March 9, 2020
Dear Maynard Families,
The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority, and I know that many of you are concerned about the current discussions regarding the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on advisories we have been receiving from our state and local officials as well as steps we are taking to deal with this situation.
Schools Remain Open
Currently, state and local health officials continue to recommend that schools remain open. In addition, there are other factors that we must consider. While education is our primary responsibility, students and families also rely on public schools for their nutritional needs, safe supervision during the day, and support around developmental and social-emotional concerns. Furthermore, closing schools will have a significant impact on vulnerable children and their families and their well-being. Closing schools will be a last resort and will be done with great care, transparency, and in partnership with public health officials.
We understand your concerns and will continue to share any questions you have with us as information becomes available.
Out-of-State School Trips
I am writing to share with you that on March 3, 2020, Governor Baker requested that all high schools suspend international travel “for the time being.” In order to comply with this request, we have suspended our international trip to Spain. Consideration to move the trip to late May or early June is not off the table.
Governor Baker’s advisory was limited to international travel and he did not request any consideration for interstate travel. We are continuing to monitor advisories related to coronavirus and are coordinating our efforts daily with local and state health officials. At this time, we have not canceled any interstate travel for our students scheduled to take place this spring. However, I have asked advisors to speak with organizations hosting/sponsoring these out of state activities to obtain accurate information to share with families in the event we need to cancel any of our domestic travel.
The advisors for planned trips will be in contact with you with any additional information, and I will remain in communication in the event we need to postpone or cancel any of our interstate travel.
We have been in close contact with Dee Bus our transportation provider, who have increased the frequency in which they sanitize, disinfect, and clean the buses. The buses are wiped down and sanitized after each run. (Twice a day)
Our facilities department continues to work diligently sanitizing and disinfecting hard and frequently used surfaces, which include, door knobs and jambs, tables, chairs, desktops, bathrooms and health rooms with EPA approved disinfectant and soap and water for removal of microorganisms. and community areas. On Friday, March 13, our schools will be closed for professional development for staff, which will allow our facilities department to take this opportunity to once again thoroughly disinfect and sanitize the empty buildings. Additionally, the town and the Department of Public Works has been working diligently to procure an electrostatic sanitizing machine, and we hope to have it soon.
Advisory for Self-Quarantine and Reporting
The CDC has advised travelers returning from countries designated Level Three (restriction against non-essential travel) report your return to our local health department and self-quarantine for 14 days. Keeping our local health department informed is critically important for the purpose of community preparedness. Please note, that if you are self-quarantined with no symptoms in most cases your child can still go to school. At this writing the countries with Level Three travel restrictions include China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea.
Once again, I would like to thank our staff, faculty, and community members for their patience and understanding as we continue to address this situation.
Mary Jane Rickson
Interim Superintendent of Schools