Updates and Info from Superintendent Szymaniak

Updates from the Superintendent
Posted on 09/03/2021
WH logo always towards the greater

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

 

Good afternoon:

At the special meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) on August 24, 2021, the Board voted to declare “exigent circumstances” pursuant to the Student Learning Time (SLT) regulations, 603 CMR 27.08 (1), and authorized the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education to require masks for public school students (age 5 and above) and staff in all grades through at least October 1, 2021.

Effective immediately, public school students (age 5 and above) and staff in all grades are required to wear masks indoors in schools, except as noted below. Masks are not required when outdoors. All visitors are also expected to wear a mask in school buildings.

 

This includes all orientations, open houses, and any other event in the school buildings, prior to the start of school, including public meetings.

Please see the attached DESE requirement for more detailed information.

Prior to the first day of school, I will follow up with more information.

 

Thank you,

Jeff Szymaniak

Superintendent of Schools

DESE Implementation of Mask Requirement 8.25.21.pdf

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August 20, 2021

 

Dear Whitman-Hanson Families and Staff:

 

On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, the WHRSD School Committee voted 6-4 to follow the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education/Department of Public Health (DESE/DPH) COVID-19 Guidance for Districts and Schools: Fall 2021 mask and recommendations for the opening of schools.  This guidance document was developed jointly by DESE and DPH and outlines recommendations on masking. COVID-19 testing. and quarantine protocols. It also includes information on back-to-¬≠school vaccine clinics, local vaccine sites, and public awareness materials for families.

 

Today, after a briefing from the DESE, Commissioner Jeff Riley reported his intention to mandate face coverings for all students K-12 until October 1 to the Board of Education on August 24.

https://mailchi.mp/doe.mass.edu/press-releaseeducation-commissioner-to-ask-board-for-authority-to-mandate-masks-in-public-schoolsto-provide-time-to-increase-vaccinations

 

I will update the community and staff on Tuesday, August 24, once additional information is available.

 

As I mentioned at Wednesday’s School Committee meeting, we will follow the direction of The Commissioner, DESE and DPH. 

 

Currently, the guidelines are as follows:

 

             This fall, DESE and DPH strongly recommend that all students in kindergarten through grade 6 wear masks when indoors, except students who cannot do so due to medical conditions or behavioral needs. Masks are not necessary outdoors and may be removed while eating indoors.

             DESE and DPH also strongly recommend that unvaccinated staff in all grades, unvaccinated students in grades 7 and above, and unvaccinated visitors wear masks indoors, in alignment with the statewide advisory on masking.

             DESE and DPH recommend that schools allow vaccinated students to remain unmasked.

             Any individual at higher risk for severe disease from COVID or with a household member who is at high risk is encouraged to mask regardless of vaccination status consistent with the updated DPH Advisory on Face Coverings and Masks.

             Any child or family who prefers to mask at school should be supported in this choice.

             By federal public health order, all students and staff are required to wear masks on school buses at this time.

             All staff and students must wear masks while in school health offices. Additional guidance for school health professionals is forthcoming from DPH.

 

The full document may be found here https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/on-desktop/protocols/protocols.pdf

 

Again, once more information becomes available on Tuesday August 24, I will update the community.

BESE memo 8.20.2021 final 1136am.pdf
faq-installment fall_8 20 21 FINAL_clean 1207pm.pdf

In closing, I want to reassure the community, families and staff the Whitman-Hanson Regional School District is committee to providing a safe environment for all students and staff.

 

With the anticipated weather approaching, I wish you all a very happy and safe weekend.

 

Sincerely,

Jeff

Jeffrey Szymaniak

Superintendent of Schools



Back to School Information for 2021-22 School Year From Superintendent Jeff Szymaniak

Welcome Back!  The first day of School is Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

Dear Families, 

At the upcoming August 18, 2021 WHRSD School Committee meeting, the topic of student masks will be discussed. The District has made an effort to follow the latest guidelines from both the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) as well as the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) throughout the COVID time period. 

Click Here for Public Comment on Face Coverings for 2021-22 SY


 

 

 




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COVID Resources:
COVID-19    Symptoms, Testing, Tracking
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
MA Department of Public Health

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