Dear Shrewsbury Families,
Last evening, the School Committee unanimously approved a set of COVID-19 mitigation protocols for the opening of the new school year. I ask that you click here to read them.
Key recommendations include:
A strong emphasis on providing and maintaining full-time, in-person learning for students with minimal disruptions
Beginning the school year with a requirement that all students, staff, and visitors wear a mask regardless of vaccination status, and frequently re-evaluating this approach in light of updated local and state COVID-19 data along with medical and public health recommendations
Continued implementation of strong ventilation and hand hygiene throughout school buildings
A return to typical classroom instructional configurations, including desk arrangements for small group work
A return to typical lunch and recess procedures
Many more details are found in the full document. If you were not able to watch the meeting last evening, I encourage you to watch the presentation of the protocols here and review the summary slide deck here. I also urge you to watch infectious disease expert Dr. Andrea Ciaranello's presentation here, and review her presentation slides here. Dr. Ciaranello, a faculty member at Harvard Medical School who practices at Massachusetts General Hospital, gave an overview of lessons learned regarding COVID-19 and schools from last year and shared her thoughts about the importance of in-person school while mitigating the risks related to COVID-19.
By early next week we will provide a companion FAQ document regarding these protocols, and school principals will continue to be in communication regarding specifics of the new school year as we get closer to the first day of school on September 1.
Superintendent of Schools