BPS Weekly Update - January 21st

BPS Weekly Update - 1/21/22
Posted on 01/21/2022
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Before we get to the upcoming changes to our COVID protocols, we want to share our student and staff absence data which is continuing to trend downward as we head into our fourth week since the December break.

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

Student Absences Week of January 18, 2022

Date

BHS

MSMS

Memorial

Pine Glen

Francis Wyman

Fox Hill

BECC

Total

1/18/2022

60/16

74/42

42/9

20/9

55/30

77/53

24/8

352/167

1/19/2022

61/17

70/36

39/8

16/10

62/39

71/50

26/9

345/169

1/20/2022

61/14

67/35

26/6

16/6

52/31

44/23

32/18

298/127










Staff Absences Week of January 18, 2022 **

Date

BHS

MSMS

Memorial

Pine Glen

Francis Wyman

Fox Hill

BECC

Total

1/18/2022

6

6

5

10

4

8

4

43

1/19/2022

7

5

5

5

5

7

1

35

1/20/2022

7

4

9

9

7

9

2

47










** Includes all absences, excluding long term leaves (teachers, IA's, admin staff)


COVID Protocol Update

We are writing to let you know, in accordance with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Department of Public Health (DPH), our district is updating our COVID-19 guidelines with changes to begin this coming Monday, January 24, 2022. In accordance with the state’s updated language surrounding this new testing which stated “there is no longer the expectation that close contacts will be identified, and therefore, any potential contacts do not need to quarantine. Instead, schools should shift their focus to monitoring symptomatic individuals.”

In a memo sent to schools Tuesday from Commissioner of Education Jeffrey C. Riley and the Acting Commissioner of Public Health, Margaret R. Cooke they stated:

These data show that transmission from close contacts is a rare occurrence in schools and that, therefore, extensive contact tracing and associated Test and Stay procedures are not adding significant value as a mitigation strategy despite the demand they place on the time of school health staff and school staff at large. As a result, we are recommending that school health personnel increase their focus on identifying symptomatic individuals, rather than monitoring in-school close contacts who are unlikely to contract or spread the virus.

As a result of this new DATA, we are transitioning to an opt-in, at-home testing program that will increase testing of our participating students and staff, regardless of vaccination status. The at-home testing option will be available during the week of January 31, 2022 for students. In addition to this new at-home antigen test option, we will continue with symptomatic testing for students whose families have previously consented to in-school testing.

As part of this shift in the program, we are discontinuing contact tracing for in-school close contacts beginning January 24, 2022 (except for the Burlington Early Childhood Center). This means that if your child is a potential contact in school, they may continue to come to school and do not have to quarantine - as long as they remain asymptomatic. In addition, if your child is determined to be a close contact out of school then CDC guidelines should be followed. In other words, these protocol changes only apply to school situations. According to the CDC, unvaccinated children will still need to quarantine for five days if there is a positive in their home.

We will be sending out the form for families to opt-in their students to this new program on Monday. Even if you have already given your consent to have your child(ren) participate in the Test and Stay Program, this new at-home testing opportunity is voluntary and only those who opt-in will receive tests. To restate, you will need to opt in to this new protocol. Your prior consent does not apply. We strongly encourage you to fill out the form to opt-in and receive at-home tests for your students. If you have questions, please contact [email protected].