December 23, 2021
Happy Holidays Harrington Families
On behalf of Harrington Elementary School, I would like to wish all of you a safe, restful and wonderful Holiday. I hope all of you are able to enjoy the simple pleasures of happiness, smiles and laughters this holiday season. We are all very grateful to have such a wonderful community to support us through the good times and the challenging times!
Please be safe and stay well! We will see you in the New Year!
Once again, remember to…"Push through your day, Smile, Be Happy, Stay Positive!"
Be safe! Stay well!
Rob & Karen
Let's Stay Connected!
COVID Update for Harrington Families
Testing is critically important to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, 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.
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:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdfSHazJ4EQvmKRfes5QkMmCdcjOjrqpTlecVxPd6PXMlmLZA/viewform
*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:
- STAY HOME IF NOT FEELING WELL
- 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
Chelmsford Public Schools
200 Richardson Road
N. Chelmsford, MA 01863
Grade 2 Mitten & Glove Drive
Congratulations to Grade 2 for sponsoring another Mitten and Glove Drive this year. The drive surpassed last year's totals with 349 pairs of mittens and gloves donated. Surpassing 2019's 290 pairs donated. Such an amazing job to Grade 2, and a special thanks to all that donated mittens and gloves.
SCHOOL REMINDERS -
HPTO Meetings: On that first Wednesday of each month we hold our HPTO meetings at 6:30, in person and virtually. Our PTO gives parents and teachers the opportunity to work together to supplement and enrich the educational experience for all. Harrington Elementary is incredibly fortunate to have such a strong, dedicated, motivated, well-functioning PTO. Our HPTO is the teacher's and community's most important ally when it comes to achieving curricular and fundraising goals throughout the year. I know that everyone leads busy lives, as does this amazing PTO board, so, I would ask all of you to try to take some time at the beginning of each month to support our HPTO by attending their meetings either in person or virtually. If you have a Facebook account, join the HPTO page for important news and information of upcoming events and links to the meetings.
Mask Help: If possible send your child’s mask in on a breakaway lanyard as many students are losing their masks out at recess.
Approaching Cold Weather: As we approach our cold weather season, please make sure students are coming to school with the appropriate clothing. Unless we reach a specific threshold in regards to temperature, the plan will always be to go outside as much as possible for mask breaks and recess.
Happy Holidays from your HPTO! Thank you for all of your support this year! We’re looking forward to continuing to serve the Harrington community in 2022!
Our next meeting will be Wednesday February 2 at 6:30pm in the Harrington Library and online. Follow our Facebook page for the link to join!
Please note that there will not be a meeting in January due to the Table Talk Math book group.