October 1, 2021
School Committee Meeting to Review Safety Measures and Considerations to take place this Wednesday, October 6, beginning at 6:00PM
School Safety Considerations and Procedures
The following represent the operational and Department of Public Health (DPH) / Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirements that are currently in effect in all of our schools. These measures will be reviewed at the October 6 School Committee Meeting:
In-Person Learning: “As noted in the Updates to DESE COVID-19 Guidance released on May 27, 2021, all districts and schools will be required to be in-person, full-time, five days a week this fall...” (DESE/DPH COVID-19 Guidance for Districts and Schools: Fall 2021).
All schools in Cohasset will begin the school year in-person, full-time, five days a week:
CHS & CMS: 8:15AM - 2:55PM
Deer Hill: 9:05AM - 3:25PM
Joseph Osgood: 9:10AM - 3:30PM
Masking: Effective immediately, public school students and staff in all grades are required to wear masks indoors in schools, except as noted in the guidance linked below. Masks are not required when outdoors. All visitors are also expected to wear a mask in school buildings. Please click on the link to see the full masking / face covering mandates.
Physical Distancing in Schools: All Cohasset schools will begin the year by doing all they can to maintain 3 feet distance (edge of seat to edge of seat) in the classroom and 6 foot of distance when eating indoors. Our classroom and eating space furniture has been arranged to maintain this distance. Maintaining this distance is essential because of close-contact and quarantining guidelines.
Close-Contacts and Quarantines: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the following is the definition of a close contact: “Close contacts are defined as individuals who have been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive individual while indoors, for at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour period.”
Exemptions from testing and quarantine response protocols:
“• Asymptomatic, fully vaccinated close contacts: Individuals who are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.
• Classroom close contacts: An individual who is exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual in the classroom while both individuals were masked, so long as the individuals were spaced at least 3 feet apart, is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.
• Bus close contacts: Individuals on buses must be masked according to federal requirements. As such, individuals who are masked on buses when windows are open are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.
• Close contacts who have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days: An individual who has been previously diagnosed with COVID-19 and then becomes a close contact of someone with COVID-19 is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols if:
• The exposure occurred within 90 days of the onset of their own illness AND the exposed individual is recovered and remains without COVID-19 Symptoms” (DESE/DPH Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios - SY 2021 - 2022).
Synchronous Provisions for Students during Quarantine: At this time synchronous provisions for students experiencing quarantine are still being bargained with the Cohasset Teachers Association (CTA). Information will be forthcoming.
Test-and-Stay: At this time, Cohasset Public Schools does not plan on implementing test-and-stay in our school buildings. Families will be informed if Cohasset Public Schools decides to implement this measure.
Ventilation, Hand-Hygiene, and Staying Home When Ill: We will continue the successful practices of using Portable Air Cleaners (PACs) to improve the air changes per hour and ventilation in all buildings. We will continue the successful hand washing and hand sanitizing processes we had in place last year. We encourage students to stay home when sick.
Transportation Guidance: “By federal public health order, all students and staff are required to wear masks on school buses at this time” (DESE/DPH COVID-19 Guidance for Districts and Schools: Fall 2021). Windows will remain open on buses. No physical distancing is required on buses, and the DPH / DESE guidance indicates that no quarantines will result from riding on a bus.
Other Safety Considerations:
Cleaning Protocols: We will be sticking with our successful cleaning protocols established last year at all schools.
Sharing of Materials: We will be allowing students to share materials, although we will minimize this sharing when possible.
Locker rooms and lockers: We will be using lockers and locker rooms, but lockers will not be shared. Osgood will continue to use their successful outside of the classroom “hook” system.
Field trips: We will be allowing field trips and club trips...masks will currently be required on all buses and transportation per guidance.
Visitors in buildings: We will be allowing approved visitors into the buildings as we did pre-COVID). Per masking requirements, all visitors are required to wear masks while inside school buildings.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): We will continue to have masks available for anyone who wants / needs a mask. We will continue to have hand sanitizer available outside / inside classrooms.
Nurses’ Offices: We will continue to have separate waiting / treatment areas for individuals who exhibit possible COVID-19 symptoms. As per. Guidance, all individuals entering a nurse’s office will require a mask.
Music: Music will be as it was at the end of the year, with spacing when playing and singing, and outdoor playing and singing when possible to do so.
Barriers: Plexiglas desk panels for use by classroom teachers when meeting individually with students within the classroom during instructional time will be in place, as they were at the end of the school year.
Heat Index: If masks are required, “heat days” may become necessary if the heat index rises to an uncomfortable and not learning conducive level. We continue to work to improve our air-conditioning in all of our buildings.
Tents and Outdoor Learning: We will resume use of tents and outdoor learning spaces.
Recess: Students will be allowed to unmask at outdoor recess.
Our main objectives remain to keep students, staff, and families safe; to provide the best academic and social-emotional environment and offerings that we can; and for everyone to remain in school.
Pictured below our some of our safety measures including tracking our cleaning and Portable Air Cleaner (PAC) filter replacements, spacing in our classrooms and indoor dining areas, hand sanitizing / hand cleaning, and outdoor learning spaces.
UPDATED CORONAVIRUS PROCEDURES
Vaccination Attestations Requested by the End of the School Day on October 7
Greetings Cohasset Families,
As I made all of you aware in a previous communication, Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Jeffrey Riley has issued a memorandum, dated September 27, 2021, indicating that, if a school demonstrates a COVID-19 vaccination rate of 80 percent or more of all students and staff in the school, then, upon approval of the Commissioner and local authorities, vaccinated individuals in that school would no longer be subject to the mask requirement as of November 1, 2021.
In order to ascertain whether a school has reached the 80 percent threshold, we ask that, if your child is vaccinated, that each of you confidentially inform your school’s nurse of verification of your child’s vaccination status. As there is currently not a vaccination available for students under 12 years of age, we realize that this attestation does not currently apply to all students. However, we encourage you to communicate vaccination attestation to your school nurse upon vaccination of your child. Your verification must indicate that your child has received either the required two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s Jannsen.
All documentation related to a child’s vaccination status will be maintained confidentially.
- Proof of your child’s vaccination, submitted to your child’s school nurse, can be provided in one of the following ways:
- · A signed self-attestation completed by a parent / legal guardian of the child indicating the brand of vaccine; or
- · Documentation provided to the individual by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health or a health care provider. Documentation may include but is not limited to a COVID-19 vaccination record card or a copy or digital picture of the vaccination record card, or a print-out from the Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS).
Please submit this information as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the day on Thursday, October 7, 2021. Thank you for your understanding and for your assistance.
Patrick Sullivan, Ed.D.
Cohasset Public Schools
Cohasset Community Health Update
Below please find the Cohasset Community Health Update as of September 30, 2021.
As of September 30, 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 1.44% with 624 tests reported. The town of Cohasset has seven (7) positive cases reported over the past two weeks. Currently, 83% of eligible Cohasset residents are fully vaccinated with 8% of eligible residents partially vaccinated. Under the DPH metrics, the town of Cohasset is in the "Grey" category for communities who have a population of under 10,000 who have less than or equal to 10 positive cases over the last 14 days. Here is the complete report issued on September 30, 2021.
To date, since the start of the pandemic, we have had no know transmission of COVID-19 in our schools.
Here is the Confirmed Positive COVID Cases Weekly Update Spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is also found on the district website under COVID-19 information. As always, all close contacts of COVID-19 positive individuals will be informed in a separate communication. When a positive case occurs, anyone who is determined to be a close contact is provided with specific instructions regarding testing and quarantining (if there is a need for them to test and quarantine).
Social Media Advisory
"As many have likely heard in the news, a series of "challenges" trending on the social media platform TikTok have captured the attention of students both locally and nationally. As school began, we had two minor incidents of bathroom vandalism at the high school, which were addressed in conjunction with the student council and have not happened since.
Since then, a series of new challenges have been posted which escalate from stealing soap dispensers to criminal behaviors which include vandalism, theft, battery, and sexual assault. While I cannot imagine that any member of our community would be callous enough or foolish enough to participate in such behavior, experience teaches me that such situations are best addressed proactively.
Please have conversations with your students about the seriousness of participating in such challenges, the consequences of which will not only be met with swift and considerable discipline from the school but will also be reported to the Cohasset Police Department as possible crimes."
Brian T. Scott
Cohasset High School
Results of Bi-Annual Student Wellness Survey
" Dear Families,
In the last newsletter we discussed the strategic plan and considered a piece on student stress during the pandemic with an eye towards improving student wellness post-pandemic. Since that newsletter, the Safe Harbor Coalition, who we partner with to conduct our bi-annual student wellness survey, published the results of the latest survey which was administered this past May, 2021.
The results are very promising.
Compared to the prior survey, which was administered before the pandemic in April of 2019, marked improvements were made in almost every area. In particular, students reported:
- Lower rates of depressive symptoms and suicidal behaviors in 2021 vs. 2019 and much lower than the state average;
- Lower rates of physically injuring themselves in order to feel better emotionally in 2021 vs. 2019;
- Being less stressed
- Sleeping more;
- Lower rates of vaping (although higher rate of vaping on school property); and
- Lower rates of lifetime marijuana use
This is very encouraging on two fronts. First, it has been the subject of national news that stress levels and substance abuse generally increased during the pandemic. This of course contrasts with the clip in the last newsletter that countered that claim for students in more affluent communities. Wherever the truth lies, the various communal efforts to improve student wellness are working and should be continued.
The report isn't without some concerning data, however. Alcohol use remained stable between 2019 and 2021, with accessibility and permissiveness being major contributors. The survey also noted significant gender differences, as female students reported statistically higher rates of:
- Depressive symptoms
- Suicidal Behaviors
- Alcohol Use, and
- Marijuana Use
While these mirror national trends, make no mistake that being normative does not make it acceptable. We will be looking into unpacking the reasons for that in the coming months, with the suspicion that there are myriad contributing factors (see, for example, the following article in the Wall Steret Journal, thank you very much Mr. Luvisi https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-knows-instagram-is-toxic-for-teen-girls-company-documents-show-11631620739).
Please take a look at the PowerPoint findings and the consultant's overview in the video below. While there is work to be done, I am very encouraged by the results and appreciative of the collaborative efforts and well-considered strategies that have been employed over the past two years. They are clearly working as we continue to prioritize and promote the well being of our students .
* Please note that the video is currently unavailable.
We will be sharing the formal results in upcoming communications.
Brian T. Scott
The Wellness Committee
We Need You!
The committee is currently made up of teachers, nurses, administrators, food service, and a school committee member. The committee meets four times a year to review policy and procedures and chose focus areas to enhance wellness throughout the schools. The district received a grant from DESE which has provided a Wellness Coach for last year and continues into this year.
If you are interested in being part of the Wellness Committee please contact Dr. Scollins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Superintendent's Goals for 2021 - 2022
Patrick Sullivan, Ed.D.
Cohasset Public Schools
Images from the Week
Hispanic Heritage Month
Thank you, Cohasset High School students (Class of 2025 / Green Team) for last week's beach clean-up
Thank you, Facilities for installing this excellent ukulele wall for use at CMS and CHS
Excellent Open House at Cohasset High School. Thank you to all who attended.
Wonderful Open House at Cohasset Middle School. Thank you for all who attended.
Sports were in full swing this past week! GO BLUE!
Teacher Appreciation Night at the CHS Football Game. Congratulations to the amazing teachers who were honored.
Following Photos from William Wassersug and the Cohasset Anchor
Congratulations to Cat Hernan on being selected as one of the EMass Girls Soccer Players of the Week by the Boston Globe
Please Click on the Link Below to Access Schedules and Other Sports Information
CHS Grade 9 Wellness Mental Health PSAProject (Mr. Ford's class) entitled "Physical Fitness.'" The project was created by Nathan Askjaer, Ella Oftinoski, Will Norgeot, Drew Gibson, and Iain Whinnery. Nice job, students!
October is National Principals Month! We are so fortunate to have such tremendous principals in our district. Thank you to Principal Farrell, Principal Sullivan, Principal Mills, and Principal Scott for providing such strong leadership for the district.
October 2 is School Custodian Appreciation Day. We appreciate all our custodians do every day for our students, families, and staff! Pictured below are just a few of our amazing custodians.
October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month. At the beginning of the year, all of our elementary staff received Dyslexia Screening Training through Pearson. Please click on the links below for some excellent information and resources regarding dyslexia.
Superintendent's Student Advisory (SSAC) Council First Meeting of 2021 - 2022
SAMPLE TOPICS THE SSAC WILL DISCUSS:
Approaches to increase student voice
Approaches to promote cultural competency, inclusion, and diversity
Approaches to help students cope with stress and pressure
Approaches to promote student wellness
Approaches to increase social opportunities for students
Approaches to increase academic opportunities for students
Approaches to improve transitions between schools Approaches to improve school culture
This year, the SSAC will be focusing on increasing student voice in relation to the strategic initiatives in the Cohasset Strategic Plan. We are so proud of the following students who will be part of the SSAC this year:
Jenna Giglio * (School Committee Student Liaison)
Jake Squatrito * (School Committee Student Liaison)
Mercedes O’Neill * (School Committee Student Liaison)
Two Representatives (TBD) that will join us at certain meetings
Cohasset PSO Happenings
Cohasset Education Foundation (CEF) Happenings
Cohasset Public Schools Launches Strategic Plan for 2021- 2024
Cohasset Public Schools Vision of Equity
BE THE CHANGE
Please visit our website for resources regarding the promotion of diversity.
A Message from Lisa Radden, Director of Technology and Digital Learning
Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year! In an effort to consolidate information about technology at CPS for you, the Tech For Families page has been updated on the Cohasset Public Schools web site. There you will find a number of links to resources and tutorials for you and your child, including important BYOD information for Grades 6-12 and Clever sign in instructions for our PK-5 families. You may also explore online safety and wellbeing resources for parents that will help your child stay safe online while at home. The site will continue to evolve and thank you for your feedback to help us improve communications about technology at CPS with you.
Contact our IT Help Desk here for help with your Aspen Parent or Student Portal Account, a forgot/lost Cohasset K12 Google Account password, or for help with a BYOD device.
Director of Digital Learning and Technology
Cohasset Public Schools
2021 - 2022 Cohasset School District Calendar
Reminder that there is no school on Friday, October 8 due to a Teachers Full Day Professional Development. Also, there is no school on Monday, October 11 because of Indigenous Peoples Day being celebrated by Cohasset Public Schools.
October Food Services Update
Food Service Department October Update
We are off to a busy start of the school year and are very happy to see all the students back in the cafeteria. A reminder that breakfast and lunch are free again this year through the Federal Government. Second meals and A la carte items will be charged to student accounts in Mosaic as we have done in past years. Parents/guardians can check student lunch account balances and add money on myschoolbucks.com.
Menus are posted on our website cohassetk12.org each month under the nutrition page. You can also pre-order meals using the “online ordering” button located at the top of each menu. Free and reduced lunch forms are also available on our site and can be filled out at any time throughout the year to qualify for EBT benefits through the state.
Like many other school districts and businesses, we are currently experiencing food and paper product inventory and delivery issues from the nationwide shortage of workers. We may need to make menu substitutions as needed in the coming months. We will update menus on our site if changes occur and Elementary schools will announce menu changes so that students know what is being offered that day. We are working to minimize disruptions and we are hopeful that this issue will be resolved soon. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
We are also seeking one individual to join our cafeteria workers team. Hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30-1:30 during the school year. Interested candidates can find the posting on our website cohassetk12.org or check out SchoolSpring and Indeed for more details.
Director of Food Services
Continuation of Universal Free School Meals:
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended school meal waivers through the end of the 2021-2022 school year, allowing the continuation of universal free school meals at any school district throughout the state for the rest of this school year, through the summer, and through next school year. Schools nationwide will be allowed to serve meals through USDA’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option, which is typically only available during the summer months and which allows schools to serve free meals to all children. More information is available online.” (Commissioner Riley’s Update, April 20, 2021).
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Assistant Superintendent Leslie Scollins, Ed.D.
Office of Student Services
Please see the Basic Rights in Special Education Presentation by Director of Student Services Barbara Cerwonka below
MAMA MIA THE MUSICAL IS COMING TO CHS
Cohasset High School is excited to announce Mamma Mia as our fall musical!
Thank you to everyone who auditioned.
SAFE HARBORS UPDATES
Message from John Mills, CMS Principal from the CMS Newsletter
Since July 2014, Safe Harbor Cohasset has been working to promote awareness and implement resources to help make an impact on the substance use in the community. The group has members from across the spectrum in the community, including, but not limited to, Paul Pratt Memorial Library, Cohasset Recreation Department, Cohasset Police Department, Cohasset Public Schools, Second Congregational Church, town leaders, health professionals, parents, youth, fire personnel, and concerned citizens. In September 2017, Safe Harbor was awarded a federal Drug- Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grant, which focuses on preventing substance use among youth ages 12-17.
Since then, the group has worked to foster a strong and inclusive community that allows youth to strive and encourages healthy, educated and responsible choices about drug and alcohol use. The mission is supported by evidenced based, prevention focused, sustainable policies and youth- focused programs, such as Ground Level Café and the Safe Harbor Youth Ambassador Program. To learn more, and to find resources for both parents and teens, visit the Safe Harbor website at safeharborcohasset.org. Keep up to date on the latest news and trends by following Safe Harbor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/safeharborcohasset, on Twitter @cohsafeharbor, and on Instagram @safeharborcohasset.
Back to School Resources from Safe Harbors
The Important Role Families Play In Stopping the Spread of COVID-19
Families 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
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
Osgood: Dave Vinton email@example.com
Deer Hill: Laurie Dolan firstname.lastname@example.org
Robyn Costa email@example.com
CMS: Emily Manewal firstname.lastname@example.org
CHS: Leanne McCarthy email@example.com