issued on Thursday, 3/11/2021.


COVID-19 Case Update:

In addition, we have been informed today that one (1) person in our Deer Hill School Community has tested positive for COVID-19. All close contacts were identified, contacted, and provided with quarantining information. If you were not contacted, then you / your child was not a close contact. Our thoughts go out to this School Community Member.


For your information, please find below a summary table of all confirmed positive COVID cases in the District as of today, Friday, March 12, 2021.


Confirmed Positive Cases as of Friday, March 12, 2021


NEW TRAVEL RULES:

Persons Who Have Been Completely Vaccinated for COVID-19: Individuals who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Janssen vaccine, more than 14 days ago and who do not have symptoms, do not need to obtain a negative test prior to traveling to, or quarantine upon arrival to, Massachusetts. COVID-19 vaccinated individuals arriving in Massachusetts must have documentation of their vaccination(s), including the date(s) of administration, available if asked. This exception does not include COVID-19-recovered individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19, who must follow all testing and quarantine guidance outlined in the travel rules.


IMPORTANT TRAVEL REMINDERS (other than as stated above):

  • Travelers arriving in Massachusetts are required to immediately begin the 10-day quarantine until a negative test result has been received.
  • COVID-19 test must be administered up to 72-hours prior to the arrival in Massachusetts.
  • If you took a test prior to your arrival but have not received your negative result, you MUST quarantine until you receive the negative result.
  • If a test is not obtained before entry in Massachusetts, a test can be obtained after arrival, but you MUST quarantine until you receive a negative result.
  • According to the MA DPH regulations, one must obtain an approved molecular PCR test. Please note, a rapid-antigen test is not an acceptable test to end a travel quarantine.
  • If choosing not to be tested after traveling, one must complete a 10-day quarantine upon arriving in Massachusetts.


As there are signs that our infection rates are stabilizing, please try to avoid travel, if possible. If you must travel, please be sure to follow all travel orders.

Please click on the link to review the Massachusetts COVID-19 travel order



UPDATED Cohasset Public Schools Travel Order Protocol

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March is the New September at Joseph Osgood and Deer Hill Elementary Schools!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...Here are some images from our full in-person openings at Osgood and Deer Hill last week.

We were so thrilled to welcome back all of our elementary students at Joseph Osgood School and Deer Hill School last week for full in-person learning! Thank you to the Cohasset School Committee, District Leadership Team, staff, and families for making this a reality for our students. It was heartwarming to see our students interacting with all of their classmates and teachers. Also, thank you to the School Committee and the PSO for collaborating to provide "Cohasset Strong" pins for our teachers and t-shirts for all our students. Thank you to the CEF for acknowledging our staff with refreshments.
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Coming Soon... Announcements Regarding Events for Seniors and Graduation

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Keep a close look out for information coming soon from Principal Scott and team regarding senior activities, date for senior last day, and graduation. We are excited to celebrate the Class of 2021!
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BE THE CHANGE

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We will continue to engage students and staff in the meaningful discussions necessary to promote change. We are committed to promoting anti-racism and cultural competency.
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Please visit our website for resources regarding the promotion of diversity.

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Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Assistant Superintendent Leslie Scollins, Ed.D.

Professional Development Days

A year ago we sent students and staff home with the thought that we would return after a 2 week period. You know what happened next. Over this past year teachers have been pushed and stretched to think about how to deliver instruction in a variety of modalities. It is time to reflect. Next week teachers and staff will participate in professional development on Thursday afternoon (3/18) and all day Friday (3/19). Teachers will focus on what they have learned over the past year and spend time collaborating through sharing acquired skills in technology as well as discuss student learning and what needs to be done to ensure that the standards are met by the end of the year. What a difference a year can make.

DESE District and School Report Cards

We are pleased to share with you the 2020 school report card from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. You can access a link to our District and School Report Card at:

Cohasset Public School District and School Report Card

Student Opportunity Act (SOA)

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There are many stressors to our day-to-day lives, including the pandemic and the current political unrest. There are many resources available. The District Website has a page dedicated to Social Emotional Learning and Wellness. Below are some additional resources that you or a friend may find helpful. Please remember that our schools are a resource and our adjustment counselors can support you and your child.


Osgood: Dave Vinton dvinton@cohassetk12.org

Deer Hill: Laurie Dolan ldolan@cohassetk12.org

Robyn Costa rcosta@cohassetk12.org


CMS: Emily Manewal emanewal@cohassetk12.org

CHS: Leanne McCarthy lmccarthy@cohassetk12.org

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RISE Before and After School Program

Looking for a way to avoid the lines at drop off and pick up at Osgood and Deer Hill?

Why not enroll your child(ren) in RISE? The Cohasset Public Schools and the Cohasset Recreation Department provide before and after school care for our students at Osgood and Deer Hill Elementary Schools all five days. Brett Youmans, DHS PE Teacher, is the director of the program. For more information about the program and how to register follow this link.

Finance and Operations Update

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PUBLIC HEARING

ON

FISCAL YEAR 2022 SCHOOL BUDGET


A public hearing took place on March 3, 2021 at 5:30 pm. Thank you to all who attended this hearing. After the deliberation on and certification of the proposed Fiscal Year 2022 School Budget, the plan was unanimously voted to move forward to the town for consideration. Thank you to the Cohasset School Committee, our Director of Finance and Operations (Susan Owen), to the District Leadership Team, and to everyone who helped collaborate regarding this data-based budget.

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Kindergarten Registration is now Open for 2021 - 2022 School Year

Kindergarten Registration Information

Kindergarten Registration Timeline

Cohasset Middle School to Start Cross-Country Team

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Courtesy of Principal Mills:


"We are now taking the small first step of offering the CMS Cross-Country/Running Club to ALL interested students. The club will begin Monday March 22 and conclude just before April vacation. The CMS Cross-Country/Running Club will be supervised by Coach Ron Ford and Asst. Coach Sage Belber, the CHS Cross-Country coaching team.

The CMS Cross-Country/Running Club is open to ALL, whether new to running or advanced. The CMS Cross-Country/Running Club will follow the MIAA COVID Modifications and Guidelines in order to keep members safe and healthy. The course will utilize the school campus and the Milliken Field area. Students will not leave the immediate school area and will not be exposed to traffic.

This is a great opportunity for students to get outside and be active, make new friendships, and be part of a new tradition at CMS." Information is forthcoming to CMS families regarding this exciting opportunity.:

Sports Information

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Cohasset Football Season Schedule

Good luck, Football, Cheer, and Band, as the Skippers face the Rockland Bulldogs tonight!
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Visit Cohasset Athletics to Get Updates on All of Our Teams

Images of the Week

Please click on the image below to view a trailer for an episode of Chronicle, hosted by Anthony Everett from Cohasset. This episode highlights college student experience throughout the pandemic and includes footage and interview with Jason Conforti, filmmaker and Cohasset grad (Class of 2020).

Please click on the image below to access information about how you can help fund the Cohasset Education Foundation fundraiser for our Project Adventure Grant

This week, Dr. West (CHS Science teacher) set up algae growing labs at CHD for his Environmental and Marine Science classes. Dr. West and students are also prepping the organic gardens this week. Thank you, Dr. West, students, and Holly Hill Farm for your great collaboration.

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Deer Hill Visit

Mrs. Cerwonka, Ms. Radden, and Dr. Scollins had a great visit at Deer Hill on Friday (3/12). The building was full of energy on the beautiful unusually warm day!
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Principal Sullivan and Ella (Gr. 5) discussing Ella's recycling proposal.
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Computers with Mr. Saluti. When asked what was the best part of a school a student said "being here with all my friends" - absolutely heart warming!
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Ms. O'Hara's 4th grade class taking advantage of the gorgeous weather.
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This week we celebrated National Womens Day 2021! #internationalwomensday2021

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SAFE HARBORS UPDATES

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The "Don't Wait" video provides insights on why it’s essential for parents to talk to their kids early and often; how to best approach these conversations; and what to do if you spot the signs of drug and alcohol use in your child. This now available, for a limited time, for you or anyone you can share this with, to watch at your own convenience, through a Promo Code listed below. This is a film every parent and caring adult must see! Availability to watch this video is now through March 10, 2021.

Here are the directions to follow to log in to the video:

  1. Go to https://vimeo.com/ondemand/dontwaitpromo
  2. Click on "Rent $10.00" You won't be charged; it's already paid for
  3. You will be asked to log in or to create a Vimeo account by entering your name, email and password
  4. Enter the Promo Code: DFPG2021


Safe Harbor Cohasset Coalition’s “Our Safe Home” campaign is about addressing the issues of youth access of alcohol in the community, which involves parents, guardians, merchants, and youth themselves. Parents pledge their commitment to joining other parents in providing a fun, safe, and substance-free environment for our children. Merchants pledge to comply by following the law and regulations, to not sell alcohol to young people under 21 years old. Youth are increasing awareness of the issue by talking to adults in their community.


We recognize that we cannot supervise our teens 24/7, nor can we always control the choices they make. However, we will do our part to discourage underage drinking and we will do our best to help each other support and monitor our teens.


Please see the link below for more information:



http://safeharborcohasset.org/our-safe-home/

Please Click on the Image Below for a Video Regarding the "Our Safe Home Pledge"

Please Click on the Image Below to Access an Important PSA Regarding Dangerous "Pressed Pills"

Health Reminders and Protocols

Update on FLU Vaccine Requirement for Students


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is removing the requirement for flu vaccination for attendance in childcare/preschool, primary, secondary and postsecondary education. Preliminary data show that this has been a mild flu season to date, presumably as people have received their seasonal flu vaccine and have been adhering to mask-wearing and social distancing due to COVID-19. Given the intensive Commonwealth-wide efforts regarding COVID-19 vaccination, DPH wants to alleviate the burden to obtain flu vaccination and focus on continuing our COVID -19 vaccination efforts.


DPH continues to strongly recommend that everyone age six months and older receive their seasonal flu vaccine each year. ​

Quarantining Guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)

Here is the recent guidance from the CDC regarding quarantining:

"Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier for people to quarantine by reducing the time they cannot work. A shorter quarantine period also can lessen stress on the public health system, especially when new infections are rapidly rising.


Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. Options they will consider include stopping quarantine


  • After day 10 without testing
  • After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)

After stopping quarantine, you should

  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
  • If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.
  • Wear a mask, social distance from others, wash their hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus. CDC will continue to evaluate new information and update recommendations as needed." (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html)

The Important Role Families Play In Stopping the Spread of COVID-19

Families will play an important role in helping to create a culture that prioritizes health and safety. Families should check their children daily for signs of COVID-19 and should keep them home from school if they are not feeling well or if they have been in close contact with a person who has been recently diagnosed with COVID-19. It is also important that families support students wearing masks in school and on the bus. We are strongest when we work together to stop the spread (Initial Fall School Re-entry Guidance, 2020).


CPS Pledge: Healthy and Responsible Behaviors Regarding COVID-19

By coming into Cohasset Public Schools, I pledge I am following:


  • State expectations for social and physical distancing

  • Regulations regarding the wearing of facial coverings over your nose and mouth when in public settings (for students from grades PK– 12 and for all staff)

  • Quarantine directives put forth by the Massachusetts Department of Health and the Cohasset Department of Health

  • Guidance that has students and staff stay home from school / work if they are experiencing symptoms of fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing, or dry cough or if they have exhibited any symptoms relating to COVID-19

Cohasset COVID-19 Protocols and COVID-19 Information

Please follow the link below to access our COVID-19 protocols

One Year Ago Today....

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One year ago today, we closed all schools for what we thought might be a couple of weeks. Since that time, we have experienced a great deal of loss. This is a good time for all of us to reflect on all that is good and all that we can provide through our kindness to and our support for one another. Since that time, we have also experienced a great deal of compassion and strength. This is also a good time for all of us to reflect on what we can do to carry each other forward, as we see vaccinations taking hold and we begin moving towards a brighter day.


I am so appreciative to be working in this wonderful school community.


Sincerely,


Patrick Sullivan, Ed.D.

Superintendent

Cohasset Public Schools

Take Care of Yourself and Take Care of Each Other

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Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can do anything to help your student or your family during this difficult time. Most important is the physical and mental health of everyone, and we will stay focused on making that a priority. Please take good care.

Please click on the following link to access even more information on the Cohasset Public Schools Web Site.

Please follow me on Twitter for daily updates from the Cohasset Public Schools