BPS Weekly Update 1/14/22

BPS Weekly Update 1/14/22
Posted on 01/14/2022
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Vaccine Clinic at BHS January 24
There will be a COVID vaccine clinic in the Burlington High School cafeteria on Wednesday, January 24 from 2 p.m. - 8 p.m.

First, the student and staff absence Data from this week.

The Burlington positivity rate for the last two weeks, which was updated on the state Covid dashboard yesterday, was 21.89 percent - with Middlesex County at 18.68%.

Student absences this week ticked down from last week. We had 472 absences on Monday, 490 absences on Tuesday and 451 absences on Thursday. We also saw fewer absences with district staff with 52 absences Monday, 50 on Tuesday, and 50 on Thursday. We are hearing that we are at the peak of the Omicron variant. The mitigation protocols that we have in place and the fact that more students are vaccinated and/or have had the virus indicate that our numbers should continue to drop over the next two weeks.

We have received some feedback that our adjusted protocols unfairly single out the unvaccinated. Please know that we did not consider the vaccination status of students as a factor in the protocols. We are implementing how the CDC identifies close contacts. Close contacts are the group that requires quarantine. Not having the vaccine is the primary factor in being identified as a close contact. It is not, however, the only factor. Vaccinated students and unvaccinated students who have had COVID in the last 90 days are not considered close contacts. Also, vaccinated and unvaccinated students on school buses who are masked are not considered close contacts.

These distinctions can be frustrating as they are not always consistent. The most glaring example is that an unvaccinated student can be a close contact in a classroom but not on a school bus. We are doing our best to keep as many students in school as we can, while lowering the number of new cases while following the guidelines established by public health agencies. Thankfully, while more contagious, this latest variant appears to be less virulent than previous strains. Obviously, there are questions about why we contact trace at all given the current spread and rate of infection. There is an argument to be made that we are all close contacts or, like on our school buses, being a close contact no longer matters. We are hoping that public health agencies fix some of the conflicting rules in the near future.

The Next Two Weeks

We are following the number of new cases and our absences every day. We believe that the next two weeks will be challenging. We will revisit everything at the end of January with our primary goal of safely keeping as many students in school as possible.

No School Monday - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

We would like to share a line from an article titled “The Purpose of Education” in the Morehouse College campus newspaper in 1947.

“Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.”