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Message from the Superintendent

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Back to School Update

SATURDAY, JANUARY 1, 2021
COVID-19 Information


Dear EPS Community,

As we reach the end of what I hope has been an enjoyable holiday break, I wanted to reach out about our return to school on Monday, January 3, 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge us as individuals, families, and a school community. I am asking students and staff for your continued patience and cooperation as we navigate COVID-19 in general and the Omicron variant in particular.

First, the Everett Public Schools will open as planned on Monday, January 3rd. I believe our best way forward is to continue to offer as much uninterrupted in-class instruction to as many of our students as possible.  

Second, as we begin what we expect may be a challenging month, it is important to recognize that circumstances might change quickly, necessitating equally quick decision making, the implementation of new protocols, and adjustments to existing ones.  As a district, we will err on the side of caution as much as possible, while also attempting to maximize access to all opportunities.  Our building principals will make daily decisions that promote safety and minimize risk; the EHS Athletic Department has, and will continue to, cancel sporting events when required. 

Some other developments/considerations:

• On Saturday, we received COVID-19 tests for all EPS personnel. The tests will be available for staff to pick up on Sunday, January 2nd from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Everett High. For those who cannot attend Sunday’s pick-up, the tests will be available first thing Monday morning.
The city has distributed 12,500 COVID-19 at-home self test kits. We would ask if you have a test and a student in the EPS, please have them take the test prior to Monday.
 
• Once school resumes, we will continue to practice “Test and Stay,” in which symptomatic individuals and close contacts are tested and anyone who returns a negative result can stay in school.
Per the recommendation of local health officials, the EPS is maintaining a 10-day quarantine for individuals who test positive.   
 
• Staff are strongly encouraged to wear the KN95 masks that we will make available beginning on Monday. Similarly, students are asked to wear the blue masks we hand out every day, as opposed to cloth masks. Masking, coupled social distancing, are critical to stopping the spread of the disease.

• Please opt into our testing program, which is critical to our efforts to keep schools and classrooms open for full-time teaching and learning. You can do so quickly and easily by clicking HERE.

• Finally, we will continue to hold vaccination clinics at our schools in partnership with MGH. Details regarding our upcoming clinics will be distributed by school leaders.
 
While these are not the circumstances I envisioned for the start of 2022, I am nonetheless excited to get back to work and for our students and teachers to resume the incalculable progress they made over the first four months of the school year!  

In partnership,
Priya Tahiliani
 

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