Center Community Chat
December 5, 2021
Dear Center Families,
Thank you all to those who donated items and time to make the Center gift room possible this year. A special thanks to Tiara Duff and Ellen Ellis who volunteered many hours pricing and organizing gifts. The students had a great week thinking of others during this holiday season.
Be sure to check out the pictures and captions below to learn about the great things happening at Center before and after the Thanksgiving break.
Important Covid Update
Please do not send your child to school if anyone in your home tests positive for COVID or if they have any cold symptoms, regardless of how mild. Please call Nurse Rossman if either of these apply. Please read the detailed information below which addresses changes to testing status once your student is fully vaccinated.
Have a good week.
Dianna and Donna
Therapy Dogs Coming to Center
We are excited to share that we will be having therapy dogs visit Center school monthly. This is an initiative that our Coordinator of Nursing Services has set up for each building in Chelmsford. The first visit will be on December 14th. We are still working on a schedule and specific details but wanted to provide an opt out form for families that DO NOT want their child participating/engaging with the therapy dogs. Please only fill out the form if you DO NOT want your child participating. Please see the link below.
Should you have additional questions or if you want to communicate an allergy that your child may have to the school please contact Nurse Rossman directly at email@example.com or by phone at 978-251-5155.
We are excited for the therapy dogs to visit Center as we continue to support our students' social/emotional wellbeing.
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: 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
Currently reading and designing....Balloons Over Broadway
Dress for a Cause a Big Success
Think notes and partner work, great strategies for close reading with Ms. Huguet
Students caught showing their PRIDE
IJ showing their PRIDE in the cafeteria
Nicolas showed dedication to learning by filling out his character's traits organizer
Theo in 2PC showed his PRIDE
Wednesday, December 1: Half day - conferences
Thursday, December 2: School Council, 4-5
Monday, December 6: Be Kind, wear Kind or Patriots Spirit Day- Go Pats!!
Wednesday, December 15: Grades available online for parents Grades 1-4
Wednesday, December 15: Therapy Dog Visit, 9-11AM- more information to come
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
Thursday, January 20: PTO meeting at Center Library, 7 PM
Friday, January 21: Deadline for posting grades Kindergarten
Wednesday, January 26: Grades available online for parents Kindergarten
Resources and Information
Standards base report cards
With the first term report card and parent-teacher conferences approaching for students in grades 1-4, we wanted to provide you with some information for Standards Based Report Cards, as this year may be the first time some parents are seeing this type of report card. For our kindergarten families, although you will not receive your child’s first report card until January, we felt it important to begin to share this information with you.
A Standards Based Report Card provides important information to help parents and guardians better understand their child’s progress in school towards meeting the expected end of year standards. These report cards list the standards and report the performance the student exhibits. There are four performance levels that teachers use in order to provide parents with feedback on progress on the standards. Classroom teachers are using multiple measures to assess your child’s performance. By the end of each year, parents should clearly see the progress the student is making in school.
For additional information, please visit out Standards-Based Report Cards page at http://www.chelmsford.k12.ma.us/Page/1299. This webpage includes all information about Standards-Based Report Cards, including sample report cards for all levels
Report cards are available on the Aspen X2 parent portal and will continue to be reported on Aspen X2 in in future terms in an electronic format only. We encourage you to go onto X2 and retrieve your child’s report card electronically each term.
Please do not hesitate to reach out, should you have any questions.