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November 20, 2020

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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.

Reminders About The Schedule for Thanksgiving Week

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A reminder that next week at the elementary schools, Cohort A will go in-person on Monday and Cohort B will go in-person on Tuesday. Deep cleaning will take place on Monday evening between cohorts. As was previously announced, we will remain in full remote at the middle and high school next week, with students resuming the hybrid model beginning on Monday, November 30.


Wednesday, November 25 is a remote learning day for all schools. Remote learning will end at the following times, as Wednesday is a scheduled half day.


Middle and High School: 11:15AM

Elementary Schools: 12:00PM



We feel very thankful to work in a District that has wonderful staff, families, and students. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Patrick Sullivan, Ed.D.

Superintendent


Leslie Scollins, Ed.D.

Assistant Superintendent

Reminders about Holiday Travel and the Current Travel Order Issued by the Department of Public Health (DPH)

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Cohasset Public Schools Travel Order Protocol

While in the interest of safety we discourage out-of-state travel at this time, we understand some staff members and students/families have travel plans which may take them out of state. It is important to be reminded of Governor Baker’s Travel Order. It is also important to be advised of the school district’s protocols regarding out-of-state travel for staff and students. Please see the attached document, which outlines the Cohasset Public School’s Travel Order Protocols.

As the Holidays are approaching it is paramount that we all adhere to the travel advisories set for us by the Department of Public Health (DPH). Here is the current travel order. It is our collective responsibility to follow this order, which currently states that:


"All visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, who do not meet an exemption, are required to:


If your COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival, visitors, and residents must quarantine until they receive a negative test result."


Thank you for avoiding travel if at all possible to help us continue to keep our schools open and safe.


Sincerely,


Patrick Sullivan, Ed.D.

Superintendent

Social Emotional Supports

The holiday season is a time of joy and excitement for many people; however, the holidays can also be a time of stress and anxiety. Especially during this pandemic, holidays are going to feel different. People may not be able to see family and friends as they normally do and there are additional worries concerning wellness. There are many resources available. Below are some 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


Please see the links below for additional resources.

Mental Health Resources (Courtesy of Principal Mills & CMS Newsletter)

Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu observed "In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity."


These are certainly difficult times and many parents and families are experiencing great stress. Our ability to cope is regularly challenged and, understandably, there may be times when individuals can no longer manage their emotions. It is important to know where to turn when we reach that point.


To help our families, we share this contact list of support providers--Mental Health and Crisis Contacts These support providers offer great opportunities to help receive help when those we love are struggling to manage.

Cohasset Food Pantry

Cohasset Food Pantry

129 South Main Street

Cohasset, MA 02025


Anyone needing assistance can call the food pantry line at

781-383-0219 ext 25. Please leave a message.

Seniors 60+ can also contact

Cohasset Elder Affairs at 781-383- 9112.


Hours are Tuesdays from 8:30-10:30.

(Clients must be a Cohasset resident).


At this time:

The only way we were able to open this week was the following:

Clients must remain in their car in the parking lot.

No clients were allowed to come inside the food pantry.

A gloved volunteer went to the client’s car and asked what they needed.

The volunteer went inside, filled the order and brought it back out to the client’s car.


At this time the food pantry is unable to accept in kind donations.


Check donations may be made out and mailed to the

Cohasset Food Pantry

POBox 297

Cohasset, MA. 02025

A Vaccine Requirement Reminder from our School Nurses

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Updates to Guidance on Interpreting Department of Public Health (DPH) Health Metrics, November 6, 2020

Please see the following message from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). This message underscores the importance of prioritizing in-person learning and sets the standard schools will use for determining when to adjust a learning model regarding the full in-person to full-remote continuum.


"With the recent update by the Department of Public Health (DPH) to the weekly color-coded designation for communities in the Commonwealth, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is issuing updated guidance on interpreting these metrics for school settings. This replaces the guidance on Interpreting DPH COVID-19 Health Metrics issued on August 11, 2020.


With the change to the color-coded metrics, a community's designation of gray, green, yellow or red now takes into account the size of the community, positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and the percent of tests conducted in a community that are positive.


DESE is making updates to its initial guidance on interpreting these metrics in school settings based on a growing body of evidence that students should remain in school. With numerous examples of schools reopening from around the world, across the country, and recent first-hand experience here in Massachusetts, it is increasingly clear that schools are not sources of significant COVID transmission, so long as proper health and safety protocols are followed.i ii iii iv This has held true in Massachusetts even as we have seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases statewide, further indicating that with strong health and safety protocols, schools are able to operate safely for in-person learning. Moreover, we continue to observe the significant harms that come with keeping students out of school in terms of their academic progress and social emotional and physical health.


As such, after consultation with our medical advisors and public health experts, we are updating our guidance as follows. As always, districts and schools must strictly adhere to all health and safety protocols outlined in DESE Fall Reopening Guidance. All individuals who are symptomatic, receive a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or are a close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual must continue follow the protocols outlined in DESE's Guidance on Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios.


  • Districts are expected to prioritize in-person learning across all color-coded categories, unless there is suspected in-school transmission, in accordance with DESE's Guidance on Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios. Transmission in schools is defined as spread of the virus between people during interactions in the school setting. While there have been positive COVID-19 cases of staff and students in schools, most of these infections have occurred outside of the school setting. If there is suspected in-school transmission, then the affected classrooms or schools should temporarily shift to remote learning, in accordance with DESE's Guidance on Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios. Classrooms and schools should reopen after appropriate mitigation strategies have been implemented, as determined in consultation with the local board of health, DPH, and DESE.

  • Districts and schools in communities designated gray, green, or yellow are expected to have students learning fully in-person, if feasible. A hybrid model should be used only if there is no other way to meet health and safety requirements. Parents and caregivers will continue to have the option to choose a district's remote learning program for their children.

  • Schools in red communities should implement hybrid models, while maximizing in-person learning time for high-needs students.

  • In those communities with the highest COVID-19 caseloads and test positivity rates (e.g. currently, Chelsea, Lawrence, and Revere), DESE and DPH will work with local school officials to develop and implement customized strategies to reduce in-school health risks, to enable as many children as possible to attend school in person and/or make a determination on the need for fully remote learning.

  • Fully remote instructional models should be implemented only as a last resort in classrooms, schools, or districts when there is suspected in-school transmission or a significant municipal outbreak, in accordance with DESE's Guidance on Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios. Classrooms and schools should reopen after appropriate mitigation strategies have been implemented, as determined in consultation with the local board of health, DPH, and DESE.


As a reminder, structured learning time requirements for students and related regulatory and statutory standards remain in effect for school districts, regardless of learning model" (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, November 6, 2020).




i Ismail, S., Saliba, V., Bernal, J. L., Ramsay, M., & Ladhani, S. (2020). SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in educational settings: cross-sectional analysis of clusters and outbreaks in England . Public Health England. (2020).

ii Yoon, Y., Kim, K.R., Park, H., Kim, S., & Kim, Y.J. (2020). Stepwise School Opening Online and Off-line and an Impact on the Epidemiology of COVID-19 in the Pediatric Population. medRxiv (2020).

iii Otte im Kampe Eveline, Lehfeld Ann-Sophie , Buda Silke , Buchholz Udo , Haas Walter . Surveillance of COVID-19 school outbreaks, Germany, March to August 2020. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(38):pii=2001645.

iv COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in COVID-19 transmission, 6 August 2020. Stockholm: ECDC; 2020.

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Addition of Alternating In-Person Wednesdays for Each Cohort Starting December 9, 2020 Pending Further Bargaining Obligations with Cohasset Teachers Association (CTA)

Start of School Data Review

At the October 28 Special School Committee Meeting to review the first six weeks of school, we presented data gathered from students (focus groups), staff, and families. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Cohasset School Committee voted, pending further negotiations with the Cohasset Teachers Association (CTA), to implement alternating in-person Wednesdays for each cohort at every school in the district, beginning on December 9, 2020. This decision is right in line with the prioritization of in-person learning for students that is being prioritized at this time by the DESE. Here is the link to a video recording of the meeting. Thank you to everyone who helped provide input regarding our start of school.

Cohasset Community Health Update

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Health Metrics

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Cohasset Community Health Update

As of November 19, 2020, the Department of Public Health (DPH) reports that the town of Cohasset’s positive COVID-19 test rate over the past 14 days is 1.58%, with 13 positive case out of 822 tests reported. None of the cases have originated from Cohasset Public Schools. Under the new DPH metrics, the town of Cohasset remains in the "Green" category for communities who have a population of under 10,000 who have less than or equal to 15 positive cases over the last 14 days.


Please keep following the protocols of handwashing / hand sanitizing and wearing face-covering masks when appropriate to do so. Here is the complete report that was issued last evening (11/19/2020).

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

Yesterday, DPH issued updated quarantine guidance for those who have been exposed to COVID-19. Specifically, an individual must remain quarantined for:

  • At least 14 days from the date of last exposure; or
  • At least 10 days, provided all of the following are satisfied:
    • You have not had, and do not have, any symptoms;
    • You are tested on day 8 of your quarantine period or later using a molecular diagnostic test (e.g., polymerase chain reaction (PCR)) to detect the presence of the virus;
    • You receive a negative test result; and
    • You monitor yourself for symptoms for the full 14 days. If you develop symptoms you should contact your health care provider and be re-tested.

The full guidance can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/guidance/information-and-guidance-for-persons-in-quarantine-due-to-covid-19 .

Cohasset Public Schools adding Portable Air Cleaners (PACs) to learning spaces

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The Cohasset Public Schools has secured funding for the acquisition of approximately 170 Portable Air Cleaners (PACs) for use in various learning spaces throughout the district. We have ordered these PACs in anticipation of the winter months and in an effort to mitigate any potential air quality concerns within the buildings.


In support of this purchase, the district cites the following considerations:

· PACs can simulate a higher Air Change per Hour (ACH)

· PACs can improve air quality

· PACs can be used to reduce airborne contaminants


Thank you to the Cohasset Teachers Association (CTA) and the Town of Cohasset for their collaboration regarding this important safety initiative.

Cohasset PSO Update

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"Flock a family courtesy of the Cohasset PSO! For a $25 donation, you can have a flock of pink yard flamingos delivered to a friend’s lawn as a fun surprise! Visit

www.cohassetpso.org to fill out the electronic form to designate a friend that you wish to have flocked. A crew will flock their yard and the flamingos will nest there for 2 days. Flocks can be purchased starting Friday, November 6th on a first come, first serve basis for the month of November. Proceeds support Curriculum Enrichment Programs, Teacher & Staff Grants, and other initiatives that support student learning and promote success."

- Cohasset PSO

This Week we recognize our amazing ESPs on National ESP Day. We are so fortunate to have such caring and professional ESPs working at CPS!

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Winter Sports Information Coming out Soon

Winter Sports information will be coming out soon and will be communicated by Principal Scott and Athletic Director Rotondi. Here is an infographic from Abington Public Schools, that shows the timeline of communication.
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Visit Cohasset Athletics to Get Updates on All of Our Teams

Superintendent's Goals

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At this past Wednesday's School Committee Meeting, the School Committee approved the following goals. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with all stakeholders in our education community.

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

PROTOCOLS REGARDING COVID-19


The following information was compiled by our district nurses and provides supplementary information to the protocols stated in the Cohasset Public Schools Fall School Re-Entry Road Map. A big thank you to Kelly Gildea (lead nurse) and our district nurses for compiling this information and for their leadership and guidance during this difficult time.


Cohasset Public Schools Medical Frequently Asked Questions


Cohasset Public Schools Decision Tree Regarding Health Situations Related to COVID-19


COVID-19 Symptom Checklist for Parents and Guardians to utilize with their children


Here are some useful videos regarding Mask Wearing, When to Stay Home, and Hand Washing / Hand Sanitizing prepared by the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).

BE THE CHANGE

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

Learning Walks

This past Tuesday the Leadership Team walked the halls of Osgood on a Learning Walk. This practice started last year. A Learning Walk allows teams of educators to focus on particular Look Fors. This process helps align the District's vision and improve the teaching and learning. Our Learning Walk at Osgood was an absolute pleasure. We saw lots of smiling faces on both students and staff. The new math program Bridges was Dr. Sullivan said "It was the best part of my week." I could not agree more! We will continue our Learning Walks through out the year.
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SAFE HARBORS UPDATES

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Updates

  1. Cohasset Virtual Youth Center This is now live on the home page of the Town’s website, found toward the bottom right-side of the page. This serves as a central location for all youth-geared programming/events that are occurring via Rec, Library, Elder Affairs, and Safe Harbor.

https://www.cohassetma.org/


2. WANTED: Social Media Boosters Looking to volunteer time to the Safe Harbor initiative but don’t have much time to give? Please consider volunteering to be a designated social media booster.

What does this entail?

Receiving communication from Marketing Director that information has been posted for you to like, comment, share, share to Cohasset143 and/or post yourself

How much of a time commitment?

5 minutes a week

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.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and celebrate all for which we are thankful.

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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