2021-2022 EPS Covid-19 Guidance
To start the 2021-2022 school year, the Everett Public Schools has tailored its health and safety guidance based on the recommendations of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Massachusetts Department of Health, and the Everett Department of Public Health.
All students and staff are required to wear masks indoors in schools, including any meetings that take place during and outside of the school day. This does not include scarves, bandanas, gaiters, or masks with valves. Face shields may be worn in conjunction with a mask, but not in lieu of.
The mask requirement applies when students and staff are indoors at school, except when eating, drinking, or during mask breaks.
Masks may also be removed indoors when necessary to participate in elective classes, such as the use of wind instruments in band.
Masks are not required when outdoors.
Masks are required for any sports-related activity for student-athletes and coaches when indoors, in alignment with guidance provided by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA).
By federal public health order, all students and staff are required to wear a mask on school buses.
Disposable masks will be made available by the school for students who need them.
All visitors are also expected to wear a mask in school buildings.
Students and staff who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, and students who cannot wear a mask for behavioral reasons, are exempted from the requirement. Please submit your request along with documentation from a physician to the school nurse. If approved, the school nurse will notify the school leader.
The mask mandate will be in place until at least October 1, 2021.
After October 1, 2021, if a school demonstrates a vaccination rate of 80% or more of students and staff in the school, then vaccinated individuals in that school would no longer be subject to the DESE mask requirement.
Below is the full list of symptoms for which parents and/or guardians should monitor their children, and staff should monitor themselves every day before entering school:
- Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- New loss of taste or smell
- Muscle aches or body aches
- Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
- Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms
- Headache when in combination with other symptoms
- Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
- Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms should monitor themselves
Before going to school, please contact your school nurse if your student develops any of these symptoms or receives a positive test result. A positive result will require a quarantine period of no less than 10 days. Please note that school officials may likely be contacting you for contact tracing information.
Before reporting to work, EPS staff should contact your Supervisor and school office if you develop any of these symptoms or receive a positive test result. A positive result will require a quarantine period of no less than 10 days. Please note that school officials may likely be contacting you for contact tracing information.
Close Contacts and Classroom Close Contacts
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has defined classroom close contacts as an individual who is exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual in the classroom while both individuals were masked, so long as the individuals were spaced at least 3 feet apart who are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.
Certain classroom staff or students do not need to follow certain quarantine protocols if:
- Asymptomatic, fully vaccinated close contacts: Individuals who are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols. Please note that individuals may be required to submit proof of vaccination and it is recommended that vaccinated close contacts test for a breakthrough infection on day 5 after exposure to a COVID 19 positive individual.
- Classroom close contacts: An individual who is exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual in the classroom while both individuals were masked, so long as the individuals were spaced at least 3 feet apart, is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.
- Bus close contacts: Individuals on buses must be masked according to federal requirements. As such, individuals who are masked on buses when windows are open are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.
- Close contacts who have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days: An individual who has been previously diagnosed with COVID-19 and then becomes a close contact of someone with COVID-19 is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols if:
- The exposure occurred within 90 days of the onset of their own illness AND
- The exposed individual is recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms. A positive test result dated within the last 90 days must be provided.
Close Contact Outside of EPS
To assist the Everett Public Schools in its effort to ensure that our schools are safe so that our students and staff are able to remain in schools for uninterrupted classroom instruction, we are implementing the following guidelines below for individuals identified as close contacts as a result of activity outside of school.
For families whose students are identified as a close contact as a result of an activity outside of school, please keep your student home and contact your school nurse.
For staff who are identified as a close contact as a result of an activity outside of school, please stay home and contact your Supervisor and school nurse.
Families whose close contact students experience symptoms: Please keep your student home and contact your school nurse if your student experiences any symptoms or receives a positive test result. A positive result will require a quarantine period of no less than 10 days. Please note that school officials may likely be contacting you for contact tracing information.
lose contact staff who experience symptoms: Please stay home and contact your Supervisor and school office if you develop any of these symptoms or receive a positive test result. A positive result will require a quarantine period of no less than 10 days. Please note that school officials may likely be contacting you for contact tracing information.
We all contribute to being a vital part of the Everett Public Schools community so please do your part in protecting EPS!
Curated resources to support students, families and staff such as a translated symptom tracker are available on our website at https://www.everettpublicschools.org/apps/pages/Dashboard.
Please wear masks and maintain physical distancing at all times!
It is recommended that parents and/or guardians and visitors call the school with requests or to call to schedule either an in person appointment or virtual meeting whenever possible.
We understand that experiencing symptoms may be disruptive and the Everett Public Schools is here to assist in any way we can:
- If your student will need to remain home from school, the school will provide support that is consistent with other absences and provide work for students that can be completed while at home.
- Please sign up for the testing as part of the Test and Stay program that is managed by the Everett Board of Health. To participate in the program, there must be consent provided for your student(s). Please visit https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma?district=Everett#consent if you would like to electronically provide consent to testing. Please contact the Everett Board of Health if there are any questions or concerns.
- As provided by experts, the key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 is to get your vaccination. For a list of vaccine clinics, please visit https://www.everettpublicschools.org/apps/pages/Dashboard or contact your school nurse for additional information on COVID-19 vaccination.
Our schools are utilizing methods to maximize distance for lunch to the best extent possible. For example, our schools are encouraged to continue utilizing outdoor space for meals and limiting the amount of students in the cafeteria or classrooms when feasible.
Schools are recommended to set up classroom space to allow for maximum social distancing, such as placing desks in rows.
Schools are also encouraged to employ safety practices, such as removal of excess furniture to allow for distancing and assigning seats in classrooms, buses, cafeteria, and grouping students in similar cohorts when possible to minimize close contacts.
Schools are working to ensure that opportunities for student or staff gatherings are limited, such as those in bathroom space and other areas.
Schools will host individual Protect EPS: Back to School Community Meetings to provide information on return to school and to answer as many questions for families as we can.
Additional Safety Measures
School staff will promptly notify the school nurse prior to sending a masked student exhibiting symptoms to be evaluated by school health professionals for symptoms.
Clubs and after school activities may be suspended or moved to a virtual format to ensure adherence to safety guidelines due to Covid-19.
Staff informed by families of a student who is sick at home should notify the school nurse. School nurses are the screening experts at determining whether testing is warranted or the period that a student must remain home which is contingent upon the specific symptoms the student is experiencing along with vaccination status.
If an individual has COVID-19 symptoms as outlined in Section 1, they should be masked, and when feasible, be in a separate room with the door closed until they can be picked up. Schools are not required to maintain a dedicated medical waiting room but if a separate room is not available, the individual must be masked and adhere to the strict 6 feet of social distance until they can go home.
The School Committee of the Everett Public Schools may set additional policies beyond those provided in the guidance so long as those policies meet the minimum structured learning time requirements for schools and districts and do not impede students’ access and right to public education.
International Travel Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control
Our travel guidance is aligned to the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. Please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html for information on recommended travel practices.
Upon your return, all air passengers coming to the United States, even individuals who are fully vaccinated, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before the date of the flight to the United States.
Please submit proof of a negative COVID test if your student or EPS staff have traveled internationally prior to returning to school buildings. Alternatively, please submit documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the 3 months prior to boarding the flight back to the United States if applicable.
If you have any questions regarding travel, please contact your school nurse.
School Nurse Assignments for School Year 2021-2022